If you’re a quilter like I am (when I can get a few moments away from my other projects, that is), then you are probably familiar with the tee shirts depicting a large pile of folded fabric and the initials FART across the top. They stand for Fabric Acquisition Road Trip. In recent years, quilting has taken off again as a hobby and so has the “shop hop” or “FART” as individual quilt shops get together and offer specific parts to a collaborative project and freebies in an attempt to drum up foot traffic. It works so well that its part of every quilt shop’s marketing plan.

When I travel, I make it a point to go to every quilt shop in the area. I always find something interesting whether it’s a local themed print (like turtles sunning on the beach in Hawaii, orcas swimming with their babies in Seattle, or barnyard animals doing yoga in Wisconsin) or a really cool Christmas print.

If you follow my Facebook pages (The Singing Seamstress –Houston and The Singing Seamstress LOVES Santa), you know I like to make all my Santa suits unique. A lot of what contributes to this are the details–interesting buttons on shirts and vests, distinctive trim and embroidery, and different prints for all parts of the suit.

In my travels, I’ve come across a few interesting quilt shops. One of these is The Sewing Basket in Prosser, WA (www.prossersewingbasket.com). They have a HUGE Christmas fabric section year round . . . AND it also happens to be the next town over from where my mom lives.

It’s always an adventure when I mix business and pleasure on these trips. Mom tends to do her own shopping, while I attempt to video call my clients in the spotty Wi-Fi of the old house and detached garage that functions as the shop. That’s all part of the fun! I think I amuse the owner and her employees as my use for her materials is definitely outside the norm. That and I usually spend over $1,000 adding to my stash.

This year, I had to divide and conquer. I visited the shop over several days to accommodate the number of clients and even met one of the local Santas there. This local Santa brought his wife (still trying to talk her into being Mrs. Claus) and his daughter, who very proudly and precociously introduced herself as “Elf Pearl.” All four of us helped Santa decide on his vest and shirt fabrics, and we even got both employees to help hunt down the perfect candy cane print.

A few years ago, I attended my cousin’s wedding in Wisconsin. While there, I also went looking for materials. I figured there would be plenty of quilt shops in the Midwest, and they certainly didn’t disappoint. In addition to finding all sorts of Christmas fabrics to add to my stash, there were all kinds of fun farm themed prints, including the aforementioned barnyard animals doing yoga. The hubster just had to have this made into a shirt, and it’s still one of his favorites.

Another memorable shop I found was In Ketchikan, AK, called Whales Tale Quilt Shop (https://whalestailquiltshop.com). Mom and I found this one while on a cruise to Alaska. The shop in Ketchikan was interesting in that the GPS showed it as being in the water. It wasn’t until we found the shop that we understood; it was on a pier OVER the water! It is a tiny shop but stuffed full of native prints, Tlingit glyphs, and local fauna. I didn’t find anything for Santa, but I did bring home many prints for the camp shirts the hubster loves to wear and fabric enough to make myself a quilt. Mom and I will be going again next summer, we’re taking the hubster this time. I think I may need another suitcase for all the fabric he will find. LOL!

Traveling and meeting new folks and learning about new cultures is a ton of fun, especially the micro cultures we have here in the U.S. I love how the local quilt shops reflect those micro cultures and how their distinctiveness helps me add magic to my projects.

Until next time, dear readers. May your bobbins be full and your seams be straight!

What Christmas means to me

Like so many of us, I had a traumatic home environment when I was a child. My birth parents were divorced when I was very young, and the man my mother chose as her second husband was abusive in every way the DSM-V has a label for. Eleven months out of the year was an eggshell walk on razor blades that I do not ever care to repeat, but one month of the year was different. December was the warm, soft center of the universe to me.

Somehow, someway, the “stepfather-of-the-year“ faded into the background during December, and my siblings, my mother, and I came together as a united, loving whole. You see, there was this advent calendar that my mother made from a pattern in a Sunset magazine back when I was a baby. He always appeared December 1, hanging on the back of a door somewhere in the house. He was constructed out of felt, and he had 24 pockets in different bright colors on the front of his jacket. In each one of his pockets was a slip of paper, and on each one of those small pieces of paper, in my mother’s Palmer-method-perfect handwriting, was a task for the four of us to do together that day.

The tasks ran the gamut from making paper chains and other ornaments for the Christmas tree to baking Christmas cookies, setting up the manger scene by the fireplace, making birdfeeders to hang outside, cutting out snowflakes and taping them to the sliding glass door, recording cassette tapes to our grandparents where we read to them and sang Christmas carols to them, driving around the neighborhood looking at lights, and having my mother read How the Grinch Stole Christmas to us while enjoying hot cocoa. We also learned about our heritage. We celebrated Saint Nicholas Day and St. Lucia Day. We learned to roll lefse and make krumkakes– always accompanied by much swearing and burning of fingers from the krumkake iron.

It was 24 days of joy.

I hated Christmas Day. I know it’s Jesus’ birthday and “the reason for the season” (blah, blah blah), but I also knew that the next day everything would go back to what passed for normal at my house and the “stepfather-of-the-year” was definitely not very Christ-like.

As I grew older, I struggled with how to keep the spirit of Christmas alive year round. There were many Decembers that I was a complete Grinch. A lot of folks have issues with the holidays so I was in good company, but I still longed for the magic of those childhood Decembers.

Then, seven years ago, a theatre friend approached me and asked me to build him a Santa suit. He and it received such a good response that he introduced me to the regional Santa group, The Lone Star Santas. I started making suits for some of their members and got invited to be part of the largest group of Christmas performers on Facebook. I posted my work and continued to get more orders from all over the U.S. I think I have Santas in almost all 50 states now. With those orders came friendships, and with the friendships came the sharing of stories–the joy and the magic that the children of all ages felt when they saw “my” Santa and/or Mrs. Claus friend in something that I made.

I realized that I’d inadvertently stumbled onto how to keep the spirit of Christmas alive all year. You see, the majority of folks only get to see Santa and Mrs. Claus once a year. I get to see them all year round, and I have met some truly wonderful people with huge hearts and humble souls on this amazing journey. They remind me daily of the magic that surrounds us if only we remember to look and help perpetuate it. They remind me of what it is to be a child full of joy and wonder in the month of December again. And, for that, I am truly thankful.

Wishing you a December full of joy, dear reader, and a Happy New Year!


Something to Warm Your Heart on a Cold Day

If you’re local, you know that this morning we actually woke up for the first time since last year with frost on our windshields, frozen dew on our lawns, and a shiver in our bones. Winter finally came to Houston. If you’re NOT local, know that this is a rare event indeed, a literal cold splash in the face the inform us that the year is about over.

True, I started the day with a blanket to warm my body and a cup of hot cocoa to warm the insides, but something recently happened that actually warmed my soul. You see, I’m very happy having two main clienteles – brides and Santas – but rarely do the two mix. Until now.

One of my clients is a wonderful gentleman named Adam Sinclair-Greenwood, the official man behind the Robin Hood Experience in Nottingham, England. For years, he has played the leader of his Band of Merry Men at the Experience in the shadow of Nottingham Castle. He may not rob from the rich, but he’ll happily take people’s admission fees and give them an entertaining time they’ll never forget.

Well, back in 2009, Robin met his Maid Marian in the form of Sarah, whom he met in The Netherlands at Elf Fantasy Fair Haarzuilens. In 2018, she became the woman he was determined to marry, and they were happily betrothed. Unfortunately, Sarah was not allowed back into England, as she was originally from The Netherlands and had a US passport. Adam and Sarah – just like the lovers in the Robin Hood tales – decided it was worth it to face the obstacles and overcome them together.

The fairy tale wedding finally happened just last month. Adam flew out to The Netherlands and – with Sarah’s two daughters – celebrated his wedding to the love of his life. They livestreamed the ceremony so that family and friends all over the world could enjoy the nuptials.

So, what’s my part in this? Well, as the wedding date neared, Adam and Sarah contacted me and asked if I could create their wedding costumes that would befit the Lord of Locksley and his beautiful bride. While I’m always proud of my work, I was especially heartwarmed at the “Robin and Marian in a Winter Wonderland” motif. Subjectively, it was quite the experience to craft two custom-made outfits when both of the clients were in different parts of the world from each other and me. Objectively, they were one beautiful couple. I hesitate to say this because I obviously can’t do it for ALL my clients, but I did make sure my wedding gift was a little cash to help them defray the wedding and travel expenses.

The fairy tale, unfortunately, is not quite at its happy ending, however. Sarah needs a visa to get back into England so she can take up residence with her husband. Until then, her Robin will just have to keep catching a ferry back and forth until the bureaucracy is untangled.

They’ve set up a crowdsource account to help them with the accompanying costs, and are on the lookout for any attorneys with immigration experience to help them at a reduced or pro bono rate. To learn more about them and their story, check out this newspaper article:


It’s so rare that I get to be part of a real life happily ever after, and this is one time that will stick with me for many, many holidays to come. What about you? Do YOU have any special holiday wedding memories you want to share? Sound off in the comments below!

Until next time,


Memories of Jayne

In the bridal business, anniversaries tend to be growing days of celebration: the more anniversaries you celebrate, the deeper the bonds. However, there’s one type of anniversary that never gets enjoyable, and that is that of the death of a loved one.

This month marks the first anniversary of the passing of my mother-in-law, Jayne. Our first encounter was the stereotypical nerve-wracked affair – at least on my end – because I was fully aware that a) her son and I had only been dating for a short while, and b) she was extremely religious, the literal Preacher’s Wife.

I steeled myself for an Inquisition, only to be confronted with one of the most accepting, kindhearted, and loving people I had ever met. She was someone I could discuss and debate countless topics with, even the ‘taboo’ ones like transsexual rights and politics. Instead of taking a holier-than-thou stance that I’d convinced myself all religious people had, she presented a basic view that we’re all God’s children and are all worthy of acceptance and love.

Now, bear with me: she reminded me completely and utterly of Mrs. Claus, the unsung heroine of the man who gets all the good press. I absolutely love the concept of Santa Claus and his wife, which is one of the primary reasons I’m so passionate about that part of my business. This married couple is the embodiment of love and unconditional acceptance.

A particularly fond memory I have of her is the day when I took the opportunity to vent about my frustrations with marriage. Even the strongest granite has chips and flaws without crumbling the entire thing. When you share a house, a bed, finances, and emotions day after day, even a fairy tale wedding can turn into a pumpkin from time to time. I asked her if she ever felt like killing her husband Walter. Once again expecting the stereotypical ‘wifely duties’ religious response, Jayne floored me when she easily replied, “At least once a week.”

Without skipping a beat, she continued that she couldn’t imagine living a single moment without him. I smiled at her and said that I felt the same way about her son, and that I must be doing something right. After all, Jayne and her husband had been married for more than fifty years. We both laughed and then she hugged me. She gave great hugs.

I love to tell this story to my brides. Their wistful smiles let me know that they hope their own MILs are as awesome as Jayne was.

It’s a year after her passing now, and certainly things across the globe haven’t gotten any easier. Forced lockdowns may look great on paper, but there is definitely fallout from personalities in confined quarters. In this day and age of the craziness that goes on in all of our lives both personally as well as globally, I think about her a lot and how she would face it. She would accept everyone where they are and love everyone where they are. And she would definitely be one of the helpers.

I can only hope that I did her proud during the quarantine by making 2,100 (and counting!) masks for first responders.

As much as I love my husband, I miss his mother.

Until next time!


Taking a Leap

Welcome to a special day: LEAP DAY. This extra day in February that comes only once every four years (give or take) is considered extremely special in culture, superstition, legality, and literature – and stories such as The Pirates of Penzance would literally not be able to exist without it.

(Funny trivia that came up in my research: Superman’s birthday – but not Clark Kent’s – is officially considered to be February 29.)

When it comes to the legal system domestically and internationally, special rules apply: the recognition of adulthood (typically your 18th birthday) and driver’s license expirations occur either on subsequent February 28ths or March 1sts, depending on your country of residence.

What does Leap Day have to do with me? Well, weddings are a big part of my business, and believe it or not this day has special significance in some cultures, particularly across the pond in the United Kingdom and surrounding areas.

There’s a popular tradition known as Bachelor’s Day in some countries that allows – or outright encourages – a woman to propose marriage to a man on February 29. If the man refuses, he then is obliged to give the woman money or buy her a dress. In upper-class societies in Europe, if the man refuses marriage, he then must purchase 12 pairs of gloves for the woman, suggesting that the gloves are to hide the woman’s embarrassment of not having an engagement ring. In Ireland, the tradition is supposed to originate from a deal that Saint Bridget struck with Saint Patrick.

Meanwhile, a mere Mediterranean Ocean away, in Greece, it is considered unlucky to marry on a leap day. Personally, I think they need to get over this particular superstition: if makes it a lot easier on the man in the relationship to remember anniversaries. Genderist? Perhaps. But true? Absolutely.

Domestically, one town in particular has an interesting twist: in Aurora, Illinois, single women are deputized and may arrest single men, subject to a four-dollar fine, every February 29. To me, this is Sadie Hawkins run amok!

Why else is this day important to me? Because I’ve selected this leap year of 2020 to take a large leap of faith when it comes to my professional life and career. I’ve spent the past numerous months getting some business ducks in a row, and if you haven’t caught it yet, check out my completely redesigned website and upgraded services. When I first started, I wasn’t entirely clear in my head what I wanted to offer as the Singing Seamstress. In time, I learned there’s a danger in offering a little bit of everything – the phrase Jack of All Trades pops into mind. By tightening my service menu, I’m able to ensure more personalized detail to my clients in a more intimate setting. The last thing I want is anyone one hires to me to feel they’re in an assembly line, or merely a number in my appointment book.

So celebrate with me in raising a glass in celebration to this year so far – where, I’m so proud to announce, I’ve been named to The Knot’s Best of the Year for the third year in a row. As we slide into March and the upcoming spring and bridal season, I’d love to hear from you: What are YOUR leaps you’ll be taking this year?


Until next time!


Seeing Red (in the good way)

A few months ago, I talked about traditional wedding colors in other cultures. Now, with it being Valentine’s Day, I was inspired to pick one color – red – and give you my musings on it.

The relationship between crimson and love is age old for obvious reasons – the color signifies the color of the heart. And blood. Rubies (the ‘blood stones’) are the gem designated as talismans that promote love, lust, and fire. Early medieval paintings tended to depict Christ and the Virgin Mary as wearing red clothing to drive home the point of blood and sacrifice.

Outside of our own borders, red is considered a lucky color. Particularly in China; and – incidentally – we’re currently in the Chinese New Year season. For the Chinese, red is supposed to repel evil spirits and bad fortune. Interestingly, we in the West tend to use lots of reds in marketing and ad campaigns that cater to the Chinese, but a little study into the matter would let us know that’s considered bad taste. Red isn’t used every day by far in Chinese couture. I guess it would be akin to Chinese (or Russians or Lilliputians) basing their own perceptions of American fashion purely on the colors of red, white, and blue. Long story short? If you’re putting together an outfit of cultural significance, know that culture’s thoughts on colors.

The cliché of red clothing extends far back into time. Today, there is something actually called the ‘Red Dress Effect’ – a hotly debated postulation that people look more attractive or more sensual when wearing that color. Two opposing studies have clashed on the topic, leaving us with no real idea if it’s actually true or not. But – backed up by science or not – the cliché is still there: red dresses equal vamps. Some of the most iconic dresses in cinematic history have been red. Think of Marilyn Monroe in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face, Vivien Leigh in not one but two red dresses in Gone With the Wind (frankly, Scarlett…), Bridget Bardot in more than one movie… heck, even Jessica Rabbit. Red across the board, and all in sexpot roles.

Looking back through time, this ‘red equals sex’ probably first reared its ugly head in the Christian Bible – testaments both old and new. Sins were described as ‘scarlet’ in the OT book of Isaiah. Meanwhile, in the last few pages of the NT, the book of Revelation described the Antichrist as a red monster being ridden by a women dressed in scarlet. The woman being – you guessed it – the Whore of Babylon. For some reason, in my humble opinion, way back in the day, red got a raw deal.

Where does that leave us today? To me, red is a thrilling color. It represents vitality, and spirit, and passion… and Santa. Sure, crimson isn’t for every occasion or every person, but I personally find it an amazing color to work with, whether I’m assisting someone in their cosplay ventures, cultural wedding couture, or Santa wishes.

All that being said, I want to wish you all a happy Valentine’s Day. (And, to further drive home the themes of love and blood and sacrifice during this day, read about what eventually happened to the poor guy this day is named after!) I think I may start a theme, and touch on the color green next month… and maybe flag colors for July and orange for October and…

Well, that’s enough from me for now… what are YOUR thoughts on red?

Until next time!


2019 – The Year in Review

I can’t believe another year has come and is nearly gone. We’re facing the return of the Roaring ‘20s, and I for one can’t be more excited at what’s around the corner for me, personally and professionally.

It cannot be denied that 2019 capped off a decade of highs and a couple of lows, but that’s par for the course for a small business owner, especially one whose livelihood depends on customer satisfaction even when it’s a fact that some customers are never satisfied. However, it equally can’t be denied that no one ever held a gun to my entrepreneurial head. I do what I do for love. Love and – you know – the occasional paycheck.

So, without too much further ado, allow me to share with you some of the highlights and lowlights of 2019:

Uncle Santa Wants You! – It may seem small in the grand scheme of things, but I was so proud to create my first Civil War Santa costume. A little history: in 1863, President Lincoln thought it would be a good idea to create a Santa who had the best interests of the Union at heart – if Santa is for us, who can be against us, right? – and

Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

that year cartoonist Thomas Nast came up with a visual. Bedecked in red, white, and blue stars and stripes, this figure inspired countless soldiers during the holiday season to end the war in their favor. Now, we’ve all heard of Civil War enactors, but this was the first time I’d ever encountered a Civil War SANTA enactor. Which made me very glad to be a part of history!

Family (Christmas) Tree – In March, I had the honor of attending the annual Santa Family Reunion in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Hundreds of Santas and Mrs. Clauses hit the Gatlinburg Convention Center and streets for a yearly convention that fills the town with love and laughter. It was more than me just being there as a vendor; I found a whole new family and can’t wait to go back in ’20!

You Can’t Make Everyone Happy All of the Time – This was an admittedly low point in the year. On two occasions, I received word of unhappy customers. Now, I know that’s part and parcel of doing business, but I eventually realized that there exists in this world people who will just never be satisfied. Maybe they’re professional complainers. Maybe they have hopped on the train of thought that if they complain loudly enough they’ll get their goods/services/meals/projects at a steeply discounted rate or even free. I have to thank my business coach for ensuring that I had my terms and conditions of service prominently displayed and also made as part of my contracts with customers. As a result, even the Better Business Bureau agreed with my side and dropped the claims against me. But I have to admit it still stung and made me seriously consider my continuation as the Singing Seamstress.

Tying the Knot – And this is the ‘yang’ to the previous paragraph’s ‘yin’ – For the second year in a row, I was named to Knot’s “Best of Weddings.” This is an honor that no one’s personal agenda can take away from me. With more than a hundred 5-star ratings on The Knot – inarguably the Internet’s premier central hub for weddings and brides – I was galvanized and inspired to keep up the hard work and do everything in my power to earn a THIRD award in a row in 2020. I’ll keep you posted!

The Faces Behind the Masks – If you’ve been keeping up with my blog over the past few months, you’ll know I had the joy of signing contracts with two amazing business entities to provide costumes for their mascots. The Houston Texans’ mascot – Toro the bull – has worn several of my creations (meaning that when he’s televised on a game, I’ve got MILLIONS of people checking out my work!) and I even got to help brighten the life of his bride. The other mascot I’m not at liberty to discuss (corporate rules), but if you had found yourself on the road and pulling into a particular large convenience store because you were craving some kind of beaver-type snack, you might have seen one of thirteen costumes I created for this company. Nameless or not, it was an honor and a pleasure (and a lot of hard work on limited time!) to craft these costumes.

Lone Star Roundup – Grapevine, Texas was one of my destinations of choice this year when I attended theLone Star Roundup, an annual event that includes a fashion show; here are several of my costumes being featured in the show. If you haven’t heard of Lone Star Santas, you need to check them out here!

Reaching Out – I think, in closing, that the biggest highlight of 2019 was reaching so many of you. Your word of mouth has done wonders for my business, and I’ve loved posting blogs and memes and photos and observations and jokes and everything else I can think of to entertain, inform, and inspire you. And your responses have inspired me. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for your support and patronage, and I’m SO looking forward to stepping into the Roaring ‘20s with you.

Now, it’s YOUR turn… what are some of YOUR highlights of 2019??

Until next time!



You’ll have to pardon the puns, but I’m so excited that I’m bursting at the seams. I’m just now sewing up an admittedly formidable task that’s been leaving me in stitches.

Why am I so excited? Because it appears that my small business is evolving into the next step. For years, I’ve worked on costumes for Santas. I’ve relatively recently been working on more – shall we say – ‘corporate’ gigs (like my work for Toro, the official mascot of the Houston Texans NFL team). But now, I’ve gotten to merge the two!

A little history. A few years back, I was commissioned to create an upscale Santa costume for a wonderful man named Steve Fletcher, who himself was chosen to be the Guest Santa of Honor at the National Mall Tree Lighting Ceremony in Washington DC.

I can’t tell you how proud I was to craft a costume seen by millions of children who thought Steve was the real deal. It was important for me to get the costume JUST RIGHT, as we all know that TV is shot in high-definition now and I didn’t want a thread out of place. I’m proud of my work, and I’m proud of Steve for wearing it so well.

Also in the recent past, I was commissioned to design and create the costume for the official Santa Claus who was to be showcased in the annual H-E-B Thanksgiving Day Parade in Houston. Another fine man, Mel Wallace, was selected to be the wearer of said costume. While the scale of this event was more city-level than national, I am no less proud of my work.

Now, both of these events were obviously designed for one-off events. But a few months back I received a request that brought a lot of delight – as well as a lot of hard work – into my life. I was sworn to secrecy for obvious reasons, because the company that hired me wanted to lovingly surprise its countless customers. But now that the job is done, I can tell you about it.

I was commissioned by a certain statewide large-scale convenience store/rest stop corporation to provide thirteen(!!) Santa Costumes for their area mascots! Now, unfortunately I can’t name any names, but I CAN say that, if you head out of Houston on pretty much any freeway, sooner or later you’ll come across one of these stores; they have plenty of billboards to tell you you’re getting close.

I can admit, it was no easy feat providing a costume that matched the exacting standards of both this magnificent (and unnamed) business and myself, and then repeating that process identically an additional dozen times. Not only was the look, quality, and consistency forefront in my mind, but also the comfort for the wearers of these costumes. I have to admit, my work with Toro helped me understand the trials and tribulations of men and women who have to wear heavy costumes for hours on end.

Despite the time and energy involved, it was SO worth it! I’m so proud and honored that such a community-based, statewide organization would trust me with providing the proper holiday look to represent it and its mascots. I hope… no, I KNOW that I’ve done them proud.

So… if you find yourself on a long-distance road trip this holiday season and stumble across a large, standalone convenience store/gas station, take a chance and pull in. And if you HAPPEN to see a mascot in a custom-made Santa costume, why not take a selfie with him/her and send it to me?


Until next time!


A Bloggin’ from Saint Nick

‘Twas the month before Christmas, and all through the blogosphere, not a creature was writing, so I thought I’d post something here.

If you were expecting a post from Heather, I’m glad to disappoint you. Oh, she’ll be back soon enough; she’s been a GOOD GIRL this year working on brightening the lives of many clients, but she’s against the clock at the moment, so I thought I’d post in her place. Allow me to introduce myself:

It’s your old pal, Santa Claus. That’s right; Kris Kringle himself. Father Christmas, Père Noël, Saint Nicolas, Dedt Moroz, Hoteiosho… I have many names, and nearly as many faces. And I have to say that Heather has done an awesome job at bringing some of those faces – and costumes – to life for me, as well as many of my ‘helpers’ who work the crowds while I work away at the North Pole. Here are some examples:

Now, THIS is Heather’s first attempt to capture my modern day image. Did you know that the stereotypical look of Santa came from a 1933 Coca-Cola advertising campaign? I mean, sure, cartoonist Thomas Nast got most of that look down in the 1870s, but the fine folks at Coke made me the man I am today to American children. Too bad the milk industry wasn’t quicker on signing me on as the Official Milk Spokesman!

If you go back to my earlier roots, I looked a lot different than what I do today. In the 1820s, Clement Moore wrote about me in his famous poem that we all know and that I sort-of quoted up top. But he imagined me as a teeny-tiny guy with reindeer the size of wiener dogs. Personally, I think it was just a writer’s shortcut so he wouldn’t have to explain how I make it down chimneys. However, in the Renaissance period, I was larger than life. Here, Heather crafted a beautiful outfit for me that was quite stylish in the 1400s.

In Nordic countries, people’s views of me are all over the map. In Norway in particular, I’m called Julinessen, and I catch a lucky break because people do their gift-swapping on the night before, so I can cross them off my travel list early. I also have little gnomes called Nisse to help me. Here’s a shot of me and one of my adorable helpers in beautiful Heather-crafted costumes.


As popular as Charles Dickens is with Christmas lovers, I’m nowhere to be found in his Scrooge story. But rest assured I was working behind the scenes to bring old Ebenezer to an epiphany. Every year, that’s celebrated in Galveston at a huge festival where I get to work on my Texas tan as I wear Heather’s official Dickens on the Strand Santa costume.


Speaking of Texas, there’s an awesome artist named Jack Sorenson who painted a cowboy version of myself. I loved it so much that I asked Heather to recreate his fashion. I think she did a purty durned-tootin’ job.

Even though I bring tons of toys to millions of children each year, I also love to help other causes the rest of the year. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and I’m passionate about helping raise that awareness. People like to wear pink ribbons to commemorate the month, but you KNOW I like to take it a step further, so I asked Heather to whip me up a whole costume in pink. Let me take this opportunity to encourage ALL men and women to do what it takes to catch this horrible disease early.


Movies about me are a great way to spread the holiday spirit. But it seems as if each moviemaker has a different idea about how I should look! Luckily for me, Heather is on the case and has crafted a movie-Santa look for every occasion. Here are some shots of me in costumes inspired by movies like Tim Allen’s The Santa Clause, Frozen, Rise of the Guardians, and Kurt Russell’s The Christmas Chronicles. What’s YOUR favorite movie featuring me??


Finally, I’m a big fan of the concept of “an oldie but a goodie.” Sure, I may look nothing like I did back in 280 AD in Lycia (which is nowadays somewhere in Turkey), but I’m very comfortable in my ‘traditional’ garb. Here are a final couple of shots of costumes that Heather put together for me.

I love that Heather is so busy each year working on costumes for my helpers. Be sure to book her early for YOUR Santa or Mrs. Claus costume so you can be featured next year around this time!

Ho ho ho!


Where Do I Begin…?

I’m rapidly approaching my fourth ‘official’ anniversary of being The Singing Seamstress; the journey has been longer because the shift from amateur to professional took some time leading up to the official naming. Time flies when you’re having fun, right? While I’ve been fascinated by sewing and fabrics and design and creation pretty much my whole life, there was one particular moment when I decided to turn seamstressing from a hobby to a profession. Like any superhero, I have an origin story. Not that I’m saying I’m a superhero. I’m merely saying that Wonder Woman and I have never been in the same room together at the same time, and we’ll leave it at that.

The first Santa costume photo that I posted way back in 2016!

I was actually in the medical field a few years ago, and in honesty I’d had I had no designs on getting into bridal alterations. But the fates intervened and I received a frantic call from a theatre friend saying that one of her best friends was in a pickle. She begged me for my help, and who was I to turn down a friend’s friend in distress?

It turns out the aforementioned friend was the father of a bride, the wedding was two weeks away, and the person they had originally hired to do the alterations (a biddy from their church) didn’t do a good job on the gown and – furthermore – was not returning phone calls. Sight unseen, I offered my own assistance.

The dress turned out to be a strapless mermaid; one of the most difficult fashions to alter well. To this day… well, I can’t say I HATE a particular style to alter, but I CAN say this style is near the bottom of my list. Additionally, they’re specifically designed for a particular body type, and I’ve lost track of the times I’ve tried to convince a bride of the ‘not particular body type’ to go with another style and they refuse, only to wonder why they don’t look like they thought they would in it. But that’s another blog entry.

The original, disappeared seamstress had only taken the dress in at the very top. She had not extended her seams down the entire length of the dress, which is a vital component to any alterations to it. She also hadn’t bustled it, which, again, had to be done for this fashion. No wonder the bride and her dad were ready to have father/daughter matching heart attacks.

I will admit that my hands shook the entire time I was working on it. I was convinced I had bitten off more than I could chew, and I just KNEW I was going to only further disappoint the bride. But halfway through the project – and there’s no way to say this without sounding all Kung Fu – something happened, and my hands steadied and my nerves calmed. A sort of sereneness washed over me and with each stitch I grew more confident in my abilities. In the past, I can created and altered dozens – if not hundreds – of everyday clothes and theatrical costumes. In the end, this was no different, except for the pressure I had put on myself.

In any event, I finished the dress and promptly proceeded to drink an entire bottle of wine upon its completion. It was a sort of celebration, because I had survived the ordeal unscathed. Additionally, the realtered gown looked absolutely stunning on the beautiful bride, and I can still remember the tears in her dad’s eyes when he saw his ‘little girl’ all grown up and wearing white.

I figured – and rather naively so from today’s perspective – that this was probably as bad as it could get, so I decided to ditch my corporate position and try out professional seamstressing for a living. It took the largest leap of faith I ever had to take, and those early days were filled with hit-and-miss. But word of mouth spread, and my work began to speak for itself, and I realized the pros definitely outweighed the cons. So here I am to stay.

Now… tell me YOUR origin story!

Until next time!