The idea for this top was sparked by a conversation I was having with a friend discussing what our imaginary animal friends would be like. (Mine would be a moose called Gary.) My friend plumped for an elephant named Elmer, which brought back childhood memories of everyone's favourite multi-coloured elephant. The message that Elmer gives is that it's okay to be different which I agree with wholeheartedly.My friend mentioned that he had an Elmer shirt, which I was very excited about, then disappointed about when it turned out to be just multi-coloured checks. I decided that I could do better than that and this top was born.
I first cut out a crop top using my bodice block, which doesn't have any side darts. The fabric used was a white linen, which I believe was an old tablecloth. I then printed and cut out a stencil of Elmer, and drew around it using a black fabric marker. I cut the ear on a hinge so I could trace around that too.
I then divided Elmer up into little squares and rectangles so I knew where each block of colour would go.
Looking at a reference picture, I filled him in and ta-da! Then it was time to put the crop top together. I sewed everything with a 1.5cm seam allowance which ended up being too tight, so I had to unpick the side seams and sew them again with a much smaller seam allowance. I'll have to make adjustments to my bodice sloper. The neckline and armholes would also have been better with a 1cm seam allowance.
I decided to line the top in a cotton gauze so edges were really neatly enclosed. I'm really proud of the insides of this top! For the hem, I did a hem facing which was sewn right sides together, understitched and then turned and slipstitched on the inside. It really helps the top to sit nicely.
It is very white, perhaps too white, as it blends pretty well with my skin! Perhaps I should do some kind of border along the neckline and armholes with the black marker so people know where the top ends and my skin starts...
The back is plain. This is very much a 'party in the front' kind of top. The skort is from a vintage charity shops and I love the colours in it, but I've never really had anything to wear it with. This outfit though, is perfect.
I am very chuffed with it and very proudly wore it to school the day after I finished it. It's been in the wash, and it held up just fine. It was very fun to do some fabric 'painting' for a change. I'd like to do a lot more when exams are finished.
Thanks very much for reading, to Paul for sparking off the idea in my head and to Edward for taking photos!