Repairing An Old Favorite Toy

Repairing An Old Favorite Toy


Elizabeth Mulford contacted me one day and asked if I could clean up her Father’s cherished stuffed rabbit toy.  It was an old, straw-stuffed animal and I told her that I may not be able to do more than find a way to fix the holes and create a new outfit.  She said she understood and sent me the toy.  Below is the before and after as well as Elizabeth’s reaction:

“Thank you so much, Liane! He is perfect and my husband actually was choked up when he saw the photo and that takes a lot from him. He will be perfect to pass along to my niece’s baby and I am so thrilled to have my dad’s toy restored. I will highly recommend you and in the future I may have another animal for myself as my dad had an old bear as well who is not in as worn of a condition but needs love and maybe an outfit as his is long gone. …. Thank you so much again. I know little to nothing about my father’s early life so having these toys restored makes me feel like I am closer to him again. Elizabeth Mulford   (Just letting you know he arrived safely and is even better than what I said about the pictures! I love it! Thank you again!)”

Stuffed Menagerie

Nancy Busch wanted something a little different from her mink fur coats.  She wanted a Monkey, a Pony and a Dog–so that is what we made!

People often ask about the patterns I use and, with my bears, it is complicated because the patterns are an amalgamation of several patterns that I combined and then, those patterns have morphed over the past 16 years as I adapted them to work with every kind of material thrown my way 🙂  However, I don’t get to do different animals that often in an average year so I usually use an existing pattern.

This was the first time I’ve used this monkey pattern.  I normally like to use the monkey pattern from the book Adventures in Toy-Making by Gillian Bradshaw-Smith (published in 1976).  It is a fun pattern and I like the look.  However, there was a pattern in another book I have Sew Soft and Cuddly Animals by Donna Childers (published in 1978) that has had me intrigued for some time so I decided to give it a try.  It is a more difficult pattern, but I do like that the features are more defined.  The face, ears, foot and hand pads are made of doe suede.  It had the right texture to go with this fur.


This pony pattern is also found in Sew Soft and Cuddly Animals.  It is my favorite for thicker fabrics or fur usually.  There is another really good pony pattern in the book Easy-to-Make Stuffed Animals & All the Trimmings by Jodie Davis (published in 1992) but the legs are somewhat thin so they don’t work as well with thick fur or fabrics.  For this pony, I chose to add some of my own contrast black mink on the hooves and found some died black fox for the main and tail.  To help him stand, I did sink small dowel rods wrapped in poly fiber fill into each of his legs


For the dog, I have a lot of different dog patterns to choose from–including a variety of breeds–however, I keep coming back to McCall’s Crafts Pattern #M6620.  I’ve used this pattern many times and really like it for a basic dog even though it has a couple of different breeds represented.  It isn’t a particularly easy pattern, but the finished dog usually actually looks like a dog 🙂


Bear and Dogs From Fur Coats

MaherS Bear01MaherS Scotties01MaherS dog01Sara Maher sent us three fur coats to have a large bear and three dogs made. The dogs were a bit of a challenge. She initially wanted to Scott Terriers and a Sheltie but the fur didn’t lend itself to making a Sheltie so we ended up with a more standard Dog.

Furry Bunnies from Fur Coat

PurdyS01webSharon Purdy sent a fur coat that her late husband had purchased for her over 40 years ago. She told me that the coat was sitting in storage and she wanted to have it out where she could see it so asked us to make two good-size bunnies.

These guys have wired ears so that they can be posed.

Panda Fun

HarlanBPanda2webBobbea wanted a Panda created that would incorporate pieces of a panda she had when she was small.  All she had were scraps of the original so we had to build from scratch.  I used the pieces for ear and paw linings and for a pair of slippers on the final panda.

Ruth’s Dragons

My niece likes to write and she publishes some of her writing at Fictionpress.com. One of the projects she has going is a series of 52 poems (each 52 words long) about dragons. It is a cute series and inspired me to try and create a couple of her dragons.

SA Banana03 “In the jungle there lived a bright yellow dragon with brown spots. He called himself Banana and hung around with a wild boar and one crazy jaguar. The three of them could often be found experimenting with the many hallucinogens one finds in the jungle. That is, until the cottage cheese incident.” SA DeathFang08“He was the most feared dragon in all the land, but with a name like Death Fang it was kind of expected. He was huge with glossy black scales and a glare that could melt steel. You can imagine the surprise when they found him wearing a pink feather boa and lipstick.”
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