Hello friends! I’m back today with a quick stocking project. ‘Tis the season, so I’m sewing away on Christmas presents and Christmas projects. (I had grand ideas to finish an Advent calendar this year, but I didn’t even have a chance to START it until this week, so I’m skipping it until next year. Sometimes you just have to let things go. Not that I actually do that, this “letting things go” thing, but it’s a great idea.)
Did you do stockings when you were little? What were they like? What went inside of them? Ours were always full of little things, like pencils, little notebooks, candy canes, Tic-Tacs (when’s the last time you had a Tic-Tac? 1987? But I digress….), erasers, little chocolate candies, and always, ALWAYS, an apple, a banana, and an orange way down in the toe. Now, I was never much of a fruit eater, so this wasn’t a big deal, but it was a tradition that both my mom and dad had, and they continued it with us. I don’t know if my brothers do this with their kids, but I’m definitely keeping the tradition going for my two. (The oranges actually symbolize the gold St. Nicholas threw. Who knew?) And my kids are little fruitbats anyway, so they will love them!
Years ago, for our first Christmas in our house, I made stockings for Husband and me. I thrifted some sweaters, one green and one red, and turned them into stockings. Then I hand-stitched 22 buttons onto each of them. (I just had to go count.) That’s 44 hand-stitched buttons. Not crazy at the time, but MY GOODNESS, who has time for that? After finding a set of 3 stocking hangers for the mantle, I went back to the thrift store to find another stocking for Molly. Yep, a stocking for the cat. Oh, the good old days. When Big Boy was born, we just gave him Molly’s stocking. She seems none the wiser.
Then last year, Baby Girl was born just before Christmas, and being a week or so old made her none the wiser either. I decided I would have a whole year to make her a stocking, and it would be great. Right.
So last week, I got to work on her stocking. (You can’t see the sheepish look I have on my face as I type this.) I found this red sweater in the men’s section at the thrift store. I loved the little window pane knit.
I took one of our other stockings to use as a pattern. (See those hand-stitched buttons? Ahh, free time.) It’s a good idea to use the waist band as the stocking opening – there are no raw edges to sew, and it looks more like a sock this way, too. I placed the stocking on top of the sweater and was about to start tracing when I realized I needed to turn it inside out. I wanted to use the line as a guide for sewing, so it needed to be on the inside.
You could use a fabric marker, but I just used a Sharpie. It won’t show through later, so it doesn’t really matter. Note: to avoid extra work, try to keep the stocking pattern above the sleeve seams. It will just get wonky if you don’t.
Next, I pinned the sweater together and sewed along the Sharpie lines. Then I cut around the sewn stocking, leaving a little seam allowance. I went back to the sewing machine and zigzag stitched along the edges to keep it from fraying.
When I turned it inside out, the seam was a little bumpy, but I just pushed the seam open a bit and then stuffed the toe to give it some shape. (You could use tissue paper, but I grabbed a plastic bag from Target. Hey, it works. Noboby’s gonna see it!)
Next it was time to add a hanging loop. My other stockings have ribbon loops, but I don’t have any more ribbon in that color, so I made some out of felt. I started by cutting two rectangles out of dark red, about 1″ x 8″. I sewed these together, stitching about 1/4″ from the edge, to make the loop extra sturdy.
Then I folded the loop in half and stitched it to the back seam of the stocking.
Baby Girl’s stocking is finished! Yep, I took the stocking holder out to our fence gate to take a photo. I’m sure my neighbors think I’m nuts!
And here’s a little shot from my phone of all the stockings line up on the mantle. (Molly snuck in to the bottom of the photo to show her no-stocking indignation.)