Giraffe + Elephant

So, Flosstyle has just released an awesome new pattern – the Zoo Collection. It’s a ridiculously versatile pattern where you choose your top half and bottom half to create a very, very cute piece of children’s wear, in sizes 0000-4. I made the little girl a flutter sleeved romper (also known as a Stork Elephant), and she loves it – she even drags it out of the dirty washing basket.

Zoo Collection 01

I love it, but in my usual style, I had to hack. The little girl has the proportions of Kardashian, or an Olympic cyclist – she’s all bum and thighs. She’s not tall either, so when I made the size 2, it fit nicely around but was quite long. As a solution, I thought I’d add an elastic waistband in a feature casing.

It was a very painless process. I made the Giraffe top exactly as per the pattern, and because I was using a very soft and delicious Cloud 9 voile, I decided to fully line it with an off white voile. This romper can be made fully reversible too, which is a great way to use up all those super cute prints we pretend we don’t have in our stash (or is that just me?).

Once I had the arms, straps and neckline top stitched, I cut two of the multi-piece placket strips, joined them along the short edge, ironed it in half length-wise then opened it up and ironed the two sides into the centre. It looked just like a piece of binding, without the stretch.

Zoo Collection 02
Yes, I used the selvage. It’s straighter than I can cut!

I then measured the little girl from shoulder to waist, and added 4 cm for ‘blousing’. I transferred that measurement onto the side seam of the romper, and pinned the seam of the waistband.

Zoo Collection 04

I then measured the other side, and lined up the waistband, pinning as I went.

Zoo Collection 03

Once you get to the other side seam, you’ll need to trim your casing, depending on the size, then join it neatly. A quick buzz around the top, then the bottom of the casing, leaving 4 cm to thread the elastic through. I finished the Elephant crotch first (closed with snaps, perfect for nappy changes), then once it was all done, threaded through some 18mm elastic. Stitch the ends together, then the casing closed, and you’re done!

Zoo Collection 05

Zoo Collection 06
There are only action shots when it comes to this girl!

Zoo Collection 07

Plenty of moving room for a busy little girl!

If you want to add a waistband to a romper with snaps down the front, that’s easy too! You will need to do things in a slightly different order to the pattern, but it’s not hard, I promise. The big difference is that you need to sew your side seams, attach your waistband and insert your elastic  before you attach the plackets. When you attach your plackets, you also secure the elastic. To make sure it doesn’t gape at the waist, make sure you put a snap in line with the waist band. When my snap pliers arrive, I’ll show you what I’m talking about :-). Happy Zoo Keeping!

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