3.02.2014

Elephants on Parade


In case you haven't noticed allow me to point out that there's been a distinct lack of sewing for me around here lately.  Why?  It's pretty simple actually - most of the things that I've attempted to sew for myself lately have ended up being little disasters.

First there were the leggings that I made out of fabric that was too thin for the job and when I put them on I discovered that they show off every lump and bump I own (and my undies).  No bueno.

Then there was the dress that I drafted and made in an attempt to copy a store-bought dress that I own.  I tried to make it out of a really lovely cotton/lycra knit but it ended up being way too tight.  Not a little bit too tight, mind you.  Like "sausage casing" tight.  Not attractive.  And also no bueno.


So after those two projects I was a bit put off of sewing for myself for a while.  It's pretty disheartening when hours of work and yards of fabric end up looking like crap.  But if there's one thing that I've learned from my statistics class this quarter it's that the probably of a project failing three times in a row is only 12.5 percent.  See, math can be fun.

I was thinking of making a tried and true Tova top in an attempt to get at least one success under my belt, but then I became enamored with the idea of sewing up this fantastic batik fabric into a peplum top.  I mean, who doesn't want a peplum that looks like a bunch of elephants on parade?


The fabric is part of a bundle that my mom gave me a couple years ago in an attempt to clean out her ridiculously old stash of fabric.  It's a batik that she bought back when she lived in Indonesia almost forty years ago.  I'd say that it was about time that it got made into something.


For a pattern I used Vogue 8815 which I've actually made before but I was breastfeeding the first time around and now I'm not which means that my chest has shrunk about two sizes since the first time I made the top so I ended up having to make a muslin once again.  I cut out a size 8 but took in the sides a bit around my underarms and let them out a bit around my waist.  I also sewed the peplum on with a 3/8 seam allowance rather than a 5/8 to get the pepulm to hit at my natural waist and I lengthened the peplum portion of the top by about a 1/2 an inch.  I finished the neckline and armholes with homemade bias tape and since I ended up making my bias tape too very narrow I trimmed a 1/2 an inch off of the armholes before attaching the bias tape.  I also ended up lowering the neckline since I discovered that a really high neckline doesn't look so good on me.  When all was said and done I was pretty happy with the entire top except for one thing - there was a bunch of excess fabric around the chest area that I somehow didn't notice when I made the muslin.  I would attribute the excess fabric to the fact that I have a teeny-tiny chest but I remember also having some excess fabric on the top the first time I made the pattern so I'm thinking that the issue may be with the pattern and not my tiny chest.  In any case, while complaining to my husband about the gaping neckline I was hit with a moment of inspiration and decided to make two tiny pleats in the top to take out the excess fabric - and what do you know?  It worked! 


These two little pleats are like two little magicians, turning a top that I kind of liked into a top that I kind of love. 

On a totally unrelated note, allow me to tell you how much I love this cake and caramel sauce.  I made it recently for Ben's birthday and I have to say that it far exceeded my expectations (actually I believe my exact words were "I want to bathe in this sauce").  If you make it you'll either thank me or curse me as you're eating your third piece (or as I like to call it "the piece I'm going to regret").

18 comments:

  1. You could not have planned all of it better! It's so cute!

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  2. This perfect. The neck pleats echo the peplum beautifully and the fabric is, simply, fabulous. ... and I may be to scared to look at the delicious sounding recipe! ;)

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  3. Looks fantastic. With your clever cutting I hadn't even realised it was a peplum, just thought it magically flared out somehow!

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  4. Those elephants look so happy to be finally free to romp around someone's midriff! It's a great style on you.

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  5. Loving the ellies on parade!

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  6. I love the elephants around the peplum.

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  7. Wow, the first Peplum top that I actually like! And those little tucks are perfect!

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  8. I love this and I agree with cowroad up there - peplums aren't usually my thing, but your body type is perfect for them! looks awesome on you.

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  9. So cute!!! I love the fabric, and the little pleats look right at home there! I wouldn't have guessed they were an afterthought. Love the elephants parading around your top! And talk about stash busting! I feel bad about a few pieces I've had for 10 years. Apparently that's nuthin!

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  10. Congrats on a sewing win, it's always a bummer when things don't work out as you hoped! I love this top and you're lucky your mom stashed such great fabric!

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  11. You look beautiful in this beautiful top! Great job! I love when everything falls into place❤

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  12. That top looks FAB on you! I happen to love peplums, and this just reconfirms my adoration. The tucks at the neckline add so much to the design. Love it.

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  13. wow, girl, you are smokin'! (whistle, whistle!) it looks great on you! and i love your laughing smile in the first photo. just beautiful. all of it!

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  14. Gorgeous! That print is so fun. I love how it looks like the elephants are trapesing over your front.

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  15. how sweet! I haven't visited in SO long. Kids are getting big and you are sewing lovely things.
    Hugs.
    XO
    C

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  16. I love this peplum and the print is perfect for this style! It looks fan-fricken-tastic on you!!

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