This is my first Christmas decoration post of the year. It’s more than a little late in the season but I forgot I’d been so shoddy as I’ve been moonlighting over at The Nest where I contributed my Felt Garland Tutorials from last year and also these cool Paper Baubles to Emily’s wonderful Craft Advent. Anyway, if you’re in the market for an easy decoration here’s a nice Christmas Stocking that I’ve been tipping away at.
This is my sixth Christmas as a Mama, and my sixth Christmas feeling uncharastically guilty about the stocking situation (yes, you read correctly) in this house. I was certain that by now I’d have gotten my act together and made each little blonde cherub a fabulous Fairisle stocking with personalised and goddam meaningful insignia. In reality I’ve been wildly occupied raising those not-so-cherub-like children, and we have one knackered Penney’s stocking to our name.
Determined not to let another Christmas slide by stocking-less I have radically lowered my expectations, abandoned Fairisle and embraced fleece. At last, there will be stockings *.
*Qualifier. There are in fact, as I type, two stockings but three children. The third (stocking, not child) is in the offing and will likely be finished tonight depending on my ability to sew while drinking wine and eating Quality Street – something that I am actually quite a natural at. I therefore remain hopeful that we will be fully stockinged by the Big Day.
The material I used was a fleece blanket from Ikea – the Polarvide Blanket which was a lovely deep red and also has the great advantage of only costing €3.75. Fleece is really easy to cut and doesn’t fray so it’s really good to work with. Also this blanket had the great advantage of already having a tassled edge so I was able to double the fabric over and give the top of the stocking a nice finish while not having to do anything myself! If you had a plain blanket you could just use a pinking shears to get a finished effect. While fleece is fab, I have also seen stockings on Pinterest made from old jumpers that look amazing. An old Aran or patterned knit gives a really great result particularly if you can felt it for an extra fuzzy softness. This time however a trip to Ikea was all I had time for but maybe I’ll try those some other time (read: never).
Any attachments you have handy are good. Thanks to my over-zealous house packing I only had felt pom poms, little bells (from Tiger) and some small Christmas baubles to hand. Equally you could use tinsel, holly, buttons, etc.
Top tip on the pen / marker – don’t use a chunky black marker as I did as when you turn down the top of the stocking your marker line is visible, grrr.
1. Draw an outline of the stocking shape onto the cardboard. The size you want depends on what Santa usually leaves in it and also whether you want to hang them (in which case don’t go too big). My stocking was roughly 50cm long, 34 cm wide from toe to heel and 22cm wide at the top. Cut out the cardboard shape.
2. Fold the blanket with the right-side facing and line up the edges. Of course, if there are tassles, make sure these are at the top of the stocking!
3. Lay the fabric on a flat surface and place the stocking shape onto the top. Trace around the shape. Remove the cardboard and cut the two layers of fabric together being careful that they continue to match up. Turn the fabric so the wrong-sides are facing and match the two pieces of fabric together.
4. And now to the seams:
To sew the seams there are a number of choices. Whatever you choose you’ll be sewing a seam with a tolerance of about 1.5cm all around the edge of the stocking, starting at a point 10cm down from the top opening, and finishing 10cm from the top to allow for the top to fold down. In terms of the seams, for a larger stocking that was going to be hung I’d machine sew a seam around the edge and then add a decorative edge with Blanket Stitch using 6 strands of a contrasting embroidery floss. In a smaller stocking that will not be hung (or where, like me, you packed your sewing machine up a few months ago i.e. are an idiot), a hand-sewn seam is fine and should be secure enough. Again I like the thick decorative edge that the 6-strand contrasting colour gives using a Blanket Stitch.
5. Turn down the unseamed top of the stocking and secure the folded fabric at the back with a few holding stitches. Add whatever embellishments you like to the front – and sewing these on will also secure that fabric in position.
6. If you want to hang the stocking, make a looped hook. Cut a length of brightly coloured ribbon or fabric again, roughly 15cm long and 2 to 3 cm wide. Secure inside the top opening, on the outer (heel) side of the stocking.
Now, the couch and stocking No. 3 calls!