DIY Summer T-Shirt Series: Make a Peplum

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After image of peplum t shirt

Yay! It’s summer, the season of the T-shirt.

Can you hear a collective T-shirt cheer as they’re all unearthed from the bottom of drawers and the backs of closets around the country? Unfortunately, thousands of these perfectly good T-shirts will be donated or thrown away to make way for new clothing. Well this month, let’s save a few of them from the rag bag by sprucing them up and making them a little more modern.

A flattering peplum is a good place to start.

The first thing you need to do is find one T-shirt that fits you well on the top and another coordinating shirt that has lots of fabric on the bottom. You can really get creative here by using two different colors, stripes, polka dots or different patterns. Just have fun.

Find two t shirts

Cut the well fitting T-shirt off a half inch lower than your natural waistline. (This will give you enough for a 1/2-inch seam allowance.) Make sure it fits you nicely around the waist. If it’s a bit too big, take in the side seams a little to make it fit.

Cut new waist line

Now, cut off the arms and the neck of the large T-shirt to create as large a fabric rectangle as you can. Fold this in half.

Next, you’ll have to do a little math. YIKES! Not to worry though, it won’t be too hard, I promise.

Measure around the bottom edge of the top T-shirt. Divide this number by 3.14, and subtract 1/2 inch. Use this number to measure down from the corner of the large T-shirt. Keeping the end of your measuring tape in the corner, mark this distance all across the shirt, forming an arc.

Then measure your desired peplum length from the first line. You will end up with two lines on your T-shirt that looks like this:

Meausure and mark peplum

Cut along both lines.

Cut the peplum from the big t shirt

You will be using the middle piece for your peplum. One end will have a fold and the other end will be open. Place the right sides together, pin and sew the open end.

Pin and sew side of peplum

Turn the top of the T-shirt right side out and the peplum you made inside out and place them next to each other like this:

Shirt right side out peplum inside out

Now, slide the peplum up over the T-shirt so the right sides and raw edges are together. Pin the raw edges and sew them  with a 1/2 inch seam allowance.

Pin and sew peplum onto shirt

There’s no need to hem, because T-shirt material doesn’t fray. Flip the peplum down and you’ve got a cute new T-shirt for summer.

After image of peplum t shirt

And don’t forget to wear your sunscreen!


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