The Peterson house has several Very Precious favorites. One named Teddy, in particular, comes to mind as quite the adventurer.
Okay, Teddy, speak up. What's the matt--
OH! Oh, Ted. Child accompaniment can be treacherous.
Really! I'll have you back to normal in no time. Now let's show everyone what to do.
With well-loved stuffed toys, chances are good that eventually Someone Precious will turn up with a torn limb or a popped seam. This is actually really easy to fix, and you can do it so neatly that no one will ever know what calamities have been suffered!
I always close up these seams with a slip stitch, also known as a ladder stitch.
Commonly used to close up openings on pillows, the linings of bags, or even to close the final seam on a newly-sewn stuffed creature, it's the best way I know to hide the stitches while still working from the outside of the object. (In this case, Teddy's neck!)
Lie down, Teddy, and let me have a look at you!
Now, because this seam opening was made in a rather traumatic fashion, I don't have nice neat edges at the opening.
See those white threads wanting to pull out of the seam? I'll clean that up first.
Just pull at the loose thread until you are at a point that still feels tightly sewn, and clip off the excess with a scissors.
The rest of the seam may not stay tightly sewn, but we'll take care of that later.
Once you've got a pretty neat edge, go ahead and tuck in any stuffing that's trying to escape. In fact, this would be the time to add more stuffing, if you think the toy needs some fresh plump. Teddy is on the slim side for a bear, but he declined my offer of additional girth!
Now you're ready to stitch up the opening. Hopefully you have a nice little seam allowance already. See how the fabric is already folded over? It's like that on both sides of my opening, making the perfect set up for the slip stitch.
You can use any strong thread you like, and a sewing needle that you find easy to handle. Match the color of the thread to the project if you want, but since the point of the slip stitch is to hide your sewing, the color shouldn't really show, anyway.
I happen to have a spool of silk thread that is just the same color as Teddy, so I keep it on hand for fixing him up. It's my Ted Thread!
I like to double the thread, so I cut a piece twice as long as I need it, thread the needle, and then match up the ends and tie a knot.
Next you will insert your needle from the back side of the fabric, starting at the bottom right side of the opening, if you're right-handed.
You can see I'm starting behind some existing stitches--I want to sew over top of those myself to secure them, because they are continuing to loosen as I move Teddy around.
Pull the thread through so the knot is snug against the back side of the opening.
Next, you'll insert your needle into the opposite side of the opening, directly across from where the thread is coming out. Then immediately point the needle back out of the fabric one stitch-length to the left. Pull the thread through.
Always point the needle in to the fabric directly across the opening from where the thread comes out, and then point the needle out of the fabric one stitch-length to the left, on the same side of the opening.
Keep going and you will build a little "ladder" of stitches right across your opening. That's why it's called the ladder stitch.
You can see the stitches here, but normally you would be pulling the thread snug after each stitch.
So now when I pull the thread, the opening shrinks...
See? Teddy's looking better already!
Keep making nice, even stitches until you get to the end of the opening.
When you get to the end, pull the thread tight.
Here's how to tie the knot:
Pull the thread out and away from the project with your left hand. With the needle with your right hand, lay the thread over the piece have held to the left.
The thread crosses over itself, making a loop of in your left hand. Hold everything pretty snug.
Keeping the loop intact, point the needle up through the under side of the loop.
Pull the needle all the way through the loop. You still have the loop in your left hand and the needle in your right. Keep holding the loop! At this point, if you wiggle your fingers around a little, you should see your little knot (the point where all the parts of the thread intersect) slide around a bit.
Slide that knot all the way up to the project. You can see I do this by widening the loop with my left thumb and forefinger while pulling the needle away with my right hand.
Keeping the loop on your thumb, hold the knot with your forefinger.
Repeat the steps for tying the knot a few times to make sure it's big enough to hold.
Put the needle into the fabric right next to the knot. Then poke the needle out again an inch or more away.
Pull the thread snug and clip. The knot should be pretty well hidden.
Well, that looks much better! The stitches are hidden, and Teddy has a strong new neck to hold up his wee head!
I think Teddy's ready to go back and play. But what's that, Ted?
Oh, right. You should have a treat after Major Surgery!