Shark, Elephant and Boa-constrictor - The zoo has re-opened!

By Victoria As-it-Seams - 15:52

There's a sewing challenge running right now over on Project Run and Play to tap into our animal instincts...
The theme for the week is 'Put me in the Zoo.'
Now I'm feeling a little smug with this one - been there, done that...
A few months ago I wrestled with a shark, elephant and a boa constrictor to create an outfit, so forgive me for reviving that post this week for the Put me in the Zoo challenge. 

I was inspired by the Secret Squirrel, he's skipping around sewing blogs on his way to Straight Grain's blog,  offering a monthly challenge and this is my 'sew along' version. It's my second  Secret Squirrel outfit, the first is here .

The Secret Squirrel themes, suggested by I Seam Stressed (the Little Prince, Green, Bias, Great White Shark and Zooey Deschanel) took me right into zoo territory.

My sewing brain went into overdrive with shark's teeth and this illustration from the Little Prince forming the basis for my vision.

Grown-ups looking at this picture see a hat, says The Little Prince, but this is actually a picture of a boa constrictor swallowing an elephant. 

The vision materialised into this white blouse, adorned with a yoke of 'shark's teeth' pintucks and green bias hand-made piping (Kerching... that's shark, green and bias all ticked off, phew). But getting this blouse to fit, and realising that this required some serious ironing, led me to question my sanity!

Of course the blouse had to be white. I just couldn't bring myself NOT to have white shark's teeth. 
But it was a nightmare to photograph. I hope you can make out the detail. 

AND this blouse has only been worn for five minutes for the very first time in these photographs, and it ALREADY has a smudge on it...What was I doing to myself with this idea?

But doesn't it look pretty!
Mr As-it-seams said it's a bit 'flouncy choirboy'. I was aiming for more 'cute peasant'. Like everything I make, it's big on Missy, particularly the bouffant sleeves. If I can find a last ounce of emotional strength I may refashion them. But overall I'm chuffed. I love the structural effect of the sharks teeth.

Basically they are pintucks, snipped and ironed in place as alternate triangles, then over-stitched with a zig-zag. It was simple but required  industrial style ironing and every pin in my tin. 
I stumbled on this tutorial, and I've done my first ever tutorial over here! The pattern for the blouse is loosely based on the Sunshine Blouse, which in turn is adapted from a Burda pattern. The yoke is lined in muslin, and it closes with a single mother-of-pearl star button and handmade button loop.

This blouse was actually pretty straight-forward, but I made it late at night and kept messing up, particularly the fit. Because of the shark-teeth yoke, the neckline couldn't sit too high, or too low and I kept stuffing up. 

Now. What about that elephant in the boa constrictor? Well this shark's blouse is teamed with a pair of bubble shorts which could not have been a more different sewing experience. I whipped them up in a couple of hours using Do Guincho's bubble short pattern
 After my blood-sweat-and-tears blouse, this was A BREEZE. It felt like Marta from Do Guincho was practically threading my sewing machine, with her detailed instructions! I made them in the softest brown corduroy, and lined them in - ta dah - elephant print cotton lawn! 

Missy LOVED this print, so much that it was almost a shame to hide, so I added pockets. 

The blouse might have been the most ludicrous garment to have sewn for a three year old, but the bubble shorts were the opposite. 
Wearable, fun, so cute and yet practical. As you can barely see them under that flouncy blouse, I took some extra pictures , to give the shorts the show they deserve!

Shark, elephant, boa constrictor - yep, I reckon I can just about open a zoo over here!

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  1. Super cool creation, Victoria!
    I love to see doguincho bubble short in action! Thank you for sharing!

  2. I love her dress and she looks adorable :)

    Cathy Vargas
    Vintage Girl

  3. Love the details on the dress. Super cool!

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  5. I love the bubble shorts! They are so cute with her striped tights :)


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