Wednesday 24 April 2013


Tutorial: Skater Dress Peplum Pattern Hack

***Admin note: Can Sandraled please send me an email? You won the Doli giveaway and I've tried with no success to find a way to contact you!***

rainbowphant peplum with text

I made her another one, I couldn't resist.  So cute, so twirly.

rainbowphant peplum close

Want to transform your own Skater Dress* into Skater Dress Peplum?  Piece of cake!  And the whole top uses very little fabric, I fit this one into a 60cm cut of fabric with a lot of width to spare.

1 quarter marks

Set aside your bodice pieces and (if applicable) the sleeves.  Those aren't changing.  Grab the skirt piece and overlay it with a piece of tracing paper.  Trace the centre front line, waist curve and side seam.  For the 5/6 size, I chose to make the peplum 8" long (including seam allowance).  If you're making a different size, just measure from the belly button down to where you'd like it to end and add seam allowance.  Mark this distance down the centre front line and the side seam line.  Divide the waist seam into quarters (doesn't have to be exact, just roughly is fine).  From each of the quarter marks measure down the same distance at a right angle to the waist seam and make a mark.  Draw a line between the dots, you'll need these lines later!  Then divide each of those sections in half and repeat.  You should now have a curve plotted along the hem with dots.  Connect the dots and then smooth out the hem curve.

 2 slash and spread

Carefully cut through the hem line and up towards the quarter marks on the waist seam following the lines you drew. Cut almost up to the waist but leave a tiny bit intact to act like a hinge.  Repeat so that you have divided the whole into four sections with three hinges.  If you still have paper above the waist line (as I do) you'll also need to cut lines down from above toward the little hinges.  On top of a larger piece of paper with plenty of room to the top, lay your slashed peplum down.  Tape the pattern to the paper at the centre front line only so it doesn't move when you start to spread the sections apart. 

Start by spreading the first slash apart by approximately 5cm and tape in position.  Repeat for the next two slashes, taping them equidistant apart.  As you can see, the hinges keep the pieces together; above the waistline the slashes overlap while at the hem they open up.  The 5cm I mention is not set in stone, this results in an extra 15cm per quarter / 30 cm per half / 60 cm total which works out as nearly a circle skirt for the 5/6.  If you want to make a full circle, after taping the centre front in position, swing the side seam portion all the way up so it is perpendicular to the CF line, then arrange the two middle sections so they are uniform.

 After you have finished spreading you should have something like this:

 3 all taped

Fill in the hem curve between the slashes so it's nice and even.  Smooth out the curve of the new waist seam.  And now you have your new peplum piece! 

 4 redraw curves

Sew it up as you would a normal Skater Dress.  It'll be a little bit more fiddly to sew the peplum than the skirt because of the increased curve on the waistline and hem but nothing a few extra pins and a steamy iron can't tame. You can do it.

rainbowphant peplum high five

*Even if you don't have the Skater Dress pattern, the principle of drafting a peplum is universal.  Grab a t-shirt pattern that you like and shorten it to around belly-button height with a slight curve.  Measure the width from centre front to the side seam.  Approximate the shape above using those measurements and slashing and spreading.


  1. Thank you!!! I can see this is going to become very popular :) And that fabric is that so cute!

  2. LOVE IT! Can't wait to make one! Or 9! More likely 9!

  3. Bright and fun! Now if I could only afford the fabric.

  4. Love it! And anything that helps me stretch my precious fabric (like rainbowphant) is welcome.

  5. I'm at a loss for words. I'm actually legit jealous because I want it. :-D

  6. man you are a master! way to break it down so well. (with out a lot of funkiness and jacked up hemming) *bowing at your feet*

  7. Love the way you have mentioned how to make the dress.