Well, I finally got my Mom's Birthday Santa done in time for the tea party that didn't happen....long story... Anyway, I worked all day one day on it and got it finished! She was very pleased with how it turned out and so was I! I call him "Pre-Christmas Santa" as he is not so very plump and round as the "Post-Christmas Santa"...you know, the one who has consumed all of those delicious cookies, breads, sweet treats and delicious whole milk that little kids leave out for him?
I tried to take photos of my construction process just in case anyone wanted to make a Sant for themselves! So, here they are!!!
|Completed "Pre-Christmas Santa"|
|Adding sheep's wool to a ceramic head so that his beard and hair look fabulous!|
The very first step I do in making my Santas is to add sheep's wool for his beard and hair. I found this wonderful stuff on etsy...Maybelle Farm. I sectioned the parts that looked really good and glued it to the beard area using craft glue...not hot glue. I chose two good looking tips of the wool and used those for his beard. I continued to glue the wool to Santa until his beard and hair were full and lovely!
|Free hand of Santa's Body|
Now I am sure that the prossional doll makers out there would have a heart attack if they saw how very crude the bodies of my Santas are, so for that I apologize...But, I don't know how to go about making a jointed body and the bodies will be covered with clothing anyways....I laid Santa's head, one arm and one boot on a piece of muslin that was folded in half and just drew half a body! Voila! Then stitched two bodies together and stuffed him up!
I totally forgot to document the wiring of the arms and legs. For stability, I used thick millinery wire and made wire legs, putting them in the legs before stuffing them. Then, I did the same for the arms. For the arms I doubled the wire because I planned on folding the arms to carry gifts and fun things.
|Santa all stuffed up! His "belly button" is actually where I sewed the wire to the muslin so it wouldn't ride up, making it stay put.|
After stuffing Santa's body, I glued his head, arms and boots to the muslin and then using a really thick thread, sewed those parts down and good so they wouldn't fall off!!
|Lovely hem on the skirt I used for his outfit!|
I couldn't find the right shade of red at any fabric store, so while at a clothing shop with my sister one day, I spied a beautiful Christmas dress in the perfect shade of red velvet! PERFECT!!! And as a bonus, I could use the him of the skirt for the hem of the pants...later I realized that this was folly, as I covered the hem of his pants with rabbit fur...Oh well, it was a lovely thought while it lasted!
Again, I didn't have a pattern for Santa's suit, so I just laid him on the velvet and traced around his legs, remembering to leave 1/2" for seam allowance. After sewing, pressing, turning inside-out, and pressing again, I stitched the pants to Santa's tummy...
For his coat, I did the same thing, cutting up the center front so he could get into it.
After Santa had his red suit on, it was time to trim it in rabbit fur! I have learned from taking many antique fur coats apart and turning them into different things that you want to cut from the back of the fur...that way you keep from cutting the fur itself and really cut down on the amount of fur that flies up into your nose. This is a good thing.
|Step 1: draw cut lines on the back of the rabbit fur|
|Step 2: use a really sharp X-acto knife when working with fur|
|Step 3: make a very shallow cut into the leather side of the fur. This will keep you from cutting too far down into the pile and cutting up the fur itself.|
|Step 4: very gingerly, pull the cut pieces apart...you will see that the fur comes apart quite nicely!|
After I got my strips cut apart...they were roughly 1" wide, I eyeballed them...I then just glued the strips onto the hems of the coat, sleeves, and pants. I also added fur down the front of the coat and around the neckline.
|Pinning soutache to the underside of Santa's big black bag|
The last thing I did for the Santa doll was make his big black bag. For this I just used some scrap black velvet and soutache. I used a large bowl for a circle then about 1 1/2" in from the edge, I sewed a long gathering stitch for a guide (this was later removed). I wanted to make a very simple draw string so after pinning the soutache to the red threaded guide, I simply stitched over the soutache so that in the end I could draw it closed with out the thread catching on the soutache. I had lots of little antique and reproduction miniature toys that I had been collecting to use for his "gifts for good little girls and boys". I caved into the pressure to make sure they stayed "put" and used my Mom's glue gun. Those toys are NOT coming out!!!
|Old Saint Nick getting ready for his midnight ride!|
|You can see all the fun toys in his pack!|
|He even has a Christmas Tree, just in case someone forgot theirs!|
|Oh yes... I used an antique belt buckle and black velvet ribbon for his belt|
And there you have it! A "Pre-Christmas" Santa looking all handsome and ready to go!