Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Santa in June

     I love working with my doll client. She hands me a base doll and a few guidelines, then lets me run with my creativity. This was how it was with my Santa doll. All she said is that he needed to be pink Victorian and handed me a piece of silk velvet. I will admit it took some thinking before it all started to fall into place. Also, I tend to continue designing as I am sewing. Something that slows the process down but always brings wonderful results. I am so very happy with this pink Santa.
He has a ceramic head, hands and boots. His body is mostly filled with soft white sand and poly fill up near the head. His arms and legs are stuffed full with the poly fill and stiff wire for bending and posing. I started out designing a pair of long johns for him, but then remembered that they wouldn't have had knits during the Victorian period. So, I opted for a Victorian man's cotton union suit, complete with the drop drawer opening in the back. Oh yes, details are very important.

union suit back
     His tunic was the next layer, which is made of the exact shade of pink jacquard as the velvet. We were lucky when we found that. It has long open sleeves and a high collar, all trimmed in pink vintage braid. The braid is 1940's / 1950's lingerie tape. I trimmed the bottom of the tunic with the braid as well. I wanted it to stand out a bit, so I added two layers of heavy fishing line inside the braid. It worked perfectly. The tie is silver cording with  1/8 inch pink satin ribbon twisted in, and pink tassels to finish it off.

      Then came the best part, the robe. The velvet was too soft on its own, so I layered thin cotton batting between the velvet and the lining. It made the robe soft and lush. By baste quilting the pieces together, it kept everything neat and all in one piece. I knew I wanted silver accents, so I embroidered snowflakes with pink pearls in the centers. The snowflakes are on the bottom, the sleeves and the back of the coat. It is trimmed with the same pink braid. I hunted for fur to use for trim and everything was too thick and long. Then I found the "minky" fabrics and it was perfect. It was soft with short pile. It also was very easy to work with. I actually used the wrong side of the fabric, because it was better. Then I hand sewed the silver braid all around the bottom and the sleeves.
      The creative brain kicked in again when I decided it needed a capelet. I also knew I wanted a hood, not a cap. If I attached all of that to the neck of the coat it would be very bulky, so I decided to put the hood on the capelet and make it a separate piece. It was a good decision. Like the coat, the capelet is lined and has cotton batting in between. There are a few snowflakes on the front of the caplet and it is trimmed in just the silver cord. The hood took some planning and designing. I could see what I wanted, but for some reason I couldn't get it on the tissue paper. Then one night it just happened. I love when it works like that. I made the point of the hood nice and long so that it could drape over to the front. The two pink tassels at the point finish it off nicely.
      Now it was time for the accessories. I had so many ideas swimming in my head. But, I knew I needed to stop at some point as everything I added was another expense. I had to remember that this needed to make a profit. As creative people we tend to forget that this is a business and we are suppose to make money. The garland he holds is very simple with just some dried baby's breath and a few pink pearls scattered throughout. The basket he holds is lined with the pink velvet and filled with a teddy bear, a red wire bicycle, a wooden drum and a trimmed tree. I trimmed the tree to match the outfit with the silver thread, the pink pearls and the satin bows. I attached the accessories with 1/4 inch elastic wrapped around his wrists.
      He is fabulous and my client fell in love with him. Yes, he took more time than he should. But he was so much fun to do. In fact I think I might make a few for Christmas presents this year. Or maybe even a few to sell. In retrospect, designing as you go along isn't as productive in a business sense. You should have a plan and stick to it. But, being creative is what I love and sometimes I am willing to sacrifice for the results. I guess I will never get rich this way. Although I can say that if I do make some to sell, I will be sure to make a profit. If anyone is interested in having one custom made, I would be happy to hear from you. Just email me at and we can discuss the details.

Wishing you a fabulous day


  1. I agree he is fabulous and who would'nt fall in love with him

    1. Thank you Cheeky Rose. I truly did fall in love with him. And I am looking forward to making another.