Wednesday 23 September 2015

Little Elephants and a baby possum

If you're not into cute then look away now. This month the blog is going to go all animalistic, and I'm kicking off with a pair of little elephants followed by a baby ringtail possum.

This is P and his buddy Charlie on the night of their school concert dressed as elephants. They sang a sweet little song about an elephant serenading his girlfriend in the moonlight and then came off stage on such a high. Thanks to Adelle for snapping some photos.

The boys made their elephant ears and bow ties and the requirement was to wear a grey, navy or black tracksuit. P had none of those, and while he could have worn his navy school pants I still would have had to make a top to match.

May as well make a grey elephant tracksuit, right?

I went out to Eliza fabrics and bought some lightweight grey marle sweater fleece. I bought two metres for $10 and quickly realised I'd have enough for two tracksuits. Hence Charlie got one to match.

The top is the altered, up sized, Flashback Skinny T that I did last year for school jumpers. In the stash there was just enough nice Ottobre ribbing for the waistbands, neckbands and sleeve cuffs. From memory it's the size 6 length with size 9/10 width and a little extra height added to the shoulder and corresponding depth added to the sleeve.

The pants are the Oliver + S Nature Walk pants. I went with a straight size 7 but it was obvious that P's were going to be quite a bit too short once they were hemmed. I added a pants cuff of the same fabric to give an extra inch and a half beyond the normal finished garment length. I could have left Charlie's without a cuff as he's shorter than P, but I thought they should match. Equally importantly if I used a cuff on the hems then the whole lot could be sewn on the overlocker and the sewing machine need not come out of the cupboard at all.

I cut about an inch and a half off the bottom of Charlie's pants so that even with the cuff there was no added length beyond the pattern.

The fabric is nice and soft in the way that some cheap, synthetic fabrics can be and the boys have both been using their new tracksuits as winter pyjamas!

Later that week we had someone bring a baby ringatil possum in to work. They had already been told by another vet clinic to put it back in the tree it had been found under and leave it be. They'd done that, but with the possum inside a bag. Unsurprisingly the possum parents failed to untie the bag and rescue their infant and since it was still there the next day they decided to bring it to another clinic.

We check they're healthy and well and then pass them on to a wildlife carer who looks after it until it's big enough to be released and fight for a patch of its own in this possum crowded city.

But it can take days for a carer to become available and since it was the weekend and the clinic was closing I took him home to keep him warm and fed for a few days. The kids didn't mind a bit!

It happened that Monday morning was my rostered turn to "stay and play" at A's kindergarten. I went along for a while, then ducked home to get the possum and brought him back to show the kids. We talked about nocturnal animals, what they do, what they eat and how all they really need is to be put back in the tree away from dogs and cats. Throw in a reading of Possum Magic and the kids were spellbound!

We have a few flowering gum trees in our semi-wild, urban, native garden so our little visitor was well fed over the weekend, even if he did resent having to "sing for his supper".


  1. So much cute!! Such comfy-looking sewing. And Possum Magic is such a fun book!

    1. Can you believe that was the first time I'd ever read it! It is fun with a bit of geography and food culture thrown in alongside the wildlife.
      Talk about comfy the boys are living in these tracksuits/pyjamas

  2. The track suits look great, Shelley! The boys make adorable elephants.:) I'm with Kristin...Aussie possums are cute while US ones are pretty darn ugly.

    1. Thanks Cindy. The bigger brushtail possums aren't quite as cute as these little ringtails. The cutest by far must be the Leadbetter's possum (link:

  3. Perfect elephant tracksuits, and I love those ears! As for possums, I really like the little things even though they eat every single apple off our apple tree every year. Lucky kindergarten kids, getting to see baby possum up close!

    1. I hear your pain! My last rental house had roses and do you think I could keep the darn things alive when the brushies would eat every new shoot every time. Now we have a native garden and our own resident ringtail and they're much easier to cohabit with!

  4. Really? the only US possum I'd ever seen was the little family of them in Bambi, and they were cute! Maybe it's the risk of rabies that makes your possums scarier!

  5. The boys look as if they had a blast! This Eliza fabric place sounds like a magical fabric wonderland.
    I have never actually seen a possum before (AUS or US variety).


I get a real kick out of knowing you've visited the blog and love to read comments. Thanks.