I am SO excited to be decorating for fall and Thanksgiving! It’s one of my favorite seasons and the house always seems so warm and inviting and filled with delicious smells. I’m definitely not skipping over that. I intend to get all the goodie out of it! But, (Yes. Yes, I did begin a sentence with a preposition. ) I also know that shrinking budgets and a calendar that continues to ZOOM forward like lightening, means we need to plan ahead for Christmas, right now. Planning ahead and spreading the expenses over the next several weeks, so we don’t overwhelm bank accounts and definitely don’t buy on credit, is going to be critical to a stress-free and enjoyable holiday. With that in mind, I have been working on some Christmas stockings, this week. We’re going to use them as part of a pre-Christmas surprise for a family who’s going through a really rough time, this year. They’re simple to make and you could easily make several in an afternoon. I finished three of them, yesterday, and decided to post a tutorial for you, so you can get started on your holiday decor or a gift or two, along with me.
- The first thing I did was grab some of my “Christmas-y fabrics”, meaning they were mostly red and green, not that they portrayed anything in a Christmas theme.
- I drew out a pattern on newspaper. After I finished it, I decided to make it a little longer, because I wanted to fold over a cuff at the top, thus the scribbled out line at the top. As you can see, you don’t have to have any major talent to do this — just some newsprint and a marker. Choose a size and shape that works for your own needs and adjust until it looks right. Be sure you allow at least 1/2 to 5/8 inch all the way around, for your seam allowance. I did 5/8 ’cause that’s just the way I roll.
- With the size I made, I was able to get six stocking cutouts (enough for 1 1/2 completed stockings) and plenty of embellishments from a yard of fabric. To cut out my stocking pieces, I folded my fabric in half, pinned the pattern to it and cut the stocking pieces two at a time.
- That way, I made sure to have matching fronts and backs for each stocking. Be sure to save the larger scraps of fabric, as you’re cutting. Many of them will be perfect for creating embellishments for your stockings, like buttons, bows or fabric flowers.
- For each stocking you make, you will need a stocking front and back, a lining front and back and one stocking piece cut-out from quilt batting. When it comes to sewing, the pinning and cutting is my least favorite part of the project, so I cut all my pieces for several stockings and got that out of the way. I’ll only walk you through construction of one of them, so you get the idea.
- Realistically, the batting COULD be optional, but I like the added dimension it gives to the stockings. If you don’t care about that, you could simply skip those steps. For each stocking I made, I used five pieces — two from matching fabric for the stocking, two from a contrasting fabric for the lining (This will turn down and become a cuff at the top of your finished stocking, so be sure that even though they contrast, they still coordinate, well.) and one piece cut from the quilt batting.
- I attached the quilt batting to the front piece of my stocking by pinning them together and then stitching through both pieces to make a few decorative top-stitches. In the case of the stocking pictured, above, I simply stitched curved lines to outline the toe and heel of the stocking. On another, I stitched along stripes printed on the fabric. You could just free-form a design or stitch in a specific shape, whatever decorative element strikes you.
- Next, take the “quilted” stocking front and pin it to the stocking back, right sides together, as pictured above.
- Start at one top corner or the other, stitching along the seam line (Again, I used 5/8 inch.) and stitching around to the opposite top corner, leaving the top edge open.
- I like to zigzag my seam allowances to help prevent raveling, even though these won’t likely end up in a washing machine.
- Stitch the two lining pieces together, in the same way, right sides together.
- Turn the completed lining right side out. Then insert it into the wrong-side out stocking. Just like most sewing, you want right sides together.
- Be sure that the lining is laying flat, that the toe lining is in the toe of the stocking, not the heel and that the seams of the lining and stocking match up. Look at the lower left-hand picture above. See how the seams line up? Pin the stocking and lining together matching those seams on both sides of the stocking and then pinning around the top edge.
- You’re going to leave a small opening unstitched in the top edge of your stocking, so you have a way to turn it right-side out when you’re done. To help me remember, I leave a large gap between the pin where I will start stitching and the one where I want my stitching to end. See the lower right-hand picture, above? There is a pin where I started stitching and one where I am ending (right under the presser foot). The space between the pins is what I left open.
- Now you are going to turn the stocking right-side out, through that opening (Upper Left-hand Picture). Reach into the opening and grab a piece of the lining and start pulling it through the opening. Keep pulling until the whole lining and then the stocking have come through the opening and everything is right-side out. It’s probably going to look like that long, two-tone tube in the lower left-hand picture. Don’t freak out! It’s all good!
- Once everything is right-side out, tuck the lining back inside the stocking, smooth it out and press it. You will still have that opening along the top edge (bottom right-hand picture in the group above). You can whip stitch it shut, by hand, if you are so inclined. I am inclined in another direction. I dislike hand-sewing with an extremely large dislike. Once everything is pressed, I simply top-stitch near the upper edge of the stocking, which closes the opening and put’s a nice “finish” on the top of the stocking. Turn the top of the stocking down so that the contrasting lining fabric becomes a cuff at the top of your stocking.
Embellishing and decorating your stockings is only limited by your imagination — buttons, sequins, appliques, jewels, and on and on. I’m
cheap frugally minded, so I made things from the fabric I had on hand.
To finish these off, I am going to buy a spool of heavy gold cord, thread it through the upper corner of each one, loop it back and tie it off so they have hangers. These were definitely inexpensive to make, each will be a one-of-a-kind and I think they will be well received. If you go ahead and make some on your own, I’d love to see pictures and if my tutorial is too confusing (Say it’s not so!) , please do ask questions. I’ll help if I can.
Happy frugal holiday planning and prepping!!! You can do it!