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How to Make an Old World Santa

Many people like to adapt the style and color of their Christmas decorations to the décor of their home. That means that, in some instances, the traditional red and white Santa simply will not fit in. An option in such an instance would be to turn to an Old World Santa design, complete with flowing robes in different colors and styles.

Things You'll Need:

  • Sewing Machine
  • Straight Pins
  • Needle And Thread
  • Pattern
  • Glue Sticks
  • Christmas Decorations
  • Glue Gun
  • Porcelain Or Plastic Santa Doll
  • Fabric
  • Trim (Fur And Any Other To Be Used)

Decide on the colors and types of fabric. A typical version will have a gown from one type of fabric and an overcoat from another, along with a hat of some kind.

Lay out the pattern that came with the purchased doll or a separate one from Simplicity, Butterick or McCalls on the fabric as outlined in the instructions. Cut out all of the pieces needed to put the outfit together.

Begin with the gown. Place the right sides of the back and front together. Using the sewing machine, sew the front and back shoulder seams followed by the side seams. Using a needle and thread, hand-sew the arm holes and back closure under with a blind stitch so that the fabric ends will not fray.

Place the ride sides of the hat fabric together and seam shut. Turn the hat right side out. Trim the brim of the hat with the appropriate fur trim.

Sew a running stitch at the top curve of each sleeve in order to gather them slightly so they will fit correctly between the front and back shoulder part of the Santa coat. Turn the hem of the sleeve under and secure with a blind stitch or trim it with fur or any other trim desired. Check the sleeve’s length against the doll arm to make certain that the sleeve falls about mid-hand, making any adjustments necessary.

Place the front and back of the Santa coat together with the right sides facing one another. Sew each shoulder seam closed across the top. Pin the prepared sleeves into place following pattern instructions. Sew each sleeve and side of the coat shut.

Trim the Santa coat with fur and/or any other trim chosen all the way around the collar, front, back and bottom so that there are no raw edges left showing on the robe.

Dress the Santa in the gown, coat and hat. If necessary, temporarily stitch everything into place so that nothing shifts.

Add any additional Christmas decorations to the Santa to finish it off. For example, throw a bag full of miniature toys over his shoulders. Place a wreath, a miniature Christmas tree or walking stick into his hand, or add anything else desired.


Fabric choices for Old World Santas typically include rich velvets, lush satins and silks, metallic lames, beautiful plaids and more. Most Santa dolls come with complete beards and hair, boots and a pattern for clothing. They can be purchased as most arts and crafts stores like Michaels or Hobby Lobby (see Resources below). Fur is most commonly used to trim out Old World Santas; however, braids and other metallic trim can also work well. Don't be afraid to use more than one type of trim. Many of these types of dolls are highly elaborate. Typically the inner gown of an Old World Santa is made from material like satin, silk or lame. The outer coat of an Old World Santa is typically made from brocade, jaquard or embroidered fabric that is heavier and has more body. More rustic Old World Santas are even made from burlap, muslin, or other sturdy organic materials. Place a miniature teddy bear in Santa's arm or a beautiful dove on the top of his hand. Decorate the hat with a sprig of holly or mistletoe. Add beautiful buttons or jewels to the front of the outer coat to give it more detail.

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