A last-minute Christmas craft project

Yesterday – my last day off before Christmas – I had fully intended to get into the festive spirit by (finally) putting up our tree, and wrapping presents.  I failed.  Why did I fail?  Because instead I was inspired by a project I saw recently by friend & blanket stitcher extraordinaire, Britta Jarvis: mini stockings (shown right).  Suddenly I decided that that was what I really needed to do, in order to start feeling Christmassy.  (I think it was the thought of the stocking fillers I have for my parents & sister, combined with the realisation that stocking fillers without a stocking aren’t even really fillers…!)

Britta’s stockings were made of felt & – as implied earlier – beautifully blanket stitched around the edges.  But as this was a completely off-the-cuff decision on my part (definitely no time for shopping!), of necessity my stockings were made from whatever materials I already had to hand.  Luckily, although under normal circumstances I will tell anyone who will listen that I cannot sew & have a hate-hate relationship with my sewing machine, I am powerless to resist pretty fabrics & hoard them, anyway..  Thus, no festive colours whatsoever, but I think I like them all the more for that!  And although I did begin by attempting a blanket stitch edging on Stocking #1, I very quickly unpicked after realising my non-proficiency in terms of seamstressing meant that I would do far better to work concealed seams, instead…

Stocking #1 has both sides cut from a tea towel, with no attempt made on my part to align the pattern in any way – as clearly seen!  I drew a rough stocking shape freehand onto the reverse of the fabric, then flipped it over & drew around it for a matching reverse side.  I might have done better to do a quick google search for a stocking pattern to trace (the ‘neck’ of this first one came out a little narrow), but I just wanted to get on with the project, so I decided not to worry about it.  The open end of the stocking, I hemmed the edges using a very primitive running stitch – yes, it could have been neater, but it was good enough for me. 😉

Stocking #2 is made from a thinner fabric, so to avoid flimsiness, I opted for a sturdy craft felt for the reverse side.  Brown would probably have been better, but orange was the best match available from my stash.  I tried to make the neck slightly wider this time, and the body slightly fuller (must remember actual gifts need to fit inside!) .

I think Stocking #3 shows positive results from my little learning curve, with proportions far more convincingly stocking-y.  The body is less rounded, yet has far smoother curves at toe and heel – guess that’s what happens with practise! 😉 Each of the stockings is approx. 7″ tall, but the widest point of Stocking #1 is 5″ across, compared with 6″ across Stocking #3 – it’s amazing how much difference such a small measurement can make to the overall look.  I must confess, I’m kind of in love with Stocking #3, which is why I was motivated to actually take pictures before we parted company…

As a finishing touch, I used an off-cut from each piece of fabric used  to make a matching badge, which I then pinned to the heel of Stockings #2 & #3 (& the toe of Stocking #1) to brighten up the plain reverse side.  The badges are removable, but I think they look kinda cool. 🙂

 

Given that every year I fully intend to make my own Christmas cards but never actually manage it, I’m very proud of myself for actually managing to do something handmade this year!  It only took a couple of hours to complete all 3 stockings, and that was including any minor mishaps needing to be recovered along the way.  I’m sure anyone more proficient with a needle (or sewing machine) could whip these up far more quickly than I, but the experience has nonetheless left me feeling quite positive (& indeed slightly inspired) about future handmade projects.  Felt plus fabric is definitely a successful combination.

Hmm, suddenly I am feeling the need to collect felt in a wide array of colours…
No hang on, I do still need to put up that tree & wrap presents…!

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