Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The Rivermont Top

The Rivermont Pattern by Cashmerette has a top and a dress in it. 

After I started working on the dress, I got this great idea for a top and went off on a lark. See I've been inspired by a number of peplum tops that I've been saving from the Internet and Instagram. I thought this was the perfect pattern to make my creative imaginings come to fruition.

Let's start at the beginning with some inspiration photos ~

As you know, I made a test version of the dress. When I first thought of making a top, I considered tearing my tester version apart and trying to make it work. I checked but I didn't have enough of the original fabric left over to make the peplum probably because I'd fussy cut it to get the border to fit the dress.

So my next thought was to use the original top with an insert on the sides and use a black ponte for the peplum.  After picking up some black ponte, I changed directions again. 

A Supply List ~
Black Ponte from Metro Textiles
Black 'n White Houndstooth Poly by Maggie London from Fabric Mart (via the collection)
9" black invisible zipper
Rose applique from Joyce Trimmings

Pattern Alterations ~
These are the alterations I made to the pattern to make it mine.

Peplum Alterations first:
I lengthened and expanded the peplum to give it some flare. Since the peplum piece is used for the front and the back piece, I had to make two separate pieces to get the look I wanted.

1. I cut and spread the pattern so that hemline was widened by 2.5" next the front piece was lengthened by 3".  

2. The back piece was copied from the front piece.

3. Then it was lengthened 10" at the back hemline.

4. Using my curved ruler I curved the hemline up to meet the side seam.

5. Next I cut two inserts into the peplum pattern. I picked an area near the back and one closer to the side seam. There was no formula for this. I eyeballed it thinking about how I wanted the peplum to hang over my behind.

6. Spreading the inserts, the one closest to the back fold was widened to 3.5" at the hemline.

7. The second insert closest to the side seam was widened to 2" at the hemline.

Final back pattern piece made from the cut & marked up original piece

Additional alterations made to the top ~
I raised the neckline by 1/2". I did this based upon my test dress version. It had a higher neckline than my pattern. I liked the original neckline better for me so I altered my front pattern also making sure to alter the front facing pattern piece too.

Construction Information ~
It's important to note that I got another idea as I was cutting the pattern out.  One of the things that is challenging to me about my Rivermont Dress is that I have to pull it over my head. People I'm an older woman who hates to exercise so my dexterity isn't as good as it was when I was a younger woman who didn't exercise. So I love a zipper!  And I realized that in a stable knit like a ponte that a zipper is a good thing, so I added a 9" invisible to the back seam.

This meant that the back neck facing had to be changed too. So instead of placing it on the fold I added a 3/8" seam allowance and cut it out as 2 separate pieces.

I added a lining to the peplum by cutting a second set of the peplum pieces from the silky poly fabric. First I stitched the silky lining to the ponte at the hemline. After the two pieces were sewn together, the seams were pressed open and flat. I added a line of stitching to the hemline of the peplum. The two pieces of fabric were then basted together at the waistline. I clipped it to a pants hanger and let the lined peplum hang for a day so I could see if the two fabrics worked against each other.  

Because I chose to add a lining to the peplum and a zipper to the back of the top, I changed the way I constructed the garment. As stated above the peplum was made first. The bodice was made second and I sewed it together as a single piece ~ however I did sew the sleeves into the bodice and then sewed the side seams together. The last step was to sew the bodice to the waistline and hem the sleeves.

Design Change ~
Besides giving the top's peplum more space and lengthening it in the back, I also appliqued a rose to the shoulder area. In the center of the rose, I placed a covered button made from some of the poly herringbone fabric. I thought it was a cute touch to draw all of the elements of the top together.

A few pictures of the Top ~

Giving the top a little twirl

Conclusion ~
This top first appeared on the Curvy Sewing Collective about a week ago. However, I didn't include the instructions on how to lengthen and enlarge the peplum...that information is included in this blog post. Also, this top pattern was included in the free pattern that I received from Cashmerette - yet again all opinions are mine.

Honestly between the dress and the top, I prefer the top. I will definitely make the top again using the regular peplum pieces instead of my altered pattern pieces. It's a great top that's very versatile, open to design inspiration, and will function well in my casual work wardrobe. 

This is an easy to sew and great wardrobe builder pattern. May I also say that I love that the pattern pieces all go together without any challenges adding to the ease of sewability for this pattern.  If you're looking for a great top pattern as a plus-size, curvy woman, definitely purchase the Rivermont pattern! always more later!



  1. Beautiful. I like this style on you.

  2. You rock this top! Great change up of a good basic pattern. Thanks for sharing how you got to your end product!

  3. This is fantastic. The top is extremely flattering on you! Now you've inspired me to make a Rivermont peplum . . .

  4. The SHOES bring it up another level!

  5. Carolyn, you look so sassy and on trend in this top. Your alterations really bring it! Karen

  6. You made a striking and graceful top. Carolyn, you have such good imagination and sewing skills.

  7. You look fabulous darling! WOW!
    I love this top & how gorgeous you look in it.
    Becca G

  8. your version of the peplum look is fantastic, I like the proportions.

  9. It looks fantastic! The proportions are bang on, I love the lining, and I agree with Lisa, the shoes really lift the whole outfit.

    -Tanya H

  10. I agree with you and like it as a top more than as a dress. I love your modifications. It looks flattering and flirty on you. Well done!

  11. What a cute top! I love that you lined the peplum in that herringbone pattern. Such a nice touch. I have a question for you - you've mentioned several times that you don't like 'waists' on your dresses, but this seems the same to my eye. Both have been very flattering on you. If one just 'feels' wrong, I totally get it. I'm just curious because given how you feel about dresses with waists I was surprised that you loved this top. Maybe it is just one of those things. :)

    1. Leigh - for this top I added a lot of width to the peplum so the waistline seam doesn't bother me. It's not tight or close-fitting like the straight skirt on the dress is. It camouflages my abdomen which I'm always conscious of and it just works for me so I like it.

    2. Well, it looks beautiful on you, you love it, and that's all that really matters. :)

  12. Brilliant use of embroidery and the peplum is so flattering. This is why we sew

  13. I know I should talk about the flattering flow of the peplum, especially in profile and how you eyeballed it just right but I have to say, the shoes make the outfit....

  14. Great tutorial and I will always love peplums! I was thinking you could also make an interesting cardigan / topper in the same way.

  15. I don't know what I like more, the top, or your wording about not liking exercising now, or years ago. I am so with you, and am making a top with the exact same issue. My husband had to help me get my first muslin off me. I kid you not. I do love the top on you. It is very flattering on you, and thanks so much for sharing how you added the peplum. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

  16. LOVE this look on you! You truly are an artist.

  17. I love the design modification, and the lining peeking out on the pepulum! Great work

  18. Your changes to this pattern are just wonderful! Love it.

  19. Great post! You have a nice blog!

    Would you like to follow each other? Follow me and I'll follow you back!

    Have a great day!

  20. Lovely top, that silhouette really suits you. :)

  21. This top is fantabulous on you, and I love the fun peplum alterations! Thanks for sharing your train of thought, how one change required other changes. Also, HAHA to the comment about not being as good at pulling dresses over your head as you were when you were a younger woman who didn't exercise! As they say on the beer commercials, DILLY DILLY!!!

  22. You did a fantastic job of altering the pattern. You look fabulous in your new top. I love the idea of lining the peplum!


Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! It is so appreciated!


Related Posts with Thumbnails