Wednesday, October 20, 2010

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The End Is Near


Some children have blankies they carry around like Linus. Some suck their thumb or have a special baby doll that they love to death. Logan has a stuffed puppy. Puppy ( because that IS his name) has been to every doctors' appointment, is a snuggle buddy for hospital stays, gives morning kisses to the Momma, participates in all therapy sessions, figures out who the good guys are, and likes to play Hide n' Seek on a really regular basis. Puppy has been Logan's constant companion since his first birthday.

But things aren't looking good for Puppy, who has been mended so many times the mending has been mended. He has had countless ear, tail, and arm reconstruction surgeries. Puppy has been battered, bitten, and used as a weapon. He's been snuggled, cuddled, clutched, stomped on, lost, and found. In short, Puppy is Logan's best friend, next to his twin.

But the end is near for Puppy, and this creates a problem. He has been washed so many times that the very thought of a dirty Puppy gives me anxiety, because I'm always sure that this will be the time that Puppy emerges from the washer in irreparable shreds. Puppy cannot be replaced. We've looked. We've shopped. We've researched online and begged the manufacturer to look through the warehouse, in hopes that a Puppy clone somehow fell between storage racks just waiting to be adopted by Logan. We've made desperate posts online. We've offered excessive payment, and scoured eBay. But sadly, it was all for naught, because Puppy clones are no more.

We attempted to replace Puppy a few months ago... but the impostor was too fuzzy and Logan looked at it, then looked at his delusional parents as if to say, " WHAT?!?! You thought I would fall for that trick??"

If there was a way to laminate Puppy and still leave the ears out so Logan could rub them on his cheek at night, I'd do it. This stuffed puppy simply MUST last forever.... or the Monster House is screwed!

So now the plan is to somehow, late at night while Logan is sleeping the sleep of the dead, extremely gently take all the stitching out and trace the pieces of Puppy on paper to be used as a pattern. Well, that's great. But then there remains the issue of reconstructive surgery, which I completely have no talent for. I can reattach an ear, arm or tail, and mend a hole. But sewing anything from scratch nearly always ends in tears for both me AND the recipient.

And, Puppy has been on a consistent weight loss plan, so his once fluffy and filled out body is now emaciated and more air than fluff.

What's a frazzledmomma to do? Any brilliant suggestions? I like the idea of tracing a pattern, but I have no idea what kind of fabric was used. Hmmmm.. I wonder if the manufacturer would sell me some of that fabric and filling?.....I'm sure they think I'm nuts by now.

By the way, Puppy can also be partially viewed in a pic posted on the home page~ of Logan in a car seat. Puppy is that shapeless brown lump draped over the edge of the seat.


Sila said...

Aw, I know just how that is. The best thing I can suggest without seeing the plushie first hand is to take a spot in his back where the stitching is already weak, carefully unstitch it and buy some filling from a local walmart or something. I don't know if he has any aversions to polyester if he can't touch it, if not then polyester fill is a great plushie-stuffing material. It comes in a large bag and is relatively inexpensive. You can carefully push stuffing into all the corners of the plushie, replacing old with new.

Inspect every little area where there's stitching, and if it even looks weak then re-stitch it twice as thick. If you ask people like seamstress's and stuff, you can find out how to do stitching that doesn't pop out of the plushie but still hold it tightly in place (i.e: it's not going to itch or irritate if it's rubbed on).

If it's ragged and in poor condition, then don't machine wash it. Dunk it in the sink full of gentle detergent and water, scrub it down like you would manually wash clothes if needed, and when it comes time to dry either set it in front of a de-humidifier, or do what i like to do: Put the plushie in a towel, have someone grab the other end of the towel, and both of you twist the towel in opposing directions until you can't twist it anymore. That'll get a good amount of the water soaked into the plushie, which then you can set it out in front of a fan to let air-dry. machine washing an already-ragged plushie will just kill it faster.

Feel free to PM me on SPD international if you want more help :3 I'd be glad to try and help.


Caryn said...

Thankfully I know what kind of filling it is... Earth Rite... so I could just buy any old toy with that filling and use it. No biggie. The thing that has me stressed is the complete deterioration of the fabric. Darn it, anyway! But there have been some AMAZING people reading the blog, and I think we've got a plan... maybe... i hope... LOL

Have a great weekend!

ShesAlwaysWrite said...

Talk to a local seamstress. Around here, they're sweet ladies who work out of their homes, often with kids and/or grandkids. They'll get it and be sympathetic. They usually work cheap. They'll have professional level resources to help you find appropriate materials. They'll be able to give you guidance on how to trace the pieces for proper seam allowances. You can bring Logan over to meet them, have him show them Puppy (our version is "Dragon" - pronounced Babbit) so they can see what kind of material you're dealing with. They might even be able to give you tips for pre-aging the material a little so the replacement isn't as alien.

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