Wild & Wanderful

A Tutu for Bobo.

WheelingKaty McKinleyComment

Two weeks ago, I got a message from Staci, an employee of the Augusta Levy Learning Center (ALLC)...who happens to also be a kickass woman.  She is also apparently someone I simply cannot say no to, however odd the request.  In fact, I didn't even question her, I just said yes.

"Soooo this may be a strange request but Susan Hogan has suggested that we make a tutu for Bobo the elephant leading up to Dancing with the Ohio Valley Stars. How hard is that going to be do you think?"

Bobo is a life-sized metal elephant that is a new resident of a new pocket park in Wheeling.  Local artist, Jeff Forester, sculpted that 1,800 lb giant out of recycled metal...as well as a few other metal creatures.  They are seriously cool if you haven't seen them yet in person.  What are you waiting for?  Bobo even had her photo in the Alley.  So she's really made her rounds in town already!

The ALLC is hosting their fifth year of the Dancing With the Ohio Valley Stars fundraiser (Bennett was one of the "stars" in last year's show) and they were hoping to hype the event a little more by dressing up our city's newest character.  Of course I would help!  But first, I had questions.

Believe it or not, I've never dressed an elephant before.
Do we know how big around she is?  (Is that too personal to ask a lady?)

In case you were wondering, Bobo's waist is just shy of 18 feet around.  EIGHTEEN FEET.  I've never even made a traditional-sized tutu for a little girl...much less an 18-foot tutu.  After doing more math than I personally like to have to do, I ended up ordering 1,000 yards of tulle in order to fill that big of a space.  That's a lot of tulle!!  And every inch of tulle was used (with just enough left over to make a person-sized tutu).  Whew!

I'm not going to lie.  It took me an entire Sunday to make Bobo's skirt.  And my hand hurt so much for two days after that, I almost wasn't able to work on shirts and other things that required a lot of movement from me.  Tutu injuries.  That's a new one!

Bobo finally got to wear her tutu today.  We met up with Staci, Susan, and Dancing with the Stars dancers, as well as representatives from WTRF and Ogden Newspapers while we figured out how to install it.  A couple of misfires and we were able to strap all eighteen feet of tutu around her waist.

I had just enough tulle left over to make a human sized version of what Bobo was wearing.  I thought it would be fun to play "Who Wore It Better?"  I'll let you decide.

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Thanks to Augusta Levy and all involved for letting us participate in this fun, silly project.  It was pretty much the perfect storm for us weirdo McKinleys.  Crafting AND community in one?  Sold.  

We CANNOT wait until November 7!  So many of our friends are dancing up on that stage next Saturday.  Squee!!

PS.  If you haven't gotten tickets for the Dancing with the Ohio Valley Stars event, tickets are still on sale HERE.  It's seriously worth your time.  You don't want to miss it!