Friday, December 15, 2017

Handmade Christmas: Making Stockings

I finally bit the bullet and sewed up some Christmas stockings for our family. I bought this fabric close to 10 years ago, and really, I'm glad I didn't get around to it until now, because there were only two of us back then so I'd have been making more now anyway.

front

My biggest hang up with making the stockings was that every template I came across just seemed so small. We've been using some cute, cheap, but too small stockings from Walmart for the last few years, and I hate having to cram everything into a stocking that's so tiny. Our stockings always get filled with at least one package of socks for each family member, and they are soooooo difficult to fit in most stockings.

I liked the general shape and style of the stockings in the Fabric Worm tutorial, but it was still a bit small.

I ended up printing out the Fabric Worm template, and I did some slashing and spreading, and came up with this. I cut vertically down the leg of the stocking, then horizontally across the middle of the leg, and again horizontally across the middle of the foot. I laid out the pieces on a big piece of craft paper (from an ikea roll) and taped them down in an expanded fashion.

back

I widened the leg piece by 2.5" (so I total of 5" once it's assembled) and I added about an inch everywhere else. I had to re-draw the heel and toe to make things line up and still look 'right'.
The cuff had to be recalculated too, since I added width, so I ended up cutting the cuff piece at 21.5" x 9", the batting for the cuff at 21.5" x 4.5, and that worked out well.

I think I'd cut the cuff at 21" wide next time, maybe 21.25", since the cuff seemed a little bit too long to fit inside the stocking when attaching it to the main part of the stocking. Having that fold-over cuff makes sewing very forgiving though, so you really can't tell.

I also added a fabric hanging loop, and cut a piece that was 6" x 3", and folded the sides into the middle (hotdog style) and then folded them together again (hotdog style), which left me with a strip that was 6" x .75". I opted to sew a line of stitches down the open edge to keep things together.

chain piecing fabric hanging loops

When it came to attaching the loop to the stocking, I didn't want to just sew it along with the cuff, so I actually basted it in place on the stocking first, then pinned the cuff on and sewed everything up with my walking foot. I figured this would not only secure its placement, but also make it a little more sturdy.

fabric hanging loop "basted" to the inside of the stocking

I made ample use of my pinking shears as I sewed up the pieces of the stocking, which helped reduce bulk and let everything lay properly.

Around the top of the stocking where the cuff is sewn to the main body of the stocking is currently unfinished, and since I don't plan on washing these stockings (famous last words, I know) I might just leave it unfinished. If I'm feeling particularly lacking in things to do at some point, I might run that seam allowance through the serger just to finished that one seam off.

lining/hanging loop close-up
I followed all of the directions for the Fabric Worm tutorial, except where noted here. My results look so (surprisingly to me) professional! I'm really happy with the finished stockings and I look forward to using them for many years to come.