As those of you who regularly follow us here know, Mons Reynard (Mons.R) has been a patient in the Soft Toy Clinic (Etsy Listing # 79124185) for several months now. He, and Mme Lapin (who is expected back from her 360 degree imaging procedure on Wednesday or Thursday of next week), belong to my French-based sister-in-law, IvyM, for whom I originally made them over 30 years ago. The exact date has been lost in the "mists of time".
When Mons.R arrived last August, he looked like this:
|His "stuffing" did not allow a standing up picture|
|In pieces, and clearly showing the dust on Mons.R's fur.|
|Mons.R's clothing - and broken boots!|
Mons.R's boots had dried out so much over the years that once I got to work with my "Quik-Unpic " the stitches simply tore the leather as I worked to remove them. As I'd already decided to change his boots, they were no loss! His felt coat was in such good condition that I decided all that was required was a careful vacuum to remove his surface dust. Then unpicking the stitching, and turning everything inside out would suffice to give him a "new" overcoat. Felt, of course, does not respond well to getting wet, so I had been prepared to give him a complete new outfit, but really did not feel one was required. I did decide, however, that modern fashion dictated that some extra adornment might not go amiss.
The trousers have their own story which might amuse. Some years before, shortly after Peter and I married, we were donated an armchair by his mother who was packing up and moving permanently to Canada. The chair had always been known as "Peter's" Chair, and woe betide any family member who sat in it when the "owner" was present! However, over the years it had become - well - shall we say a little shabby. So, I decided to have a go at some soft-furnishing and try to recover said object. We found the material together, I think, in Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk - the nearest big town to where we were then living - and after some hesitation, the deed was done. Forever afterwards, it was known as the Gold Chair! Alas, when we ourselves moved to Canada, the frame was in no fit state to accompany us, but I did retain the remnants from the project - and Mons. R was the ultimate beneficiary, as they became his trousers.
To return to the present, though: I was not sure how the brocade would respond to washing after all these years (nearer 40 than 30!) but decided to have a go. Using the well tried technique of soaking all the material designated for such treatment in cold water overnight, the next morning I gently washed each piece in lukewarm water and soft soapy detergent - and boy did the dirt come out! I then rinsed them well and pegged them on to a clothes maiden perched over one of our radiators.
|Everything was dripping wet here - but the trousers did still cause some concern!|
There is a significant difference already in his appearance I think you will all agree! Here is Mons.R's head ready for his ears to be replaced, with two new glass-look plastic eyes, complete with metal safety washer. (I had made his original ones using felt, and he had always had a somewhat "oriental" look, which somehow did not look quite right to me!) His new boots are ready to be sewn together and the head and ears are resting on his newly vacuumed felt coat! You wouldn't think that the felt was over 30 years' old would you?
|Showing Mons.R's original eyes!|
Right - time to end this post: the second installment will follow in a day or so. I've got to do some sewing for the upcoming Spring Shopping Day this week-end, as you know, and there are still some more toys to make. I've done 3 replacement Baby Koalas and cut out a new Bear which I hope to have complete in a day or two. So the next post will have to be fitted in somehow.
In the meantime, goodnight, take care of yourselves - and be with you again soon. Isobel