“...Until I Saw a Mouse Who Had No Feet.”

This old satin Mickey Mouse had several issues, but the biggest problem was his missing feet.

This is how he looked after his rehab and restoration:

Alexander Little Women Rag Dolls


Four “Little Women” rag dolls were made by Madame Alexander, circa 1930-33.  Any 85-year-old cloth dolls can be challenging to repair.  Old fabric and thread is often soiled, suffering from dry rot, and very fragile.  Sometimes these cloth doll bodies can’t be repaired with any success.

Three of the four dolls were in fairly good shape, but their arms were seriously stained and unsightly.  This significantly detracted from their “display” appearance.  I wanted to improve the look of the arms and wanted to do it in a way that would be reversible, and not detract from the actual condition of the dolls. 
 
This photo shows one of the stained arms:
 

I made smooth, close-fitting covers from flesh-colored knit fabric that would slip over the original arms without having to sew or permanently attach them to the dolls.  The resulting effect maintained their “original” look, while improving their display appearance.
 

 
 
The photo below shows all four dolls.  The three at left are wearing the new arm covers.  Jo, at far right in the blue dress, had cleaner arms, and did not need the cloth covers.  Now, these 85-year-old girls look quite nice together on display!
 
 

Baby Doll Rescue



A daddy brought this poor lumpy doll to me.  He said he tried to fix her, but she just kept coming apart. 

His child was not with him, but he was desperate to get the doll fixed.  No other doll, apparently, would do.  The child couldn't sleep without her special "lovey doll."  I explained that I could do nothing with the hair except to clean it, but offered a new wig.  He refused this suggestion, stating that the hair was fine. 
 
I knew I would have to keep this doll as "original" as possible, so that the child would be able to see it was still her special doll. 

The toy was dis-assembled.  Several types of homemade stuffing were removed and discarded.  All cloth parts were cleaned.  The vinyl parts were cleaned separately.  The hair was washed and conditioned.  Everything was laid out flat and air-dried.  All cloth parts were mended by hand.  Vinyl parts were re-attached, and the body was stuffed with new poly fill.  The doll's hair was gathered into a makeshift ponytail, and a matching stretch ribbon bow was tied around it.  The doll's round plastic eyes received new blue irises, 3-D color printed and cut from paper stock.  Découpage served to fix them in place, followed by a clear matte topcoat sealant.  

 
This doll went home with a new lease on life!

Poor Steiff Bambi

The owner wanted her beloved toy repaired.  No other replacement Steiff Bambi would do.

I agreed to repair her little 9-inch fawn.

1)  This is dog damage to a 1950's Steiff Bambi, made of velveteen and stuffed with excelsior.

2) Second view of damage.  Pets love the scent of the organic stuffing; store these toys carefully!

3) Re-assembly of the pieces, and darning them in place.

4) Identical vintage fabric being pinned in place to cover damage.  The fabric is then hand sewn in place in the same method as appliqué.  Stitches are hidden.

5) Finished results, right side of toy.

6) Finished, left side of toy.

7) View of the back; ready to go home!

Ligament injury


Mr. Green Bay had some serious sports injuries.  He wanted to be back in shape by Christmas, so I went to work. 

Here he is, ready to get back in the game!

He cracked one too many smiles...

This little vintage monkey was cracked and coming apart at the seams.  His family wanted him restored for Father's Day.  He was taken apart, cleaned, restuffed, and his celluloid face was mended, patched, and sealed on the inside.
Here he is, re-assembled and ready to go home.