Thursday, October 10, 2013

Witches Stitches - Standing Santa Doll

With the holidays right around the corner I thought I would share how to make a very easy standing Santa doll. This doll can be made in a short time and the results are great. The base I have used for this doll is a glass candle holder that I made look all grubby and old. I used a bought pattern. The pattern I used is for a doll but I will show you with a slight change, the doll becomes Santa. The pattern is from “Rags-n-Tags” and is the “Colonial Spool Doll”, this pattern can be found on the web site Pattern Mart. Throughout this post I will say “glue”, I use Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue in the gold bottle.
Step 1 – Get and grubby up a base to use. I went to the dollar store and bought a clear glass candle holder.  It stands about 3” tall. I spray panted it with matt black paint. When the paint was dry I then gave it a coat of matt clear spray. Before the clear coat dries sprinkle cinnamon onto it in a random way. When it dries tap the excess off and spray again with a matt clear coat. Let dry. You can use any base you choose. Just keep in mind it will have to be heavy enough to hold the doll upright. If the base is too light, it will tip.
Step 2 – Make the body of the doll according to the pattern. I use plain unbleached muslin for this. Sew and stuff. Leave the bottom open and now tea dye the body. You can do this by spraying the tea on or you can do this by painting the tea on. I use instant tea and I paint it on with a 2” brush. A cheap brush from the paint store will do fine. I use 4 table spoons of tea to one cup of water. This will make it dark. If you want it lighter use less tea, darker use more tea. I then hang the body of the doll on a line outside to dry. When it is dry take a piece of medium grade sandpaper and lightly sand the entire body. DO NOT SAND TO HARD. If you do you will sand a whole in the fabric. Sand lightly and if it is not sanded enough you can sand it again. Now your body is ready to put on the base.
Step 3 – On the open part of the body use a gathering stitch all around the opening. Now slide the body over the top part of your base and pull the thread tight. Now secure the thread and clip. Your body is now on the base and should stand straight. If you find your body does not stand straight and it feels as if it may need some more stuffing in it, cut a 3” slit in the back of the body about half way down. Now fill the body with more fiber fill until stuffed firmly and it stands well. Now stitch the opening closed. You can glue a fabric patch over the sewn slit just so it looks neat if you choose. Nobody will see, it will be under Santa’s robes.

Step 4 – Now it is time to make the face. I sculpted a nose and embroidered eyes and a mouth. To sculpt the nose lightly draw two lines on the face with a pencil. Do not use a pen. The ink can bleed on the fabric over time and you will be able to see it. Use a fine needle and thread closest to the color of your dolls face.  Knot your tread and come through the back of the head. Once again you will not be able to see this later. Bring your needle through on the drawn line. Now go under the fabric between the two lines and come up on the other line. Pull your thread slightly. Now go back the opposite way, keep going back and forth, after a few stitches you will see it start to pinch up and look like a nose. DO NOT pull your thread too tight. When you have gone the length of the nose, you can do the eyes and mouth. Just embroider a few stitches up and down for the eyes and a straight stitch for the mouth. He will look a little odd when you are done, don’t worry he will come together.
Step 5 – Now make his clothes. Use the shirt pattern to make his robes. Just make sure you make them longer and a bit wider than the pattern says. Hold up the shirt pattern piece to the doll and measure to the bottom of the base to see how much extra you have to add to the shirt pattern. When you lay out the shirt pattern just measure and add the extra. After you cut it out sew with right sides together.  Turn to the right side and iron. I used an old feed sack fabric I tea dyed . You can use whatever you choose. Cotton is always best. You can now add some trim down the front of his robe. I used “Warm and Natural” quilt batting and tea dyed it. Just cut a 2” strip and glue it to the front of his robes.

Step 6 – Making Santa’s hood. Cut a piece of paper the way it looks in the picture. The long straight side will be 6” and the width at the widest point will be 3”. Now cut out two pieces and sew together with right sides together along the curved edge. Turn and iron. Now you can add some trim on his hood if you choose.

Step 7 – Dress your Santa before you put his hair and beard on. Slide his robe over his head, take a gathering stitch around the neck and tighten and secure. 
Step 8 – If you were wondering where his arms are her is how we will make them. I used two 6” cinnamon sticks. You can use two 6” twigs if you want. Just place one in the sleeve, use a gathering stitch around the bottom of the sleeve. Just before you pull it tight place a dot of glue in the inside of the sleeve so the stick does not fall out later. Now pull thread tight and secure.
Step 9 – For his beard and hair I used wool roving. Got it straight from the sheep, well not my sheep but a sheep all the same. You can buy this online, I have seen it on both ebay and  etsy.  Make sure it says it  is cleaned before you buy it!! Put some glue on his forehead and down the side of his face and pull small pieces of wool off and build his beard, bottom to top. DO NOT PUT HAIR ON THE BACK OF HIS HEAD. Remember he will be wearing a hood and it will just be a waste of your wool. When you have it as you want it, take a small piece and roll it between your fingers so it is long and thin. Glue this on for his mustache.
Step10 – Put a bit of glue around the straight edge of his hood and glue it to his head. You may need to take a gathering stitch around the bottom back of the hood just to make it fit snug.
Step 11 – Give him a belt, I used some string, now give him whatever finishing touches you want. I used rusty metal stars and a feather tree pick for mine. You can use a pine cone and buttons, whatever you choose is fine. Your Santa is now done!! Enjoy!!
I have included a picture of the doll the pattern is meant to make just to show you how you can make a tiny change to a pattern and have a completely different doll.
If you have any questions, just give me a shout. Thanks for reading my post, Faith