August makes me conjure up thoughts of falling leaves, layering, and finally more textural fabrics to be worn. Obviously, Vancouver is still much to warm to wear thicker fabrics but Fall IS coming. This is my time to start designing items for Fall.
First is a pleated peplum top to be worn with tailored shorts or skinny denim.
I will go through the design and construction elements important to this design.
The moment I laid hands on the black and white wool blend I knew I had to design something with it, but did not know what just yet. This was back in December 2013. The texture has a beautiful and luxurious hand feel- my kinda fabric. Purchased from Fabricland on Marine Drive.
The black cotton lining was left-over from a previous design (Two-toned waistcoat).
Pattern Drafting & Draping
In late May of 2014, I finally decided the wool blend was worthy for a modern peplum design. I used a combination of draping and flat pattern drafting to complete the paper patterns. It was absolutely necessary to drape the front bodice as I wanted to remove any darts and just use a style line. You can see the result in the bottom right photo. The sleeves where draped as well to find the right spot on the armhole for hem to hit.
A muslin (top left photo) was sewn to check fit and balance of the garment. Below are final pattern pieces ready for cut.
In this section I will share several design elements that make up this top.
Inverted Box Pleats
In my opinion, an inverted box pleat is a great way to add volume to a garment in an understated kind of way. Three where applied in this top, center front on peplum and one on each sleeve mimicking the peplum. In both areas the lining was attached prior to creating the pleat and attaching on to bodice of garment.
Barely noticeable unless you are standing in front of the garment are meticulously placed style lines that actually serve some function. The one on the front bodice helped remove the waistline dart.
I have never really been a fan of a peplum (over-skirt), but the idea of a longer top just hitting the hip line was appealing. I am calling this a modern peplum because it just hugs the hip area with little to no flare.
The black and white wool blend fabric has a high fray rate, so I knew this garment had to be lined. Also, I get kinda itchy wearing wool, so it was actually necessary. The lining pieces match the exterior pieces exactly, so it was like sewing two tops and bringing them together in the end.
I rarely include zippers in my personal designs unless medium to thicker weight fabric are being used. I find zippers add unnecessary bulk to a garment. The black and white fabric was able to hold an invisible zipper without it over bearing the fabric.
To keep the zipper area clean, the center back lining was pressed back and hand sewn shut. Below is a shot mid-way through the hand sewing.
Hand Sewn Snaps
I am a sucker for snaps in general, but it pairs perfectly with a zipper to keep the center back neckline balanced.
Paired with tailored black shorts is how I am wearing it this month.
Written & created by Sheila Wong