Christmas Stocking Tutorial and Pattern

Well the big day is getting closer but there’s still plenty of time for a few more Christmassy makes! I’ve treated the whole family (well, all 3 of us!) to some fabulous new Christmas stockings, and as they were so quick and easy to run up I thought I would share the pattern and tutorial with you all. Consider it my Christmas present to you 🙂

These stockings are long and thin (more sock shaped) than the current trend for things that look more like sacks with toes attached. I suppose it’s because my brother and I grew up using actual socks so that’s what I wanted from my stockings!

I have designed this pattern to only need 1 fat quarter of fabric for the main body of the stocking, so you can easily make a different one for each person and not feel like you need to buy loads of fabric. For each stocking you will need:

  • Christmas Stocking Pattern
  • 1 fat quarter outer fabric
  • 1 fat quarter lining fabric
  • 32 x 17cm plush fabric for the fold down top
  • 1 fat quarter batting (optional – you don’t need to make your stockings padded, I have and the instructions include using batting, but if you don’t want to use it just skip those bits)
  • 16cm ribbon

2013-12-11 17.41.42

Start by cutting out all the pattern pieces, as shown above. Then we’re going to assemble the lining of the stocking. Take the two stocking shaped batting and lining pieces and layer them as: batting, lining, lining, batting. Neither my lining nor batting had a right side, but if yours do then make sure the right sides of your lining are together in the centre of the sandwich. Sew the layers together slowly using a longish stitch (about a 3) due to the thickness of the fabric, and with a 15mm seam allowance, remembering not to sew across the top of the stocking! Then tie off the ends and trim the seam allowance fairly close to the line of stitching.

2013-12-11 17.59.06 2013-12-11 18.06.55

Then take the outer fabric and fold it in half along the fold, with the right sides together. Sew with a 5mm seam allowance using a smaller stitch (about a 2). Using a smaller seam allowance on the outer fabric leaves room for the batting without your fabric pulling. It also means you don’t need to trim the seam allowance of the outer fabric, but as we will be turning it inside out it is important to cut notches in the curved areas: around the  toes and heel, otherwise the fabric won’t sit flat on the finished stocking.

2013-12-11 17.59.35 2013-12-11 18.03.12

Next we’re going to turn the outer layer over the inner. The easiest way to do this is to put your arm into the outer layer, while it is still inside out, and with your hand at the toes, take hold of the toes of the lining and pull the outer fabric over the lining. Like this:

2013-12-11 18.08.06

2013-12-11 18.08.58 2013-12-11 18.10.23

Then using a long tacking stitch sew the outer and inner layers together at the top of the stocking to keep them lined up.

2013-12-13 14.08.26

Take your fabric for the fold over at the top of the stocking. Lay the lining on the right side of the outer fabric and sew along one of the long sides of the rectangle. If, like me, you are using a plush fabric with a directional pile, make sure the pile is going to be the right way up on your finished stocking! I want mine to go top to bottom, so I sewed the lining along the bottom edge of my plush fabric. Open out your joined piece of plush and lining and fold it in half the other way to sew the sides together. If you have your own fabric labels then this is the time to add one to your creation.

2013-12-13 14.14.30

You’ll notice the lining piece isn’t as wide as the plush piece. This is so that when it is folded over on the finished stocking the plush fabric will be tucked under a little, completely hiding the lining fabric. It also means you don’t need to press open the seam you just sewed, instead fold it over the lining on both sides. Sew all along the side seam and turn the outer piece so that it is on the outside. Tuck in one piece of batting between lining and plush on each side of the fold down piece, and using a tacking stich sew the lining to the outer layer to keep them in place.

2013-12-13 14.17.47 2013-12-13 14.20.48

You might be wondering why I used two pieces of batting here instead of one long rectangle. I found that by using two it was much easier to fold the piece in half and so it sits better on the finished stocking.

We’re then going to attach the ribbon for the hanging loop. Fold it in half and pin it into the stocking so that the edges of the ribbon line up with the top edge of the stocking. Sew across the ribbon, roughly over the line of tacking stitches, using a small stitch length to make the join nice and strong.

2013-12-13 14.23.56

Finally comes the only (slightly) tricky part of this project: attaching the main body of the stocking to the fold down top. After a little experimentation I have found that the best way to do this is to use pins as markers. On the main body and top, seperately, put in 6 pins at roughly the equal distances apart all around the edges you tacked together.

2013-12-13 14.27.14

Then put the fold down top into the main body, still the right way out, and match up the positions of the pins:

2013-12-13 14.28.43

At each position take a third pin and join all the layers together where the pins line up. There will be more fabric between the pins on the top piece than on the body, this is called the ease, and means that the top piece will not squash the main body when it is folded down over it and the stocking will lay flat. A good thing, yes, but does make this bit a little tricky as you need to try to evenly space the fabric and not let it all gather in one place. You might find it easier at this point to hand stitch the layers together as you can go more slowly and have more control, but it is possible to do by machine if you take your time and use your fingers to spread out the extra fabric.

2013-12-13 14.32.04

And it doesn’t need to be perfect so if you have a gather two it doesn’t matter. Or use patterned plush like me and you won’t even see them!

When you’re finished sewing, tie off the ends and pull the top out of the stocking body:

2013-12-13 14.35.33

And fold the top down, hiding the seam. Then fish out the ribbon and display your creations with pride!

2013-12-13 14.39.54

Ho ho ho, Merry Christmas!

Make-along: Activity Advent Calendar part 2

Well it might have taken a few days to get to part 2, but I’ve been playing about with the layout and borders and such and I’m finally happy with my activity cards. Oh, and I had to learn how to include it as a file to download too! So here it is:

Activity advent calendar

This link will download 3 A4 pages in pdf format. I have included all the activities on the list in part 1 and kept a fairly straightforward layout so the individual cards will be easy to cut out. After much umming and ahhing I have also left the cards undecorated. This way they can be either left plain or decorated by hand, I’m going to do the latter.

I printed out the activities and marked the cut lines around the edges of the boxes. I used a 4mm border top and bottom and a 6mm border at the sides. I cut them out using scissors as it was too much hastle to get out my cutting mat and knife while young sir was desperately trying to get into everything today…

I used my fineliner pens to do the decorations, but any festive decorations would work. This isn’t the most detailed photo, but here are my finished activity cards. I’ve tried to theme the doodles to the activity, hopefully that’s obvious!

SAMSUNG

So I hope you will join me for part 3 where I’ll be making up the calendar ready for use! Not long to go until it’s needed!

Make-along: Activity Advent Calendar part 1

This year, instead of buying my wee man a chocolate advent calendar, I’ve decided to make an activity advent calendar full of lots of Christmassy activities to get us feeling festive. And I thought it would be fun to share the making process with you, in plenty of time, so that you can join in and make your own one with me!

Today I shall be sharing my list of activities that I’ve come up with, and later in the week I shall be sharing how I’m going to display the calendar. Now, first of all you will notice the obvious error that there are more than 24 items on the list. This is deliberate! My reason for it is that I wanted to make something that will still be relevant when young sir is a little/lot older, so I have included toddler-friendly activities right up to older kids/adult. And there is also the option to include religious elements (carol service) or not, if you are not religious. Or include everything and have days with multiple activities! And of course you don’t have to stick to my list, it can be a starting point for creating your very own activity advent calendar!

  1. Watch a Christmas film
  2. Make gingerbread men
  3. Put up the Christmas tree and decorate it
  4. Decorate the house/your room
  5. Make mince pies
  6. Ice the Christmas cake
  7. Go to a Christmas market
  8. Go to a Christmas party
  9. Make Christmas cards
  10. Go for a walk around the neighbourhood and deliver your cards
  11. Visit someone you haven’t seen for ages
  12. Read a Christmas story
  13. Make a festive wreath
  14. Give something to charity
  15. Wrap up warm and go outside to play (make a snowman if there’s snow!)
  16. Go for a trip to see the Christmas lights
  17. Go to a Christmas carol service
  18. Put on a Christmas CD and dance around the house
  19. Make some Christmas decorations
  20. Invite friends over for some festive fun
  21. Learn about Christmas traditions in another country
  22. A Christmas treat of your choice!
  23. Go to the library and read some new Christmas stories
  24. Random act of kindness: do something nice for someone else
  25. Choose a tasty Christmas treat and learn how to make it
  26. Christmas King or Queen: everybody draw lots and whoever wins wears a Christmas crown and gets to choose the activity
  27. Write a letter to Santa
  28. Stay up late and watch a new film with snacks
  29. Go for a wintery walk
  30. Go into town and take part in the festivities
  31. Make table decorations
  32. Hang up Christmas stockings
  33. Put out a festive treat for the birds in your garden
  34. Donate some food to an animal shelter:it’s Christmas time for them too!
  35. Phone a friend or family member you won’t see over the holidays

So join me again later this week for the next step: making up the calendar!