Despite what the calendar might be telling you, it’s not too late to add a handmade touch to your tree trimming or gift giving this holiday season. These easy-as-pie felt stockings measure approximately 4″ x 6″, and require little in the way of time and materials. You probably have most–if not everything–you’ll need right in your sewing room.
Because they’re so quick and easy to make, these festive and versatile tree ornaments can help satisfy the “creative itch” that this oh-so-busy season may otherwise curtail. Fill them with a few sweet treats as a surprise find for little ones, or tuck a gift card, check, or other small gift item inside for the bigger kids on your list. Don’t be surprised if other family members want to get in on the act! In fact, this is a good activity for that long, out-of-school week before the holiday.
Here’s how to get started. Download the full-sized stocking pattern by clicking here. Print the pattern on sturdy white paper (e.g., printer paper), making sure that the page-scaling option on your printer is set to “none.” Use paper scissors to cut out the pattern on the black outline.
Each stocking requires just one 9″ x 12″ piece of craft felt (red, green, or white) and thread to match. You’ll also need fabric scissors, pins, and–eventually–your favorite embellishments. A glue gun and rotary cutter are optional.
1. Fold the felt in half to measure approximately 9″ x 6″. (No worries; there is no right or wrong side to felt!) Pin the pattern to the felt, allowing enough room to add a 1/4″ seam allowance. Cut out the stocking shape, adding approximately 1/4″ extra on all sides except the top for seam allowance. Cut a strip, approximately 1/2″ x 4″ from the leftover felt. (Use a scrap of felt in a contrasting color if you wish.)
2. Fold the strip in half and finger-press. Unpin the upper-right portion of the stocking shape and insert the folded strip so that the raw edges are even with the raw edges of the stocking. Re-pin.
3. Using the pinned pattern as a guide, sew around the stocking shape with matching colored thread. (I used contrasting thread in the sample so you can see the stitches.) Leave the top of the stocking unstitched.
Hint: If you prefer to embellish before sewing the stocking together, sew the long straight seam along the right edge of the stocking only, inserting the hanging loop as described in step 2. Remove the paper pattern, hinge the unit open, and embellish. When you’ve finished, refold the unit, re-pin the pattern, and complete the sewing.
4. Trim the seam allowances to a scant 1/4″, taking care not to cut into the seam. Turn the stocking right side out, smoothing the curved edges. (I used my trusty 4-in-1 Essential Sewing Tool for this task; worked perfectly!) If necessary, trim the top edge of the stocking to straighten it, and make careful diagonal clips in the seam allowances on the inside top edges.
Now comes the fun part! Enhance your stocking with shapes cut freehand from felt scraps, and/or with simple embroidery, beads, buttons, glitter, rickrack, or any other embellishments that catch your fancy. You can stitch the embellishments to the stocking, tack them down with beads or French knots; couch them; or even use a glue gun!
Here are three more examples of what you can do, although I’m sure you’ll come up with tons of ideas of your own.
This won’t be our last post of the year–Christie and Jennifer will post as usual next week, and we have some special things planned for the last week of 2011–but this is my last post before the “serious” holidays set in. I wish you all a peaceful, joyous, safe, and happy holiday…whatever you might be celebrating at this time of year!
"Deck the Halls with Sunbonnet Sue" (22" x 26") from the book, "A Year in the Life of Sunbonnet Sue" (Martingale & Co.), co-written by Darra Williamson and Christine Porter.