Sunday, August 21, 2011

Christmas Stocking Tutorial

Since I wrote on Friday about creating the in-the-hoop design for the Christmas Elf Stocking I have been embellishing and making more.  This post is about these stockings. 

I started out digitizing a basic stocking shape with the curly toe.  The top was left open.  I used a single stitch outline.  My plan was to hoop some tear away stabilizer in one of my largest hoops.  Then I would lay the fabric on top of the stabilizer, unhooped with the fold of the fabric across the top of the stocking, and let the first round of stitches outline the stocking.  The next thing that stitched would be whatever design that was going to be on the front of the stocking.  I chose a single color ornament design.  Then I would lay the next layer of fabric over the first layer, fold of the fabric across the top of the stocking, and let the outline stitch again.  Everything worked as planned.  I was able to pull the fabric away from the tear away stabilizer, trim the fabric around the stocking stitching and turn the stocking right side out.  It looked nice but was a bit small, and I noticed that I had not attached a loop for hanging the stocking.

Back to the drawing board.  I have a regular, red and white, fuzzy stocking that I bought as a standard for comparison purposes.  Through the next few tweaks with the digitizing program, I was able to enlarge the stocking to fit the hoop.  The hoop that I'm using is actual 16 1/2" x 11", but I cannot use all of that space because the corners are rounded.  The stocking ends up about 8" wide and 12" or 13" long because it's being made inside out.  Measuring the elf stocking against the standard stocking shows that the final is only slightly smaller than the standard.   The design was finalized and there were 3 stockings constructed during the tweaking phase. 

Since I had more of the golden colored fabric, I made two more stockings in the final design, one with candles and a poinsettia and one with candy canes.  They turned out very nice.  That is pretty much where I was when I last wrote.  I realized that I would need to figure out how to make a cuff and embellishments.

That is what I've been working on this weekend.  I had used all of the golden fabric but I did have scrap pieces remaining.  I thought if I could make a row of small, one inch, designs, on the folded golden fabric pieces, fold at the bottom, I could attach the row of designs to the top of the stocking.  It worked perfectly.  By placing the right side of the cuff to the wrong side of the stocking, I sewed around the top edge.  Then I placed the loop at the seam, loop side inside the stocking, and stitched loop and cuff straight up to finish off the cuff.  The cuff was then folded outside the stocking and it was done.  It looked very nice.  I have since thought that if I need to make the stocking longer, I could simply make the cuff longer and fold the cuff outside at a higher place.  I haven't tried that yet.

Once all of the cuffs were done, the stockings looked real cute but still needed something.  So, I got out my rhinestones and began applying them on the stockings.  They turned out adorable.  The only one that I didn't put rhinestones on was the candy cane stocking.  I would be concerned if a child swallowed a loose rhinestone.  I'm still thinking that there should be something on the toe of the stocking.  Maybe a little jingle bell, but I'm not sure at this point.

Today, I was looking around in my studio and found a piece of black satin fabric.  Since so many people around here love fleur de lis, I thought I would make a stocking in black satin with a gold fleur de lis.  I only had enough black satin for the outside of the stocking.  Instead of having a double layer of fabric with the fold at the top, I used a double layer of gold jersey with the fold at the top and then laid the black satin on top of the gold jersey and folding the top down a few inchs.  The outline and design were stitched and then a second layer of the black satin, folded at the top a few inches, with a double layer of gold jersey on top of that.  Then the design finished.  This worked out beautifully.  In fact, at this time I realized that using the double layer of jersey gave the stocking a bit of thickness that was lacking in the other stockings.  I used some of the scrap black satin fabric to make the cuff.  This cuff was made with a 2 inch fleur de lis design making the cuff larger.  Once all of the sewing was done, I filled in the fleur de lis outline with gold rhinestones.  The lining of gold jersey adds an pleasing touch. 

Tomorrow I have orders to fill.  This weekend was my time to play with the stocking design.  Hopefully, I'll be able to make more stockings before the Arts & Wine Festival in October.  Now that all of the designing and digitizing is done, these stockings are a lot of fun to make.

C'est tout, mes amis.

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