Monday, 20 February 2012

Continuing the Rejuvenation of Mme Lapin

Thank you everyone for logging on and commenting on the first stage of Mme. Lapin's rejuvenation therapy!  Here goes with the next stage.

Decorating the skirt
The final picture on the last post showed the decoration I'd decided to add to Mme Lapin's apron.  Previously, because my imagination had not got going in the 1980's when I had first made her, I had only used one of the embroidery stitches which I could find on my sewing machine.   Although it had looked fine at the time, after 30 years and with my new-found creativity with all my other toys, I decided Mme. Lapin deserved to be similarly highlighted. In addition,there is access to a greater choice of decorative material nowadays than was available to me in Canada in the 1980's.   Here is a close-up of the  braid (used, incidentally, as the collars in all my Christmas Fleece Baby Bunnies - Etsy Listing 89020911), which I attached, once again, using red French knots.  Since the braid consisted of holly and ivy leaves, thought the red knots could convey the holly berries for this purpose.

Newly prepared pantaloons, boots and body
This photo was taken while I was doing the work one evening last week, and - as I tend to do - taken without benefit of my new studio. (One of the lamps that form part of the studio package has been sent back, because it was not functional:   it should be back soon, hopefully).   So, everything gets placed on my conveniently located printer and since it is a similarly light, whitish background, the pantaloons (a creamy satin fabric) don't really show to advantage.  The 30 year old felt boots come through well, though - and a stuffed toy's body is just that:  a stuffed body.  It's what covers it up that makes it exciting!!

The boots are on the body, and the skirt as well

Showing bobtail, dress top and arms/paws in place
Mme Lapin's arms, with paws attached were washed without me having to take them apart, and were then attached to the top of the dress.  Then the top was pulled over the skirt, covering the gathered waist, and ladder-stitched in place.

Mme. Lapin's head ready to be attached
Mme Lapin's ears stand up a lot better than previously because of the material I found to replace the felt lining with which had been used previously.  Her original glass eyes had stood the test of time and I was able to put them in through the same holes made 30 years ago and tied firmly through the polyester fibre stuffing.  The facial features were then added.  She doesn't look quite as prim as heretofore!

Almost complete

Once the head was on, the final piece of the re-creation was putting on the newly-decorated apron and the collar.  Whilst the former was part of the original Mme. Lapin, the collar is fresh white felt, decorated again with red and green French knots and tied with red satin ribbon (again a left-over from the Christmas Baby Rabbits!).  The apron was attached by carefully stitching through the green chain-stitching decorating the waistband, I then tied it at the back taking the bob-tail into consideration.

Mme. Lapin from the rear

Then the final addition - the newly made carrot - was provided and the whole creation can now be revealed.

Holding onto the new carrot!
Then the final photograph prior to leaving home for her "After" imaging procedure at the premises of Outsphere UK & Ireland, in St. Albans, Hertfordshire, where - Royal Mail permitting - she should now be sitting looking something like this.

By the way, Mons Reynard is now in pieces, looking a very different colour and will be beginning the renewal process later today.  He's got new eyes, and will be having a set of new leather boots - his others had got so dry over the years, that as I de-stuffed them, they began to tear apart.  (Because we now have access to softer, glove quality leather, I'd already decided they would be replaced!)   Also he will  obviously be getting completely new stuffing.  Other than these items, all the original materials  used can be utilised to bring him back to life and ready for the next 30 years with Mme. Lapin in France.  His progress will form part of the next post or two.

Meanwhile - au revoir for the time being!  Isobel