Time to Vote! Refashion Runway: Season Two- Peplum Challenge

Refashion Runway Season Two3

As I was perched upon MY personal peplum pulpit, preaching the praises of this perky pattern, who knew many of the others were petrified of this popular trend.

(Say that five times real fast) 🙂

 upcycled cashmere peplumDIY Peplum T Shirt Refashion 12 - CopyThe Peplum skirt Refashion Tutorial

But come to find out, there are many out there afraid of this flattering silhouette.

WHO KNEW???!!??

But true to Refashion Runway style, these lovely ladies, overcame their fear of peplums and once again created some outstanding transformations for you!

Let’s start with Susan from Second Chances by Susan.

 “I have to admit  when I saw that one of the challenges was “peplum,”  I was a little apprehensive. I don’t think I have anything with a peplum, and didn’t know if I really wanted something with a peplum. But a challenge is a challenge, so I jumped in.

I started with two shirts—a denim blouse that fit me okay, and a men’s plaid
shirt. I also perused through my stash of lace and found some extra wide vintage
eyelet lace that I had salvaged quite a while ago from the bottom of a petticoat.
After choosing a piece of flat lace that was given to me recently, along with a
scrap of ruffled eyelet lace, and I was ready to start.

before (1)

I cut the denim shirt at the waist, and also cut away the button placket and
collar. I stitched darts in the front and back bodice to make it fitted. The
original cuffs were cut away and I added a bit larger, non-buttoned cuffs with
some lace trim.

front (1)

To make the collar lay flat around the neckline, I made several small darts in the
lace at the back of the neck. The vintage lace was added to the bottom, creating
the peplum.

back (1)

I added some vintage buttons that reminded me of lace, along with buttonholes to
the front for decoration. I chose to leave them nonfunctional since the jacket is
meant to be left open. i also flanked the buttons and buttonholes with top
stitching to give the illusion of a placket. I accessorized with a necklace I had
previously made from old watches and broken jewelry pieces.


I lined the jacket (front and back bodice, and cuffs) with the plaid shirt,
retaining the original shirt pocket which is now a “secret” pocket on the inside!

inside close-up

I added a hook and eye to the waist to keep that jacket closed when wearing it
with a belt. It can also be worn open for a more casual look.

looking down

So my feelings about a peplum now? I love it! I can’t wait to pair the jacket
with a skirt or shift dress. If you would like to see a picture tutorial of how
the jacket was made, please visit my blog, Second Chances by Susan. Thanks!”-Susan


Now, let’s see what Carissa from Carissa Knits has created.

“This dress, lovingly handmade by someone’s mother years ago, came into my
possession by way of our local Freecycle group. The gifter told me of her
mother’s love of sewing and her own hopes of finding someone who would
appreciate the work that went into this dress (and several others she gave
me) and who could give it new life again. This week’s challenge seemed the
perfect time to do just that!


Since there was clearly no part of the dress that fit me or was still in
style, I knew I would have to start from scratch. And because this denim
was a nice even tone throughout, it was ideal for a pieced-together
refashion. Loosely based on a photo I found on Pinterest – but modified for
modesty – I drafted a pattern to my measurements. Then I cut my pieces from
the original dress and began the reassembly process.


I used darts to shape the skirt, bust, and back. I included a slit in the
skirt for walking room. And of course, the peplum – angled flaps in the
front and straight across the back. Finally, I installed a zipper I
purchased for $2.49 – the only cost for this project – and I was finished!
The result is sleek enough for a night on the town, but modest enough to be
paired with a blazer or cardigan for work.

I’ll post more details and photos on CarissaKnits.com!”-Carissa




Trish, from Feeling Kinda Thrifty has some more muumuu magic for us this week.

(Apparently “muumuu” is the correct spelling. I’ve been spelling it “mumu”. Learn something new everyday. My apologies for the past misspellings of this marvelous word.)

“While shopping at a Goodwill fundraiser a few weekends ago, a friend of mine pulled this gem off the rack, and we both burst out laughing. Yet, I found myself mesmerized by the super funky print. It had potential, and it was definitely unique. It’s not every day that one finds a *corduroy*muumuu made in Hawaii!


Initially, I had plans to make this piece into a tame pencil skirt. I thought that perhaps it needed to be paired with a solid color in order to bring it down a few notches. However, when the peplum challenge came around, I knew right away that my funky corduroy muumuu would be perfect!


The sleeves were transformed into the bodice. I used the rounded shoulders to make the sweetheart neckline and added a princess line down the front. The top needed some shape, so I added boning in the seams. There was plenty of fabric for the skirt, so I used my dress form to size a large rectangular piece. I then attached the two sections.


Before adding the band around the middle, I created the peplum. I wanted to play around with the shape of it, so I first used a piece of scrap fabric. I cut out an arch and pinned to one half of the dress. I ended up adding some pleats on the sides and cutting away a slope at the middle and back. This scrap piece became my pattern for the corduroy peplum. Once the peplum was sewn around the middle, I added the band. To make the dress pop (as if it needed any help), I added a deep red bias tape around the peplum, top and bottom.


I am in love with my new corduroy peplum. It’s absolutely perfect for the Holidays!”-Trish




Now on to Deasrae from Gladness of Heart.

“Out of the entire gauntlet of Refashion Runway challenges, when I saw ‘Peplum’ was on the list, I knew exactly what I wanted to make! It was with that clear vision that I selected this huge, coral blazer!

Funny story. As the Goodwill clerk was ringing up and folding this coral creature, he gave me this look and said, “Now ma’am, do you see this tag…? Just leave this on, and if anything doesn’t fit, you can bring it back.” Obviously he was concerned. I just smiled and thanked him for the advice…little did he know that I had most specifically selected the biggest blazer I could find.


To get started, I ripped out the football jersey-worthy shoulder pads, removed the sleeves, and the pockets (which were sewn into the side seam). After measuring, I chopped off the bottom half of the blazer. I had great plans for that precious piece, so I laid it aside for later.

IMG_0906 (1024x740)

To get started, I ripped out the football jersey-worthy shoulder pads, removed the sleeves, and the pockets (which were sewn into the side seam). After measuring, I chopped off the bottom half of the blazer. I had great plans for that precious piece, so I laid it aside for later.

IMG_0867 (1024x683)

After doing some research, I was able to draft a circular pattern for my peplum- which I altered to be fuller and allow for pleats, as well a creating a graduating slant so the peplum was longer in the back. After some experimenting, I further altered and drafted a different pattern for the two panels in the front. All of these I pinned and sewed together into one long ruffle. Before attaching this to the blazer, I added some metalic and burgandy thread embelishment all the way along the bottom hem of the peplum. This pattern was repeated on the cuffs of the sleeves, to which I also added a button for appearance. After attaching the peplum, I covered up the resulting ugly seam with a Hong Kong inspired bias tape finish. To round off the look, I added two buttons to the lapel points.

IMG_0851 (1024x683)

This blazer was such a beautiful challenge and gave the opportunity to try lots of new things! I am so pleased with how it turned out! You can find more details and pictures of this process over at my blog!”-Desarae

IMG_0949 (1024x683)


Now from across the Atlantic, Magda from House of Estrela brings us her version of the peplum.

“I can say it has been my personal little hell week. I knew this wouldn’t be an easy one, but I wasn’t counting with a sick kid, and being sick myself too, while trying to come up with a design that would please me. The hardest part? I’m not very fond of peplums. I knew I wasn’t ready to just give up though. I’d make something for my daughter. The argument that refashioning grown up’s clothes to kids clothes is just resizing them doesn’t seem right to me, because that’s the same thing you do when turning men’s clothes to women’s clothes, right?!And I did the shorts peplum out of a dress my mom gave me a while ago!


And it looks so very cute on my little miss. Not to mention how much she loved it! I used a stripe from the bottom of the dress to make the peplum, and used existing shorts to trace the new ones. The cuffs were made out of the original tights from the dress, and the waist from another stripe, I just cut, sized to the right side and attached (detailed photos on my blog).


I also refashioned a top to go with the shorts. The top was pretty easy, I didn’t focus in doing something too elaborated. First, because I was short on time, and then because I just wanted to match my shorts. So, to see more pictures of the process, and how wrong things went this week, step by my blog.”-Magda



Lauren from The Aventures of Lauren is a new peplum convert, too.

“I will completely admit I am not a fan of peplum. I don’t really own a lot of peplum. I think it has to be just right for my figure as I am a bit boxy in my midsection and then have sticks for legs. But I thought if I could get it to hit at the right area, have the right length, and not be full I <think> I could pull it off.


I found this lovely black satin dress which after some research, I learned the company was a small couture house based in New York city!! This dress is quite epic, OH! Those sleeves!!! And it did not zip up.


Now I thought the way it was designed, I thought this would be an “easy” fix. I need to stop saying that b/c every time I say that, it is NEVER “easy”. I learned that the built in peplum was actually one massively gathered skirt. My original design plan went out the door.


For the bodice, I removed the poof sleeves and luckily the bodice had the perfect shape. I removed the skirt entirely from the too long drop waist. The drop waist was almost cut in half. The leftover fabric was then used to fill in the back so I could zip it up.


For the skirt and peplum, I created the main part of the skirt by cutting off at the gathering stitches. It was the perfect length for me. This was still way too huge so I cut that in half- one half for the peplum and the other for the skirt. I did a very mild gather on the peplum. Then connected all the parts together, made it fit, and gave it a hem! Done!


Here is my new little black PEPLUM dress! Which I can finally zip up! Now I am no longer afraid of peplum, I am actually more afraid of leather….”-Lauren




So there you have it.

The Peplum Challenge.

Perhaps you have been persuaded by the power of the peplum and will now have a preference for this playful profile. And perhaps, you too will become an appreciative and prolific producer of this positive appearance. Whatever your preference, you now have an opportunity to pitch your personal propensity toward a participant using the popular poll below: 🙂

The winner will be announced next Saturday, October 12.

Next week’s Refashion Runway Challenge: Leather

If you sew along with us, send your before and after photos to


For more refashion inspiration:

Easy DIY Refashion Tutorials

About The Renegade Seamstress

I'm a busy wife, mom, grandma, and teacher who loves to create. I've joined the refashion scene and I 'd like to share and connect with all those talented and creative people out there doing similar things.
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96 Responses to Time to Vote! Refashion Runway: Season Two- Peplum Challenge

  1. okay. this one is hard. I shall have to have a think.
    Sandy in the UK

  2. Lauren says:

    Wow the competition is fierce! Great job to all the entries! 🙂


  3. I love peplums! So far, I have sewed one top and one skirt with a peplum. I think that they’re universally flattering on everyone, if they hit at the right place on the body.

    So many of these are perfect! I wish I could vote for more than one. 🙂

  4. I love peplums! And you all did a fabulous job! 🙂

  5. Melissa Sage says:

    Wow! All I can say is these women are good !!!!

  6. D says:

    They all deserve to win!

  7. Athanasia says:

    This is the first time that a favorite hasn’t jumped right out! I LOVE ALL OF THEM! What great jobs all the refashioners did. Like UK Sandy, I’m going to have to think about this and vote later.

  8. Ummm, this is going to take me a minute. They brought it!!

  9. Lynn says:

    I think I might have to try making something with a peplum now….great work ladies!

  10. JP says:

    This is far too hard! Everyone did such an amazing job – I can’t pick just one!

  11. This was so hard to choose this week! They were all mahvelous!

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  13. Patti says:

    Great job! Never knew there were so many ways to wear a peplum!

  14. Judy Galligan says:

    Oh dear, this is going to be hard to vote, I love them all…everyone has a keen sense of refashioning and I am amazed..which one?

  15. Wow wee, those are all fabulous, but the lace peplum is hands down my favorite. If I were still young, and thin, and cute I’d definitely wear that.

  16. Ann says:

    This is a tough one. They’re all fantastic. I look at the “before” garments and wonder what in the world could you do with that? Then I scroll down and see the “after” photos in amazement. You’re all awesome.

  17. Teri says:

    Wow! I am inspired and impressed!! First of all, I’m impressed at the vision of all the “contestants” to see beauty in the before garments!! And inspired to try a peplum!!!

  18. It’s a hard choice to make, all of them are awesome!!! Very inspiring!


    these are amazing!  How does one get in on the challenge?  When is the next one???? Lynnea  


    • Hi Lynnea,
      You are welcome to sew along with us for the rest of this season. You can send your before and after photos to me at bhunting@eoni.com. They won’t be counted in on the voting, but I will post them as sew alongs. If you’d like to be a contestant, watch for the announcement for the Open Casting Call for Season Three of Refashion Runway most likely in January. I hope you will sew along and try out next season.
      Happy Sewing!

  20. 1cynthia says:

    Wow, these are so creative. It’s very difficult to choose. I think I would pick the denim dress Carissa Knits though, just for the sheer ingenuity it took her to employ so many techniques. And the result is lovely.

  21. Jo H. says:

    Once again I am learning so much from the contestants – my idea of peplum has been hugely expanded, to the point where I am now wondering if even I might be able to wear a modified one. Hmmm … and as others have said, my voting is going to have to done after I have a good think 🙂 Beautiful work is being done here, seriously.

    • Hi Jo,
      Yes, I really do think a peplum can be flattering on many different bodies shapes. It can accentuate a narrow waist or create an illusion of a waist. Very universal. Thanks for cheering on the contestants!!!

  22. Wow! Really great stuff……..always enjoy voting!

  23. joelleharris says:

    Sorry to be out of it, but these are all great! I’m leaving inspired to get on with more of my refashions, with less procrastination!

  24. cucicucicoo says:

    What amazing work from everyone! 🙂 Lisa

  25. Kindra Caruthers says:

    Great work Trish, good luck!!

  26. Wow! I’m always so impressed by the craftiness of these ladies. Wonderful job!
    I’ve posted more details about my dress at http://www.feelingkindathrifty.blogspot.com.

  27. kittehluvs says:

    Amazing – how do you even pick a favorite?!

  28. JJ says:

    Oh my goodness, I got it narrowed down to four then I was stuck for a bit. I finally said well, If I were to buy one of these peplums which would it be. I still wish I could vote for all four though. :o)

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  30. CindyCee says:

    Every single idea was fantastic! The most beautiful, creative remake I have ever seen is the peplum denim crossover dress by Carissa. 🙂

  31. Suzanne says:

    They all are beautiful!

  32. Desarae says:

    I love how everyone steps it up each week! I have to say these are some *fierce* refashions, ladies!

  33. carrie k says:

    Love these! I’m going to do this asap!!

  34. and i didn’t think peplums were my thing………

  35. cathynd95 says:

    WOW!! Another great refash by ALL of the contestants! So very hard to vote for just one!

  36. At first I thought, “Yeah, I like hers,” then I saw another entry and was immediately, “Oh, no.. this is the winner!” The peplum challenge is the best one in Season 2! Great work by all! ~M.


    • I feel the same way each time I open a new email attachment with their photos. I think, “Oh this one is going to win for sure” and then I get another one, “Oh, this one is going to win” then I open another and another, thinking the same thing each time. I also think each of the competitors get better and better each time.

  37. Debra says:

    Too hard to make a decision! Everybody wins!!!

  38. lesley says:

    Wish i could vote for them all! Reallyreallyreally hard to choose this week!!!

  39. Rose says:

    That was a super hard choice, I loved them all!

  40. Pat B says:

    This is the first time that I have not been able to choose a favorite right away. I am impressed with the talent and creativeness of all the ladies. After seeing what they have done, I now have the courage to tackle some much simpler refashions I have been delaying. Thank you all for the opportunity to see your beautiful creations!

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  44. Dawn says:

    So fun! I sure do love watching the refashions come to life. They are all just so unique! Plus your ideas for each week’s contest are great too, very inspiring. Thank you Beth, you have helped me get back in to sewing.

  45. Cobwebsmom says:

    I loved all of the competitors this week, but I have to say that Susan from Second Chances pushed it over the edge with lining her wonderful chambray/denim jacket with that darling light blue plaid. Her attention to the details made her creation really stand out for me. But all of them were great this week. Keep those needles jumping ladies!

  46. Donna G says:

    very clever ladies. I dream one day I might be able to do something like this. You all made it sound easy.

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