Girl's Sewing | Pattern Hacks | Sewing | sewing with knits

Easy Summer Peplum Tee (free t-shirt pattern 3 to 12)

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Sewing Instructions for Summer Peplum Tee

Save the pattern instructions for later by pinning here pin it

Be sure to read the pattern info, binding and sewing with knit for best results!

To make this t-shirt you need:

  • Pattern  (Download it here)
  • about 1-yard stretch knit fabric (for largest size) (I used this fabric)
  • Ribbed binding (usually has 50 to 70% stretch) or other stretchy knit for neckline (you don’t want to use anything with less than 30% stretch-see notes under pattern tips and tricks)
  • Ball point/jersey needle
  • spray starch/iron
  • ruler
  • basic sewing supplies

Binding tips:

The pattern for the neck binding is designed for a ribbed knit with 50 to 75% stretch with good recovery (Fabric Fairy has a lot of good quality ribbed knit choices.)

If using a binding fabric with less stretch, you have two choices:

1. Measure the neckline and cut a fabric strip 15% less than the measurement (multiply the neck measurement by .85) and follow the instructions in step 4. (This is the “in the round” method– and it never hurts to do the finger stretch test before sewing…)  

2nd choice: The “flat” method– Sew only one shoulder closed, fold binding in half and attach the binding from one end of the neckline to the other.  Trim excess binding and sew the other shoulder closed.  (The only downside to this method is the seam will be on the side and slightly bulkier.)  (Similar to what is done in this tutorial.)

Tips for sewing with knits:

  • Use a ballpoint/stretch needle
  • Sew seams with either a serger, stretch stitch,  narrow zig zag  or a straight stitch with a longer stitch length and a slightly loosened tension. (Make a couple of practice stitches on your fabric to see what works best.) I also like to use this “lightning bolt” stretch stitch on seams that need strength but a little give. (For my project I used a combination of straight stitch and serger for seams and zig zag on the hems.)
  • Use spray starch when pressing hems.  Sew hems with a zig zag, twin ball point needle, narrow zig zag with a long stitch length or a straight stitch with a long stitch length and a slightly loosened tension or leave raw. (also helps to use a walking foot.)
  • If you find your fabric keeps getting pulled inside the needle plate, place a small piece of tissue underneath the fabric so the feed dogs have something to grip.

Products used and recommended in this post:

  1. My favorite fabric shop for knits:  Funkalicious and Girl Charlee.
  2. My Sewing Machine: SINGER 9960 Quantum Stylist, my coverstitch: Janome Cover Pro 1000cpx
  3. My Serger: Brother 1034D 3 or 4 Thread Serger or you can just use Pinking Shears
  4. Rotary Cutter
  5. I love my large ruler and large cutting mat, but you may prefer to start of with a smaller Cutting set
  6. Dritz Dual Purpose Marking Pen and Fray Check
  7. Ball Point needles
  8. Singer walking foot or universal walking foot
  9. Wonder clips (I didn’t use these in the post, but they are just awesome!



How to Sew a Peplum Top using the free T-shirt pattern from Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom

Step 1: Print pattern, tape together and cut out size needed.

Step 2: Cut fabric/pattern pieces.

  Front Back/Bodice Piece:

Decide how tall of a ruffle you want (I recommend at least 4.5 inches for the larger size and 3.5 inches for the smallest size.)  Add .5 inches to the desired height of ruffle (for hem allowance.)

Lay pattern on a flat surface, measure up from the bottom of the pattern, using the height of your ruffle (+ the .5 hem allowance) and cut the bottom of the pattern off.

Cut a front and back bodice piece using your altered pattern. IMPORTANT: ADD a .25 inch seam allowance to the bottom of the bodice pieces (for seam allowance.)

  Botton Ruffle:

Measure bottom of the bodice.  (If you folded your bodice in half, be sure to double the number.)

Multiply that measurement by 1.75 to get the width needed for ruffle piece

Cut 2 ruffle pieces the width you calculated above by your desired ruffle height plus .75 inches (seam and hem allowance.)

Cut 2 sleeves and neckband.

Step 3: Assemble bodice and ruffle.

Line up front and back bodice, right sides together and sew one shoulder together with a 3/8 inch seam allowance.

Line up side seams and sew one side closed with a 3/8 inch seam allowance.

Line up ruffle strips, right sides together and sew with a 3/8 inch seam allowance.

If you plan to hem the bottom of the ruffle strip, do that now. (1/2 inch hem included in the measurements.)

If you plan to hem the bottom of the ruffle strip, do that now. (1/2 inch hem included in the measurements.)

Sew a gathering stitch along top edge of ruffle. (.25 inch from edge.)

Gather ruffle strip until it is the same width as bottom of bodice.  (this is much easier to do if you sewed only one shoulder closed.)

Right sides together, line up raw edge of ruffle strip with raw edge of bodice and pin together.  Sew ruffle to bodice. (Sewing right along gathering stitch.)

Line sides of shirt back up and sew the 2nd shoulder and side. (from armscye to bottom of ruffle.)

Step 4: Add sleeves.

Hem sleeves if desired.

Fold sleeves in half, right sides together and sew along short edge.


Turn top and sleeve wrong side out.  Slip sleeve into the armscye. lining up the shoulder center mark with the shoulder seam and the under arm seam with the side seam of the shirt.  Pin in place and sew sleeve to top.

Step 5: Attaching neck binding.

Fold binding in half (wrong sides together) and press.


(“In the round” method”) Unfold binding, sew with a 3/8 inch seam allowance and trim excess seam.

how to sew a t-shirt- free pattern

Refold binding and divide into 4 equal sections.  Mark t-shirt neckline into 4 equal sections.

(Please note: I adjusted the depth of the back neckline, so your side pins my be closer to the shoulder seams.)

free t-shirt pattern

Line up the quarter marks as shown:


Attach the binding to the neckline with a 3/8 inch seam allowance.  Stretch the binding fabric as you sew.  Take care to not let the neckline fabric stretch.  (Go slow and know this my take practice.)

how to sew binding on a t-shirt- free pattern

For a more finished look, you can topstitch along the edge of the neckline.


That’s it, you are done!

Make this adorable Peplum T-shirt!! Free Sewing Pattern: Peplum Top for Girls, Size 3 to 12

Don’t forget, if you sew something from any of my patterns or tutorials, be sure to come back and share a photo on Facebook or tag me on Instagram @scatteredmom using hashtag #scatteredmompatterns!

Save the pattern instructions for later by pinning here pin it


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