Fabric, 1.5m x 1.8mContrast pleated fabric, 40cmLightweight fusible interfacing, 20cmCoordinating threadConcealed zip, 56cm
Custom sizedCutting guideFront bodice: cut one on the foldBack bodice: cut one pairSleeve: cut one pairFront facing: cut one each on the fold in fabric and interfacingBack facing: cut one pair each in fabric and interfacingRight front peplum: cut one pairLeft front peplum: cut one pairBack peplum: cut two pairsSunray pleated section: cut one (this section should be hemmed before it is pleated)1.5cm seam allowance used throughout except the lower edge of the peplum, where a 1cm seam allowance is used.
Sew a chic top
1 Download and print the templates (above), then cut out referring to the cutting guide. Fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the front and back facings. Position and pin the back facings to the front with right sides together. Sew the seam and neaten the outer edge.
2 Stitch the darts on the front bodice piece, from the base to the points marked on the pattern. Repeat for the back bodice pieces. Press the darts towards the centre front and back. Neaten the edges of the front darts, side seams and shoulder seams.
3 Position the front and back bodice pieces right sides together, match the edges and pin in position. Stitch the shoulder seams together and press the seam allowances open.
4 Lay the bodice out flat, with right sides facing upwards, lay the joined facing on top with the right side facing down, matching the necklines together and pin. Stitch around the neckline, clipping the seam allowances around the curve. Under-stitch the neckline, stopping roughly 4cm from each centre back edge.
5 Match the side seams together and pin. Stitch from the base of the bodice up to the underarms. Press the seam open. Adjust the stitch length on your machine to size 5, then stitch a row of gathering stitches around the head of the sleeve, starting from the front notch and finishing at the back notches. Match, pin and stitch the underarm sleeve together with right sides facing. Turn the sleeves to the right side.
6 Pull the gathering threads up slightly, then place the sleeves into the armholes of the top, matching the notches. Match the side seams and underarm seam of the sleeves together, pin and stitch in place. Neaten the seam allowances of the armhole and the base of the sleeves. Fold and press the 3cm sleeve hems, then hand hem in place.
7 Divide the peplum pieces into two sets – one set will become the lining. Join the centre back seams as far as the zip notch, then clip the seam allowance at these points. Lay the front peplum pieces over the back pieces with right sides of the fabric facing. Pin the side seams together on both sets and stitch in place. Press all the seams open.
8 To stitch the sunray pleated section between the front peplum pieces, position the hem of the pleated section 1cm up from the base of the peplum. Pin one side of the pleated section to the left and one side to the right peplum pieces, then stitch in place. Lay the remaining peplum set on top of the other with the right sides facing. Pin the lower base edges either side of the pleated section, then stitch the base of the peplum together with a 1cm seam allowance and either side of the pleated section with a 1.5cm seam allowance. One side of the pleated section needs to be completed and the other after turning one section to the right side. The edges of the pleated section will be sandwiched between the peplum and the lining. Turn the lining inside out, carefully tease out the seams and press flat.
9 Position and pin the peplum to the bodice, matching the side seams and centre fronts together – the pleat section should run in line with the left front dart, (you may need to clip the waistline curve of the peplum to match the seams). Stitch in place, then neaten the seam allowance.
10 Neaten the edges of the centre back opening. Stitch the concealed zip into the back opening using a zipper foot. Fold and press the seam allowance along the two sides of the back opening. Open out the seam allowance, and with the right side of the fabric facing, place the opened zip face down, matching the teeth to the crease line in the seam allowance. Pin in place.
11 To finish, slip stitch the facing in place. Fold in the seam allowance along the edge of the zip, stitch and secure the facing to the ends of the shoulder seams.