Felt Santa Claus - Then and Now

It seems only fitting I take a trip down memory lane to introduce my new Santa Doll Pattern. When I was eight years old, my grandmother traveled from Louisiana to the northeast for a summer visit. We took a trip to John Wanamaker's Department Store in Philadelphia. My older sister and I were each treated to Bucilla Sewing Kits as a special gift.

Simone's (my sister) kit was for a stuffed skunk made of soft black fleece. It came with a tiny bottle of perfume which hung on a bright pink ribbon around the skunk's neck when she was finished. I was fascinated with this little treasure and a bit jealous when we discovered it. I believe her skunk is the only thing Simone ever made with a needle and thread. I don't think she has it any more :(  

My kit was for a Santa Claus doll and his suit was made of felt! Fifty-four years later I still have him :) 

With my mother's help, I sewed my kit together that summer. The beard was the most difficult part. It had two layers and the yarn strands were woven with thread to keep them close together. When the holidays approached, my Santa doll was proudly displayed on top of the upright piano in the living room. Every year at Christmas, this was his spot in my parent's home. Until I took him.

As a child I embraced the art of sewing and developed a genuine love for Santa Claus. I have made many since that summer my grandmother came to visit. There are a few similarities between my first Santa doll and my new pattern. The suits are made of red felt trimmed with white fur; the boots are black. Most important, however -  my new doll pattern has a double beard!

I have shared fond memories of sewing with my mother here on my blog in Pieces of the Past. I also post unfinished projects to motivate me to finish them. If you look closely at my old Santa Doll's face, you will see a straight pin holding one of his eyes in place. For whatever reason, I never stitched this eye. Over the years the pin became a cherished focal point of my holiday decoration. This is one project I will never finish :)

Happy Christmas Memories,