I can finally post about the Santa I made for my dear friend. Prepare yourselves for oodles of pics.
I used the McCalls 8439 pattern but with some alterations (you didn’t think I’d slavishly follow any pattern or instruction, did you?)
I also sculpted the head, because one just can’t buy Santa heads in Britain. I’m very very glad I made the Santa entirely myself, because this way he has so much more personality.
First off, I made Santa’s cassock out of Russian Orthodox brocade sample pieces. Patchworked and then machine-quilted with gold.
I made the coat and hat out of dark red cotton velvet. I also decided to line the coat (but not the sleeves) which makes it look so much nicer.
The fur trim is real mink, which was selvedged from an old fur coat 20 or so years ago, which means the pieces were probably 40-50 years old. I have no problem using vintage fur, on the contrary.
Of course, then came the sculpting of the head and I’m really not good at thinking 3D and creating. So I got an Easter egg for Christmas.
And used air drying paper clay for the sculpting – with a skull model on my desk and a Santa face pic on the screen. Well … let’s just say that I am very glad Santa has long white hair and a bushy white beard…
Painting was a lot more fun, that way my dear wonky Santa was really getting some personality.
And look at the difference when hair and beard are on: so much better.
With the head finished I assembled the body (weighted with a piece of plywood, cut to size) and the head-on-a-stick and stuffed it quite tightly with fibre filling. By the way, I also added wire into the arms.
Adding the coat and glueing down his hat, I then made the sack he is carrying from brocade that was once a waistcoat, filled it lightly, and added berries, cones and fir. Everything got stitched into place, adding a corded belt and a bejewelled belt buckle, and here he is: Victorian Santa or Sankt Nikolaus.
Last but not least, here he is in his new home. I’m so very happy that my friend loves St Nikolaus as much as I loved making him.