Pattern hacks

3 Margot & 4 Maggie Peplum “dresses” (Love Notions). So many options & hacks.

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The Margot Peplum from Love Notions has had a sizing update in 2021 and now included the full size range from XS to 5X. It has been a pattern I have enjoyed two times already, but funnily enough, I’ve always lengthened them into dresses. I’m just a sucker for dress over a top, all day, every day. I wanted to make another one, this time with special sewing features I had not done with this pattern before. My latest version has a lined knit bodice with princess seams and a V neckline hack.

In the last few days, I’ve really enjoyed making 4 Maggie peplums for my 2 lovely nieces. 2 for each! In this post, you will see 3 Margots and 4 Maggies 🙂

The Margot Peplum is $5 today Friday the 14th of January 2022 (60% OFF). This post contains my affiliate link. Thank you for using it if you like the style. Get your pattern HERE. Also, the little girl’s version of this pattern, the Maggie Peplum, is also $5 today. Remember to use my coupon code KARINA10 at checkout for an extra 10% off, every day, even on top of the discounted prices!

Features of the Margot and Maggie

The Margot is for stretchy knit fabrics and the bodice is fitted. You can choose between two styles of bodices: A regular bodice and a princess seam bodice. The waistline is meant to hit a little above the natural waist.

There are three peplum styles: Gathered, box pleated & swing. The gathered and pleated versions use the same pattern piece and the only difference is how it’s sewn onto the bodice. The Swing style has its own separate pattern piece.

There are various sleeve lengths: short, elbow, 3/4 and long.

My Choices: I always prefer the princess seam bodice. I have used the 3/4 length in the past and hacked the view to sleeveless twice. For my nieces, I used the short sleeve option.

Best fabrics for the Margot and Maggie

Because the bodice is fitted and the drafting has negative ease, you need knit fabrics that will stretch minimally 25% horizontally. The bust will have about 2-3″ of negative ease and the waist about 1-2″.

I think medium-weight fabrics are best for the structure of the bodice and because it’s fitted. Very lightweight knits could be clingy.

I have used cotton spandex and athletic knit with success. I lined the bodice when I made a version with ITY to give it more structure and prevent undergarment lines from being seen.

Sizing discussion

The Margot peplum is available in the full size range now. From XS – 5X.

There is a standard bust and a full bust option available for both bodice types. If the difference between your high bust and full bust is up to 3″, the standard bodice is a good match. If it were 4″ or above, the full bust will probably provide more room and a better fit. This style has extra length added to the full bust piece.

I made a size XL this time around. In the past, I had made a size Large. I use the standard bust piece.

The Maggie peplum is available for sizes 2T-16 and for a chest from 20.5-33.5″ and hips 21-36″. The smaller sizes 2T-5T have a looser bodice fit than sizes 6-16. I made sizes 6 and 10 for my nieces and sized up one size to allow for growth room.

All my versions of the Margot

The princess seam bodice caught my eye as I’ve always appreciated the improved fit with these design lines, and I chose the pleated peplum option with 3/4 length sleeves. For once, I had plenty of the chosen fabric (miracles happen). This made the choice to lengthen the peplum into a dress length easy. At the end of the day, dresses end up being worn more in my lifestyle. I chose a medium weight printed cotton spandex in blue/orange tones. I measure the stretch to be around 40%.

How to lengthen the Peplum to dress length

The gathered peplum piece has a shorten and lengthen line where I cut and spread apart adding 12″ or 25cm to the length while keeping the hem shape and curve. I cleaned out the side seams and kept the grain-line marks continuous here. The total length of this skirt ends up being 22″ and it includes 3/4″ for hem allowance. This is my preferred above-the-knee length for my height.

Video on my first version of the Margot

If you like to “see” practical sewing and pattern adjustments, you can visit my youtube channel and the video all about this project. You can see it on in action and I am sharing a cool neckline binding technique that works amazing for this type of medium weight knit. Have a look below 🙂

Margot bodice, mash with Sybil illusion skirt

I had a stripy dress in mind and chose an athletic type knit composed of Polyamide and spandex. Great stretch and recovery. The stretch is the same horizontally and vertically, and this feature makes it prefect for stripe play. I can use the stripes in both directions without compromising the fit of the garment.

I decided to make the bodice sleeveless, lengthen it to reach my waist as discussed prior, and cut the princess seams with contrasting stripe directions. I made the side panels have vertical stripes.

I only used the bodice of the Margot peplum for this version, and for the skirt, I mashed it with one of the options available in the Sybil Illusion skirt collection.

On the line art above, you can see 7 styles of skirts included in the Sybil Illusion skirt collection and I chose the gored skirt. It’s the first style shown on the bottom row. The seams were easy to match to the seams on the Margot Peplum princess seam bodice, and it only took a few tweaks to get them to be a perfect match.

Above you can see that the center pieces for the Margot Peplum (they are meant to be cut on the fold) match the center panels of the Sybil Illusion gored skirt perfectly. The side panels, on the other hand, did require some adaptation. I wanted to keep the original bodice fitted and decided to make the lateral panels of the gored skirt a tiny bit smaller on the sides to match the bodice lateral panels. See below.

The side panels for the gores skirt are the same for the front and the back. I have shown there with the little blue lines, where the side panels of the princess seam bodice reach. I created separate side panels for the skirt. One for the front and one for the back. These are cut twice, mirrored. I tapered the seam from the blue lines to meet the side seams gently.

Video about the Margot & Sybil Illusion mash up


You can see more details about this stripey dress in the video, all about the Sybil Skirts hacks I made for the Love Notions blog in 2019.

How to lengthen the bodice

After wearing my first Margot dress and noticing the constant pulling down of the bodice I was subconsciously doing, I’ve decided I prefer fitted bodices to reach my natural waist. For my comfort and preference, I will lengthen the bodice in two areas. This is to keep the proportion of the pattern pieces. This will make the bodice 1 3/4″″ longer to fit my body (Note: I am also 3″ taller than the drafted height of the pattern).

The first line is just above the bust notches on the princess seams and I added 3/4″ there. The second line is 2″ from the bottom edge of the pattern pieces and I added 1″ there. This keeps the original width of the bodice and fitting the peplum will be no issue. I strongly Don’t SUGGEST adding length to the bottom of the pieces. This will deform the bodice and the fit won’t be correct.

This is to fit my body and I share this to give you ideas. You might want to have the bodice reach your waist, too.

Making a muslin for this bodice from scraps is a great idea. It will let you know where it lies on your body and you can go from there.

Lined knit bodice

I chose a colorful ITY knit for my dress this time and always knew the bodice would need to be lined. ITY for a fitted bodice does not feel or look nice. It’s thin and clingy. Two layers of it and it’s another whole different look and experience!

Cut two bodices. They can be from the same fabric. This what “self lined” refers to. If you don’t have enough of the main fabric to cut the bodice pieces twice, you can use another knit that has the same weight and that would be your lining layer.

When you have two bodice layers, you can enclose the waist seam while sewing them together and it will be wonderfully comfortable on the skin of your midsection.

These are the key points:

  • Sew the MAIN BODICE to the peplum, RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER with a basting stitch within the seam allowance.
  • Place the first unit basted together INSIDE THE LINING BODICE.
  • Sew the LINING BODICE (it could be the same fabric or another) RIGHT SIDES to WRONG SIDE of the skirt.

The points above might explain how it’s done, but it’s nicer to SEE IT DONE. No worries, I’ve got you covered.

The video about sewing a lined knit bodice

To see the practicalities of lining the bodice, a review and to see the dress on, visit the fun video on my channel below.

Because I enclose the waist seam for comfort, you will have two raw edges on the top of the bodice at the neckline and armholes. You can meet them up neatly and baste the edges together and then treat as one piece to sew on your sleeves (if you are using them) and to finish the neckline with your chosen technique.

Scoop neckline to V neckline with a V neckband

The original scoop neckline of the Margot Peplum is lovely, and I have sewn it before. I like the depth and width it has, and I feel great with a neckline like that. But changing things is fun, and I changed the neckline to a V neckline. I drafted my own V neckband piece to match my new V neckline circumference. I used a black athletic knit for the neckband piece.

Video on how to change the scoop neck to a V neckline on the Margot

To see how I changed the neckline of the Margot peplum to a V and how I made the V neckband, see the video below because I used this pattern to film the demonstration.

How to sew a beautiful V neckband video

To see a video on how to sew a V neckline perfectly, see the video below.

Let’s see!

It’s still summer here in Brazil and I wanted to wear my colorful, happy dress now. Hence the sleeveless dress that is not official. I didn’t change the armholes. I used them as they are if you are using sleeveles. I not loose seam allowance, I bound the edges, making the binding exposed. I like the look of the black V neckband and binding on the armholes. I’m happy the bodice hits my waist where it is more comfortable for me.

I feel great with this version of the Margot Peplum. I keep making the pattern as a dress and I can’t help myself. The lined bodice feels soft. There are no serged edges of fabric against my skin. What I love the most about ITY, is the drape and how the skirt hangs and flows and whilst it’s not ideal for the bodice, it’s ideal for the skirt. Lining the bodice gives you the best of both worlds: a more structured bodice that feels amazing AND a flowy skirt.

I’m happy!

Maggie Peplum dresses for my nieces

I made my beloved nieces 2 Maggie Peplum “dresses” each. I used rayon spandex in flowery prints. Same print, different colorways. I knew this soft, stretchy fabric would feel nice on their skin and their comfort means the world to me. The dresses are size 6 and 10. They are 3 and 7 years old but a lot taller than standard. I also wanted some wiggle room for growth.

The pleated peplum has always been my favorite for my own version and I chose it again for them. When I was measuring them, I noted the length they would like their dresses to be and added the length to the peplum pieces accordingly. Let’s see them!

Sewing knit pleat tricks: video on the channel

See some practicalities of sewing knit pleats and hems with small circumferences in my video. Also, the twirls.

The Margot Peplum is $5 today Friday the 14th of January 2022 (60% OFF). This post contains my affiliate link. Thank you for using it if you like the style. Get your pattern HERE. Also, the little girl’s version of this pattern, the Maggie Peplum, is also $5 today. Remember to use my coupon code KARINA10 at checkout for an extra 10% off, every day, even on top of the discounted prices!

DISCLAIMER: I was provided the pattern without cost, as a pattern tester, in exchange for sewing a muslin, providing feedback on instructions and fit. I Purchased my own fabric for both versions.

I have affiliate links in this post to the pattern company and the pattern. If you click on these links, at no cost to you, I receive a small commission that helps finance my sewing, blog and Youtube channel.

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