Sunday, December 10, 2017

Twice-turned Christmas stocking tutorial

There was very little happening in the sewing room recently.  I started experiencing sewing withdrawal and needed some fun sewing this week. Itching to make something Christmas related,  I floated the idea of replacing the kids' Christmas stockings to freshen up our Christmas decor.  That didn't go over very well.  Apparently, my sentimental teens like the ones I made each of them when they were born.  I can't quibble.  I wasn't contemplating sewing myself a new stocking to replace the one my grandmother knit for me 40-something years ago!

The mice were on my side though and provided me with a reason to sew some stockings.  When I spoke with my mom on Monday, she told me that mice had gotten into her bin of Christmas decorations and among other messiness had shredded the Christmas stockings.  They weren't stockings with sentimental value, so I think it's OK I had a skip in my step on the way down to the sewing room on Tuesday to make these:

Quilt as you go, twice turned Christmas Stockings

I made the star with my Rapid Fire Lemoyne Star ruler by Deb Tucker of Studio 180 Design.  I think I'm a little bit addicted to these blocks.  Where else can I use them?  A 4" block with no trouble at all!  Now I want to try a 3" one.  Maybe I need a few new ornaments for the tree.

At work at the Quilting Connection last month I learned a new technique for making quick, easy, lined stockings.  I loved that I didn't have to cut individual stocking shapes from print fabric, lining and batting before sewing.  We used pretty Christmas prints, no patchwork piecing, so it was a very quick project.  For mom and dad's stocking I wanted some piecing, so I pieced a panel to use for one of the fabric pieces.  Read on for more details.

Materials :
  • Stocking template of your choice (I just traced an existing stocking onto freezer paper and added 1/4" around the shape to account for bulk at the seams)
  • 2 rectangles of thin batting* - I used Thermore
  • 2 rectangles of lining fabric*
  • 2 rectangles of print fabric* (or one rectangle and one pieced panel large enough to fit the template plus at least 1/4" all around
  • 2" x 5" piece of fabric for hanging loop
  • fabric for the cuff (length = twice the width of top of stocking + 1/2" for seam allowances, height = twice the height you want the cuff to be + 1/2" for seam allowances)
*These rectangle pieces are all the same size, large enough to fit your template plus at least 1/4" all around.

Materials for optional pieced panel
  • 1 - 4 1/2" (unfinished size) pieced block (or fussy cut print square)
  • assorted scrap strips
  • 1 rectangle of Thermore (or lighweight interfacing you can see a traced outline through) large enough to fit stocking template plus at least 1/4" all around.

    Piecing the optional panel

    (Skip ahead to the next section, Stocking body assembly,  if you are using a print instead of a pieced panel for the front of your stocking.) 

    Step 1:  Trace the template on a piece of Thermore.  Make sure you use a marker dark enough to show through on the other side of the Thermore as well.

    Step 2:  Place your block or 4 1/2" fussy cut square right side up on the batting, positioning where you would like to see it in the stocking shape.

    (It turns out I didn't take enough pictures of this part as I made my stocking, so I just made a rough start on a mini stocking too illustrate.  Pretend the white square is actually a star block!)

    Step 3: Choose a scrap strip that is long enough to extend along one full side of your block and past it, overlapping the drawn line of the stocking shape.  Place the strip right side down on the block, matching one end with one side of the block and one side with a side of the block.   The strip should extend past the block, over the stocking outline.  Sew the strip down with a 1/4" seam.  Fold the strip back, out of the way of the square, and press.  You now have a strip sewn to one side of the block.
    Sigh.  I forgot to take a picture of the strip folded back out of the way of the square.

    Step 4: Add a second strip to another side in the same way, ensuring that it covers the end of the first strip, runs along the side of the block and extends past the stocking outline.


     Step 5:  Continue adding strips in this way, always ensuring the strips extend past the stocking outline.

     (We now rejoin my original stocking in progress.)

    Step 6:  Continue adding strips in this way until the entire stocking shape is filled. Here's what mine looked like.  I added the strips near the toe at an angle, but you can add them however you like, as long as any seam allowances inside the stocking outline end up covered.  Notice that the stocking outline is completely covered as well.

    Here's what it looks like from the back.

    Next comes the stocking assembly  If you skipped the pieced panel and are using a print fabric instead, this is where you should join in.

    Stocking body assembly

    Step 1: If you are using a print fabric for the front of your stocking, trace the stocking template on the wrong side of the fabric. If you are using the pieced panel, the traced outline of the stocking you used for the piecing will show through the Thermore. 

    Step 2:  Layer your batting, lining and print/pieced panels in the following order:
    1. batting
    2. lining, right side up
    3. lining, right side down
    4. batting
    5. print, right side up
    6. print or pieced panel for front of stocking, right side down 
     Note that the traced outline should be visible on top of the stack.

    Step 3:  Pin all the layers together carefully.  Sew along the traced outline of the sides and toe of the stocking shape, leaving the top of the stocking unsewn and backstitching at the beginning and end of the stitching.  You might like to use a walking foot for this.

    Step 4:  Trim around the stocking outline, leaving a 1/4" seam allowance.  Clip the seams on the curves, cutting the seam allowance perpendicular to the seam line but being careful not to cut into the seam itself.

    Now here comes the fun part!

    Step 5:  Reach in between the two layers of lining fabric and pull the stocking inside out.

    Well, not looking fun yet.  Keep going

    Step 6:  Now reach in between the two print layers and turn the stocking inside out again.

    Aren't you glad you kept going?  I forgot to take a picture, and the stocking is now in the care of the postal service, on its way to Nova Scotia, so I can't do it now, but I trust me when I say that the inside of this stocking is beautifully finished, with no unfinished edges. There is still that unfinished top, but adding the cuff will take care of that.

    Step 7:  Trim the top of the stocking to get a clean, straight edge.

    Making the hanging loop

    Step 1:  Fold the 2" x 5" piece of fabric in half lengthwise. Press.  Unfold fabric.  Fold long sides of fabric to the center fold.  Press.

    Step 2:  Fold in half lengthwise again to enclose the raw edges.

    Step 3: Topstitch about 1/8" from each edge.

    Step 4:  Fold strip in half end to end and baste the ends together to make a loop.

    Step 5: Pin the loop to the inside of the stocking, matching raw end with the raw edge at the top of the stocking.

    Adding the cuff

    Step 1:  Fold the cuff fabric in half end-to-end.  Sew the ends together with a 1/4" seam allowance.  (Check that the resulting tube fits snugly inside the top of the stocking.)

    Step 2:  Bring the raw edges of the tube together, encasing the wrong side of the fabric.  This will become the cuff.

    I used Cuddle fabric (similar to minky) for my cuff and I have to say that stuff was awfully slippery.  By the second stocking, I figured out to baste the raw edges of the tube together before the next step.  I don't think this would be necessary with less slippery fabrics, but I guess it wouldn't hurt.

    Step 4: Tuck the cuff into the top of the stocking,  matching raw edges of the cuff with the raw edge at the top of the stocking, distributing the fabric as evenly as possible.  A little bit of fullness here and there is OK.  Pin into place and sew all around, 1/4" from the edge.

     Step 5:  Pull the cuff out of the stocking and bring it down over the raw edge.

    There you go.  You're done! You might want to make another one to keep it company.

    Linking up with:
    Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River
    Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts 
    Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication