Love can tear us apart and wear us thin and leak out our stuffing. This is what happened to my son’s girlfriend and Dotty, her knitted, stuffed cat from her childhood. However, love can fix us too and with the desire to make Dotty’s owner happy, my son suggested to her to let me fix Dotty’s six holes.
I don’t consider fixing a special friend as mending or a chore but as a privilege. Just six holes? Sure, my afternoon just opened up. I’m honored someone trust me to fix their loved one. To those who are deeply attached to a special toy, fixing that toy, in any way, makes them feel better. After all they know they were the one who loved their special friend to, literally, pieces.
I’ve patched before. I’ve seen the appreciation. My daughter’s pink dog, Sniffy, who followed her to college, has patches on his patches. He still keeps the honored position on her bed. I’m glad I could help make that happen.
Fixing a stuffed toy is pretty easy. Patches can be of matching or contrasting fabric. Dotty is knitted, and I don’t knit but her owner didn’t mind if I sewed patches on. I let Dotty’s owner choose which fabric to use from my scrap pile and she choose five different fabrics.
Dotty had six holes like this. My son had used Fray Check on the edges of the holes before I ever saw Dotty.
Dotty had become a little flattened over the years so I was asked if we could plump her up a little. The holes allow you to add more stuffing if needed. However, do be careful about how you add it. You want a smooth look, not a lumpy look.
To patch, cut out a piece of fabric larger than the hole. Lay the fabric over the hole so it extends beyond the hole on all sides.
Feeling where the hole is underneath I pin the patch to the stuffed toy around the edges of the hole. My pins go through the toy’s “skin” around the edge of the hole and not just into the stuffing. The outline in pins is just larger than the hole.
Trim the patch with it still pinned to the toy. The pins are a guide for shape and size. Leave enough fabric to turn under, about 1/4 inch is good. You could run a tight zig zag stitch around the patch (after unpinning it from the toy) and not turn under your fabric.
Turn under the edges of the patch. Pin down as you go.
Around tight curves I notched the fabric slightly. On the front of Dotty, where I used lighter weight fabric on the larger holes, notching wasn’t necessary. On a small circular patch, made of light weight cotton, I had to notch because the curve was so tight.
When it’s pinned down all around just check that the entire hole is covered.
Sew the patch in place.
Finished. (with this patch)
I had to take off the twill tape tag to patch but I reattached it when I was done because I noticed this tag is Dotty’s handle. A finger easily and lovingly slipped though this tag to carry Dotty around. Keep in mind that ittle details like these are special to the owners. My daughter’s dog had a large, loose, loop of thread that once was part of his factory made, sewn down smile. I left the loop loose because it had become part of his special smile.
Here she is; patched and plumped and ready for more love.