Thursday, April 12, 2018

Mr. Stripes Intervention

Mr. Stripes is very loved by a passionate four year old. He's been her favorite snuggly since she was born. He travels whenever she does, and there are tears if he's lost at bedtime. His arms, legs, and neck are limp from hundreds of hugs. The problem is he's made from a lightweight knit material and he's getting holes and runs in his fabric especially around the blank tags that had words once upon a time. If the fabric runs too far, I won't be able to salvage the material. Time for a lifesaving intervention.

Of course, you can't buy this bear anymore, so I bought a fuzzy gray and white striped bear to be a stand-in while Mr. Stripes was in surgery for a few days. Even so, Brielle wandered out of bed more than once in the middle of the night looking for him. I could only work at night so she wouldn't be distressed at his limp pelt in pieces, and I had to hide him quickly when she peeked over the stair rail. 
First I carefully opened the delicate seams along his back, bottom and neck where the holes were. I removed all the smashed stuffing. I also fray-checked the holes so they wouldn't get any bigger. Mr. Stripes kept a smile on his face the whole time, but I could tell he was nervous about whether or not he could be put back together right.
Next he got a 24-hour bath soak in Oxyclean detergent. The water turned brown! Mr. Stripes's white brightened noticeably, but I still didn't get out all the green marker on his back from when he watched Brielle color a little too closely. I rinsed him well and dried him in the dryer in my delicates bag.
Finally it was time to sew. I trimmed the worst edges off so he ended up getting a bottom tuck. I learned how to use my new serger so I could overlock stitch the edges of the fabric to hopefully help prevent future holes. It wasn't easy sewing tiny curves and seams on a beefy machine so I used my regular machine for the more tedious areas.
Sewing took longer than I thought so I stayed up late last night stuffing to get him done. I had to put in the right amount so he was full but not too firm. He has by nature a soft, squishy, cuddly personality. I didn't want to change that.
I could hear Mr. Stripes sigh with contentment. He felt so much better! I left one small section of his back open just in case I misjudged the necessary squishiness of his body. I'm glad I did because the expert informed me this morning that his head was too fluffy, and I was easily able to rectify it. 
Brielle watched me hand sew the last little bit while she held his hand to help him not be scared. She is ecstatic to have her beloved Mr. Stripes back in her arms. Ah. All is well again!