Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Bilby Costume

I'm honoured today to be a guest on Playing by the Book where I'm sharing some of Rainbow and my favourite Australian literature. By co-incidence today I completed a very Australian project.

On Friday Rainbow is attending a party at the zoo - costumes optional. So of course what's Rainbow's favourite animal - a bilby.

Look at these babies aren't they adorable. The weather's likely to be in the high 30s so know full on fur. Though bilby's survive very well in the desert - though their days are spent deep in their burrows.

For a long time Rainbow loved Alison Lester's series about the five kids. In "Clive eats Alligators it goes through what each child wears - stripey pants, overalls ... and Tessa wears a tail. So here is Rainbow's bilby tail and ears...

I can't imagine too many people will ever need to make a bilby costume but it could be easily adapted for any other animal (rabbit ears or tiger's tail). I'm already starting to think Easter bunny ears - with white fleece and pink satin and positioned on top of the head, maybe even one droopy ear.
Bilby's ears are made of fake fur and polar fleece. They have a wire insert to give them a little strength - bilbies need their erect ears to hear predators (mostly dingos) and keep cool. The wire is then wrapped around the headband. The headband is then wrapped with polar fleece.

Oh and here's my own baby bilby.


  1. Great costume! And funnily enough I've just mentioned Alison Lester in my comment back at Playing by the book :-) What do they say? "Great minds...."?!

  2. Love it, Kris! Phil is particularly taken with the tail.

  3. What a cute idea! Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving such a sweet comment. As far as the dress-up area goes, I don't have photos up yet as I just did it. (I had to do a major reorganization to fit in all the new Xmas toys!) Come back and visit me soon!

  4. Hi Katherine,
    I ended up wearing the costume as I was making it. If Russ had of been home I'd have asked him to take a photo of me sitting at the sewing machine with the bilby ears on. When you wear the bilby tail you find yourself swinging your hips as you walk. We really should grow tails!

  5. I love this! Your little one is so cute :-) I am afraid I had never heard of a Bilby before this. I will have to show my girls the pictures.

  6. Hi Kristine, love your post over at Playing by the Book. I haven't read any kids books for quite a while and was thinking some of those stories looked very good!!
    Happy New Year!

  7. Hi there, just wanted to say thanks. My daughter (7) needed to dress up as an endangered Aussie animal for a school fundraiser. She too has a toy bilby and was determined that was to be her costume. I'm not much of a seamstress but thanks to a quick websearch and your photos we've managed a very cute bilby.