Sunday, December 16, 2012

Naughty or Nice? (Stocking tutorial)

I'm happy to report that I have something else to cross of my "make before Christmas" list! 

And I've made it into a tutorial in case you'd like to make one yourself. 

The stocking measures approximately 9" (across the cuff) by 22" long. The cuff is made separately and attached at the end. I have a bag full of red, green, gold, cream, and black prints that I've been using to make stockings for 5 or so years; last year I specifically bought a few prints from Basic Grey's Jovial collection for Moda (LOVE IT!) for my sister and her husband's stocking. I used these same prints for my new nephew's stocking above. 

So let's get started. 

You'll need:
13" x 25" piece of muslin
13" x 25" piece of backing fabric (I used black corduroy)
13" x 25" piece of interfacing
13" x 25" piece of fabric for the cuff (I used black velveteen)
3/4 yard of lining fabric
An assortment of strips and scraps at least 13" wide (I have cottons, corduroys, and velveteens)
Coordinating ribbon pieces at least 13" wide

The stocking front is made by piecing on a foundation, in this case, a piece of muslin. Position the first colored strip (mine was gold) at the top of the muslin, and lay the second strip (red) face down on top, matching raw edges. Stitch using a 1/4" seam allowance.

Press the second strip down. Continue adding strips in the same manner. I typically use about 8 different strips per stocking front, varying widths. I also use a wider piece at the top and bottom, because I just like the look of not having a skinny strip along an edge (and in the case of the top cuff, it gives you more leeway for positioning the cuff. More on that later.).

Here is what my pieced front looks like.
If you'd like to add ribbon (grosgrain or velvety works better than silky!), pin a ribbon across the stocking front. Position it along a seam to help ensure it looks straight. Topstitch along both edges of the ribbon.

My sewing machine (a Janome 6600) has a bunch of fun stitches on it. I like to use a couple to embellish some of the fabric strips. This one looks a bit like a snowflake.

A line of stars!

Pin the stocking template in place (the one linked here is a nicer version of my well-loved and oft-used paper bag version below!). Cut out around the stocking. I like my stockings a bit generous, so I treat the pattern as the stitching line and cut accordingly to include a seam allowance.

Position your cut-out stocking front on the stocking back fabric, WRONG SIDES TOGETHER. Very important, or your stocking backing will be backwards. (You could also just flip and trace the template, but because I'd cut out generously around the shape, I wanted to trace my stocking front to ensure the two matched.) Cut out the stocking back, and then cut out a back stocking shape from interfacing for a little added stiffness.

Layer the interfacing, stocking back right side up, and stocking front right side down. Pin together. See how the toe of my stocking doesn't have any muslin? That's because I tried to skimp and use a smaller piece of muslin. Don't do that. It doesn't affect the finished stocking, but I think consistency is nice!

Sew around the outer edge, leaving the top open. Clip the curved edges if needed. square up and trim the upper edge of the stocking. I always start out making my stockings longer than necessary; then I can choose exactly where to trim it to. This is helpful if your top stripe isn't as wide as you'd hoped; you can trim the stocking length as needed to show/hide one of your top fabric strips. Turn right side out. Here is mine before trimming; I cut off about 3" from the top.

Fold your lining fabric in half, position the stocking (or stocking template) on top, and pin. Cut out stocking shapes through two layers (they'll be mirror images, as they should be).  Don't you love this print? It's from the Jovial collection. To me, it was the perfect combination of classic and contemporary. Don't forget to trim the top of the lining pieces to match your stocking.

Layer these two pieces right sides together and stitch around the outer edge, leaving the top edge open AND leaving an opening along the bottom for turning.

Slide the outer stocking inside the lining, with right sides together. Match raw edges, match side seams, and pin.

Stitch along the top edge.

Turn right side out through the opening in the lining; stitch that opening closed.

You can stop here if you like; it's a pretty nice looking stocking. Or you can add a cuff (embroidered with a name or not...your choice).

I don't have the skills or the equipment to embroider, but I've befriended a talented embroiderer at my local quilt shop. I like to give her plenty of fabric to work with. Here, I gave her a piece of black velveteen approximately 13" x 25" and asked her to start the name 5" in from the left side. That's the side the seam will be on. If you're making a cuff without an embroidered name, skip over the steps that discuss centering--definitely less fuss!

I trimmed the cuff piece to be 11" wide; this will create a cuff that is about 5" wide. I left the length for now. Fold the cuff in half lengthwise so the top raw edge matches the bottom. Stitch along the long raw edges to make a tube.

Turn right side out and press so the name is centered top to bottom on the tube. Measure the name and mark the center point with a pin. Measure the top of the stocking and mark the center point with a pin.

Line up the two center pins and slide the cuff down over the stocking, into its approximate final position (this is a personal preference thing--you'll ultimately need to handstitch the cuff to the stocking top, so the cuff can just barely overlap, or overlap a few inches, which is how I like it). Fold the rest of the tube under the stocking, so the cuff is in place.

 Trim the excess from the back cuff to 3/4" past the stocking edge. Trim the excess from the front cuff to 1" past the back cuff. 

Use pins on the front cuff to mark the point where the back cuff touches it. Press the raw edges of the front cuff into the tube, up to those marked pins.

Slide the raw edge of the back cuff into this pressed tube edge. Pin and stitch to secure. 
Slide the cuff over the stocking top, make sure it is straight, and pin in place. You can slide the cuff up or down to where the cuff fits best. Handstitch in place. 

To make the loop, cut a 2-1/2" x 13" piece of fabric (I used the corduroy from the backing). Press one long edge over 1/4". Press the other long edge in approximately 3/4". Fold the finished 1/4" edge over the other edge, pin, and topstitch to secure. Fold the loop in half and machine or handstitch in place along the cuff seam. 

Fill stocking with treats and enjoy! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial

Here are all 3 stockings for this new little family:
(I'll be mailing James' tomorrow so that he has it in time for Christmas!)

p.s. Doing a very late Sunday link-up to Confessions of a Fabric Addict's Can I get a whoop whoop?!