December 12, 2016

New bunny suit for Old Bunny

I've been continuing to make these bunnies as baby gifts these last few years, never actually catching up with how many I'd like to make. Meanwhile, Violet still keeps her bunny (the first I made, in 2010) as her favorite, and it has gotten pretty ragged looking. This bunny has been slept with thousands of times, and has soaked up an ocean of tears (plus some drool and a little blood). It has been on trips in suitcases, on planes, and in the car. The ears were near to falling off completely, and the rest of the outer fabric had degraded to a fragile spider web like layer. The ones I've been making since the first one have used a double layer of muslin for the outer shell to help with durability and to prevent wool fibers from escaping.

I proposed making her a new one, but she was adamant in her desire to not retire her old one. So we came up with a scheme for preserving the old bunny but protecting it from further decline while still keeping it in constant use. A bunny suit!

The idea was to make a new bunny, somewhat bigger than the old one, then stuff it with the old bunny rather than new wool fiber. Violet still wanted the chance to visit with the original, so she asked for a zipper in the side.

She wanted the embroidery on the outside to be just like the first model, which was easily done.

The new tail (cut from an Ikea sheepskin rug) is fluffy again; the old one had withered to a low bit of wooly scrub.

I started this project in the spring, but didn't finish it until fall. I had put a few patches on Old Bunny to keep it from coming apart inside the bunny suit, and also took the opportunity to push in a bit of extra wool since the original had been compacted considerably with use..

The sewing machine is now up in a different room, looking out a window on a scenic view of the garden. And a parking lot; this is the city after all. You get a great view of my two dead apple trees in the back fence espalier from here, and can better appreciate how the trees on the right half are struggling for some unknown reason. Ah well, one project at a time!

The bunny suit looks great, although it is a little on the loose side. It is probably good I didn't make it any tighter since it was already tricky to get Old Bunny in the zipper hole without causing its fragile fabric to come apart wholesale.

Becky thinks it is a little creepy, having the old bunny lurking inside. As if the old bunny rejuvenated itself by taking the skin of a young bunny. But Violet is extremely pleased with the outcome, and I think the solution was rather clever.


Phyllis in Iowa said...

You made Violet happy. I like the concept of refurbishing Bunny's outer layer while keeping the original Bunny safe and available for visits.
I'm pleased you continue to use your Wheeler & Wilson 9 sewing machine.

SJ Kurtz said...

The beloved lives on. That is happiness.

Trees had a hard summer on the left coast. Virtually all the willows around Green Lake in Seattle are dying off in violent style (roots up in the air) and the paperbark birches have some wasting disease. I would like to take mine down and make something of them, but it may have to wait for March.

There's a lesson in here I'm sure.

Emma said...

How lovely to save bunny with a new suit , such a lovely design too

Kansas Sky said...

What a loving, clever thing you've done.