To all who mourn in Israel, He will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory. Isaiah 61:3

Friday, December 20, 2013

Mom's Santa Claus Complete!!

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" 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!

Simple pants
 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 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!




  1. Wow! So much labor and love. He's super cute and I love all of his gifts and toys.


    1. Thank you so much Quinn! It truly was a labor of love as I hadn't made one in years! hahahahaha!! He turned out quite cute!


  2. Dear Gina,

    I'm in awe of your creativity! Just how you take basic crafting supplies and turn it into this AMAZING Santa!! I love the sled and teddy bear peeking out from the bag of toys.
    Oh, and your French macaroons - absolutely to die for!

    Have a wonderful holiday,
    Anneliese :)

    1. P.S. I was wondering if you by chance sew commissions?

    2. Hi Anneliese!

      Thank you so much for your lovely compliment! I do love making these Santas as they all have a wonderful personality! I made coffee and cream macarons the other day and they were seriously to die for!!!

      I hope your holiday was a blessed one!

      Yes, I do take sewing commissions on hats! Those are fun!


    3. Ooh, hats, I'm already saving money...

  3. Gina, I'm in love in your blog! First - your costumes, second - your macaroons :), third - your mom! ;)
    I still didn't read all - but I have to come back :)
    So glad that you wrote on our (mine and Eleonora Amalia's) blogs!

    I have one question - what is length of your hair?

  4. Hello Fobmroweczka!

    Thank you so much for your wonderful compliment! It made me smile!! Lots! I have to agree with Mom is fabulous!! I love her so much! I really enjoy your and Eleonora's blogs! It is fun to see what other costumers are doing and what their passions are!!!

    Funny that you should ask about my hair...two weeks ago I cut it into a 1920s bob....before that when all of the previous pictures were taken, it was past the center of my back...4 or 5" past my bra strap! And it is really really thick...hence the reason for its being cut off! It was giving me headaches...

    Thank you again!


    1. Well, that's good that we have hair extensions ;) My hair is over-the-waist length, I think something like 5 or 6 cm over the waist (yeah, we have this "other" measurement ;)) But I totally can't make any pretty hairstyle with it (especially, when I think about edwardian ones), and yours are just fabulous, so I thought, that you can have some good tips in hair-making ;)

      Have a nice day!

    2. Wow! Your hair is quite long! Wonderful! That "other" measurement throws me off so badly! hahahaha!! Oh well, that's ok. I just use the computer to help me with conversions! I understand about not being able to get some nice hairstyles with long thick hair. For the Edwardian hairstyles, I part my hair down the middle. Then I loosely rat or tease the hair so that it is rather puffy. Then I start at the very front of my head and start twisting the hair towards the back and just pick up more hair as I keep twisting down around my face towards the back bottom (nape) of my head. Then I put it into a pony tail holder. After that, I can take the hair that is hanging down out of the pony tail and either curl it and pin it into an Edwardian Chignon or add on my hair piece...I am going to try to find the hair piece instructions...Then the tutorial for my Civil War hair can be found here...

      You will have to copy and paste the link...but this was super helpful in achieving my civil war hair!

      I hope you have a fabulous day!!


    3. Here is another link for how to create an Edwardian Coiffure!!

      This is pretty much what I did...without the "rats" as I had way too much of my own hair.....