Every Christmas Eve with my mom (you know about my mom, right?), she drags out these utterly godawful stockings for her grandbabies to use–quilted cotton with a printed image of teddy bears in bathrobes and slippers, bought sometime during the Reagan administration. From Wal-mart. On sale. Ugh. But how could I complain? I, who am obviously too cheap to pony up for non-teddy bear stockings for my own kids?
All that will change this year. With four tacky wool sweaters and an easy-peasy stocking pattern, I sewed up a houseful of awesome, unique, sturdy and sophisticated stockings for the girls to…um, yeah, my mom? She always tells them to just set their stockings by the front door. So Santa can see them as soon as he walks in, you know?
Sigh. Come follow along with me, anyway, and make some stockings of your own.
You will need: a 100% wool sweater, a washing machine and dryer, a large piece of paper to draw your own pattern, scissors for paper and scissors for fabric, a sturdy needle and thread or a sewing machine with a sturdy needle installed
1. Felt your wool sweater by running it through the washer and dryer several times until it’s as thick and felted as you want it to be–this doesn’t have to be extremely thick, by the way. I lightly felted a grey cable-knit sweater for the stocking I made my Sydney, and it’s my favorite by far.
NOTE: Cutting your sweater apart at all its seams will allow it to felt more evenly all over, which is nice if you’ll be using the felted wool for a variety of purposes, but it’s not totally necessary.
2. Draw yourself a simple stocking shape on your piece of paper–this will be your pattern. You can freehand this from your own imagination, or rely on a good Google image search.
3. Cut out your stocking shape and lay it on your sweater, with the top of the stocking aligned with the bottom finished seam of the sweater. Cut through both thicknesses of the sweater to end up with two identical stocking shapes.
NOTE: If you cut your sweater apart at all its seams, you’ll need to pay more attention to laying your sweater pieces out with the same sides facing–the front and back sides of knitting look different, and while it doesn’t matter which you choose to be the outside of your stocking, you likely want them to be identical.
4. The two pieces of your stocking that you want to face outside when you’re finished–face them together now, and leaving the top open, sew continuously up the other three sides to close them.
5. Your stocking is perfect now, except that it’s inside-out. Turn it right-side out.
6. If the shape isn’t quite perfect, get your stocking really soaked with cold or lukewarm water, gently wring out the excess, then lay the stocking on top of a really thick towel and just fuss at it–pulling here, pinching there–until it’s perfect. It will take days for the wool to dry thoroughly, but it will hold its shape when it does.
How do your make your Christmas crafty?