MakerSpace & the Toy Doctor: Patient Lion

banner picture of the MakerSpace logo with "And the toy doctor", needle and thread, and a stitched heart

 picture of a blue plushie lion with his head separated from his bodyOur patient today is a blue plushie lion aptly named Lion - who came down with a bad case of Child-With-Scissors! Lion is ten years old, and very well loved, so I had to figure out the best way to fix him up and return him to his child.


First things first, we take out all the old stuffing. Stuffing can mold easily when it gets wet - especially 100% cotton stuffing. So when washing a stuffed friend, it's always best to remove all the stuffing first! If you have someone with allergies, it's also a good idea to avoid using cotton stuffing and go with Poly-Fil.


picture of a blue plushie lion, unstuffed and being washed in a tubSecond, Lion gets a much needed bath. Lion is ten years old and his blue fur is very thin, so he gets hand bathed in a tub. A washing machine could be too brutal for his poor fur!


Then Lion got to relax and air dry for a day or two. He could possibly go in a delicate garment bag in the dryer, but he's getting star-level treatment considering how well-loved he is.


picture of a blue plushie lion being restuffedTime to restuff! Lion's old stuffing smelled a little of... well, what happens when a plushie shares a bed with a toddler. So we're using brand new Poly-Fil (I always keep extra at my home) to replace his stuffing. His old stuffing was compacted from all those years of cuddling, so his new stuffing makes him look very plump. Don't worry, he'll slim down again with time!


Lion has thread sculpting in his face and feet - it's when thick thread is used to pull corners of fabric inward (like around his eyes) to give him better structure. So while restuffing (and unstuffing) I was careful to avoid ripping or snipping those threads so he keeps his very lion-y face.


diagram showing how to do a ladder stitchTime for surgery! We're going to sew Lion up using a basic ladder stitch (also known as an invisible stitch) - it hides the thread from view and gives a cleaner appearance along the seam.


picture of a blue plushie lion with the neck being sewn upYou can see here, where the fabric tore, that the ladder stitch pulls the two sides together neatly. It's a handy stitch to know for cases like this, or when repairing popped seams and when you're taking clothes in a little.


picture of a blue plushie lion with his neck completely sewn upFinally, Lion's neck is sewn up and his head is back where it belongs. Luckily, most of the cut happened along the neck seam, so I just followed along and matched the seams up to give him a nice, uniform look again.


Lion is all fixed up and ready to go home to his kid! Hopefully he'll have no more run-ins with scissors.


picture of a blue plushie lion, clean, restuffed, and sewn upIf you want to learn more about how to make and sew stuffed animals, check out some of our crafting books!

While you're waiting for new MakerSpace programs, look into free sewing lessons on our eSource, CreativeBug.

Want to see more Toy Doctor? Look up Doc McStuffins books and DVDS in our catalog.

Happy Making!

Posted by DanieE on August 22, 2021