Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Festive Christmas stocking tutorial

After catching myself singing Jingle Bells out loud to my boys at Walmart earlier today, I decided tonight would be a good time to try a Christmas craft. A couple friends have asked me to make stockings for their families, so this is the sample I made to test out my technique. I think it turned out pretty well! This stocking is quilted, cuffed and fully lined.

I've never done a craft tutorial before, so be patient with me  (=

What You Need:
-- approximately 1/2 yard if printed fabric for front and back of stocking (or a fat quarter of 2 different fabrics if you want variety. I went with this green snowflake print for both front and back).
-- same amount of a lining fabric (I used plain white)
-- 1/2 yard fusible fleece or other batting material
-- 1/4 yard contrasting fabric for cuff, or a cute trim piece like I've used.
-- thread

Step one to creating a stocking like the one above is to choose the size and shape you want. I just drew a freehand stocking shape onto a piece of unprinted newsprint and used that as my template. One of the things I considered when drawing my stocking is that I wanted the leg of the finished piece to be wide enough for a small package, oranges, etc. Some of the commercial ones are very narrow and not terribly practical.

When you're happy with the shape you've drawn, use it to cut out two pieces of fusible fleece. You can use other batting material as well, but I like the fusible because you can quickly iron it to your outside fabric and it makes it easy to quilt without pinning. Be sure to flip the fleece over for your second cut, so that you'll have the fusible part facing in the right direction when you attach it to your front/back fabric. 

Cut two rectangles of front/back fabric slightly larger than your fleece stocking shapes. Place fleece stockings, fusible side up, on your ironing board, centre the fabric (right side up) over the fleece stockings and press with a hot iron according to manufacturer's directions. It should stick very quickly. Allow the fused fabric/fleece, and then use your sewing machine to quilt whatever design you like. I used a basic diamond pattern, but I think free motion swirls would be lovely. Cut excess fabric from the edges of stocking, leaving enough for small seam allowance. Do this for both front and back.

My sewing machine came with this little bar that just slides into the presser foot shaft. It makes it easy to keep my quilt lines a uniform distance apart.

After quilting is finished, cut two stocking shapes out of lining fabric, once again turning fabric wrong side up for one of the cuts. Layer your quilted pieces right sides together and top them with your lining pieces, also right sides together.

This is how the layers should look: lining, lining, fleece/fabric, fabric/fleece. Pin all layers together, and stitch around the stocking, keeping your stitches right against the fleece edge and leaving the top of the stocking open.

Clip seams at all curves, snipping through your seam allowance, but not through the line of stitching. This will help the curves sit smoothly once they are turned to the inside.

The next two steps are where the magic happens. First, slide your hand between the two lining layers of your stocking sandwich and turn it inside out, so the lining fabric is showing on the outside of your stockings. The stitched seams should show no raw edges. Quickly press the seams. Next, slide your hand between the front/back fabric layers and turn the stocking inside out again. Voila! This should reveal the front/back fabric on the outside of the stocking while turning the lining inside and hiding all of your interior seams. The top of the stocking will still show raw edges. Sorry, I forgot to take a photo of this step.

Now that your stocking is turned out the way it will look when it's finished, you should make a hanging loop for the stocking. To do this, I used a scrap of front/back material and fold it over so that right sides were together. Then I stitched a seam approximately half an inch away from the folded edge. The total length of my loop was about five inches. Cut fabric on the side of the seam furthest from the folded edge, turn it right side out (I use a knitting needle or chopstick to assist), and press it flat, with seam in the centre. Put aside.

For the cuff on this stocking, I used two little pieces of lacy-type material I had in my stash, but you could just as easily use a rectangle of contrasting fabric sewn in half, and turned out, like a larger version of the loop. I stitched the lacy pieces together so that they formed a loop the same width as the stocking.

Place the cuff inside the stocking, with right side of the cuff facing the right side of the lining fabric. Pin into place, matching raw edges with the top of the stocking and making sure side seams are aligned. Tuck fabric loop between the cuff and lining, near the top outside corner of the stocking. The loop part should face downward, into the stocking, while the raw edges of the loop align with the raw edges of the stocking. Hope that makes sense. Stitch around the circumference of the stocking, making sure to catch all layers (lining, fleece, front/back fabric, cuff fabric and loop ends) in the seam.

I used a double zig zag stitch to clean up the raw edge a little, but it's not really necessary. Flip the cuff from the inside of the stocking, over the top and press down into place on the outside of the stocking. The cuff will self cover the seam attaching it to the stocking, and the loop will now be visible.

Your stocking is finished after the cuff is flipped to the outside, but it's fun to play around with embellishments. I auditioned a fabric rosette and some tiny adhesive bling to up the fancy factor of my stocking, but I haven't decided on either option for sure.

Once again, here's the finished product. Congratulations if you've stuck around to the end of this tutorial. I'd love to see your stockings if you decide to try one! Or if you totally love this stocking, I'll be listing it in my Etsy shop, BluePea. Thanks for reading!

Linking to:

Simpsonized Crafts





  1. Nice job! I like the rosette version- so cute!

    -Rochelle @ homesweethomebodies.blogspot.com

  2. You did a beautiful job! I love everything quilted. Your friends will be blessed to get one of these.

  3. cute! I'm book marking this. Making stockings is on my to-do list for this Christmas!

  4. Oh, I reallyl should be sewing some stockings, too! I wanted to do it last year already but did not get any further then printing the pattern ... *sigh* There are simply to many great projects out there!

  5. Hi Tanya

    Thank you so much for stopping by at Christmas Believe. I am your newest follower too :)
    How beautiful is this stocking?! Well done you :) I'll explore your blog a bit more. Would you like yo join the photo swap? No worrries if you are busy.


  6. You made my day!! I think that is one of the best compliments I have ever heard! I had to call my mama and read it to her, lol. To be honest, I listen to the music all of the time. It is the best to clean to, haha. I pray you have a great day!

  7. Very nice tutorial. I have to make two stockings this year, I really like your idea of fusible fleece. I had not thought of that.