Handmade Wardrobe · sewing · Sewing With Knits · Tutorials

Stasia Dress to Peplum Hack – A Tutorial

Pattern Testing has always sounded like an enjoyable adventure. So I was excited when Meg of Sew Liberated Designs was looking for testers for her new Stasia Dress and Tee. I’ve used Meg’s patterns before and knew this would be great. And, it was!

Stasia Dress

I love the Stasia Dress and Tee!! It’s a beautifully designed pattern for knits and includes two skirt and sleeve lengths as well as a sleeveless version. That would be enough, but generous Meg also included a close-fitting, layering tee or tank in the pattern. It’s almost a whole wardrobe and the size range extends to 24!

Eloflex thread label

My other current thrill is Coats and Clark’s new Eloflex Stretch Thread and this was a great opportunity to use it. It’s perfect for sewing knit seams and hems on a sewing machine because it retains it’s stretch beautifully. No more pop when you’re seams and hems stretch! You can click here to learn more about Eloflex.  (Stay tuned to The Sewful LIfe for a chance to win your own supply of Eloflex soon!)

I’m totally crushed on the Stasia Dress with it’s gorgeous scoopy neckline and v-waist front bodice, but I also love re-inventing patterns. So, for my third test, I purchased a yummy fabric from local Pacific Fabrics, shortened the skirt to a peplum length and wow – I’m in love with this pattern hack. (The lovely fabriccis still on their web site.) You’re absolutely going to want to do this, so here’s my tutorial!

  1. Trace regular length Stasia Dress Skirt front and back pattern pieces onto pattern paper and measure the center front length. Make a note of this length.
  2. Determine your Peplum length by measuring from your waist to the peplum skirt length you would like. Subtract 1” from this measurement to accommodate the hem and seam allowance already included in the original skirt piece. Make a note of this calculation.Marking pattern piece
  3. To determine the amount you will shorten the original skirt pattern piece, subtract the length you noted in step 2, from the original length you measured in step 3. Make a note of this calculation right on your pattern piece.
    1. Your equation will be Step 1 – Step 2 = Amount to Shorten
    2. For my peplum the equation was 20” – 13”= 7”
  4. Cut the pattern you traced in step 1 along the Shorten/Lengthen line. You will use this line so that you can retain the original flair of the skirt. Don’t cheat and take the length off the hemline! It’s adorable with the original flair and adorable is a good thing!New Pattern on fabric
  5. Slide the bottom of the skirt pattern up and over the top of the skirt pattern. You will overlap the two pieces by the amount you determined in step 3. The side seams will be uneven, but you will keep the center front seamlines of the cut pieces even with each other. In the picture above, I folded the pattern piece in towards the center seam to even up the side seam.
  6. Measure the amount you overlapped at the center front and at the side seams to ensure the pieces are overlapped evenly. Tape or pin the two pieces together.
  7. Confession time! Because I’m impatient, I used my Peplum Skirt pattern taped together as in step 6. I used a ruler slanted along the side and cut along the ruler with a rotary cutter. It worked just fine, but because I am now SO excited about this peplum version, I will be making an actual Peplum Skirt pattern piece and I suggest that you do, too. Here’s how to do it:
    1. Lay your taped skirt piece from step 6 on top of another piece of pattern tracing paper or material. Secure it with pattern weights or pins.
    2. You will have a significant gap between the taped pieces along the side seamline. Angle a ruler from the side waist edge to hem edge. Holding the ruler securely, trace a new side seamline on the new piece of pattern tracing paper.
    3. Trace the rest of the skirt onto the pattern tracing paper and remove the taped skirt pattern piece.
    4. Label your new Peplum Skirt pattern as you normally would and be sure to note that this is the peplum length.
  8. Repeat steps 1 thru’ 7 for the Back Skirt pattern piece.

You can go back to Meg’s lovely sewing instructions now. There are no differences in sewing directions for my peplum version, so just follow the steps for the Stasia Dress. Be sure to read Meg’s excellent discussion and tips for sewing knits included in the instructions!

Stasia Peplum front view

That was easy, right? And, it makes the lovely Stasia Dress and Tee even more marvelous for your Handmade Wardrobe. You see two different fabrics in my pictures because I’m already working on another peplum version. The red one will have a white stretch lace yoke and sleeves and I’m REALLY excited about it. (Hmmm – that sounds like another blog post, doesn’t it?!)

A few links of importance for you:

  • Purchase the marvelous Stasia Dress and Tee PDF Pattern right here.
  • Learn more about the incredible Eloflex Stretch thread I used for all my sewing machine stitching by clicking here.
  • See the Sew Liberated Esme Top I made last Spring in my Me Made May – Week One post. Click here and look for Day 6.

Thank you Sew Liberated for letting me test Stasia and expanding my Sewful Life. It was bolts and spools of fun and I am very grateful!

Annette signature

Moment of Further Truth:
Sew Liberated provided the Stasia Dress and Tee pattern to me and Coats and Clark provided me with samples of Eloflex thread. But, the rest of this is all me and I only gush about things if I truly believe in them!

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