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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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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