My big Christmas project this year was to make Louisa and Leo stockings. It's taken me a while to find the time to write about, but here goes!
AJ's and my childhood stockings are still at our parent's houses. Mine is needlepoint and his is knitted. I can knit a little bit, but certainly can't do an elaborate reindeer pattern like his, and I don't do needlepoint at all, so I turned to another source of inspiration for our little ones' stockings.
This is my dad's stocking from when he was a boy. They lived in Germany a few years and that is where this stocking is from. It is hand stitched with felt and yarn and sequins and beads.
The angel is my aunt's.
I ordered my felt through a custom listing from Material Evidence Shop on etsy. Her 40 x 40 cm large squares were just the right size for the stocking pattern from this purlbee project. (I didn't follow any of that project's instructions, just used her pattern for my basic stocking shape.) 100% wool is not cheap, but I wanted these to be heirloom quality.
I liked the snowy ragged edged cuff so I modified the purlbee pattern to include that too. I lay the cuffs on the stocking fronts while I laid out the designs but I didn't sew anything together until I finished the designs and sequins.
I copied the scene from my dad's stocking pretty much exactly for Louisa's stocking. For Leo's I made up a little reindeer scene. I drew both on paper and laid them out in lots of pieces before I traced and cut out the felt.
I hand-stitched everything down with matching strands of embroidery floss. The snowy ground on my dad's stocking hasn't held up very well, so I braided three strands of white yarn to create the ground on Louisa's and Leo's. Then I stitched the sequins on with seed beads and put a little bell on each. Since I was going to line them I didn't worry too much about what the under side of the design looked like.
I put some stuffing in Santa's bag and the reindeer's body to give them a little bit of dimension. I added some vintage star-shaped sequins to the sky of both after this picture was taken.
Then I finally started sewing! First I stitched up the front and back panels of the felt stocking, right sides together, and the front and back of the lining, right sides together.
I clipped the curves on the around the heels and ankles and then turn only the lining right side out.
Then I stuffed the felt stocking (still wrong side out) into the lining so that the wrong sides were together, then pinned and sewed around the top edges.
Now the main part of the stocking was finished and still inside (lining-side) out. Time to attach the cuff, which also served to cover the raw edges at the top of the stocking.
I sewed up the side seams of the cuff panels, and slid the cuff, wrong side out, over the top of the stocking, pinned and sewed.
Then I reached in and turned the whole stocking right side out, so that it looked like this with the cuff sticking up:
Then I folded down the cuff, and voila!
I hand-stitched felt loops into the lining along the side seam and underneath the cuff to hang them. It would have been prettier to sew the loop into the lining's side seams at the start of the project, but I was afraid it wouldn't have been strong enough to hold all those presents, and if the loop gave out a few years from now, it would be a pain to repair if it was torn out of the side seam.
I finished these late Christmas Eve while AJ was "helping Santa" put Louisa's new kitchen together.
Louisa reaching for her stocking on Christmas morning...