Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Adventures of a Camel

Meet Mathew Flinders the camel:He was a birth gift to a friend of my friend L, and after 25 years of loving, he was looking rather tattered. L brought him along yesterday afternoon to see if I could help restore him. He is very precious, despite his age, so I wanted to makes sure he looked right as well as getting him back to a more secure state. In the top right of the pic you can see the length of strong cylindrical bandage that had been holding his neck together. When that came off, his neck was definitely floppy and there were several large holes where the fabric had completely worn away.

First of all we raided my doll and bear stash for camel-coloured materials. Despite my ongoing attempts to sort and reduce my collection of stuff, it's moments like these I'm so glad of my stash! As it turns out, I had some thick felt and some beige corduroy which looked like they would do the job.
  • I worked the felt in through the holes to pad out the stuffiing and covered that with the corduroy.
  • The new fabric extended well beyond the holes in the camel fur fabric.
  • I then ladder-stitched the small openings.
  • There were a couple of places where I wasn't sure that I could get the edges of the holes to come together, so I stitched the edges of the camel fur fabric carefully down to the corduroy in those spots.
  • When I knew it was all secure, I was willing to risk a bit more, so I started to pull the fur fabric together over the patches--again using ladder stitch.
  • In the end it all came together--no holes and original camel fur fabric covering the whole of Matthew Flinders well-loved neck.
  • There were a couple of other holes where the legs join the body, but they were easy enough to stitch closed.

So now Matthew Flinders the camel has gone home to the ones who love him, ready for many more years of happiness.

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