DIY Work Outfit - Peplum Top + Pencil Skirt

I read on one of my fav cooking blogs recently that when a blogger goes AWOL, they are either having a baby or writing a book. With my six weeks of holidays I had big plans for crafting and teaching myself to read a sewing pattern for clothes but then this happened:

Not a baby or a book but a golden retriever puppy, that has taken over my life. This is Russell named for the fat asian kid in Up. 

In the last week I've finally knuckled down and have split time between studying for my upcoming rotation and started sewing again. I have a million little project to complete, like hemming and taking in pants. But they have been pushed aside for some bright shiny new clothes instead. 

My first top and skirt. Anyone with the simplicity 2444 pattern will recognise the diagonal darts in my peplum top. I bought the ponte de roma fabric from a remnant bin; 1.25m for $6.50.  The inspiration was from adventures in dressmaking, my peplum is shorter since I didn't quite have enough fabric after I decided to make sleeves.

I used a gazillion pins to get a narrow hem on my peplum so as to not make it even shorter. 

And I even did a muslin.

The peplum is a bit short but for $6.50 I'm not complaining. 

The neckline is a bit wider than I envisaged but I'll have to wear a singlet underneath anyways to make sure I cover the gap between my top and my new pencil skirt.

Btw ignore the messy background, I had to pop my camera inside a bowl, balancing it by the lens on the rim, on top of two cardboard boxes and an ironing board to take these photos on auto timer.

I even over-locked the edge of all my facings and seams with my sewing machine, it came with two different feet to overlock and uses a lot of thread but is definitely worth it. It takes a while though so I've been spending my time memorising antibiotics whilst it takes its sweet time. Sad I know, but effective so far.  

This is first of two pencil skirts I've made from my self drafted pattern. I've had these house of marmalade instructions on how to construct a skirt block pinned for over a year and have just got around to giving it ago. It was definitely worth the time it took to measure and draw it up. Wonderfully clear instructions and pictures, and since I'm a visual person the diagrams were more than easy enough to follow.

I used a normal 8 inch zipper since it's what I had in my stash. And followed this amazing tutorial by fashion incubator on how to insert a zipper into a facing, the instructions are for a collar and a shirt but works the same for a skirt. Again excellent clear pictures. There was enough room at the top for a hook and eye which makes me feel more secure.  

Given that there is no stretch to this fabric I added in a vent as per this tutorial on a fashionable stitch.  

I promise I did iron and iron and iron the fabric, but it still wrinkles. It's a cotton drill. 

I added in the slash pockets as the seem to fit the style of a pencil skirt better than inseam pockets using a free pictorial tutorial by guthrie ghani

 I free styled the waistband but it was a bit loose and in true crafty fashion found this very clear tutorial after I finished, which I'm trying out on my current WIP skirt. 

I'm almost finished with my second skirt from the above skirt block with fabric from another remnant bin, just attempting to finish the waistband. Also heads up to Australians, Lincraft is having a 50% off sale on fabrics starting this Tuesday to 21 July so I'm going to go in and stock up on some lining fabrics. 

Happy Crafting. 

Ps. Russell says good luck with finding your sewing inspiration too!
mel@all.wrapped.up Web Developer

The indecisive crafter


  1. Russell's adorable and your new top and skirts look fab! That thing about why bloggers go awol is so funny (cause it's true).

    How did I not realize the kid in up is Asian? :D

    1. Hi Alli,

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I think I just assumed that a chubby kid with black hair and small eyes was asian. I love finding new craft blogs. I've wanted to make a lunch bag by ayumills for ages but haven't got around to it, you may just have inspired me - love the fabric choices.

      Happy crafting,