Despite lack of sleep and general feeling of impending middle age (I turned 42 this month, ack), I...

A study in stripes - Tiramisu Peplum Top and some T's

11:30:00 a.m. Sew Hopeful 18 Comments

Despite lack of sleep and general feeling of impending middle age (I turned 42 this month, ack), I have been sewing like a mad women this week, doing some "I am a mother of young children and can't live in heels and a perpetual state of glamorous dress, as much as I would like to, so lets make a bunch of practical T-shirts" sewing.

Anyhow, after wetting my jersey-sewing-t-shirt-making feet with the green stripe T last week, I made a few more. Even better, I was stashbusting a heap of jersey fabrics I have had since May last year, I've used three different fabrics from stash, woo hoo.

First up, and this one is much more interesting than "just a T-shirt" is a Tiramisu variation, turning the dress into a peplum top.  I started this during the Tiramisu Sewalong, right after my polka dot version.

The dress I was feeling very meh about, the fabric just didn't work for me as a dress plus the waistband wasn't holding/sitting well due to thinness of fabric: once the skirt was attached I didn't like how the stripes looked.  So after glaring at it hanging in my sewing room for a few weeks out came the scissors and I chopped off  the skirt, leaving me with a 10" peplum graduating down to 11" at the back. Once I did the hem I think it ended up being about 8" - 9" in length.

I removed the waistband and replaced it with a pieced together waistband using the blue stripes.  I love how this looks plus the extra seams add great support and stability to the waist section.

 As a small busted person I also appreciate how the shaping of this top gives me a bit of shape.

This blurry (oops) full length shot shows how I intend to generally wear it: with jeans for a smart casual look.

I like the slightly lower back hem.  It was easy to do.  I just measured one inch lower at the back and used my french curve to do an even curve back to the side seams.

I used my newly discovered fusible hemming tape for the peplum hem and love how smooth the hem sits as a result.

I do plan to make another one of these.  Or more.  I think as a top I will get way more wear than a dress and I love the fancier than a T-shirt look while it still being just as easy and comfortable as one.

Next up  I looked at the cut off skirt section of the Tiramisu and it just felt WRONG to let that fabric go to waste.  The fabric is lovely quality cotton jersey from the ebay store Fabric Warehouse, however I paid almost $30 for it including shipping so making a second top halves my cost per item and makes my stingy scrooge persona happy.

The skirt length was too short to make a full T-shirt so I added a chevron yoke using the scraps of fabric I had left. 

Its just a very ordinary T-shirt but those chevrons and yoke plus working out how to make use of my scraps took some doing.  I got some great help via twitter from sewing buddies Lena and Gabrielle while I was trying to figure out how to make it work.  So awesome to have help and second opinions from experienced sewists mid project. 

I used fusible stay tape for the hems and I used a twin needle to topstitch the yoke and neckline and hems.   The stripe matching at the back of the sleeves to the yoke is a TOTAL accident.  I had barely any fabric and not much choice as to where I could place the pieces so Yayy.

I was toying with idea of adding a lace yoke but decided the lace deserved something more than a pieced together offcut base so I am currently eyeing off some jersey on to bring that idea to fruition.

Finally, I used some more jersey from the Remnant Warehouse I purchased last year to make another basic T.  This one is drafted off one of my RTW T's that I liked the fit of (same pattern as for the chevron T) and my first attempt at copying a RTW garment.

The peplum top and chevron T average at $15 each, the other T-shirt was less than $7. The quality of the fabric is beautiful, much nicer than a purchased T-shirt so I am very happy with this dose of restocking.  I kept them all plain and simple to maximise practicality.  This post is particularly thrilling to me as it represents the transition to being able to make (and actually wear.  In real life.  In front of real people) my entire wardrobe, including basics.


  1. Wow, these are some fantastic tops! While I love the tira top, the other two are fantastic basics. I especially love the details on the chevron tee. :D Nice job.

  2. I really love them all! I think the diagonal placket one is my fav though - I've never seen anything like it! Well done! :)

  3. That tira-turned-top is a winner! Love the shape it gives you, and in particular the drape of the fabric at the front :) That's some seriously productive sewing you've been up to!! :)

  4. They're all lovely! I especially like the Tira top, and I think the pieced-together waistband looks really nice.

  5. I love your tiny Tira...and the dotty one is great too...congrats on your birthday, hope you have a great day (I have 2 months to go before I get there too!)

  6. Great tops! The chevron tee looks amazing and I love, love, love, the Tira peplum top! I would probably still have the dress hanging in my sewing room with no idea how to fix or repurpose it and you've gone and made two beautiful tops out of it. I hope you had a great birthday!

  7. I love that chevron yoke. You did a great job

  8. No such thing as a plain t-shirt in your wardrobe, they all look fantastic and love the chevron yoke as well.

  9. Thanks Lena. I'm glad for your suggestion, it really worked out well.

  10. Thank you Sharon. I'm loving my new tops. So glad I don't need to buy them anymore.

  11. Thanks Shar! The Tira peplum is such a winner. I have worn it constantly since I made it.

  12. Thanks. I was pretty pleased with myself this week. The Tira top gives such a great shape. And it covers all the baby bumps so its definately a winner.

  13. Thanks! Its freaky being "40s" - I still feel 24 in my head.

  14. What beautiful tops! And I love your improvisation, both tops looked as though they'd been planned.


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