How to Make a Cute DIY Off-Shoulder Peplum Top

Pam Oduor
by Pam Oduor
10 Materials
1 Hour

Ankara-style peplum tops are just a bit fancier looking than a regular loose top, and an off-the-shoulder peplum top takes it up one more notch!

In this tutorial, I will show you how to make your own off-the-shoulder peplum top from making the sewing pattern to cutting the peplum flare.

This is a simple sewing project, so let’s get started!

Tools and materials:

  • Fabric
  • Old tank top for tracing
  • Narrow elastic (for shoulder)
  • Wide elastic (for waist)
  • Fabric chalk
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Sewing pins
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine
Cutting out the pattern

1. Cut out your pattern

Fold your fabric in half with right sides together. From one short end, measure and mark the length you want for your top.

Tracing a tank top

Using a tank top that fits you well, lay it on your fabric, leaving about 1½ - 2 inches at the top.

Now trace the top onto your fabric.

Widening the bottom

As you are tracing, widen the bottom of the top to get the peplum effect.

Folding the fabric

Fold your fabric in half again, with the folded edge down the middle of your top pattern, and cut out the pattern.

Front and back pattern pieces

Now you have two pattern pieces – a front and a back.

Marking the center

2. Mark the center and sew the side seams

Mark the center of the top of both the front and back pieces.

Sewing the side seams

With right sides facing, sew both side seams.

Making the off-shoulder ruffle

3. Make the off-the-shoulder piece

Measure the circumference of your body around your shoulders, and then cut a 7- to 8-inch-wide strip of fabric that is about twice the length of your shoulder measurement.

You might need to cut two strips and attach them to get the length you need.

Pinning and sewing the short edges

With right sides together, pin and sew the two short edges of the strip together.

Attaching the shoulder to the top

4. Attach the shoulder to the top

Mark the center of the long shoulder strip.

Pinning the shoulder strip

Turn all your pieces right side out.

Pin the shoulder strip to the top of your bodice piece at the front and the back, aligning the center marks on the strip with the center marks on the bodice.

Sew the shoulder to the top along the edge.

Sewing elastic casing

Fold in the top edge of your shoulder piece leaving enough width for an elastic. Sew the elastic casing in place along the open edge, leaving a gap to insert the elastic.

Hemming the bottom of the shoulder piece

Hem the bottom edge of the shoulder piece that creates the armholes of your top.

Adding elastic to the shoulder piece

5. Add elastic to the shoulder piece

Insert elastic in the shoulder strip casing, gathering the fabric evenly as you go. Join the ends of the elastic and sew up the gap.

Making the peplum waist

6. Add a peplum waist

Turn your top inside out and mark your waist location on the wrong side of the fabric.  

Adding elastic to the waist

Cut a piece of elastic to fit your waist and sew it together at the ends.

Now place the elastic around your top at the waist mark and pin it in place at the side seams.

Sewing the elastic

Sew the elastic into the top, stretching the elastic to fit the fabric as you sew.

Sew 2 rows of stitching on the elastic.

DIY off-shoulder peplum top

DIY off-shoulder peplum top tutorial

Here is my completed off-the-shoulder peplum top. The wider you make the bottom of the top, the more pronounced the peplum-look will be.

Because it is off-the-shoulder, this top is really cool to wear, and the peplum that was so easy to make gives the top great style. 

Peplum waist

Here’s a close-up of the peplum waist. It looks much more complicated than it really is, right?

I hope you try making this off-the-shoulder peplum top and then let me know how it worked out for you by leaving a comment.

Suggested materials:
  • Fabric
  • Old tank top for tracing
  • Narrow elastic (for shoulder)
See all materials

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