DIY: How to Make a No-Sew Peplum Top Using a Thrifted Dress


no-sew peplum top close-up

From the runway to the sidewalks of fashion bloggers, the peplum trend feels like it’s been everywhere these past few seasons. I love the sleek contours that those extra ruffles of fabric create, there’s such a contrast of femininity and modernity in the silhouette. Paired with a pencil skirt, like Emily from Cupcakes and Cashmere, the peplum trend looks edgy and slick — but paired with a flouncy skirt and playful heels, like Blair from Atlantic-Pacific, the peplum feels more whimsical.  (But my hands-down favorite peplum has to be Kristen Wiig’s space-age nude peplum dress that she wore on the season finale of SNL. Fashion-forward and classic at the same time. *Swoon.) 

To get the peplum look for yourself, you can shop the trend or take a trip to your local thrift shop and perform a little fashion surgery on a secondhand dress.  


  • Dress from a thrift shop. If you want a clean silhouette peplum, choose a dress that is more form-fitting. If you want a flirty peplum, choose a dress with a full skirt. I definitely recommend a dress with a sturdier fabric — stay away from the jersey knits. (And if you’re new to thrifting, here are some tips on finding thrift-store treasure.)
  • Aleene’s “Ok to Wash It” GlueInstead of sewing the hem of your shirt, you can use this glue instead. You can find the glue in any craft store or superstores like Target or Walmart. 
  • Iron
  • Pins (Or something to hold the hem down while it dries.) 

iron and glue your hems

First you need to try on the dress and cut it to the length you want. Make sure to cut about an inch below the desired length for the hem. After you’ve shortened the dress, iron your hem up so that it is easier to glue everything in place. Draw a line of glue all the way around the hem and secure it with some pins while it dries. 

DIY: How to Make a No-Sew Peplum Top Using a Thrifted Dress

I tried to summer-ize my peplum shirt by choosing a tiny gingham-print dress. Because the gingham makes the peplum shirt a little more playful and lighthearted, I decided to make a heart cutout in the bodice of the dress. You can see how to make a heart cutout here and the Kate Spade-inspired owl purse here

DIY: How to Make a No-Sew Peplum Top Using a Thrifted Dress

Have fun!



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