How a Lion Went From a Purse to a Stuffed Animal

Perhaps I’m hoping to instill a little bit of the Post-Depression sense of MEND EVERYTHING into the children I know, as I got my “little sister” from the Big Brothers Big Sisters program in on Mend it Monday.

Together we did some stuffed animal mending. She calls them “stuffys” (or perhaps “stuffies”), but what we  had were two very different cases. There was a dog with a rip across the paw — she was able to sew that up using a simple ladder stitch. Then there was the lion reconstructive surgery:

Ripped Lion in need of Stuffed Animal Mending

Ripped lion in need of stuffed animal mending

Quite the dilemma for this poor guy. Her dog had ripped off the head, which may have been when the zipper broke. We thought about unstitching the zipper and replacing it with Velcro, but instead, we stuffed it with polyester fiber-fil and sewed it shut. She wasn’t that interested in using it as a purse.

Impressively, she did almost all the stitching herself! He does have a slight, quizzical turn to his head now, but it really just adds character. I did the first couple stitches of each part to show her how to do the ladder stitch, but she even ripped all the stitches to get the zipper out properly. She learns fast!

After all that reconstructive stuffed animal mending, he looks pretty good. You can hardly see the scars stitches:

Lion after stuffed animal mending

Lion after stuffed animal mending

She decided after we were done that his name was Simba. A good choice, since it means “lion” in Swahili.

I also did a little mending on my own clothes as she did that. I replaced missing buttons on my husband’s coat and shirt, and I also patched up a small hole in one of my undershirts:

Undershirt patch on stretchy fabric

Undershirt patch on stretchy fabric

My hand-stitches aren’t quite up to snuff when it comes to patches, so I used my sewing machine. I switched the needle to accommodate for the fabric type and was careful not to catch the underside of the sleeve. I actually didn’t have any problems, and now I get a little more use out of this blouse.

I didn’t intend it to be a business/professional undershirt, so I went with the same bright fabric to make the patch that I used for the DIY Kindle cover and the One-Yard Wonder car trash bag. I love the colors and design, though being on my elbow it may be hard to show off without using some odd gestures.

As far as Big Brothers Big Sisters crafts go, mending is a solid skill to show and teach.

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One thought on “How a Lion Went From a Purse to a Stuffed Animal

  1. I agree, mending is something that everyone needs to know.

    It would be awesome to teach her how to mend common clothing mishaps so she doesn’t grow up thinking “I need to find someone to do that.” Like hemming pants to be shorter; my cousin was posting on Facebook that she needed a tailor to do that, and my thought was, I could totally do that myself.

    (Not that I’ve ever had to do it myself… I’m more likely to need to let a hem out than to need to shorten one.)

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