The youngest of my progeny has a baby doll. This doll came from the Dollar Tree, so it's not like we have a whole lot invested in it. Except for the fact that my son LOVES this baby doll. And there's nothing wrong with that.
Except for the fact that Baby was bursting at the seams! In fact, Baby has been bursting at the seams for quite some time. I've tried new zip ties to keep it's head on to no avail since the neck casing basically was disintegrating. So what do you do? You go back to the Dollar Tree to find a replacement Baby. But when you get there, you realize that the Babies there aren't as nice as the one you bought 3 years ago. No indeedy. THIS Baby has sleepy eyes that open and close and a pretty face. The newer Babies have painted on eyes and smushed faces. So you go home, pray that Baby stays together another year or two and then you can put it away in the keepsake box.
Baby has gone to pieces!
HAH. Good luck with that. So eventually Baby starts to really go to pieces. And you, as the Good Mama™ that you are pull out a couple pieces of cardstock, disembowel Baby and make a pattern from the remains of the cloth body. This part is the easiest part. Really. I used fuschia cardstock and a pencil and some spray adhesive which I'm STILL picking off my fingers. Baby was constructed of five vinyl pieces and four fabric sections: body front, body upper back, body lower back and neckband. The pattern pieces were rough outlines drawn on the fold because I'm lazy like that and like to use the fold whenever possible.
Baby got a [new] back!
The How To:
1. Sew the upper back and lower back together with 1/4" seam. This makes Baby's butt-tocks.
2. Sew back to front with 1/4" seam. Match the crotch and armpits and ease everything else to that. It doesn't have to be perfect. <--- Advice to myself. Leave one shoulder unsewn.
3. Fold the neckband in half lengthwise and sew a 1/4" seam. Then attach to neckhole starting from one open shoulder and easing around the opening.
4. Sew across the bottom of the legs. This is important because it's how you're going to attach the feet.
5. PANIC because you're out of the right size zip ties AND hand sewing needles.
6. Breathe in and out a few times slowly and raid your oldest child's sewing box to find hand sewing needles.
7. Put the feet INSIDE the body that is still wrong side out. Attach the feet the old skool way by sewing them in rather than using zip ties. This means that you're going to take a few stitches every so often and then pull that sucker tight and then wrap the thread around the groove about 4 or 5 times then secure with about 10 knots in various places.
Did I mention that I haven't made a doll like this since I was uh... TWELVE????
8. Turn the body right side out except for the arms. Shove the hands inside and then fold the raw edges over so that you can see the vinyl arm opening. Take that hand needle with a nice long piece of thread and sew *through* the vinyl and fabric to attach the arms like they were originally. Bonus points for you if you A) use a thimble to keep from impaling your thumb and B) use the existing holes! Why reinvent the wheel, right?
9. Pull the arms out so the body looks almost normal and stuff that sucker with the original stuffing.
10. Freak out because you don't have the right size zip tie to put the head back on.
11. Put the head on the same way you did the feet. Gather the opening up with thread, making darn sure that it's tight because the LAST thing you want to happen is Baby's head popping off after a session of "loving" play.
Baby's got a new booooody!
12. Take a picture of the final product and post to your blog before handing Baby back to child.
13. Listen to the cherubic "Thank you Mama for fixing Baby!!!" and smile knowing that you're Good Mama™ for at least another 5 minutes until you don't let them eat unlimited fruitcake and cookies.