Happy 4th of July to all of us Americans!
I finished a new pattern I call "ISABELLA - A SANTOS CAGE DOLL"
She stands finished about 20 inches tall. The head & torso are 8 inches tall. Her body is all cloth. Her "dress" is sewn into the body pattern. The base/cage is made of wood. She has a simple & sweet face. And, like traditional Santos, instead of a wig, she has a plain fabric hair piece on her head (On wooden Santos, the figure's hair is painted on.)
This is a beginner pattern and very easy to do. And, unlike most of my patterns, the entire body is made of cotton fabrics. (I usually use a knit fabric, like deer suede for my dolls.)
For me, the real fun is embellishing and dressing the finished SANTOS. Here she is, all dressed up like the Saint she is:
I include instructions to make a crown out of lace, trim & paint. Plus, many other instructions & tips for embellishing your doll.
I've added more trim, a veil, a rosary, an embroidered "shawl" from a piece of beaded fabric, an old rhinestone necklace, and two skirts -- one of bridal lace and of one sheer organza with a beaded trim hem.
You can use anything to embellish your Santos with.
Here's another one I've started, using a dark gold colored top (haven't made a cage for her yet.) On this one, I haven't trimmed the neckline so you can see how easy it is to stitch together.
For some, the wooden cage might be a bit tricky to start, but if you use something to hold it up while gluing it together (like a can of spray paint), it's actually very easy. (This is all explained in the directions.)
Santos are popular now and used in home decorating. Modern Santos are usually aged to look vintage. You can age my patterned Santos with some paint or ink, or leave it clean. You can keep it religious looking, and add a crown or veil. Or, turn it into an angel and add wings & a halo. Or, decorate it with vintage & antique items (maybe you have some old jewelry belonging to a past family member?) I think it would make a lovely Christmas display.
Or, do something completely different -- what about a "steam-punk Santos"? You're limited only by your imagination.
A brief history: "SANTOS" means "Saint" in Spanish. The SANTOS figure was used in altars and represented different Saints in the Catholic religion. Santos were carved of wood and dates back to the 17th century. Some Santos were made with half a figure on top & a wooden "cage" from the hips down. These cages are frames for fabric skirts. These small figures were made for use in peoples' home altars.
You can find my SANTOS CAGE DOLL pattern here on my website. It costs $10 (payable through PayPal) and it's an e-pattern sent to you via email as a PDF for you to download and print.
Have fun (and stay cool)!