This elephant, made from a piece of handwoven vintage fabric bought from an antique store in Christchurch, is the first soft toy I sewed, some 14 years ago. I've made quite a few for friends and family over the years after discovering that they are the perfect shape and size for resting books on while reading in bed. They've become known as "reading elephants".
As voracious readers, our elephants have become an essential part of our lives, but this old chap, much loved by Jack, has become so worn that his belly is threadbare and his stuffing is coming out. Urgent animal recovery was called for.
If any of you read The Velveteen Rabbit when you were little, which remains among my top five all-time favourite kids books, you'll understand that the thought of discarding the faithful old elephant was not an option.
that is what became of the lovely velveteen rabbit at the end of the story.
So I salvaged the eyes, ears and tusks of the old elephant
and made him a new body from one panel of a vintage silk kimono.
This handsome new (old) elephant is now wrapped up under the tree ready to resume duties when Jack opens him up on Christmas day.