The Doll Restoration Wizard:

Step 5 ~ Check Her Cloth Body


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If your doll has an all-vinyl body, just click the Yes button below to skip this step.

First check your doll's cloth body all over for rips and tears. Most problems are with the seams, but you may find a hole or tear elsewhere.

If you find a tear in a seam, the best way to repair it is to remove the doll's head using the instructions in the Restringing article, unstuff the doll and try to reach the tear from the inside. You can hand-sew the tear with small stitches with a strong thread (like quilting thread) that matches the old thread used. Then, re-stuff the doll and put her head back on (again using the pictures in the Restringing article if you need to).

If the tear is not on a seam and it's a simple, straight rip, you can probably also repair it from the inside using the same method. If you must repair it from the outside, use small, regular stitches. Heck, use big stitches in a contrasting color and make up a story for your doll for how she got the scar, like Madeline's appendix operation!

If you've got a hole (like a cigarette burn) you're going to have to patch. You can cut a patch out of any appropriate fabric. Why not cut it in the shape of a butterfly and pretend it's a tattoo? Or try to match the fabric of the body and pretend it's not there. You can appliqué the patch on (which means stitching around the turned-under edges with a blind stitch, catching the underneath fabric of the cloth body with each stitch). Iron-on patches which are great but can be tricky to iron on the rounded body of the doll (depending on where the hole is). Leave the body stuffed if you're going to try one of these and make sure you don't scorch the surrounding fabric with the iron. Fabric glue (like Aleene's "OK To Wash It") is another way to adhere the patch to the cloth body. I've done fabric glue (to keep the rather large patch flat) in addition to appliqué (to keep the edges from coming up).

You don't need to worry about making any of this pretty (it should be covered with clothing anyway) but you do want it as flat as possible so it doesn't show through clothes.

Now that you've taken care of any rips/holes, if any, take a look for stains.

Does she have a vinyl body or is her cloth body stain free?

Click on the Yes button below to go on to the next step.


Click on the No button to open the "Washing a Cloth-Body" article.

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Text Copyright © 2002-2006 Maria Greene All Rights Reserved

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This page was last updated 08/10/06