Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Santa has more than sleeves!

I'm sorry I didn't get to do more progress shots - camera was in a different location to most of the final construction, with a flat battery! I finished Santa at 4.30am on Wednesday morning. It's been years since I pulled an overnighter like that, and I find it very productive. A bit tough the next day, mind you!
So, here he is, on a skinny mannequin that doesn't have the robustness of a Santa, and his belt sitting too low as a result. Makes him look a bit like a monk. I have asked for proper photos of Himself when it arrives at its destination.
 Back and Front shots. Odd closed front collar turns into a hood at the back. All designed to hide the t-shirt he will probably be wearing underneath.
 Internal view of sleeve. I bound all the seams with satin bias binding instead of lining it - the less layers the better in a kiwi summer!
 The fur hem I wanted extra wide, but I have found sewing through two layers of fur quite ...trying. So, I faced it with the brocade. I got all the fur trims out of 1m of 170cm wide fur. It seemed an enormous piece, but it doesn't look like it on the final garment does it!
 Santa wears a hoodie. He is such a dude.
 World's most fabulous belt buckle, gifted from a friend who has a WHOLE/ COLLECTION OF THEM!! He totally saved my sanity as it was the one bit I really was lost about.
Santa's head wreath, constructed by the Embroidenator, who is a florist among her other amazing abilities. How much do we love her?!?!?!
And thusly, we are done. All packed into a box with a packet of eyelets and a clothing brush. What is that for? Well...
I mislaid the balance of the overdyed brocade after cutting out the sleeves. After establishing it was neither at home, the shop nor in the car, a horrible suspicion came over me that maybe I had dropped it en route. I went outsdie to check and found this:
Exhibit one: still stuck to the side of the building, a tell tale piece of brocade. I could have wept. Luckily it was not hard to get more and dye it, but it all takes time and money we don't have. I must learn not to carry things loose in my arms when we live in such a windy city...

FUR is HORRIBLE to work with. I swear I ended up sitting there with the vacuum running in one hand and the scissors in the other, trimming out the seam allowances and sucking up the fluff. This after nearly choking on furballs so many times. And of course there are still cut bits caught in the seams still shedding themselves. It's like owning a persian cat!! I've since given all my work areas a good hoovering. Thank goodness the fur has left the building ;-)
I broke several needles in the process too, so many layers to sew through in places. It was heavy and hard to work with, and very hot on my lap as I did lots of hand sewing (all the internal binding was slip stitched down) which in early Sumer is no joke. So it was awesome working overnight when it was cooler!
But it looks just how I imagined and I think it will be well received.

So, that's Santa. Here are some pics from the shop to prove that other Christmas things are happening!
 The cabinet of fabric. It is on loan from another shop, and I LOVE it so much. And of course it is full of fabric, and bobble trim and other delicious things so, yay!
 Our Christmas window. Lot of things to use to make other things. Polystyrene shapes are v. popular!
 It's not all about Christmas, the little window celebrates our recent legalisation of gay marriage. Our two lovely brides and their rainbow cake brighten it all up. Now whenever we get a bride or groom in the store, we make no assumptions about the gender of their intended, and two women shopping for wedding stuff are not necessarily a bride and bridesmaid. I love it, it seems right. It IS right.  Oops, I just noticed you can see my reflection!
 A sample wreath. I make lots of samples to give people ideas, and I hope this year to sell a few as we are running out of storage room for holding over til next year.
Another sample, a bit blurry this time. I really like this traditional look.
My fave wreath. It is just squares of jute floral wrap stuck into a polystyrene wreath with baubles added and a bow.

I really love Christmas time at the shop - I cant find the CDs I bought to replace the CDs I lost, so we're not yet playing much christmas music, but hopefully they will surface soon and then we'll have nailed it :)
SO how go your preps?


  1. Love that coat. Looks like something the real Santa would wear.

    1. AWw Beajay that is the best compliment you could have made me, thank you!

  2. WOW you're a star - that is a super santa jacket to be treasured for years! I love it - I love the fur, I love the gold trim, I love the brocade, I love the hoodie ....

  3. Dear Mrs. C.,
    Will the real Santa Claus step forth....and....ladies and gentlemen...he sports a Made Marion robe! Even his loyal elves applaud, for they didn't have to reckon with any furballs this year.

    Honestly, it's terrific, Mrs. C., regal but not off-putting, and taking into account your weather. (Care to trade for a few days?) Made Marion looks welcoming!

    We're readying, bit by bit. The first Christmas pud steams this evening, and tomorrow I wield a wafer iron to produce orange and rose wafers, both in preparation for Sunday's Christmas Afternoon Tea. Meanwhile, I work, tend children, and water the Christmas tree, which is thankfully a good drinker.



  4. Oh no! I think my comment got eaten up - that's the second time today using blogger :-(
    So I think I said...
    what an awesome Santa cloak - it looks warm, cosy & rather authentic (when compared to olde worlde victorian pics on christmas cards that is).
    Any chance it can be worn at other cold times of the year?!
    Wishing you & yours a splendid christmas Mrs C & hopefully a well deserved break.
    By the way - the jute wreath is the business - love it!

  5. This is spectacular, of course. What an incredible piece! Looks like something out of a folk illustration. Just so lush and opulent. Beautiful!