Penelope Peplum by See Kate Sew

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Anyone else a queen of negating styles and patterns with the attitude of 'nope, wont look good on me.'?!?!?!  That is always how I have felt about peplums - that they would just add more size to my hips.  I have always been a curvy girl, I was never athletic, but I did dance through college and had a decent amount of muscle tone.  I knew how to dress that college body and young woman, I knew which styles were the most flattering - with wide hips and a narrower waist, I was a pretty good hourglass and could rock a variety of looks.  I was comfortable dressing that body even if it was overweight.

And then I had kids: twin boys, and then 13 months later baby girl!  My body didn't have a chance.  It is true that I still need to take of some lbs... but the whole shape of my body has changed.  My hips are wider (is that even possible!!!), and my once small waist is now somewhat non existent.  The simple truth is that I really don't know how to dress this body.  Things I think will work, don't; and things I would have walked right by 3 years ago now are exactly what I need.  Like the Penelope Peplum Top - I LOVE the way I look in it!!!

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So here is today's lesson from me: try things on, don't say no, go outside your comfort zone - and you may just find the wardrobe you always dreamed of for the body you already have.

Today I am showing off my Penelope Peplum Top by See Kate Sew - she also now has an add on pattern that you can buy that will help you transform this pattern into a dress, I'm thinking I may need to pick that up!  I mixed up my peplum by cutting the front on the bias to create a Chevron effect.  Sadly I did not have enough fabric to cut the back the same way, and you really can't match up diagonal cut stripes to straight cut stripes - ooops!

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I love the length of this sleeve - it is fun and modern and covers up enough of my arms while still staying in the realm of a spring shirt.

I did add two inches of length to my peplum skirt - I don't want anything to draw attention to my tummy, so the extra length makes sure that is all nicely hidden beneath the fullness of the skirt.

The bodice is nicely fitted, so it accentuates my rib cage, and then flows into the skirt before my real troublesome spots emerge.  The key to really aiding your figure is making sure the length of the bodice comes to just barely below the narrowest point of your torso.  You want it just below so that it hugs that curve and accents it before flowing out into the skirt - cut it too high and you will look thicker, too low and if you have a tummy you will get asked if you are pregnant!  

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I love the neckline, it has a nice dip without being cut too low to run around and chase after kids.  The neck is faced and top stitched which gives a great clean finish.  The facing did show when I first put on the top, but once I got it laying in place, it never again moved - I believe me I wore the top all day, it was just so comfy.

*warning about having your husband photograph you, he wont tell you that back of your shirt is all bunched up ;op

*warning about having your husband photograph you, he wont tell you that back of your shirt is all bunched up ;op

Ok - my one other insider tip if you are a curvier lady making this top - use clear elastic to gather the skirt. (you could also use elastic thread, but I like the stabilizing nature of clear elastic.)  I cut my elastic one inch longer that the circumference of the bodice and then overlapped the ends 1/2 inch.  Quarter the elastic and your skirt matching up the points, stretch the elastic between the points and sew with a zig zag stitch.  I attached my skirt with the serger, just make sure not to cut into your elastic.  Using this method with maintain the stretch of the seam where the bodice and skirt meet.

Pattern Details:

  • Size XS-XL (I made the XL with a larger seam allowance since I measured between sizes)
  • 15 pages of pattern to print in B&W (pages are numbered and labeled with pattern name & designer)
  • Three sleeve length options: short, bicep, or half - I went with half
  • Measure chart, yardage requirements, stretch guide, and page layout guide
  • The pattern also includes instructions for shortening or lengthening the bodice to perfectly fit your torso (I did not alter mine)
  • Detailed illustrations accompany the straight forward instructions to walk you through the construction.
  • For me this was a quick sew as I love working with knits.


I'm calling this my pole dancer pose - husbands also don't tell you when you look slightly ridiculous!

I'm calling this my pole dancer pose - husbands also don't tell you when you look slightly ridiculous!

Are you sewing for yourself???  Make sure you share all your creations with us in the build a Better Wardrobe Link Up Party, and use the hashtag #selfcaresewing to share on instagram!!!