The Heffalump Top (+ bonus nipple decor)

Brace yourself lovelies … there will not only be discussion of private pointy body parts in this post but also a curvy plus size body wearing an elephant print no less. (What can I say, I enjoy living life on the edge.)

Well, with that warning in place, let’s get down to details.

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You have probably noticed that here in the sewing blogosphere it is Selfish Sewing time. This is normally no biggie for me as I love to make myself stuff more than I like sewing things for other people … but this year it has been tricky to say the least. In the midst of three new people joining my team at the design studio and adding a whole new arm to the business I have had very long work days. I am also helping in turning a small run down warehouse into a fully functioning charity bookshop (opening in one month) which is where I have been spending pretty much every other spare waking moment. Basically, it has left me with no time at all to sew.

I didn’t realise how much I love the time I have to sew until I didn’t have it any more. Sewing is my ultimate quiet time – just me and the machine tucked away at the bottom of the garden. The process of making something can be a slow and serene experience (I know, it isn’t always) but there is something wonderful about the process that makes me calm. Then I had six weeks where I couldn’t sew.

I am sure non sewers wouldn’t have a clue what I am talking about, but just two weeks in to my sewing diet and I was tetchy. I started to get sad everytime I caught sight of a lovely make on bloglovin, or a new pattern that caught my eye. I have to be honest, by week five my need to sew was almost overwhelming. This is why, when I was contacted by Rachel at ImagineGnats to see if I fancied being one of this year’s Selfish Sewers I said an immediate “Yes!”.

As one of the featured bloggers you get to pick an indie pattern to sew with (kindly donated by the designer in question). I picked the Trifecta Top by Amanda at Kitschycoo. As you all know, I am totally smitten with her Lady Skater dress and have also had brilliant results with the Comino Dress. I also knew that I could find time to squeeze it in, because knit tops are so speedy!

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I already had some of Amanda’s lovely knit fabric in my stash, so decided to use this striking elephant print for the top. I cut the straight size eight although next time I will allow a little more width as I near my hips, but, other than that one change it fits really well. It was a breeze to sew up although there were some issues to think about regarding the print placement.

So, let’s look a little more closely at those lovely elephants. Obviously, with this large and bold pattern it needed to be cut symmetrically, so I used the central pattern design of the vertical heart motifs as my midpoint. Now, see that blue dot underneath the elephants? This was my problem area … I first thought that the top would look better with the elephant pattern teardrop centrally placed over each boob …. but then was a little concerned about the blue dot (secondary droopy nipple anyone?) once on. The next plan – I moved the pattern piece down but then I ended up with a little flourish right over each nipple – it looked far too much like a nipple tassle – so it was back to the drawing board.

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After much umming and ahhing, in the end, as you can see, I went back to my original plan, centering each elephant teardrop over my chest, and other than the worryingly dropped blue nipple issue, I am very happy with how this turned out. It was so quick to sew and makes a lovely easy top to wear with jeans. The pattern also has other options for combining print, from a triangular inset to shoulder accents and a gorgeous V-neck version.

The other slight error in my construction of the top was due to me fiddling with the sleeve length (That’ll learn me, as my nan would say.) I decided to cut the sleeve a little longer than marked on the pattern – but I didn’t decrease the width of the accompanying contrast band, so these are wider than they should be. I’ve decided to live with it as is for now and see how I feel after a couple of wears, as I can always use the magic stitch ripper of destruction and try again. Anyhow, I kind of like how that sleeve works for now.

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Lastly, the length was very long on me (I am so short waisted) so I lopped off a good two inches on the hem and also gave it a gentle curve before I finished it with a twin needle hem.

So, there you have it, the no nipple tassle pink heffalump top. Awesome.

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Many thanks to Rachel and to Amanda. Here’s wishing us all lots of time for sewing (selfish and otherwise) as we tumble into Autumn.

Published by t@uandmii

Colour mad designer rampages gleefully through the world of plus size sewing! Oh, and there may be shoes … and cats.

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