Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Make a Christmas Stocking

Make this pretty Christmas stocking from my easy to follow instructions.

I have chosen a piece of new linen and some pretty vintage French cotton for the outside, with recycled cotton from an old sheet for the lining. A length of crocheted lace, recycled ric rac and a vintage button adds some simple decoration.

The tutorial has been designed for those with little experience in sewing, but the more skilful crafter may like to add an appliqu├ęd motif or some personalisation with hand or machine embroidery.

You could choose other fabrics in which to make this stocking; white linen, red and white gingham and a red bobble trim would give it a traditional look, whereas a  piece of tweed recycled from a man’s jacket, a bit of corduroy and some jute fringing will produce a rustic, homespun effect.
Silk, satin and beading will look striking, while velvet, satin and a braid trim will be rich and sumptuous. 

First of all you need to make a pattern. Download and print or trace the pattern above and then photocopy to the size you’d like. You don’t need to add a seam allowance to the pattern, just use a 1cm seam throughout.

Use some tracing paper and trace out each of the pattern pieces. You need a lower stocking piece, a lining, a cuff, and a toe piece.

Choose enough fabric to be able to cut two of each pattern piece. Making sure you have the fabrics doubled with WS together, pin on the patterns keeping the double ended arrow on the straight grain of the fabric. Cut out the pieces.
You should now have two lower stocking pieces, two linings, two contrasting toe pieces and two contrasting cuffs.

Lay the WS of the contrast toe pieces on top of the RS of the lower stockings, matching the notch, pin and zigzag along the inner edge. Remove pins.
Pin the bottom edge of the cuff to the top edge of the lower stocking, RS together, matching the notch,  and machine together with a 1cm seam. Press the seam upwards.

Now, put the front edges of the stocking, RS together, taking care to match the join between the cuff and lower stocking. Pin and machine from the top to about 5cm below the cuff seam only.
Press the seam to one side, and turn over so that the right side is facing you.

 Stitch on your chosen trim/s to hide the seam line on the RS.
Refold the stocking RS together, matching up the cuff seams and the toe pieces, and complete the stitching all round, leaving the top edge open. 
 Snip into the seam around the curves of the stocking, that’s the instep, toe and heel, to enable the stocking to turn RS out easily. Take care not to cut the stitches.
Turn the stocking RS out, rolling the seams out to shape the stocking and press it well. 
 Cut a bias strip, about 30cm x 4cm, from the contrasting fabric. Fold RS together, lengthwise, and stitch a 1cm seam. Turn through with a rouleau hook or a 
safety pin and press flat.
Fold in half and pin the two raw ends either side of the back seam of the stocking, matching the ends to the top edge of the stocking.
Put the lining pieces RS together and stitch all round, leaving the top and a gap of about 10cm on the back seam open.
Take the main stocking and insert it into the lining, matching the front and back seams of each piece together. If you slip your hand inside the main stocking, it is easy to then slide it fully down into the lining.

Match the top edges of the stocking and lining and pin together. Make sure the loop is tucked down between the two layers. Machine stitch all round with a 1cm seam.

Now push the stocking through the gap in the back seam of the lining, pulling it all the way out, turning the lining RS out at the same time.

Pull the lining right out so that it forms a double ended ‘stocking’ together with the main stocking.
Turn the seam allowance of the gap to the inside of the lining, press and stitch the two folds together, to close the gap.
Push the lining back into the stocking.

Put your hand inside the lining to push it right down into the toe and heel.
As it is pushed down fully, the top edge of the cuff will roll to the inside of the stocking by about 1cm. Press this flat and pull the loop upwards.
Sew a button onto the outside back of the stocking, at the base of the hanging loop.....
........et..... voila...... a completed Christmas stocking.   Well Done!

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Pleated curtain headings made simple!

As a designer/maker/tutor of bespoke, handmade soft furnishings this handy machine would save me so much time!

It's not really cheating either, as pleated headings are usually sewn by machine, before being finished by hand.

Do any of my readers have, or use, one of these?