It’s really here!
Here at LftPR, Christmas officially begins the day after Thanksgiving. I mean, I like Thanksgiving and all, but there’s something magical about Christmas that no other holiday can match. It’s a combination of all kinds of wonderful things: the smell of pine trees and gingerbread, the taste of candy canes swirled in hot cocoa, the brightness of lights on a dark winter evening. And, being the morning person I am (really!), no other morning can match the joy of Christmas morning. I don’t care how old I get, I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of it. Oh! And Christmas carols! You absolutely cannot forget those. I mean, real, beautiful, hymn-type Christmas carols. Yep.
Anyway, in honor of the beginning of this season of magic and miracles, I decided it was high time I made us some Christmas stockings. We already had stockings, but they weren’t…well, they weren’t just right. Memories of stockings at Christmas inevitably turn to my awesome mother, who cross-stitched wonderful scenes onto all of our Christmas stockings. She’s working on one right now for Pete! Each one is different and perfect in its own way. It didn’t feel quite right to go from that wonderful tradition to some mass-produced stockings that didn’t have much heart (if you have a mass-produced stocking and love it, that’s good, too! We’ve got lots of store-bought Christmas stuff!).
I used the old stockings as a basic template, but extended the length of the toe a bit. The foot of the old stockings was kind of stumpy. I also tried to give the ankle a little definition.
After that it was actually pretty easy. I cut two pieces for the front and back, and then two pieces for a lining. For the front piece I also sewed in a stiff interfacing, so the stockings would keep their shape as they hung. I wasn’t too worried about making the seams face each other on the inside (so that there would be no visible seams), since our old store-bought stockings had visible seems AND they were fraying pretty badly. I thought to myself, “If they can sell this crap, I can surely be excused for doing it in a homemade project.” Of course, I did try to one-up them a bit, by serging the seams to prevent frays.
Truth be told, I don’t usually serge the seams of anything I make, mostly because it can be time-consuming. It makes a project take twice as long (unless you have some wonderful advice, which I would love to hear). But, I wanted these stockings to last a good long while, and I figured this was a good way to ensure it. Not only that, but they do look more professional and tidy.
It was important to me that these stockings be personalized, in the sense that they were stockings we felt were very us. I had a hard time picking out fabrics. To match or not to match? Whimsical or classic design? I really liked this fun, bright tree pattern, but I couldn’t find anything else that didn’t look stupid with it. But maybe I shouldn’t care if they go together at all? Basically, I had a devil of a time and went up to the cutting counter about four times, only to turn around each time and try and decide on something else. The problem was that I liked so many fabrics! Such a shame you only need one stocking. At any rate, I got two that go with a lot of the decorations we already have, are still really cute, and also coordinate. There’s a part of me that LOVES a mismatched Christmas (and believe me, lots of our stuff is mismatched), but for two things hanging next to each other…I don’t know. I just couldn’t bring myself to do one in bright oranges and blues and the other in muted maroon and sage. Meh.
As you can see from the picture, I also bought pom-poms and buttons and trims that I felt would make the stockings look cheerier.
The hardest part, sewing-wise, was the cuff. I made both a little too long so the circumference was bigger than the stocking, and all in all it was pretty annoying.
To fix the circumference problem, I puckered the cuff at the opposite edge of the seam, figuring that when I folded it over, it wouldn’t be too noticeable. Luckily my bet paid off!
Except for a few minor mistakes that I won’t mention, I think they came out pretty good! Santa will have some nice new stockings to fill this year. I also really like the way they jazz up the living room. They have a lot more personality than the old stockings!
Will you be making anything homemade this holiday season?
P.S. Check out my friend Julia’s blog post for Goodwill Industries on using thrifted items to make your own stockings! How timely! You can also see her personal blog here, or buy some beautiful handmade Christmas presents from her Etsy shop.