Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Be on trend while on a budget. Introducing the Peplum belt and pencil skirt re-fashion tutorial!

There are so many looks and trends that I love from this fall season of Fashion Week! One of my favorites is the peplum. If you aren't familiar with this trend, it is basically a flounce or ruffle at the waist. It's feminine, flirty, playful and on trend this season. So how can we create this look for little to no cash? I have an idea! What if we created a ruffled belt to be worn on top of a pencil skirt we already have? Sounds like a challenge to me. I am going to see if I can create or re-fashion something into a peplum trend worthy look for little to no money. As I was looking through my closet to see what would work I can't believe I don't already own a black pencil skirt! This is such a key piece, but I did find a skirt that would work for a re-fashion. It's a black light weight fabric skirt that hits mid calf and has a ruffle hem already. I plan to remove the ruffle at the bottom of this skirt, make a hem straight across and slim the thigh sides to make it more sleek and pencil feeling. Then I will make a ruffle belt to be worn at the waist to create the peplum look. I found a white blouse that will do on top without any changes. I wish the blouse was a little more romantically styled and less business, but it will work. So here is what I did: I have a vintage apron pattern that has 3 ruffles in tiers that start at the waist, I used the top apron ruffle pattern to make the peplum flounce. Then I cut a 4" wide straight piece of fabric to be the tie. I would measure your waist and then add 40" (my waist is 25" so I cut a strip 4"wide and 65" long) so you can tie the belt in a nice bow in the back. (If the belt tied in a bow reads too "apron" for you, you could just make the belt fit your waist and then close with hook and eye, snap or velcro instead of the bow.) I already have bolts of fabric in my design studio at my disposal so I picked a black fabric with white polka dots to use for the peplum belt. I also love the look of black, white and a pop of electric blue. (The color shown below.) I envision bold blue stilettos and maybe a blue bubble necklace to complete this look.


Inspiration: Found in Harper's Bazaar

This is the skirt I started with.

I cut off the original ruffle so it is now straight across. Then I turned the skirt inside out and sewed down the inside of the original side seams in the thigh areas to make the skirt have a slimmer, pencil look, instead of the original fuller skirt.

Then I used the rolled edge hemmer foot to hem the bottom. The bulky side seams won't go through the foot so I just went off at those and back on at the single layer, then went back and stitched the side seam areas down to match the rest of the hem.

Now for the ruffle/flounce. I folded the fabric so it had not one, but two folds, so I didn't use as much fabric. (this is a trick that can be done to save fabric if the pattern to be cut is small enough.) I cut two ruffles.

Then I pressed out the folds with the iron, pinned the two ruffles together, right sides together, leaving a hole in the middle/inside, marked by the pins (DON'T SEW IN BETWEEN THE 2 PINS AS SHOWN ABOVE). This is how you will turn it back right side out.
Now starting at the outside of one of the pins, sew all the way around the ruffle until you get to the other pin, using the edge of the presser foot matched up with the edge of the fabric for your guide.
Then trim off the corners, carefully not to cut a stitch.
Then use the scissors to make small clips up to the stitches, but not cutting through them, at the round areas.

This is what it looks like sewn together, turned right sides out and pressed.
Now topstitch from the outside corner to outside corner. (you don't need to do the inside as that is the edge that gets sewn to the tie)
This is what my tie looks like, it was 4" wide and 65" long.
With right sides together, fold in half the long way and press, all the way down the tie.
Then leave a hole marked with two pins so you can turn this right side out also. (DON'T SEW IN BETWEEN THE PINS AS MARKED ABOVE)
Now starting at the corner sew all the way to the pin, putting the needle down and turning the fabric at the corners. Leave opening in between the pins and continue sewing to other corner, again using the fabric and edge of presser foot as your guide.
Once sewn, trim threads, cut off corners and turn right sids out with handy grabber thingy as shown.
Then press the tie flat, no need to close the hole, just use that edge to sew the ruffle to and it will be closed by that stitch.

Now find the middle of the ruffle and the middle of the tie and mark with a pin. Then match the two middle pins together, with right sides together, and pin together.
This is what the ruffle looks like pinned to the tie. Now ready to be sewn together.
Now stitch the two things together, remove all your pins and you are done!!

Pencil skirt re-fashioned and peplum ruffle belt made. On trend and on budget, it didn't cost me a thing since I already had all the stuff I used here.
There it is, in all it's cuteness, the peplum belt, tied in a bow in the back.
I think this ensemble would be smokin' with these electric blue and aqua snakeskin pattern shoes from VS.


  1. how did you know how big to make the ruffle?

    1. Hi Meows meow! Thanks for the visit! I actually used a ruffle pattern piece from an old apron pattern to make this belt because it fit my waist perfectly when tied in a bow. Do you have anything like this you could use to create your belt? You want the measurement to fit your waist all the way around until the very back, leaving about 2 inches short to be able to tie the bow. Hope this helps! (If not, message back here and I'll see what I can do to help you create one!) Happy Creating! Kacey

    2. Thank you for your prompt reply Kacey! I've been looking around pinterest and I've found a few pins about creating peplum tops. I am going to use their math method (oh how I dislike math). I'll let you know how that method works. Thanks for your help! I'll keep you updated and this is such a lovely idea by the way!! :)

    3. Hello again! Let me know how their math turns out, maybe I'll learn something too! Oh, and I'd love to see what you create when it's all done! Thanks, Kacey

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