One of the reasons we wanted to post about our caterpillars is because we were inspired to make a softie version of the metamorphosis. We’ve taken quite a few creative liberties, but it’s essentially the life cycle of a Chinese Yellow, or Citrus, Swallowtail.
We started with our “baby,” the first through third stages (instars) of the swallowtail: the bird poop caterpillar. This stuffed version features a brown and white fabric, ruched to accentuate the caterpillar’s texture.
The quick-change artist then gets zipped into a lined pouch…
…to become the fourth instar: the chunky green version. I added the osmeterium (yellow-orange scent glands) later as it seemed like it could use a little jazzing up. I love how the functional zipper mimics the actual patterning on the real caterpillar. I really love that it was my daughter’s idea and not mine.
Next, the caterpillar(s) get put into the chrysalis purse and…
…out comes a beautiful butterfly! The butterfly has a pouch on her underbelly for a pom-pom egg so that the cycle can begin again.
The chrysalis purse isn’t quite as graceful or poofy on top as I was hoping for, but I do really like it’s quilted bottom section. Poopy should have a bigger head and Instar Four could be a little more detailed on his back, but really, we’ve been having great fun playing with this — and that’s what matters most!