Saturday, 24 May 2014

saving dolly

Dolly and Eli. Let me assure you that Dolly's soft body was not nearly as white as it looks in this photo!
A few weeks ago when I went to pick up Eli from kindergarten he emerged carrying a dolly. Eli's teacher told me that when they had come across Dolly Eli volunteered me to fix her. Apparently he insisted that I could sew her up and make her as good as new. Eli's teacher, being the wonderful teacher that she is, wanted to check with me first. Despite the dubious look that must have been on my face (but disappeared as soon as I saw Eli's I've-got-a-super-mum look in his eyes), I assured Eli's teacher that I would do my best to restore Dolly to her best.

I think that Dolly's best must have been a long, long time ago. She has obviously provided many kindergarten children with lots of love.

One leg was about to fall off.

 Dolly had a two way rip in her side.
 She was very dirty. No she wasn't. She was extremely dirty. I actually would have preferred Dolly to be carried in a plastic bag, but Eli cuddled her all the way home from school and beyond.

Dolly had a bung eye.

So, I set to work. First I attended to the sewing part. Then Dolly's hair was washed and she was left in a bucket of Napisan to soak for a day. Then Dolly needed to be dried. I got as much of the water out of her head, arms and legs as I could and then popped her outside on the line to dry. Dolly also spent some time on the dryer rack whenever it was on (often at interesting angles so as to work on ensuring that a particular arm or leg was entirely dry inside).

After Dolly passed the I'm-bone-dry-inside-so-as-not-to-breed-bacteria test she was ready to move onto the next phase: cleaning the flesh coloured parts. A Chux magic eraser did the trick.

Here are some before and after photos:
Sewing the leg on was the trickiest part. Not pretty, but I'm confident that leg will stay on for a while.
Clean face.
Clean all over!
Okay, there was nothing I could do about the bung eye!
 But I think she looks lovely, don't you?
I popped into the op shop and picked up some baby girls clothes (our baby girls clothes have been long gone!). I thought a short sleeved onsie and a pair of pants might keep that sewn up leg safe from little fingers.
Eli dressed Dolly when he took her back to school. He was very pleased to be able to present her to his teacher!

The lesson for me? Look beyond the exterior and see the potential. Just like Eli did.


  1. Dr Jeneta! This is the sweetest story.
    Dolly holds so much love and creative play and imagination games in her DNA . . she HAD to be saved!
    You could have given her a pink sequinned Pirate Patch for her lazy eye!
    I loved that Eli knew just who would fix her up.

  2. Oh, what a wonderful thing to do - you are so kind! I bet Eli was thrilled because he DOES have a Super Mummy!! She has a new lease on life!! :-)

  3. Oh wow!! Eli was so right, you Are a Super Mum!!! You saved dolly!! I love the photo of dolly sunbaking on the washing line. I wonder what Eli will come home with next...

  4. Of course Eli's mum can do anything!! How wonderful that sweet dolly can provide many, many more hours of fun and love for oodles of children. You did a wonderful job of 'doctoring' sweet for fixing up the eye.....perhaps that needs an eye surgeon!!

  5. Eli and Dolly are very blessed to have such a super mom! Dolly was in a rough way...


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