Oh how I adore Christmas! My sewing room has been awash with festive projects including a Christmas Quilt, which is coming up soon - but as I had so many scraps littering the floor, I got completely distracted from everything, making this little chap!
I mean, seriously....isn't he just darling?!?!?! In fact, this statement would apply to just about anything in the book that he came from - the latest book from Tilda's Tone Finnanger, 'Sewing by Heart'. I think the only way to describe it is 'divine'. Glorious photographs of beautiful hand made things with a Scandinavian flavour - it is an all year around book, with projects for every season.
I should mention that I approached this project with some trepidation. I don't really make dolls or stuffed toys and I am rubbish at dressmaking so I wasn't really sure if he would turn out ok. Worst case though, I figured his beard would disguise all. The instructions in the book are very clear and easy to follow, which does make things go along nicely. The Santa doll itself does look a little odd when you are assembling him - he is all body with spindly legs and arms and these are difficult to stuff as they are narrow. I had a bit of a mishap when the knitting needle that I was using to push the stuffing in with, tore through my fabric. I wasn't sure what to do, short of remaking them, but then I remembered that I had kept some of those jingle bell collars from the Lindt chocolate easter bunnies, so I made a cuff to patch the hole. It actually worked brilliantly because the ribbons are sort of pleated and it looked rather like a knitted boot cuff. Of course I had to make one for the other leg too, but now he makes a lovely sound if you pick him up and it all adds to his charm.
The beard was rather fun to make and I followed the book's recommendations to hand quilt it. I found that if I pulled the thread a bit tighter than normal it gave a sort of crinkled effect and a rather nice form to shape. Once this and the hat were sewn on, I was smitten.
Sewing the patchwork jacket together proved rather more of a challenge for me. Not the patchwork bit...or the quilting bit...but setting in the sleeves. I would say that my dressmaking skills are bordering on unimpressive at best and this was the hardest challenge of the whole project. In the end though, his little quilted jacket is good enough and I deviated from the book a little in added the lace and ribbon to the bottom rather than the scalloped edge in the instructions.
I know he is not perfect, but he is a charming addition to our household and very soon will be surrounded by all sorts of delicious christmas decorations. For now though, he will just keep me company in the sewing room and gently nudge me to get on with all the other projects that are lining up on my sewing table.
I am off to Harrogate next week, to the Knitting & Stitching Show, so am busy making up goodies - do come and say hello if you there - My stand number is C355.
Bye for now,