Monday, December 12, 2011

Tutorial: Christmas Stocking

I love making gifts for Christmas! That is, when I plan ahead and make sure I have the time to get them all done. I like using the budget we have for each family member in order to buy craft supplies and patterns. My favorite: when there is a little bit leftover that I get to save for a future use! ...and of course the look on their face...and the joy of giving...

The last couple of Christmas's, I have made Christmas stockings for my sister-in-law and her family. I chose five fabrics, and bought 1/2 yard of each. I wanted to make sure that with any new family additions there would be enough fabric for the stockings to match (totally optional, but sometimes I really like things to match).

These are the stockings that I have already made for the family:

A stocking for Mom, Dad, and my niece.
So, with a new niece born in September - I knew I had to add one more to their collection. This is what I am going to be showing you how to make today.

To get the basic shape for the stocking, I used this:

I re-sized the stocking until I got it to a size I liked (about 10-1/2" from top edge to the notch on the heel). The dimensions for my fabric strips are based on that, but you can definitely adjust it to meet the size that you want.

Next, I cut my fabric. I am using 5 different fabrics. 
Let's just cut from 4 of the fabrics first. This is what I cut from each fabric.

Red1 (snowflakes): 
2-3/4" x 7-1/2"
1" x 7-1/2"
1-1/2" x 9"

2-1/2" x 9"
1-1/2" x 7-1/2"
1" x 9"

Green1 (swirl):
2-1/2" x 9"
1-1/2" x 7-1/2"

2-1/2" x 7-1/2"
1" x 9"
1-1/2" x 9"

You'll notice that some strips are cut to a length of 7-1/2" and some are cut to a length of 9". That's because my grandma grew up in the depression and she taught me how to sew (seriously - she does not waste anything, including fabric)

Now we need to do some things with those strips of fabric so that some are ready to be sewn diagonally. With your Red1 (snowflakes) fabric, you are going to adjust the 2-3/4" x 7-1/2" piece just a little bit. Mark 1" down from the short side on the right, and draw a diagonal line connecting that to the opposite corner. Cut on that line.

Keep all of the other Red1 (snowflakes) fabric as they are.

Now, let's take a look at the Red2 fabric. We will need to modify the 2-1/2" x 9" in the same way (marking down 1" from the right side, drawing a diagonal line, and cutting on that line, keeping the top portion and throwing the other portion away sorry grandma, there is a little bit of waste).

Complete the same process with the Green1 (swirl) fabric piece that is 2-1/2" x 9", and the Green2 fabric piece that is 2-1/2" x 7-1/2".

Now, let's cut from our mix fabric.

3-1/2" x 7-1/2"
3-1/2" x 9-1/2"

You can see in the picture that I cut each rectangle into 2 pieces. I measured 1" up from the left and 1" down from the right side, connected those two points with a diagonal line, and cut.
(Now...I don't want to be confusing by making this comment, but the first stocking I made I only cut rectangles like this using only a couple of colors...I then just made a pattern with the colors...totally less complicated and still looks good).

Whew...we have all of our pieces cut. Great job!

Now, let's piece them together. This is the order that I sewed my pieces in.

Next, lay all your pieces of fabric out. The pieces of fabric that are 7-1/2" long are for the top part of the stocking. The pieces that are 9" long are for the bottom part of the stocking (because the foot is longer).

Using 1/4" seam allowance, I pieced together all of the diagonal pieces with their neighbor first, and then after pressing those, I connected them to the rectangles of fabric.

When sewing your diagonal pieces together (laying them right sides together), you want to make sure that you shift the top piece just about a 1/4" to the left. When you press the seam open, then the straight edges on the right and left will line up.

Now, we are ready to get the backing and the lining all ready to go. 

In order to give my stocking a little more stiffness (so it can hold its shape), I used two pieces of fusible fleece, cut out to the shape of the stocking. I cut one so the fusible side (the bumpy side) can iron on to the wrong side of the front of the stocking (what we pieced together), and one so the fusible side can be ironed on to the wrong side of the back of the stocking. In other words, trace the stocking pattern on your fusible fleece one way, flip the stocking pattern over and trace the second stocking. Cut around the two stockings.

Following the directions on the fusible fleece, iron (with the fusible side touching the wrong side of the stocking front and back). Trim excess fabric around the front and the back of the stocking. You should now have two pieces that look like this:
the fusible fleece is ironed on the back of each piece
Sew the front and back piece of the stocking together with right sides together,
leaving the top open.

Next, let's get our lining ready. Cut 2 stocking patterns from the lining (remember to trace and cut the stocking pattern one way, then flip the stocking pattern over to cut the other piece.

 With right sides together, sew 1/4" from the edge starting at one side of the stocking all the way around to the other side. Leave the top open, as well as an inch or two at the top of the foot in order to turn the stocking (I make the turning hole here so that way no one can ever see it).

Our last little piece to sew before we finish the stocking is the small loop to hang the stocking.

1 - Cut a rectangle of Red2 fabric 4-1/2" x 2-1/2". 
2 - Fold it in half lengthwise and sew along the long edge.
3 - Flip it inside out.
4 - Fold it in half again, sewing along the long edge.

Now, let's put all of the pieces together. 

With right sides together, put the stocking liner inside of the stocking. Put the folded tab on the side you would like to hang the stocking from, between the layers. 

Pin around the top of the stocking.

Sew around the top of the stocking (do not sew it closed).

Turn the stocking right-side out, using the hole we left in the top of the foot.

Pin, and sew the top of the foot closed with a small seam allowance.

Pin around the top of the stocking. Topstitch 1/4" from the top edge of the stocking, all the way around (don't sew it closed!).

And now, you have your finished stocking! Great work!

Now, go make a set for your family (or a family that you love)!
And have a Merry Christmas!
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  1. these are SO cute! I am new to your blog - like it so far! Come see me at

  2. Thank you thank you! I have been searching the internet for hours. And by far you have the easiest to understand instructions. Love the fusible fleece idea, very clever! I'm going to try sewing these right now!

  3. I love this! Hopefully you are checking comments still, even after 3 years.... I plan on making these this weekend. I have the fabric already, but was wondering if it is necessary to have a stocking liner? Could I just leave it with the fusible fleece?

  4. I am not the author, but if I was spending the time to make these beauties I would use a lining. You cannot believe how easy it is is for a small toy or candy to rip the fleece. Buy inexpensive muslin as your lining fabric. if the stocking is just decoration to be hung by the fireplace, then you could get by not having to line it.

  5. This is a great method for making stockings! And I love the fun fabric you used. Thanks for sharing.