I love a good mend. This formerly plush and well-loved treasure belongs to one of my clients. She entrusted him to my care when I offered to bring him back to whole.
I made sure she wasn’t concerned with historical preservation which is a whole different thing, but instead a simple mend to keep his chin up.
Isn’t he adorable?
After years of presumed hugging and loving, this plush leopard was in danger of losing his head.
Notice the grey stuffing around the neck? Believe it or not I had two sections of grey insulation from a Christmas gift. The insulation, once covered in plastic, protected a shipment of gourmet ice cream. Yum!
I stored the insulation in the garage, thinking I would use it for packaging one day. Little did I know that a month later, I would be using it to mend a plush toy. The color and texture were the perfect material to replace the lost stuffing. Most new plushies are filled with white fiberfill. This plushie is padded with heavy, grey scraps. Kismet!
Once I had the stuffing sorted, I contemplated different options to support the neck. It’s unlikely to fall into a child’s hands given its fragile state, but I wanted the support to be child-friendly nonetheless. I settled on a cardboard spool from some twine.
With the support and the filling in place, I pulled out a spool of waxed thread and a curved needle and carefully stitched the opening back together. I had to get creative with my stitches as some of the fabric couldn’t support a taut stitch. Instead, I worked my needle through the stuffing and then the fabric, bringing the layers back together.
The stitches on the back of the neck are uneven, but they were the best I could do without risk of damaging the material. I managed more even stitches when I mended the side of the face and the tail.
I tied a bow around his neck made from vintage seam binding and I added a hand-made tag.
It’s nice to be entrusted with someone’s treasure. I hope I’ve done him proud.
If only he could talk!