Long ago, when the world was new, all of the creatures on the plains had no markings or decoration. They roamed the plains but were not content - they wanted to look different to one another. Eventually The Creator got sick of their complaints, and agreed to make them some suits and adornments. The Creator set to work, making many different outfits and horns for his creatures.
After a long time, he was finished. He placed all of the outfits in a cave at the edge of the plains, next to a great dustbowl, and told all of the animals that they could go and choose their look the very next day. The animals were greatly excited, and woke early the following morning to go to the cave.
But Mr. Zebra had different plans. He looked at the vast, empty plains, and thought of his stomach. Ignoring the suggestions of Miss Zebra, Mr. Zebra set about gorging himself on as much lush grass as he could, whilst his wife got more and more impatient. The sun rose in the sky, and gradually the other animals returned in their newly-chosen splendor.
Lion had chosen himself a dusty coat, but had crowned it with a glorious mane. Elephant had chosen a large, rather baggy grey outfit that strangely suited him, with tusks to make any animal wary. Eventually, Miss Zebra, unable to contain it any longer, shrieked "WE ARE GOING TO THE CAVE NOW, MR.!" Mr. Zebra agreed, his belly was full and he had been starting to think it was about time to go, he said.
As the pair drew nearer and nearer to the cave, they saw more and more of the fabulous outfits of their fellow creatures had chosen. Sable was stunning, but poor Rhino was rather short-sighted, and had chosen an ill-fitting suit, and two mismatched horns that he had crankily shoved onto his snout. When the two Zebra got to the cave, the only suits left were some curious black and white ones. Mr Zebra tried his on, found it fitted well enough, and went for lunch.
Miss Zebra, however, was distraught. The stripes were nice enough, but they weren't what she was hoping for. The creator heard her snivelling and asked what the matter was. "Oh, my Creator", she said "I knew I wasn't meant to be late, but Mr Zebra insisted on a big breakfast. And now I have these stripes, which are a good start, but I just can't make it work. I was hoping for something more exciting, more dazzling, more colourful than this".
The Creator, seeing her distress, took pity on her sartorial plight, and agreed to help her make it work. Before long the pair had come up with a fabulous outfit to suit her personality. Miss Zebra was delighted, and after repeatedly thanking the Creator, trotted out into the plains, in her pink and white striped, rosette spotted dress to join Mr. Zebra for lunch.
Mr. Zebra looked up, mid-mouthfull, and stared at his missus.
"Are you really going to wear that?" he asked.
"Of course!" was her response
"You're brave" was all that he said*.
Fabric: Cotton blend zebra and leopard print, bought for me by my gorgeous cousin Alex in Durban, South Africa. White cotton voile to line.
Notions: thread, invisible zipper
Pattern: New Look 6773, pieces D and J.
Wear again? This dress is the best confidence maker in the world! I feel so vibrant next to my more muted compatriots
Make again? The pattern is a mix and match type, and I can see myself making more variations.
What I learned: Fully lining a dress, and all that goes with it. Fitting by yourself (I have total respect for all who do it by themselves all the time!). That even stay stitching a neckline sometimes doesn't stop it stretching, such a pain! I fixed it with some top stitching where the bobbin thread was shirring elastic - it holds the neckline nicely to the body, I've found.
This story: was adapted by me to suit the dress. It comes from a treasured childhood book of mine, 'When Hippo was Hairy', gifted to me by my best childhood friend. The stories inspiration
comes from a Zulu myth about Zebras stripes, and really does reflect his gluttony.
* True story - I wore this dress to work on Tuesday, and that was all Jono said when I put it on.