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MN4001 Mini Darling Ranges / Sewalongs

Mini Darling Ranges Peplum top hack!

Mini Darling Ranges Peplum Top Hack Tutorial

Hi everyone, Faith here. To those of you who have read the previous Mini Darling Ranges blog posts, welcome back! If this is the first one you are reading, I urge you to go back and read the previous posts on adding a patch pocket to your dress, and a very sweet ruffle sleeve hack. I can not believe that we are at the end of our Mini Darling Ranges sew-along post. Today we are going to do a hack on this adorable pattern. I don’t know about you, but I love a good hack, especially when ruffles are involved so, we are going to add a peplum bottom to the bodice of this pattern.

Let’s get started!

Mini Darling Ranges Peplum Top Hack Tutorial - Step 2

Mini Darling Ranges Peplum Top Hack Tutorial - Step 1

Firstly, decide what length you want your peplum to be. Mark your desired length on the skirt pattern pieces.

Side note: For the width of the peplum, you can keep it at the width of the pattern skirt piece, or you can do as I did, and make it even wider so that you can gather your peplum piece tighter to create more volume.

Mini Darling Ranges Peplum Top Hack Tutorial - Step 4

Mini Darling Ranges Peplum Top Hack Tutorial - Step 5

Cut out your front and back peplum pieces as you would the skirt piece according to the pattern instructions. The back piece is cut on the fold, and the front will have two pieces.

Mini Darling Ranges Peplum Top Hack Tutorial - Step 6

If you decide to add pockets do that first, as per the instructions. After you add the pockets, lay the back peplum piece flat, right side up. Lay each piece of the peplum front onto the back piece, right sides facing so that the side seams and pockets line up. Stitch around the pockets in one continuous line, 5/8″ (1.5cm) from the raw edge. Per the pattern instructions, press the seams either towards the front or clip the seams near the pockets and press the seams open.

Side Note: Be aware that you will have to decrease the size of the pockets depending on how long your peplum is. If not, the pockets may hang past the length of the skirt. To ensure the pockets will lay flat and neat, I understitch it at the seams.

Hem the peplum piece.

Mini Darling Ranges Peplum Top Hack Tutorial - Step 8

Once you have sewn the front and back pieces together and hemmed, go ahead and gather by sewing a loose stitch straight across the top long side of the peplum piece. You can do this with a sewing machine (placing it on the longest stitch length) or by hand. Pull the tail of thread at the end of the fabric to bunch up the material, creating ruffles. Continue gathering the ruffles until the fabric shrinks down to the size of your connector piece. In this case, the connector piece is the bodice.

Mini Darling Ranges Peplum Top Hack Tutorial - Step 9

Attach the peplum piece to the bodice and pin to keep the ruffles in place along the waist. Take it to your sewing machine and stitch at a 5/8″ (1.5cm) seam allowance. Finish your seams to your liking.

Side Note: I took these last two photos before I hemmed the peplum bottom.

Mini Darling Ranges Peplum Top Hack Tutorial - Step 11

Now that the peplum is attached to the bodice, give yourself a pat on the back. You deserve it! Let’s go ahead and finish this top as per the pattern instructions.

Complete the placket of the bodice.

Add your bias binding. You can make your own by using Naomi’s “How to Make Bulk Bias Binding” tutorial on the blog.

Add your buttonholes and buttons.

Sit back and admire your work. Yes, you just made an amazing peplum top using the Mini Darling Ranges pattern! Your little loved one is going to love wearing it, knowing that it was made with love.

Here are a few things you need to know about creating ruffles for your peplum:

  1. When gathering, make sure to leave enough of the fabric out for your seam allowance. That part should not be gathered.
  2. Always hem your gathered piece before gathering it. Hemming the strips before you sew them in place will make it easier since the material is still straight and flat at this point.
  3. If you choose to gather by hand, sew a loose straight stitch across the top edge of the material, making each individual stitch 1/2″ (1.3 cm) long or so. Leave a long tail at the end to work with for gathering the material.
  4. To sew the gathering stitch using a sewing machine, set the stitch length to its longest position, and set the tension as high as possible. Don’t back-stitch and leave a long tail, then adjust the gathers by pulling on the bobbin thread (the thread on the bottom of the fabric).
  5. Before attaching the ruffle pieces to the connector piece, press the ruffles flat. That will allow for a clean and bulk-free finish.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post. I hope that you found it helpful and informative. Do you have any feedback or questions? If so, please leave them in the comment section below.


Don’t have the Mini Darling Ranges sewing pattern yet?! Order the pattern today! We absolutely love seeing what you make, so don’t forget to tag your creations with #MNminidarlingranges and @megannielsenpatterns when sharing on social media, and check out what everyone else is up to!

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About Author

Faith is a Jamaican island girl living in Georgia. She's a wife and mom who loves to sew and spends most of her time with her husband, kids, and sewing machine. Faith also has her own blog Faith St Jules where she shows you how to create your own DIY wardrobe! Sewing heals her and keeps her sane in this crazy world.

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