Hello, and happy nearly December to you!
I honestly don’t think I have ever been so excited about Christmas/Yule. We cannot wait until the 1st December hits and I can finally put up all the decorations and festive bits and bobs I’ve been gradually making. (Although I did sneakily change over our Seasons Table today…)
To get into the festive spirit, we will be giving away this lovely, hand-embroidered stocking for a Mama. I thought that this Giveaay should be about celebrating how much a Mama does at this time of year. If you are a Mama, then you deserve a lovely stocking all to yourself, or maybe you just know a Mama who you’d like to give this too. To be in with a chance of winning this stocking, just leave a comment after the post telling us what your favourite Yule tradition is. (Winner will be picked using random number generator on Friday at 7pm)
I'll also be showing you how to make your own, completely personalised stocking, since handmade stockings are just so lovely. They are surprisingly easy, can be totally customised and do not require much in the way of sewing skills. A machine is handy for securing the back and front together, but you can just use a blanket stitch instead if you don’t have one.
I have four to make (oh yes, baby Ezra is getting one too!), and have done two so far. So!
All you need is:
Felt of different colours (I used felt that was a mix of wool and acrylic)
Ribbon for hanging
1. First of all, you need to decide what size and shape you want your stocking to be. I went for a fairly big, standard shaped stocking and drew it out on tracing paper. With your felt folded in half, draw around your stocking, then pin together the felt and cut. You should have two stocking shapes!
2. Next, you’re going to create the white collar at the top. Using your stocking as guidance, place it ontop of your tracing paper and draw around the top and sides. Stop when you get to the point your collar will end. Draw a horizontal line across and cut this out, then fold together your white felt, pin and cut out two stocking tops from your tracing paper template.
3. Now, this is the fun part. You get to decide what you want on your stocking! I’ll show you two examples of other stockings later, but for this Mama one I decided I wanted winter flowers and then some embroidered ‘doodle’ lines. So, I sketched a few flower shapes until I came up with one I likes, and decided I was going to use green and white felt for this.
4. I decided on 5 flowers, so using a template I drew on tracing paper, I cut out 5 white flower parts and 5 green flower parts. Easy. Now to sew them on!
5. Place your flowers where you want them to be, and either make a mental note or take a photo.
Then, sew one green flower on.
I used a split stitch to outline the green flower, and then I placed the white flower on top and used a simple running stitch to stitch that on. Then, I placed a white button in the middle and sewed that on securely. Repeat with four other flowers!
6. When you’ve done that, you can doodle on some fun embroidery lines to create swirling stems and add some extra prettiness. I used a running stitch and white embroidery thread and, drawing down where I wanted the lines to be roughly first (on a piece of paper, for guidance), I sewed them on to the stocking.
7. Now, we need to embroider ‘Mama’ onto the white collar. There are lots of ways to do this. I simply sketched the word onto paper first so I had a bit of guidance, and then I very lightly wrote it on the felt with pencil. Barely visible kind of light, so that when you stitch on top, you won’t be able to see it. Remember to leave room at the top, bottom and sides of the felt for further stitching. I used a split stitch to create the word so that it had a nice thick line to it.
8. Once I was done, I used my machine to sew the stocking together. Place right sides together and pin, then sew all around the edge (apart from the top, obviously – we need a gap for gifts!).
Snip small ‘v’ shapes into any curved seam allowances, then turn right side out, smoothing and pressing with an iron (dish towel between your iron and felt to stop burning)
9. Now, you’re going to blanket stitch both sides of the collar, making sure that it fits flush with the stocking. Because we used up ½ inch or so of your stocking at each side as a seam allowance when we sewed the front and back together, you should now have just enough extra collar at each side to sew a nice blanket stitch up it.
10. Once you’ve done this, you want to sew a piece of ribbon onto your stocking with which to hang it. A nice chunky ribbon works well. You can machine stitch it if you want or just hand sew but make sure you make it extra secure and tight. The collar will go over any visible stitches.
11. Now, you’re going to place your collar over your stocking and blanket stitch all the way round the top, until it is securely sewn on. Repeat at the bottom of the collar, but just to edge it – you don’t have to sew it onto the stocking, just tidy up the edge and make it a little sturdier.
12. Admire. Hang it up. Put lovely gifts in it.
Here are some other stockings I've done too - Hopefully you can see how easy it is to customise a basic stocking and make it as personalised as you want!
(Howard's stocking, with simple Yule trees sewn on)
(The start of our Winter Seasons Table...)