Monday, October 10, 2011

Christmas Stocking Tutorial

Well, after seeing my grandparents' ratty old stockings (their names are written on them in green sharpie, I think), I decided that they'd have prettier ones.  Since it wouldn't be half as fun to buy them, I decided to go with a quilted stocking.  No names on them, but I'm sure Santa will figure it out. ;)

Here's the end result:

 And since I had to make two, I decided that on the second one I'd do up a tutorial since Christmas is coming.

You need:

1/2 yard outer fabric
1/2 yard lining fabric
matching thread for both
batting (the flat kind)
sewing machine (or you can by-hand it!)
a pattern

Holiday music of your choice.  This is vital as when you're ripping out something because you forgot to put in the hanging thing, you can belt along with Mariah singing about all you want for Christmas.  It helps.

I made my pattern out of butcher paper, tracing a stocking I had.

1. Cut two out of the outer fabric, lining fabric and batting. REMEMBER to allow 1/4-1/2 inch all around for the seam allowance! You'll also need a 3.5 x 6 (just eyeball it, really) rectangle of the lining fabric.

2. Iron all pieces.

3.  Take the outer fabric pieces and put them wrong side down onto the batting.

4. Now on to the quilting portion of today's fun!  Choose an angle that you like - it really doesn't matter, though try to keep it straight.  Sew a line!  Personally, I think a jaunty angle looks spiffy.

5. For the next line, I line up my previous stitch with the edge of the metal plate on my sewing machine.  I'm sure there are other ways to do this, but this works for me.  I can feel the edge underneath the fabric and I can make sure that the previously sewed line stays on the edge.  That way all my quilting lines are parallel.

6. Keep on sewing parallel lines.  Isn't this fun?  Possibly stop and grab a bit of hot chocolate (if it's cold enough).  A dollop of Bailey's might make the quilting go quicker (though your lines might not end up being straight.)  When you've finished doing it one side, it should look like this:

7. Now you're going to sew lines that are at an angle to the ones you've already done.  I chose a line and put my sewing foot right where it met the edge.  I then chose a spot where another line met the opposite edge.

8. Quilt!  When you're done, it should look like this:

9. Now, if you're Type A and anal retentive, you'll want to match up the quilted half with the half you haven't quilted yet.  You'll put a pin on the unquilted half where one of the lines reaches the edge on the quilted half.  You'll do the same for the other side of the stocking. If you went for the Bailey's in step 6, you probably won't care.  Regardless of your choice, quilt the other side, using the steps 4-8.

My choice was the Type A and anal retentive option:

10. Once you've got both sides quilted, trim the edges, so it goes from looking like this:

to this:

11. With right sides together, pin and sew around the edge of the stocking. For the rounded parts, feel free to go slow.  If you find yourself near to veering off the fabric stop sewing, put down the needle (I have a nifty little button that inserts the needle into the fabric for me), put up the foot and adjust the fabric.  With the needle down you won't pull on the thread or anything.  When you've got it where you want it, put down the foot and start sewing again.

12. Now you have two options: you can trim around the seam allowance so it won't be bulky when you turn it or you can cut little notches into the rounded parts. I choose the latter.  Just be careful not to snip into the seam!  It'll look funny, but it makes it easier to turn and look rounded.

13. Turn the outer portion of the stocking.

14. Take the little rectangle of lining fabric and press it in half, lengthwise.  Open it back up.  Take the edges of the fabric and press them into the crease.

Like so:

Do it for both sides:

Then press it in half again on the original crease, with the edges still tucked in.  (It'll be about a quarter as wide as it was.)

Sew it - I line it up with an edge on my foot.

15. With right sides together, pin the lining fabric together.  At the 'sole' of the foot, put two pins about 3-4 inches apart.  You won't sew between those pins.  Also, take the loop that you sewed in step 14 and pin it in place - probably 4 inches or so from the top of the stocking.  Make sure that the rough edges of the loop match up together and that they go a little beyond the rough edges of the lining itself:

Now sew!  See: I'm stopping at the pink pin: (I'd suggest locking the sewn bits down with a bit of backstitching.)

Now move the fabric to startup again at the NEXT pin. (Again, lock the sewing with a few backstitches.)  I'd suggest backstitching over the section with the loop.  You don't want the stocking to fall down if Santa is especially generous!

16. Trim the edge of the loop:

17. You will now insert the quilted section of the stocking into the lining.  Yes, it seems backwards.  Perhaps have another bit of Baileys and just go with me on this. ;)

Line up the seams and the top, so it looks like this:

18. Sew around the top of the stocking.  I'd suggest 1/2 inch or so seam allowance.

19. Through the hole you left in the lining, pull out the outer section of the stocking and continue until the right side of the lining is visible.  Make sure the toe and the heel are all rounded.  It should look a bit odd now, with both right sides of the fabrics showing.  That's okay.

20.  Now we need to sew up the hole we left in the lining.  Fold under the edges and sew along the opening.

21. Stuff the lining into the outer fabric.

22. Fold over the top until the loop to hold it up is where you want it.  Ouila!  A lovely quilted stocking! (Or two, as the case may be.)

I hope this was understandable and helpful!  I'd love to see any stockings you make! :)  C&C on both the stocking and the tute is more than welcome.  Happy (early) holidays!

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