Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Visit to the (Stuffed) Animal Hospital

There was a time, before I cared so much for our environment, before I had the skills I do, and before children, that I threw away anything broken or that threatened to be becoming worn. I hate to say it, but I was raised that way. My Baby Boomer parents who were able to provide very well for us in a disposable society. I am happy to say that I can hardly remember my wasteful days. I am now happy to repair the things I own and look for challenging situations to try to solve. The way I see it, if I can fix it, wonderful, and if not, well then I can take the parts and create something or as a last resort, I can throw it away. It is important for me to teach my kids to be resourceful and to use their imaginations to come up with solutions. It is the way my grandparents were brought up to think. It is fun to use your brain and even more fun to fix something! The one drawback I find to all of this can be finding the time. I tend to throw fix-it projects into a bag or pile, especially anything that needs a needle and thread, and to fix it all at once.

This brings me to a recent challenge, the likes of which I had never tackled. Quin's ballerina angel bunny lost her head. Frankly, if you could see the plethora of stuffies in my house, you would think I would thank my lucky stars to have a reason to chuck one on the garbage. You are right, THEY ARE EVERYWHERE in my house, but there is this thing that happens when your kid comes to you with something they love, something that is broken, and they look at you with tears in their eyes, and they expect you to be able to fix it. This bunny was one of the first things my mom gave Quin, she has always had this bunny. I must admit even I am quite fond of her creamy fur, her sage satin leotard, and glitter covered wings. Yes, I had to perform surgery on this headless bunny, STAT! The hope and faith in Quin's eyes made me contemplate completing a task that until this day I had never considered starting.

How to Repair a Headless Stuffed Bunny

What you will need:
- Embroidery floss (6 strands) in a color similar to the animal's fur
- A curved tapestry needle
- Scissors

1) Start with less thread than you think you might need. You can always use more, and if you use too much at once it may get knotted while you are sewing. Thread your needle. Knot the end.

2) There is no need to hid the knot on your first stitch, but if you want to, start with your needle inside the "neck" of the animal, coming out.

3) Make a "normal" hand sewing stitch, I guess it would be a running stitch, start stitching. If you think you will need the strength you can use a back stitch. Pull each stitch tight, then keep on stitching the head to the neck all the way around. Do not worry much about whether or not the stitches will show because as you pull down tightly on each stitch you will see that the fur is going to nicely cover your stitches and that the floss will blend in.

4) Once you are all the way around, tie off your thread in a knot. Once again, you don't need to worry too much about hiding the knot.

5) Survey your work and pat yourself on the back. Hand to bunny to your child and wait for them to smile and hug you (my favorite part!).

I felt really good when Bunny had her head back and Quinny had her smile back. One of the things I like best about being a mother is the challenges that I can face and concur, and how that helps me to learn and grow. And that allows me to be able to teach my daughter. I also like that my daughter thinks I can do anything, so it inspires me to try. And come on, just look at that smile...


Patty said...

Aww, so sweet! I tried mending J's blanket the other day-he has started to chew holes in things, and his blanky is his favorite thing to chew on. You'd be proud of me! I was cursing the whole time, and I am definitely NOT a sewer, but I didn't give up, finally I got the thing back together and he was happy. Then he immediately put it back into his mouth to chew another hole.

More practice for me, I guess, eh?

love you!

Tiffany Teske said...

Hi! I am very proud of you and I know that J appreciates your effort. And no worries if he chews more holes, at least now he can. Love you, too! Kisses to L & J from Q!