Back in grades seven and eight, the school I attended offered several non-academic classes to supplement its regular program of languages, math, etc. Besides gym and typing class (which was very strange for us to begin in grade seven, given that we had been typing assignments since about grade three), every year the senior students would get to take both shop and home economics. I don’t remember what we learned in shop class, besides how to use drafting paper to draw rectangular prisms, but in home ec we cooked a bit and we also learned to sew. We used the machines — old, trusty tan-coloured Singers — to make drawstring bags and aprons.
We also learned to sew by hand. At some point our class was sent home with a flyer full of stuffed animal sewing kits to choose from. I picked two horses: one brown, one black. We learned how to sew from a pattern, how to cut and join and stuff, and how to use a punch to properly secure the little plastic bits like noses and eyes. I haven’t seen the black horse in years and years, but the brown horse has survived many moves over the past two decades and now finds itself one of Perpetua’s “crib friends”. It is, alas, showing its age, with several seams burst open and the stuffing showing (though, thankfully, not yet coming out).
So I sat down the other day to see what I could do to fix it up. I didn’t have anything on hand that I thought would work especially well as a patch — and anyway, sewing patches is totally annoying — so I decided to try just sewing the holes closed. This wouldn’t be as easy as it sounds: the horse’s fabric is a bit brittle and crumbly now, and if my thread was too thin, it would just rip through the edges and make the holes larger.
Instead, I decided to use embroidery thread, with a full six strands. And since it was what I had handy, I used dark blue. The stitches definitely show — but I like to think of it as stuffie kintsugi.
Some edges came together very neatly:
In other cases, the gaps were too wide to be drawn together. But that’s where the embroidery thread came it handy. It was thick enough to cover the gap on its own. There’s still some space between the threads, but not enough to let any stuffing out:
Now, from the state of the seams, this probably only going to be the first round of repair. Which is fine. Horse-the-horse may not last another twenty years, but at least I know I can give him a fighting chance.