Sunday, November 15, 2009

Giftmas Crafting Starts Early

09-stockings-hangingI made stockings for John & me about 4 years ago. They made the move - we used them last year - but I can't find them. It's a little early, but I have plenty of knitting to do for Giftmas, and I figured I should get this out of the way. Stockings are one of my favorite things about the holiday. It goes back to my mom (I think they were one of her favorites, too) -- she'd start collecting things for our stockings in January. After she died, the family tradition died as well, until John came into my life. Now, we exchange stockings the morning of Dec. 25th every year. So the old ones had to be replaced (if they turn up, we can always rotate.)

As luck would have it, I'd found the perfect material for the stockings, in the form of a (probably very scratchy) sweater I thrifted last winter. It was made up of hundreds of short pieces of yarn, so there was no way it was going to be unraveled & recycled. I felted it, but it didn't turn out as fabulously as I'd hoped. But, yes: perfect for stockings! Here's what I did, if you want to give it a go yourself.

09-stockings-materialsGet all of your materials together. You need a paper template (see notes at bottom), felted sweater, long straight pins (mine have the leaf topper) and scissors (sturdier ones than shown -- I ended up using a different pair than the one pictured). Not shown: sewing machine (you could also hand-sew, if you have the patience).

09-stockings-patternThe sweater was an adult small, and felted, was even smaller, so I couldn't quite get two stockings out of the body. I wanted our stockings to match as closely as possible, and I was lucky that the sleeves, taken apart and laid with right sides facing, were an exact fit for the template (I could also have just resized the template, but we each usually end up with a DVD in the stocking, so the right width was important). I put the two pieces together, right sides facing and pinned the template to the material in several places.

09stockings-sewingIt always seems like when I cut something out and try to sew it together, something shifts and it ends up uneven. So, I thought I'd be clever and sew around the template first, then cut it out. It worked pretty well, although it was a little tough to maneuver at times.

09stockings-sewnHere is the first stocking, sewn and cut out. (You can see why the sweater couldn't be unraveled.)

09stockings-finished1Turn right side out and kind of push the seams into shape. Our new ones need a tiny bit more attention.

Stocking #1 complete. (Pic of both stockings, pre-hanging. They look different because the sleeves and the body felted at different ratios. So one has a firmer, fuzzier fabric.)

When you're all done, add a loop for hanging. I used some random scrap yarn and crocheted a 4-5" chain, then used the tails to knot the loop firmly to the back edge of the stocking. Hang by the chimney (or wherever) and stuff with gifts at the appropriate time.

Notes: For the template, I did a Google Image search for "Christmas Stocking Template." As luck would have it, the first result was the shape I wanted.


Sarah said...

Melissa that is SO CUTE! I would have bought that sweater too- it's fabulous.

The Frizzy Hooker said...


Stacie said...

I went straight to the online template and have the felted sweater that will work perfectly. Thanks for inspiring my crafty tendencies in another direction besides knitting!