The Plaid Peplum – B 5615

I thought about flying Lauren of Lladybird to South Carolina to help me match this plaid,


but when I realized she was gallivanting around NYC, I put on my big girl panties and did it myself.


Can you find the wayward stripes? :)

Maybe I’ll just wear it with this,


 or stand like this.


 At any rate, I like my new peplum plaid blouse too much to relegate it to the back of the closet.

This delicious Italian plaid cotton shirting from Mood Fabrics features all of my favorite colors, and goes with  e v e r y t h I n g  in my wardrobe.

The pattern is Butterick 5615 which I’ve sewn twice (blogged here and here), It is now OOP but easily available.



It’s a favorite blouse pattern with a flattering peplum and no bust darts. The front bodice includes the ties that hide the front peplum seam. My one design alteration was to lengthen the peplum by 1 1/2 inches.

But let’s talk plaid. I tried to make sure the design was symmetrical across the front bodice pieces.


But that meant one of  the shoulders wouldn’t match.


Matching the shoulders appeared more important and luckily brought symmetry to the orange stripes across the lower collar.


The sides matched.


And the back matched until I sewed the back darts………


….. and let’s not talk about the front peplum.

Should I have cut the peplum on the bias? Perhaps I’ll order another yard of fabric and redo the peplum since the blouse is too cute to be plagued with issues!

I can keep the wayward stripes under wraps for now, but come Summertime, my little plaid peplum will need to stand on her own :)


Until soon!

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108 Responses to The Plaid Peplum – B 5615

  1. Those wayward stripes are kind of like an unruly child – difficult, but lovable nonetheless! I think only a fellow sewer would pick up on them – and we’ve all been there at one time or another. All in all, the blouse is very, very flattering, pretty, and versatile.

    • Thank you, Karen! I thought nothing of them until I looked at the photos – my eyes went straight to that red stripe! The next thing you know, they were popping up all over the place ;)

  2. Vicki says:

    Well, you know I couldn’t see the issue until you pointed it out in more detail at the bottom of the post. The tie stops you looking at the peplum and noticing. Bias maybe a bit too much going on? I think it looks perfect as is.

    • Thank you, Vicki :) As I mentioned to Karen above, I thought nothing of them until I looked at the photos – my eyes went straight to that red stripe! The next thing you know, they were popping up all over the place, BUT in person they are not as noticeable for sure.

  3. So cute And summery. Love the colors too! I admit I had to look hard in the front. The bias cut peplum should be great. Seems to be common execution when working with plaids and ginghams for details hard to match.

  4. This is fabulous! A real springtime winner. Perfect for so many outfits. Congratulations!

  5. Aileen rykiel says:

    Love the bright Summer look. Scan the fabric and see if the bias works. You can try different options when you scan before cutting into your fabric.

  6. Heather Myers says:

    Your terrific summer blouse inspires me to think summer! Great colors, and orange pants!

  7. Graca says:

    How did I miss this pattern? Your version looks lovely and I like the different looks with pants and skirts.

  8. Oksana says:

    “I put on my big girl panties and did it myself.” – this saying is great! I will write it down to rememer.
    And yes – you did magnificent job with the stripes!

  9. Ebi Poweigha says:

    Fabulous top! Reminds me of something I saw in Bermuda last summer.

  10. LLADYBIRD says:

    Ha! I totally would have flown out to help you wrangle that plaid into submission – I’m nice like that :) Also, I looove cutting plaids, ha! :)

    I don’t think the mismatched plaid is terribly noticeable (I notice it, but I also notice these things. Most non-sewers would never ever see that!), but recut it if it bugs you! And yes to cutting on the bias – bias fixes everything!

  11. Sharon says:

    I have seen a lot of people in the streets that have paid a lot of money to have unmatched plaids and unless you point it out most people will not even notice it especially as you have got the orange stripes so perfect on the collar. Wear you gorgeous striped top with joy!

  12. that is such a cute style on you, very pretty. Now you have convinced me and I am off to find that OOP pattern :)

  13. This is so adorable and just in time for spring! I didn’t notice the mismatched plaid at all but it is also 1am here and I really should be going to bed :)

  14. Such a cute blouse! I think you’ve done a really great job with the pattern matching, matching that peplum is basically impossible! You really don’t notice. The colours really suit you!

  15. wearawyatt says:

    That is the most fab plaid shirt ever – life it too short to get hung up on the odd mismatch -

  16. Meg Kundert says:

    Love the styling and overall fabulous post. The bias peplum would certainly look cool. Go for it.

  17. Sewingelle says:

    Im not sure the plaid is so mismatched. There are so Many different colours that its not so noticeable. It’s a great top

  18. Merry Ronan says:

    It is gorgeous…dont critize your work so much…you cannot match everything..& I think you did an wonderful job…looks so classy on you!

    • Thank you, Merry! I was fine with it until I saw the photo – my eyes went straight to that red stripe! The next thing you know, they were popping up all over the place ;) I still really like it but needed some reassurance from my fellow sewists :)

  19. Ann-Britt Uhrbom says:

    Your little plaid peplum blouse is so pretty. Don´t worry about the pattern matching too much. RTW are often not so very well matched, but then we don´t mind. Why are we so hard when it comes to our DIY?

  20. I just ordered that pattern. I hope mine looks as good as yours! Thanks for the tip about liege thing the peplum.

  21. Kathleen says:

    Such cheery bright colours – what a delight. You’ve reminded me yet again to start matching at the front. I have a great dress all cut except the front . It was a bear to match & unfortunately, I started at the back. There doesn’t seem to be any way in the world to match up the big pattern in the front, so my less than optimal answer will have to be crosswise pieces or a total new contrast piece. And you sure do have spring springing up down there! My front yard is still ice-pack & we’re expecting snow. Keep on showing us that there is hope – so good to see both your sewing & the setting!

  22. Becky Bagwell says:

    Another winner…i love it!

  23. Sewellen says:

    Love that! And, I bet that fabric is glorious next to the skin. There’s nothing like a great cotton. That plaid is tough! The repeat is so big! I think you did great! And, you’re right, that shirt goes with everything in your closet. Wear it with pride, and don’t fret, you look great!

    • Many thanks! The fabric is amazingly soft. As I mentioned earlier, the mismatch didn’t bother me until I looked at a photo – my eyes went straight to that red stripe! The next thing you know, they were popping up all over the place ;)

  24. Cissie wellons says:

    What a cute top. Definitely goes with everything. I think you’re being too critical. Any mismatch will only be seen by you! I’d wear it as is. Od course, if it bothers you a lot, just send it to me!

  25. I love this! Being an uneven plaid makes this one hard to work out anyway, so I would say “leave it” but if it bothers you to no end, then redo the peplum with the bias. If you do the bias, I think it will be a strong design feature and call attention to that part of the pattern whereas now, it just seems to be the bottom of the shirt.

  26. David says:

    It’s gorgeous and so flattering Sarah! My next project is a plaids shirt and yeah, I can feel the pressure already…arghhh! :)

  27. Julie Starr says:

    Another cute summer top and as you’ve shown with your photos, it gives you so many options to wear with other pieces. I think you did well to pick where you did to match. Stripes and plaids that are not symmetrical will always present this problem and as others have said, we are the only ones who notice such things. Everyone else will just be looking at YOU and your beautifully put together outfits and accessories as a whole.

    • What a sweet comment, Julie :) The mismatch didn’t bother me until I saw the photo and my eyes went straight to that red stripe! The next thing you know, they were popping up all over the place ;)

  28. Valerie Woodard says:

    So enjoy your blog. Were you in Charleston last weekend? Thought I saw you at the Mills House. Just curious.

    Valerie Woodard

    Sent from my iPad


  29. Laura Casey says:

    Wow what a cute shirt, you can really style your clothing…and you know what looks good on you! That is a talent… well as you’re sewing….you always inspire me.
    Laura in Asheville

  30. Wow, that was just what I needed on this first day of spring. Those colors are perfect on you!

  31. Tia Dia says:

    Love the colours in this plaid! It’s a great top.

  32. Annette says:

    I think it was in something Claire Schaffer wrote that, but in it she pointed out even the best isn’t perfect. She was referring to stitching, but I occasionally will go to stores just to check their sewing. It makes me feel much better. I am sure there are women who would pay way too much and never bat an eye at th plaid not matching. I wouldn’t worry. Besides the blouse is so beautiful!

    • Thank you, Annette! The mismatched striped didn’t bother me until I saw the photo – my eyes went straight to that red stripe! The next thing you know, they were popping up all over the place ;)
      But I agree with you about women paying too much about mismatched patterns. My standards became higher once I started sewing. Susan Khalje mentioned to our class that she saw a famous collection of clothes in either Paris or Washington. On the one hand, the mistakes surprised her, but she reminded herself and now others that couture clothes are handmade and will never be perfect.

  33. Vanessa says:

    You look so beautiful in this top! I really did not notice the wayward stripes until you mentioned it, either. I say wear it, you look fabulous! But yes, if it bothers you, then fix it so you can wear it in peace.

    • Thank you, Vanessa! The mismatched stripe did not bother me until I saw the photograph – my eyes went straight to that red stripe! The next thing you know, they were popping up all over the place ;) I’m giving it some thought and appreciate your comment.

  34. gingermakes says:

    Man, you just have to choose your battles when you’re working with plaid! I went bananas trying to match a plaid coat a while back and spent three whole days sorting it out. THREE DAYS. Of course, it’s just not possible to match everything, so I eventually gave up and did the best I could, but sanity is more important than the mythical perfect plaid match! This really looks cute, though, and is so summery and fun!

  35. Aileen rykiel says:

    If it is going to be something you think about everytime you wear it go bias. Otherwise just keep looking beautiful in an outfit that others won’t realize the mismatch. Simply stunning. You always pick winners in pattern and fabric.

  36. Hey springs has arrived.. such a great shape for you. Yes, if we can get Lauren to match all are plaids would be awesome….

  37. Beautiful job, beautiful fabric, beautiful you!

  38. nenewhis says:

    Super Cute! I really like this pattern, you’ve inspired me to give it a try. Thank you!

  39. quirkkly says:

    Gorgeous blouse and very cute post! To echo others here, it looks beautiful as is and most non-perfectionists (much of the world) would never even notice. Enjoy as is or tweaked- it’s a great garment! Thanks for writing a great post!! Lisa

  40. maddie says:

    Redo? No! This is St. Patrick’s Day, Easter and Memorial Day wrapped into one!

    And can I just say that Lauren is as much of a gem IRL as on her blog. I met her and her blue hair fabulousness last weekend and she is just plain awesome.

  41. Jolayne says:

    What a beautiful top! It looks fabulous on you, and I wouldn’t redo a thing. Just enjoy having a new top for Spring!

  42. Meg McDonald says:

    I believe that cotton shirting is from French Laundry. Isn’t it the best?! Wish I had some. I love your peplum as is, my dear.

  43. Myra says:

    Oh I agree with most here!!! I love it as is!! It’s so pretty on you and what a beautiful blouse to post on the first day of spring!! I would reconsider redoing…but I know you ultimately have to be happy since you’re wearing it! However, we all think it’s absolutely lovely as is!!

    • Thank you so much, Myra! Does that fabric not say springtime loud and clear? I’m going to wear it a couple of times before deciding what to do. Many thanks for your sweet comment :)

  44. Kelroc says:

    cute top. I hope you can resolve the unbalanced plaid issue. I don’t think you will be able to stand sideways all the time,LOL

  45. sewruth says:

    A truly spring-look shirt – bright colours but not garish. Yes, cut the peplum on the bias then you can really mix the plaids and it’ll look like a deliberate design feature. Very pretty.

  46. Cindy C. says:

    Definitely get the extra yard and play with it! It’s tough buying fabric when you’re drawn to one so strongly that you MUST get some and just CANNOT leave the store or website without it. I always buy an extra yard no matter what just in case the pattern that eventually grabs me as perfect for it turns out to require a lot.

  47. rory says:

    Oh, I love this on you! Simply gorgeous. And as my grandma used to say, if someone is looking that hard for something wrong, they deserve to find it.

  48. maryfunt says:

    Your matching is much better than most ready to wear. I’ve seen clothing cut with patterns upside down, but that’s one reason we sewers make our own. I am also hypercritical about my own work and tend to focus on details no one else sees. This was not an easy pattern to match. I see what you mean about the red and orange stripes; they do jump out at you. The back looks fine to me. If you decide to recut the peplum I would do bias or just get the dominate red and orange stripes to line up at the center fronts and let the rest fall where they may. The pastel stripes are not so noticeable. Even with bias, see if you need to line up the center front stripes but that may solve the problem. It does look great and enjoy! Love this blog.

  49. Dinah McCall says:

    I’ve been visiting your site since the article in our local newspaper quite a while back and am in awe of your sewing skills and style. I love the colors of this fabric and the style of top you chose for it. It looks fantastic on you! If you decide to change the peplum I think the bias cut would work great.

  50. What a fun top…and I love the bias idea! Perfect solution! The top looks great on you, but those mis-matched stripes would bother me, too. Not sure even Lauren, as fabulous as she is, could have beaten those into submission :) Super fun fabric, too! Can’t wait until I can hit the sewing machine again :)

  51. Kay Sorensen says:

    Embrace my new motto: IMPERFECTION
    I used to have students say their children loved it when things didn’t match up because then it looked like it was “store bought” rather than home made!!!
    P.S. I DO know how to match plaids!!!

  52. liz says:

    I was browsing my sewing blogs on my feedly and this popped up:
    I immediately thought of you and your lovely thai silk.

  53. Alice Elliot says:

    I love it1 And I think a bias peplum would look great too. And somehow, I like the way a bias peplum fits better too, at least on me!!!

  54. Pingback: Can’t be sad when you’re wearing mad rad plaid | Cuckoo Chanel

  55. ShanniLoves says:

    I love this top!! I would wear it to death. That wayward stripe isn’t that noticeable. Well I didn’t notice it until you pointed it out.

  56. What a great wardrobe staple – so, so versatile. The matching looks pretty good to my eye :-)

  57. Sarah this is cool and I don’t mind the flash or wayward red at the front one bit!

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