T-shirt to Peplum Top Refashion

Jennie Jones shows you how to pep up a classic striped tee with a simple-sew peplum detail. This quick and easy refashion is great for beginners as you don't need to follow a sewing pattern.

How to make a peplum top

All you need to make a peplum top is our step-by-step instructions, a man’s XL T-shirt and your sewing kit. Our guide shows you how to make a peplum in easy steps and use this technique to revamp a basic T-shirt. Make a cropped version to wear with high waisted styles, or add length for a more casual look.

Designer Jennie says: “Although making  a peplum may seem complicated, it really is easy as pie! It’s just all about getting your measurements right.” Don’t worry guys, we’ve worked out a clever formula for you. Phew!

How to sew a peplum top

You will need

  • Men’s XL T-shirt
  • T-shirt that fits you (to use as a template)
  • Basic sewing kit
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Making the peplum

Step 1

Fold a large piece of paper in half. We used lining paper but newspaper works just as well. Measure around your waist where you want your peplum to start and divide this by 6.28 – this is the waist radius you need to draw on the paper. Lay your tape or ruler at the top corner on the folded side and measure your calculated waist radius down from this. Continue marking the radius at close intervals from one side to the other to make a semicircle.

Step 2

For a short peplum like this one, measure 13cm (5in) outside this line to make another semicircle. This includes enough for a seam allowance and hem. Cut along both drawn semicircles then unfold your paper to make your peplum pattern.

Step 3

Turn the T-shirt wrong sides (WS) out and pin the pattern close to the bottom through the back and front. Cut it out.

How to make a peplum top step 3

Step 4

Sew the straight edges, right sides (RS) together to make a doughnut shape. You can finish the outside edge using an overlocker or make a small hem or leave it raw if you prefer.

Sewing the T-shirt and Peplum

Step 5

Take a T-shirt that fits you well and lay it onto the T-shirt you’ve already cut. Trace around the sleeve and sides of your T-shirt and cut it out, sleeves too.

How to make a peplum top step 1

Step 6

With RS facing, sew the sleeves onto the new chest piece along the shoulder line then try it on. This is a bit fiddly as you need to pin the under parts of the sleeves so they fit snugly. Take the T-shirt off then sew one seam from the chest to sleeve edge. Repeat for the other side of the T-shirt.

How to make a peplum top step 2

Step 7

Pin the peplum part to your new T-shirt where you want it to start, matching up the side seams. You can trim the T-shirt if you want to shorten it and adjust the side seams if needs be so they’re the same circumference as the peplum. The stretch in the fabric will help the two pieces to fit together.

Step 8

Stitch the peplum into place then press the seams to finish.

How to make a peplum top step 4
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Rock with skinny jeans for a flattering day-to-night look.

how to make a peplum top refashion