Posts Tagged "kids"

Animal Hospital: How to Restore Lost Limbs

Posted by on Jan 15, 2014 in Sewing, tutorials | 2 comments

Animal Hospital Restoring Lost Limbs

Did you ever have a stuffed animal or plush toy who lost a limb?  We are big stuffie lovers at this house, and sometimes a precious stuffed friend just gets loved too much.

But never fear!  A quick trip to the animal hospital (or sewing room) can have him all fixed up in no time!

Step 1: Clean the Wound

Sometimes, as in this case, part of the limb is still attached.  Other times, the whole limb might be detached from the body. Either way, we want to clean up all those loose threads before we start stitching.  Simply clip them off with a pair of sharp scissors.

Repair a Stuffed Animal

Step 2: Prepare the Needle

Thread a needle with some thread that matches the fur of the stuffie (as close as you can.)  Tie a knot on the end and you’re ready to go!

Threaded Needle

Step 3: Stitch on the Limb

Start by burying the knot inside the stuffie where it won’t be seen, and pulling up the needle at the edge of the hole.  If the limb is no longer attached to the body, choose a spot to start stitching and hold the limb in place as you stitch.  The arrow in this photo shows where I buried the knot.

Repairing Stuffed Animals

When you are finished stitching, you won’t want to see your stitches on the outside of the stuffie.  Keep your stitches small, tight, and close together.

Begin by taking a small stitch in the fabric along the opening.

Replace a Lost Limb on a Stuffed Animal

Pull the thread tight and then take a stitch in the limb, down close to where you want it to sit in the opening.

Stitching a Stuffie

Pull your thread tight and take another stitch along the opening.

Then take a stitch on the arm.  You’ve got the idea.  Keep doing this all the way around the limb until it is all stitched on.

As you go you may have to keep tucking the limb back into the hole.  If it’s really being stubborn you could try keeping it in place with pins.

Voila!  The limb is repaired and there is not a stitch to be seen!

Save a Stuffed Animal!  Sew on his lost limb.

Step 4: Tie a Knot

This is an important step.  After your stuffie is healed, you don’t want to see him back in the hospital for a long time.  To keep that limb secure you want to make a good knot.  There are a few ways to do this, but this is the method I use.

Begin by taking a small stitch in the crease where the arm meets the body.  Pull the thread, but not all the way.  Leave a loop as shown below.

Fix a Stuffie

Take your needle and pass it through the loop.

Pull on the bottom thread (see arrow below) to close the original loop, and to make a new one.

Animal Hospital Sew on a Lost Limb

Pass your needle and thread through the new loop and pull on the bottom string again to create a loop.

Pass your needle through the loop for a final time and pull on the bottom thread to create one more loop. At this point there will be a spot where the threads overlap, close to where you made your first stitch.  This will become your knot.

Stick your finger on this spot to keep the knot in place and pull on the thread until your last loop is gone.  You now have a knot!

Stuffed Animal Repair

To tuck the knot back into the stuffie where it won’t be seen, pass the needle down into the fabric as close to the knot as you can get, and take it out about an inch or so away.  Pull the thread through, and pull tight (you don’t want to break the thread, but you want some force to pull the knot into the fabric.)  Cut the thread close to the stuffie.

Stuffed Animal Hospital

Step 5:  Give Your Stuffie a Hug!

All fixed!  Don’t you think he deserves a hug for being so brave?


Do you have a stuffed animal lover at your house?  Have you ever had to repair an over-loved stuffie?  What was your favourite stuffed animal as a kid?  I’d love to hear your stories!

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Capes for Kids

Posted by on Jan 8, 2014 in Sewing | 2 comments

One of the joys of being able to sew is to share the things I have made for others.  Sometimes that is through gifts to friends and family, sometimes that is through selling items in my shop, and other times it is through donating handmade items to charitable organizations.  I love to think of my handmade things being used by those who could use it most!

In the summer of last year I was introduced to the Craft Hope website.  Every other month or so the author posts a new opportunity for crafters to get involved in, using their talents to help others.

This month, the project was capes for kids.  Believing in the value of dramatic play as I do, how could I pass this one up?

Using this awesome tutorial for reversible capes, this is what I made:

Capes for Kids

The pink fabric was gifted to me by an on-line friend who was clearing up her stash (check out her amazing patterns!) and although flannel might be an odd choice for a cape, I loved the pattern too much to pass it up for this project.  As a child I loved absolutely anything soft and cosy (who am I kidding?  I’m still a sucker for anything soft and warm) so hopefully that will just be a bonus for some cape-wearing kiddo.

Aren’t the guitars and hearts fun?  Who wouldn’t want a cape that does double duty – is she a superhero, or a rock star?  :)

Capes for Kids

If you want to make some capes yourself, there is still time (the deadline isn’t until Jan. 31), and there is even a new-sew version of the cape for those who don’t sew!


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Big and Meap, My newest create-a-creature friends!

Posted by on Dec 6, 2012 in Sewing | 2 comments

I realize there have been a lot of these create-a-creature posts recently.  As the holidays approach I do seem to spend a lot of my time bringing creatures to life (and significantly less time cooking, reading, and doing all of the other things I usually do, but those posts will return, I promise!)

But I never get tired of it.  Because each one is so different.  I love it even more when the creatures have names, and stories.

These two pictures were drawn by sisters and sent to Santa.  The story will be told that he liked them so much that he couldn’t help but turn the drawings into real live toys.  I even wrote a letter to each artist on Santa’s behalf.  It was kind of fun to be both Santa’s elf and head of communications on this job. :)  And seriously, if you were Santa, wouldn’t you want these to be the next toys your elves made?

Meet “Big.”  I don’t know what a Moshling is….but they are awfully cute!

Then there is “Meap.”  I’m not sure if he will learn to speak English, but there was a lot of “meaping” going on in my workshop this week while he waited for his friend Big to come along.  I’m just glad he wasn’t shooting his lasers….

Both are now on their way (by Santa’s sleigh, of course) to their new home!

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A Few More Creatures Greet the World!

Posted by on Nov 30, 2012 in Sewing | 0 comments

It has been a whirlwind here this week.  I switched some days with my co-teacher and so worked as a full-time teacher this week.  I loved being with my students all week, but I had forgotten how tiring teaching Kindergarten can be!  In amongst that I also taught sewing to a very full class of students every day after school.  And now, even though I am exhausted, I still say I loved every minute of it.  I am sad to say I never did get an opportunity to pick up my camera again, but there were some amazing projects.  Everything from wildly creative stuffies, to the young boy who decided he wanted to learn to make a hat and independently figured out  a pattern and sewed the thing and walked out of the classroom sporting his new outerwear.

Somehow, intermixed with all of that craziness, a few more creatures were born in my own sewing studio and are now on their way to meet their owners and creators.  They are all part of the camp project I mentioned before.  Due to my late-night creating hours and the fact that I both go to work and come home in the dark, the last few photos don’t quite do the drawings, and creatures, justice.  But I didn’t want to hold them here when they were so anxious to be off to their new homes!

Welcome to the world, little creatures!

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My Very First Sewing Class for Kids

Posted by on Nov 27, 2012 in Classes, Creative Kids, Sewing | 2 comments

This week I am running a week-long sewing class as part of my school’s after school program.  I must say that I am LOVING it! (yes…that was shouted….with a big smile….and maybe even a little dance across the room in happiness…)   I have a few more students than I originally planned for (as of today, 21 young sewists ages 5 – 10), but with two helpers it has been a manageable number.

The theme of the week is stuffie-making!  (of course!)  We began with a stuffie that we drew on muslin and then stitched to a piece of super-soft fleece.  I got the idea from the book Sewing School and the kids are loving it!

Although the hour seems to fly by and my hands always seem to be busy, I did manage to get some photos of two of the stuffies that were finished today.  You can imagine the proud faces that brought them to me as they declared “I’m finished!”


Aren’t they amazing?

Some of the sewing students are moving on to an all-fleece stuffie tomorrow.  I can’t wait to see what they come up with!




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