Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Xmas Gifts 4: Horse of a Different Color

Do you remember Rainbow Brite and her horse Starlite back from the '80s? I had both toys as a kid. Several years ago I got rid of the horse by giving it to one of my nieces. It recently turned up when my mom moved. Mom showed up on my doorstep all pleased that she had found it for me.

It was dirty.

And it had rainbow colored hair.

My youngest little monkey took to it immediately, tucking it under his arm and blowing raspberries (that's his horse impersonation). But as much as I love looking at rainbows in the sky, seeing one on a toy horse's mane in my son's arm was a little disturbing. I hated to throw it away and waste it, especially since the kid liked it so much. So a master plan began unfolding in my mind: I'd give the horse a makeover. I wouldn't be wasteful, it would be a fun challenge, my son would have a "new" toy horse for Christmas, and it would be cool to think that it was the toy that I once played with.

I covered the hoofs by sewing little caps of black stretch velvet and stretching them over the glue-covered old hoofs (FYI I used flexible fabric flue). Later, close to the end of the project, I hand-sewed the hoofs in place to the bottom of the newly covered legs.

I made small triangles for the ears, then hand stitched them in place around the base. The next step was the to cut out the body pieces of the gray velvety fabric to fit onto the horse. I used the seam lines from the original horse as a guide. I machine stitched the fabric for the horse's back from behind the ears to the tail, then pinned it in place. All the other pieces were first pinned (or rather stabbed) in place then hand stitched.

These pictures were taken at various wee and not-so-wee hours of the morning on Christmas Day while everyone was asleep. Jane Austen on the DVD player kept me company. It was almost dawn when I went to bed. The horse was still hairless and had pins sticking out in a few places, but I wrapped it and put it under the tree anyway, then finished it up later after it was unwrapped. A 19-month-old child doesn't know the difference, right? Just as long as he can open a present on Christmas morning?

I really would have like the horse to be brown, but I couldn't find the right fabric in the little time I had to look (It was a busy season). So the color gray had to do. The fabric is so soft. It's some sort of velvet, though I don't remember exactly what. The black hoofs are stretch velvet, and the mane and tail are simply yarn. I'm happy to say that my little monkey loves the horse. And now I do, too.


  1. What a great thing you did! I LOVE this!!!! It's so precious that your little loves your old horse too! :)

  2. Oops! That s/b LITTLE ONE. :)

  3. How awesome! I had that horse and rainbow bright as well. what a great idea.

  4. Sweet! I had that growing up too :)

  5. Love this! You really executed this well. I am impressed with the quality of the handiwork (especially taking into account the time of night). Ever since I was 17 I have stayed up until some unearthly hour finishing a project. Good to see I have a partner in crime.

    Nice Work!

  6. What a great job! I have a teenage daughter that's easy to craft for but my 3 boys I have a harder time finding things to do for them.

    I bet that fabric you used is velveteen. I just made a cat for my 5 year old out of blue velveteen and the texture looks very similar.

    Happy Crafting!


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