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Polina Peplum and French Terry Ila

Polina Peplum sewn by Skirt Fixation

Coffee + Thread pattern tour

We are so excited to be a part of the Coffee + Thread patterns blog tour.  As you might know, we love Olga’s patterns, and we’ve sewn up both the Antalya dress and the Elena dress before.  For the tour, we would have loved to sew either one of those 2 dresses again, but we chose to try 2 of her other patterns, the Polina Dress and the Ila Dress.  With Olga’s permission, we decided to “hack” both of these patterns.

Polina Peplum sewn by Skirt Fixation

The Polina Dress is a darling vintage inspired dress with several options.  We chose to make Annie a peplum length dress by using the circle skirt option and shortening it to peplum length.  Annie loved and wore the last peplum we made for her to death, so we knew this would be a hit too.

Polina Peplum sewn by Skirt Fixation

The only other change we made to Polina Dress pattern to make it a peplum length was to omit the part of the slit that extends onto the skirt…just for ease of sewing.

Polina Peplum sewn by Skirt Fixation

The other major change we made to the Polina Dress pattern was to move the frill over to the edge of the bodice to become a butterfly sleeve.  We just sandwiched the frill between the bodice and the lining at the sleeve, and presto…butterfly sleeves!

Polina Peplum sewn by Skirt Fixation

The inside of this Polina Peplum is fully lined on the bodice part.  It is seriously as gorgeous on the inside as on the outside!

Polina Peplum sewn by Skirt Fixation

Because we felt it suited the feeling of the peplum length better, we opted to make ribbon ties instead of self fabric ties.  They just skim the bottom of the peplum when tied, and can be tied in either the front of the back.

Polina Peplum sewn by Skirt Fixation

The fabric came from my stash…I think I got it at Walmart several years ago, and couldn’t resist it’s vintage vibes for this vintage inspired pattern!  The large brown buttons up the back were harvested off a dress bought for $2 from the thrift store just for it’s buttons!

Polina Peplum sewn by Skirt Fixation

We all think this Polina Peplum ended up perfectly!  As it was being sewn, I wasn’t at all sure it was going to be true to the vision in my head, and at one point was sure it was going to be destined for the trash!  But Annie loves it and we recently made her a pencil skirt that matches perfectly.

French Terry knit Ila Dress sewn by Skirt Fixation

The other Coffee + Thread pattern we made is an Ila Dress.  We made several changes to the pattern too, to make it what Annie wanted.  First of all, the Ila Dress is recommended for woven fabrics and we used French Terry Fabric-African Violet from JoAnn Fabrics. (affiliate link)  Because of the extra stretchiness of knit fabric, we omitted the back zipper and the seam on the back, just cutting it out on the fold minus the seam allowance.

French Terry knit Ila Dress sewn by Skirt Fixation

Due to Annie’s height, we lengthened the dress by 4 inches.  But we do find Coffee + Thread patterns to be a truer fit to Annie’s size than most patterns.

French Terry knit Ila Dress sewn by Skirt Fixation

You might notice we did a little something extra to the center panel.  To add the ruching, we just cut out the center panel at twice the length and gathered the edges before sewing the front bodice together.  And we had to use that same precious Art Gallery Priory Square Jersey Knit Cottagely Posy Emerald Fabric (affiliate link) for the hidden pockets too.

French Terry knit Ila Dress sewn by Skirt Fixation

We used White Sheer-knit Fusible Interfacing (affiliate link) on the yoke, and made sure to attach the interfaced yoke to the front of the dress.  Then we graded the seam allowances before sewing on the other yoke, due to the thickness of the french terry fabric.  To keep the inside yoke where it belongs, we stitched in the ditch, catching the 2nd yoke in place on the inside.  It all worked out very well, and we can see making a lot more knit Ila dresses in the future.

French Terry knit Ila Dress sewn by Skirt Fixation

Annie sure is happy with this summer dress.  She wanted a “play dress” for summer, and says this is perfect!  With the added length, she should be able to throw on a pair of leggings and a cardigan and wear it well in to the fall and winter.

French Terry knit Ila Dress sewn by Skirt Fixation

Annie wants me to note that she fixed her hair special for the Ila Dress photo shoot.  She spent over an hour braiding it into many, many tiny braids and then slept on them overnight.  She thought the waves were the coolest thing ever!  It’s so cute how she’s developing her own sense of taste and style.

French Terry knit Ila Dress sewn by Skirt Fixation

Now be sure to check out all the other stops on the Coffee + Thread blog tour…you’ll be so inspired.  Also all Coffee + Thread patterns are on sale during the tour.  And there is a HUGE giveaway!

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Oliver + S Apple-Picking Dress to Peplum

Oliver + S Apple-Picking Dress Converted to Peplum Top by Skirt Fixation

Oliver + S Apple-Picking Dress Converted to Peplum Top by Skirt Fixation

In the fall, we pick apples.  Lots and lots and lots of apples!

Oliver + S Apple-Picking Dress Converted to Peplum Top by Skirt Fixation

Of course I couldn’t miss the opportunity to sew up the Oliver + S Apple-Picking Dress pattern.  I picked up the Apple-Picking Dress for half price when I bought the Croquet Dress.  I didn’t know when I would sew it up, but an Oliver + S pattern for 1/2 price?  Come on!

Oliver + S Apple-Picking Dress Converted to Peplum Top by Skirt Fixation

There were elements of the Apple-Picking Dress that weren’t my favorite, and I had read some reviews that lined out some other potential issues, like the length.  So when I knew we would be picking apples, I revisited the pattern and decided to make all those potentially unfavorable marks against the dress into positives.

Oliver + S Apple-Picking Dress Converted to Peplum Top by Skirt Fixation

Problem #1:  Drop waist:  Annie is not a toddler anymore, and has lost her cute toddler belly, so the drop waist isn’t really a favorite anymore.

Solution: bring the bottom of the top up to her waist.

How to:  I did this by measuring her back-waist length, and then folding the pattern to that measurement plus seam allowances.

Oliver + S Apple-Picking Dress Converted to Peplum Top by Skirt Fixation

Problem #2: Short length:  Annie is getting really tall, and all the reviews I read mentioned the length as being a little short.

Solution: make it a peplum top!

How To: I did this by using only the short ruffle and leaving off the second, long ruffle.  We’ve been seeing quite a few peplum tops lately, they really seem to be making a comeback.

Oliver + S Apple-Picking Dress Converted to Peplum Top by Skirt Fixation

Problem #3: Bow: I felt the bow made it so old-fashioned and even out of date looking when used with modern fabrics.

Solution:  Use vintage fabrics and vintage color combination.

How To: I dug into the stash and found this very vintage brown fabric.  Then I searched for the perfect red to go with it, and found the sweet embroidered red fabric, again in my stash.

Oliver + S Apple-Picking Dress Converted to Peplum Top by Skirt Fixation

Problem #4:  Shy button placket:  The button placket seems to be sort of hidden behind the bow.

Solution: Outline the button placket with piping, Frances Suzanne style.

How To:  The perfect piping remnant was waiting in the stash, too short for any other project!

Oliver + S Apple-Picking Dress Converted to Peplum Top by Skirt Fixation

If you’re paying attention, you just realized I sewed up the entire Apple-Picking Peplum Top from stuff in my stash!

Oliver + S Apple-Picking Dress Converted to Peplum Top by Skirt Fixation

Now I can envision sewing up one of these for Annie each year!

Oliver + S Apple-Picking Dress Converted to Peplum Top by Skirt Fixation

As usual, this Oliver + S pattern was a dream to sew up, and the results are so professional looking, don’t you think?  The hardest part for me to sew on this pattern was the top stitching on the collar because it is cut on the bias.  This makes it hang nicely on the bow part, but tricky to edge stitch on the collar!

Oliver + S Apple-Picking Dress Converted to Peplum Top by Skirt Fixation

So what do we do with all those apples that we pick?

Oliver + S Apple-Picking Dress Converted to Peplum Top by Skirt FixationApple cider, of course!  We have an old fashioned apple cider press, and there is nothing better in the fall than freshly pressed apple cider!

Oliver + S Apple-Picking Dress Converted to Peplum Top by Skirt Fixation

When it got chilly, Annie threw on a sweater over her new peplum top, and she was ready to press some more apples into cider.

Oliver + S Apple-Picking Dress Converted to Peplum Top by Skirt Fixation

The skirt you see Annie wearing in these photos is a Land’s End hand-me-down from Allegra and Aria.  Land’s End school uniform clothing lasts and lasts and lasts!

Oliver + S Apple-Picking Dress Converted to Peplum Top by Skirt Fixation

It was a busy day, so Allegra and I both contributed to this photo shoot.

Oliver + S Apple-Picking Dress Converted to Peplum Top by Skirt Fixation

I love the small contrast at the sleeve hem that matches the collar.  The red in both places really makes it pop.

Oliver + S Apple-Picking Dress Converted to Peplum Top by Skirt Fixation

Many hands make light work, and when making apple cider, every hand is appreciated!  Of course everyone loves the taste of the finished product and is buoyed on occasionally by a glass of fresh apple cider!

Oliver + S Apple-Picking Dress Converted to Peplum Top by Skirt Fixation

Mr. Skirt Fixation, restored this apple cider press for us.  He gave his stamp of approval on Annie’s Apple-Picking Peplum top, too!

Oliver + S Apple-Picking Dress Converted to Peplum Top by Skirt Fixation

I couldn’t help playing around with a few of the photos to give them a vintage look.

Oliver + S Apple-Picking Dress Converted to Peplum Top by Skirt Fixation

Since the modified Apple-Picking Dress has transported Annie to a bygone era.

Oliver + S Apple-Picking Dress Converted to Peplum Top by Skirt Fixation

Have you ever modernized something by making it old fashioned?

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Skirt FACTsination – The Peplum Skirt

peplum skirt

This week’s skirt FACTsination is about one of our favorites- the peplum skirt! The peplum was worn in Ancient Greece by both men and women over their tunics, and more voluminous peplums worn by both genders in the Renaissance period. The familiar peplum of today didn’t come to be until the 1940’s, and had many pleats for volume. The peplum resurfaced in the 80’s, with the peplum resting more on the hips than the waist, and tending to have more variation in the waistline. It just recently resurfaced as a popular trend in the spring and summer of 2012. Most designs have the peplum right on the waist, like in the 40’s, and while there are fluctuations in the hight and waistline of the peplum, the basic style is worn on jackets, shirts, skirts and dresses. Guess what our favorite way to wear it is! You were right, as a skirt. We have included four of our favorite peplum skirts below!

peplum skirt

  • 1. The Piperlime mint green mini peplum skirt.

This skirt is ADORABLE!!! As well as being mint green (my personal fave,) the peplum is so fun and twirly! I would wear this with a black sheer button-down and black heels.

peplum skirt

2.  The Outblush Coral peplum skirt.

This peplum skirt is so cute! I love the way the peplum goes up in the center! This is a bit more casual of a skirt, so I would wear it with a easy white shirt and flats.

peplum skirt

  • 3. The Outblush Mustard peplum skirt.

The peplum on this skirt is very unique! I adore the little pleat on the right side that maximizes the style on this skirt. I would wear a dark blue button-down shirt and shiny dark-blue pumps.

peplum skirt

4.

  • The Stylebop Raspberry wool peplum skirt.

This skirt is incredible! The only problem with this skirt is its price ( $145, marked down from $535!) Wowzers! The sleek silhouette of this peplum skirt is accented by the pointed peplum. I would wear this with a white satin button-down and black kitten heels.

Well that’s this week’s Skirt FACTsination for you!  Watch for a peplum skirt remake coming soon!

Always be Exciting,

Allegra.