12.24.2011

DIY Christmas Stockings

Happy Christmas Eve Day!! Today I'm looking forward to baking some cookies, wrapping some presents, eating good food, hanging out with Chris's family, and tracking Santa's flight! But before the day gets started, here's a little DIY project I completed yesterday...

The other day Chris and I decided that although we already have stockings at his parents house, we need our own little stockings for the apartment. And then my crafty little brain got to work, and after a few hours of work here is what I made:

B is for Bella

I'm quite proud. Bella got a mini stocking, and Chris and I have slightly larger ones, though they're all pretty small (which is good since we don't have tons of things to put in them).

We started out by going shopping for fabric at Zimman's, an awesome fabric store in nearby Lynn, where they were having a sale on all the basement remnants (50% off the already marked down prices!), so we dug through the piles and found a yard of this blue and gold honeycomb pattern we think is fun and festive without being too obvious (sale price was $8.75), as well as a good amount of some creamy soft fabric for the trim (only 50 cents for about a half yard). Quite a deal I should say.

Then I got to business. As usual I totally made up my plan as I went along. I think it worked great, but there may be a better way... also, if I had more time and energy, and if I cared about such things, I would have made a simple lining to go on the inside, because the back of the fabric is pretty crazy. But whatever, we're not going to be like little kids ripping through toys in our stockings, so I think we can handle it. Not to say that I'm not like a little kid on Christmas... totally am.


I used a brown paper bag to sketch out the shape I wanted, then I cut about a half inch larger than my desired size to allow room for seams.


I folded over the fabric while I cut so I ended up with two pieces for each stocking: front and back.

Most of the following pictures are from sewing Bella's stocking, but I did the same thing for each one.


I folded down the top of each piece and sewed it in place, to keep the edge nice under the fluffy border. You can see how easily the fabric frays around the edges, as the white is only attached between the honeycombs, so that made it quite difficult to work with. Oh, and don't pay attention to those pins in the above picture-- I changed my mind about the order of operations after I took the photo. Yeah, planning on the fly...


Next I added the white fluffy border. I wanted it to be nice and thick, or else it was a little too translucent, so I folded it over once (on each side) and pinned it in place before sewing. You can't tell from the picture, but that means there are two layers of white on either side and the whole piece folds over the top, so the fabric edges are tucked underneath (except the sides, but they'll be sewn in later).

Weird lighting... it was getting dark and there was a candle nearby. Oops!

I sewed right along the bottom edge of the white border, then I flipped the pieces inside out and pinned them together.


Here's a terrible action shot of the sewing process. Of course it's not actually an action shot or my hands would be busy guiding the fabric through. I just sewed all the way around the edge, leaving that half inch allowance I mentioned earlier.

Side note: While I was sewing, I was enjoying the lovely smell of this chicken roasting in the oven (with some potatoes):


I guess it was our personal holiday meal, since we'll be eating at Chris's house on Christmas eve and Christmas day. I learned to roast chicken from my host mom when I spent a semester in France. It was delicious. You should be jealous... Sorry, that was mean.

Back to the sewing...


Once the stockings were all sewn up and flipped right side out, I had to attach loops for hanging them. I just used strips of the white border fabric (I'm calling it white for simplicity's sake, but it's actually more of a creamy color- perfectly matches the color between the honeycombs), which I reinforced by simply sewing down the edge of both long sides before I attached the strips to the stockings. This picture shows how the loops actually do double duty: they act as both a loop for hanging and since I tucked them into the corner, they cover an ugly seam flawlessly. Boom.

Yes, that does mean there's another ugly seam on the other side that isn't covered, but I trimmed them down a little nicer than the one in the picture, and you really hardly notice it. If I wanted to be fancy I would cover up that seam, too (and add the lining).


Last step was to add letters so we know which stocking belongs to who. I cut letters out of the soft border fabric, as you can see above, and then...


I stitched them on using gold thread! I love it. Subtle, but ties into the rest of the stocking, and adds that little homemade touch I like with the stitching.


Aren't they beautiful?! Here they are lounging on our new sofa (!) which we still haven't posted proper pictures of because our living room is currently crammed with the couch and our chairs and ottomans, since we haven't had time to move the chairs into our storage unit. It's a very unwieldy maze in here right now, but hopefully we'll get that sorted out soon, and then we'll actually be able to take a proper picture of the new sofa. I guess now you have a little sneak peak. And yes, it is very 70's. But we do love us some good 70's design (although there was some terrible stuff, too...).


Here they are all hanging in a row (bum, bum, bum... big ones, small ones, some as big as your head! -- wow that song worked surprisingly well in this situation. If you're totally lost right now, that was the lovely bunch of coconuts song, which I sing it far to often when things are in rows) on our radiator, which is pretending to be a fireplace. If you've seen The Santa Clause you know that radiators can turn into fireplaces when Santa shows up, so it works for me!


Chris's lovely stocking, and...


My lovely stocking! We didn't plan this at all, but the pattern and color of the stockings go perfectly with the radiator cover. Lots of fantastic gold and geometry.


And finally a wide shot with the tree and presents! Most of those presents were mailed to me from my parents, and some things were ordered online and shipped straight here (hence the mailing boxes), but we're planning on buying a roll of nice paper and wrapping those guys up today, because the unwrapping part is important, and we've run out of makeshift wrapping options.

Did anyone else make their own stockings? What kind of stockings are you into? I've seen silly, traditional, simple, and many more ways to do the stocking thing...

Now time to get back to our Christmas Eve Day festivities! Have a great day!!

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