This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more info

Hi Everyone!

Looks like Tuesdays might end up being “Tutorial Tuesdays”. A few days ago, a fellow sewist shared this picture and asked how she could draft the peplum for  a blouse.  I have documented step by step instructions below on how to draft a peplum.  Peplums are really easy to draft and you need only one measurement: your waist.



First of all I want you to think of a peplum as a baby version of a circle skirt, because that is essentially what it is. A peplum sits on the waist and looks most flattering when worn on the natural waist, which is the smallest part of the torso. The natural waist for most women is slightly above the belly button.

Some more examples of peplums….


And here is the famous Victoria Beckham Sheath dress that you can buy for $3145… or you can learn this DIY and make your own!


Peplums are found on blouses, dresses, skirts, jackets and come in all shapes and sizes. I have seen peplums with gathers, box pleats, inverted box pleats and many more variations.

Follow the steps below to draft your very own peplum! I  took this pictures in a rush, so excuse the free hand sketching. It’s not fancy, but if you understand the technique, then that is all the matters!


You will need the following measurements: waist (Measurment A) and desired height of peplum (Measurement B) ,Pattern paper, tape, scissors and drafting pens or pencils.

Step 1: Draw a rectangle using measurement A and measurement B.


Then draw lines shown in blue that are somewhat equidistant.

IMG_6526Step 2: Cut along the blue lines almost to the top, but don’t cut all the way. This allows you to spread the pattern.This is called the Splash and Spread Method



Step 3:  Tape down the original pattern at the top. This is still our original waist measurement. On the bottom of the pattern, you will start spreading the pattern as shown below. You could insert one inch in each opening, or 2 inches for a fuller peplum. Tape down the bottom of the pattern after you have spread it.




If you want a fuller peplum, you can spread the pattern even more as shown here



Step 4: Next add seam allowance so this can be sewn up properly. Also add a hem on the bottom. I have shown this in red. This is the pattern for the front of the peplum




To draft the back, all you have to do is fold the pattern above in half and add a seam allowance along the centre back to accomodate the zipper.



Hi-Lo Variation:If you are going for a hi-lo peplum in the back, you can simply extend the centre back by your desired measurement (green line) as shown below before adding the seam allowance (shown in red)


It was fun making it and trying out a different kind of peplum, but I think I will go back to my favorite style, which is this white one and this blue one, that I left drafted using this tutorial. If you want your peplum to have a stiff hem like my white peplum below, consider sewing in some horse hair braid to the hem. I used a one inch HHB you can find HERE





Want to learn more about pattern making in a way that makes sense? Check out Suzy’s pattern making classes HERE. Suzy is brilliant. I learned everything I know about pattern making from her.

I hope this helped! If you have any questions, leave a comment and sign up for more sewing tips and tricks below!

-Vatsla 🙂


Try Craftsy Unlimited, watch everything FREE!

405 Comments on Behind The Seams: How to draft a peplum

  1. You are phenomenal with teaching. 🙂 I really liked this post. It was sew easy to follow. I am going to have to try this. I would like to do this for a blouse. I love the idea of having it hi-lo. Have a great week too.
    Thanks for the tutorial. By, the way, the drafting drawings were perfect.


      • Your welcome sweetie. I speak the truth. 😉
        LOL, It’s Señora Lopez. I am a married women
        (26 years and still counting). 🙂 You always make me laugh. I wish I were still “Senorita”.
        We won’t tell Frank. Ssh. LOL

        • Si Senora!I am still learning espanol. Ethnic ambiguity kicked into full gear today when I walked into a Mexican restaurant for dinner and said “Hola!” You should have seen my face when she started conversing with me at the speed of light.. Luckily I know how to say “No habla espanol”… 🙂 Hehe

          • LOL, That is so funny. You are hilarious. You should have said “no hablo espanol”. Which means you don’t speak Spanish instead you said “don’t speak Spanish”. LOL, LOL I needed a good laugh today. 🙂

  2. LOL, That is so funny. You are hilarious. You should have said “no hablo espanol”. Which means you don’t speak Spanish instead you said “don’t speak Spanish”. LOL, LOL I needed a good laugh today. 🙂


  3. Thank you thank you. I’m new to pattern drafting and this was so easy to follow with the pictures and your written directions were very clear, but not overwhelming. Thank you for your generosity in creating and sharing this tutorial.

  4. Hello, for the white peplum shirt you made and are wearing in the second to last picture on this page, what material did you use in the hem to get it to be wavy and not just fall like the peplum on the blue shirt. What is the name of the material?

  5. Is the initial waist measurement the entire waist measurement or 1/2 of it? GIven that you show essentially duplicating the pattern for the back, I would think it would be 1/2 of the measurement, not the whole measurement, right? Also, I assume the measurement applies to the garment’s waist measurement, which includes ease, not the wearer’s exact waist measurement. Do I have it right? I’m looking forward to trying it out.

384Pingbacks & Trackbacks on Behind The Seams: How to draft a peplum

Leave a Reply