Repairing loose arms
As much as we all love our Nisbet dolls, we all hate it when the arms are loose! This is a commonly encountered problem, and can be fixed - but although the process is straightforward, it may be very frustrating to achieve!
We have used a doll with exposed arms for this photo demonstration, because it is easier to show what is happening, but if your doll has sleeves as part of its costume, (and it usually will have!), the process is invariably more fiddly and complicated
The best thing to do, (if you have courage, and can use a needle and thread!), is to un-pick the bodice at the back of the doll. Most doll costumes are sewn onto the body, so this really is the most effective way to complete the repair. With the rear seam loosened, access to the arm holes is much easier, and the repair is literally a matter of moments to complete. Alternatively, it may be possible to loosen the stitching under an arm of the costume, and complete the repair that way
A quick fix, if you do not fancy fighting with chrochet hooks and elastic bands, is detailed here : The sleeves on most costumes are so narrow that they will retain loose arms in position anyway, but if they are hanging to the knees, it is possible to slip the arms back up the sleeves, and retain them in the correct position by tightening the cuff at the wrist, with a couple of small stitches, using a thread of suitable colour
Why does it happen?
The elastic bands used to hold the dolls' arms in place were made from natural rubber, made from the sap of the rubber tree.
Over time, the rubber oxidizes, and "perishes" - it looses its flexibility, goes hard, and crumbles into short, broken lengths, crumbs, and dust - (like the rubber bands shown in this picture)