Thursday, December 23, 2010

Stockings, Elves, and a Quasi-Tutorial


A key component of Christmas.

We had some stockings, of course.

But they were the lamest of lame.

So I made a bold move and threw them out.


Stockings, no more.

This boxed me into a corner of sorts.

I had no choice.

New stockings would have to be made.

New and improved stockings.

Cool stockings.

Stockings with character.

The process is quite simple.

That's why I consider this a quasi-tutorial. There are no measurements involved.

It's all process.

You do need a pattern. I drew a basic stocking shape on some butcher paper. It should be larger than the intended stocking to account for the seam allowance.

Once you have your pattern drawn, pin it to your fabric. You will need to cut two pieces for the outside and two for the inside. You'll also need two pieces of flannel or batting for the interfacing.

You could use a solid piece of fabric and call it a day.

I chose to do some piecing. This was done by cutting the top of one of the outer stocking sides into strips and inserting different fabric pieces.

I was aiming for wonky. But straight would work just as well.

Stitch the strips together and trim to the size of your other stocking pieces.

Layer a lining piece (right side down), flannel, and an outer piece (right side up).

Pin and baste this little stocking sandwich together allowing for a 1/4" seam allowance.

Quilting is optional.

If you choose to go this route, a walking foot is a must.

I have a mega sewing crush on my walking foot.

Start in the middle of your stocking and quilt out. Then flip it and do the other side.

You will have even stitching with little to no puckering.

Pin the two stocking sandwiches that you basted together, right sides facing.

Sew around the outer edge, just inside the basting line.

Make sure you don't sew across the top!

Unless you want to play a mean joke on your kiddos.

I used my walking foot for this as well to keep the two sides of the stocking even.

Before turning it inside out, clip the curves.

Now for that unsightly top edge.

You'll need some double-fold bias tape. Pin in place along the top edge with the shorter side of the bias tape on the outside of the stocking.

Excuse my non-manicured, gnawed off fingers. I'm not a hand model and it's the middle of basketball season.

Stitch close to the bottom edge all the way around.

My walking foot made for a smoothly applied binding.

This is why I have a crush on a sewing machine attachment.

You'll need to add a loop from which to hang your stocking of awesomeness.

Make a loop with the binding and stitch into place by hand or with the help of your machine.

Reinforce well. You don't want your over-filled stocking to go tumbling to the floor.

I got fancy and decided to add a button to the top of the stocking where the loop and binding were joined.

And with that final bit of sewing, the stockings were ready to hang.

The Girl's...

The Boy's...

The Mr.'s...

...and mine.

All four showcased just in time for nightly elf visits.

You've never heard of elf visits?

Well, for very lucky boys and girls, the elves make nightly visits the week before Christmas. They don't leave anything extravagant: a new box of crayons, some gummie bears, hex bugs and silly bandz. Little things that keep the younger humans from bouncing off the walls those last few days before the big man visits.

The elves are particular when it comes to behavior. There's nothing worse than waking up to check one's stocking and finding it empty.

Less than 48 hours, peeps.

If things are at a fever pitch at your place of celebration, maybe the elves could be of assistance to bring things down a notch.

Or two.