I needed four Christmas Stockings, but didn't want to pay £5 each for them, so I decided to make my own. It was pretty easy, and really much better value. If you would like to make some - and if you set up a mini-production line you'll be surprised how quickly everything comes together - this is what you do:
Gather together your materials and equipment
Newspaper, pencil, paper scissors
Depending on size, and quantity of stockings required, some fleece fabric (I bought a 'throw' from Primark which was pretty rubbish quality 'pleated' red fleece, but it cost less than £2, and was more than enough for 4 stockings)
Some heavy weight fabric for the cuffs (I used a furnishing toile de joie @ £5 a metre from the outlet store, and I used about half a metre)
A small quantity of calico (muslin) for tags - you'll see
Tape measure or ruler
Alphabet foam stamps
Red ink (I used Adirondack dye ink in Cranberry)
Eyelets and setting tool
Length of thin ribbon (I used gold)
First, you need to draw your pattern. I find that the design of stockings is very much a preferential matter. Some of them I really hate. I was going to put a pdf of mine, but decided against it as there's the sizing issue and actually it's very easy to draw your own. The secret to this project is to cut as many patterns as you need, in the size you need. I take the Sunday Times purely for occasions like these, and used one of the broadsheet supplements. Mine is a very simple, standard stocking. I drew on the page with my pencil until I was happy, and then cut out 4 copies, all at the same time. Then I pinned them all onto the fleece, folded in half so that my pleats went lengthwise. I moved the pins after I took this picture, so pin a little further in. You will see that I cut across the top of the stocking pattern because we're not sewing that bit, but I rough cut the rest so that I could get the fabric under my machine. Just take care as the fleece is a stretchy, movey little so-and-so.
Stitch around your stocking pattern, doing a little reversing at both ends. You will need to adjust and move your foot a bit (but not your needle, so make sure you start in the down position). Just take it slowly - it will be fine. Then remove the pattern and cut out your stocking. I gave it an allowance of half an inch or so. Clip the curves. (Those silly little pleats make it look like ribbed knitting, so I was pleased about them in the end!)
Now you're ready to make the cuff. You will need to take some measurements. Mine measured 10 and a quarter inches between the two seamlines, so I doubled that measurement and added a half inch for the seam allowance and cut my cuff 21 inches wide. I decided to cut it 11 inches deep, because once that is doubled up it gave a nice deep, but not too deep, cuff. Once I had cut my four pieces (which I did by eye using a yardstick, so don't panic about it!) I also cut four strips for the hanging loops, 11 inches, by about 2. I made them all the same, pretty much.
Right, sewing the cuffs. It is really very easy, but do it sober, take your time, and if you are at all worried, just check before you sew. Fold the cuff pieces in half widthways (that is, so the 11" (or whatever yours are) ends meet, and stitch them with the half inch seam allowance.
Turn it through, and then iron the seam. You'll have to do this from each end.
And now for turning. My fabric definitely has a right way and a wrong way, but if you keep your head it is quite straightforward. You need to fold the fabric in half again at this point so tuck the bottom edge up through the middle so that the edges meet at the top. (It feels more natural to do it the other way, but don't. ) I have tried to illustrate this in my photo below. You can see that the rough edges are at the top, and the pattern is upright. Press the cuff with the seam on one side.
Make the hanging loops by folding in each long side and pressing, and then folding in half again. You have done this before. I topstitch down both sides just to make it the same.
Turn your stocking the right way out.
Fold the hanging loop in a nice loop but with the ends one on top of the other and place it inside the stocking, along the back (heel) seam so that the loop is down inside the stocking and all the raw edges meet and pin it in place from the outside (so you can easily take the pin out later). Then tuck the cuff inside the stocking (raw edges meeting again), matching the seam with the loop seam, pin on either side (as the seam will be too bulky to get the pin in!), then match up the other side of the cuff (which has a pressing mark) to the other seam at the toe side of the stocking, then pin the rest of the cuff.
Carefully stitch the cuff to the stocking (because it has pins in it, not because anything will go wrong!) using a half inch seam allowance again. I began and ended at the loop side, and went over it twice for strength. After you have stitched the cuff to the top of the stocking, and removed the pins, then zigzag around the top, clip your thread ends and turn the cuff over. The top will look like this
At this stage, you can go and have a cup of tea and consider yourself finished. Or
you can add a nametag to each one, which is a good idea if you made 4.
I like a rough edge, so I tore a strip from my length of calico (muslin) about 3 inches wide across the whole width. Starting at the left edge, and leaving a little for the pointy end, I stamped the name using my regular ink pad and stamps. My stamps are quite large, but you could use smaller ones and just make a smaller label. Or you could stencil it. Or you could use a fabric marker and just write it.
Once my name was stamped, I snipped and tore the label to length and then tore a piece the same size (by placing the first piece back on the strip, snipping in the right place and tearing). Then I folded both in half lengthways and snipped off the corner to make it look like a luggage tag. Then I took it to the machine and stitched both pieces together with the red thread. I 'roughed up' the cut edges with a pin after sewing to make them look a bit less 'cut' as well.I used my Cropadile to make the hole for the eyelet and to set it. If you don't have eyelets you could buttonhole stitch around a small hole. Some sewing machines have a function where you can sew one (a round hole). However you make your finished hole, thread a shortish length of thin ribbon through and knot the ends. It needs to be long enough for you to be able to get the label through to keep it on the hanging loop.
And then your stockings look like this, so you can go and have a cup of tea, or...go on then, have a sherry. It is Christmas after all.The usual tedium applies, whatever the season. I know a stocking's pretty much a stocking, but I worked all this out myself so please enjoy my tutorial and I hope you find the pictures helpful, but don't copy them. But if you do knock up a stocking, I'd love to see, so leave a comment with a link. And have fun now! xx