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 [...]
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!
Are you that recordkeeper extraordinaire that writes on the back of all your photos, as soon as they’re printed, creates gorgeous photo albums for each child and has family albums for every year since you’ve been married? (I’m harboring ungracious thoughts about you, right now. ) Or do you have envelopes and boxes of snapshots [...]
Are you that recordkeeper extraordinaire that writes on the back of all your photos, as soon as they’re printed, creates gorgeous photo albums for each child and has family albums for every year since you’ve been married? (I’m harboring ungracious thoughts about you, right now. ) Or do you have envelopes and boxes of snapshots in the garage and in the attic and in the closet and under the bed and well, you get the picture — that cover multiple years in your family’s history — all mixed together — and lots of scrapbooking kits and supplies that are still in their packaging, though you had good intentions of using them?
And now that you have a digital camera, do you faithfully print out all the good photos, delete the bad ones and do all that stuff I talked about in the first sentence (Okay, now you’re making me cry.) or are all your pictures, good and bad, stored in folders on your hard drive, not being enjoyed by anyone and using up tons of space that makes your computer slow and wastes space? Yeah…so…I have some photo issues.
My Memories Digital Photo Album software has given me new hope for our family’s photo history. When I was approached last week, to review it, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect; since we were about to make our cross-country (well, cross-four states) trek on a family vacation to Ohio. This could be REALLY good! I accepted the review opportunity with renewed faith that at least one family event would be recorded for posterity and then we left on our vacation. While we were gone, I took tons of video and I snapped hundreds of photos. Once we returned, I resolved to get right to the project at hand and test out the My Memories software. I absolutely love it! THIS I can do!
What’s so special about this digital photo album software? Well, lets make a list:
- It’s simple to learn and use.
- It comes with hundreds of paper, embellishment and template options – something to fit every occasion, plus I can add more, if I choose.
- I can create a photo album and print it myself in either a 12 x 12 size or and 8.5 x 11 size.
- I can create a custom photo album and have as many hard copies professionally printed as I want, in either a 12 x 12 size or and 8.5 x 11 size. (What great gifts!)
- I can create a photo calendar and have it professionally printed. (Another awesome gift idea!)
- I can create an interactive photo album, burn it onto a DVD and share or gift it to someone. These albums can have links, music and video in them and you “flip” through them just like turning the pages of a real photo album. It’s so cool!
- I can turn my digital scrapbook into a movie and burn it to DVD or share it online.
- I can create high quality jpeg images of my album pages to use online or for other projects.
- I can narrate my album, by adding voice recordings, as I create it.
- I can download different templates, designs, embellishments, papers etc., straight from the My Memories website and they have an entire section of them that are totally free!
- I can add videos and music to my albums, as I create them.
- I can save and share my album in a movie format that is compatible with iPods and other handheld devices.
In the interest of loading time, I am including a link to the User’s Guide, which is loaded with screen shots, and can show how simple this program is to use. You won’t believe how quickly you will be able to create your own gorgeous photo albums.
EVERYBODY WINS!!! Not only is My Memories sponsoring a giveaway for the Digital Photo Album Suite that I reviewed, they are also providing an exclusive Busy-at-Home promo code for ALL our readers to receive $10 off the software download, bringing the cost of the software to only $17.98, during their amazing 30% Off Sale. Using the code with your order will also get you an additional $10 coupon code off any kits or papers you want to add to your program! $10 off and $10 in free add-ons! That’s like everyone winning the giveaway! See why I’m excited? So definitely, enter the giveaway, below; but if you’re in a hurry like me, take advantage of these great savings and order your My Memories Digital Scrapbooking software download, now. Use the exclusive Busy-at-Home Coupon Code : STMMMS23221 and receive $10 off your software + a coupon code for $10 off your next purchase in the My Memories store! I used my $10 coupon to download some adorable cooking and recipe add-ons. My next project will be a Family Cookbook! Plus, I’ll be doing lots of albums of all our holiday celebrations. The timing of this great deal is perfect!
You must be 18 or older and a resident of the U.S. to enter. Mandatory Entry must be completed before any optional entries will count. Winner will be selected in a random drawing using random.org. Deadline to enter is midnight, (CST), Sunday, November 6, 2011. Winner will be notified by email and have 48 hours to respond with shipping information. After 48 hours, a new winner will be selected.
Visit My Memories, and in a comment below, tell me which Digital Scrapbooking Kit is your favorite.
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I received the My Memories Digital Scrapbooking software in order to evaluate the product and conduct this review. No monetary compensation was received and a positive review was not required. As always, at Busy-at-Home, the views and opinions expressed are wholly my own. This page contains an affiliate link.