Hello friends! If you are stumbling upon this post in 2010, check here for more lovely holiday crafty magic! xo Rachel
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The kids have been using my sister's and my old polyester stockings every Christmas. I cringe every time I hang them up. They're so... squeaky... in that synthetic fabric-y way. Ick. (Sorry Grandma. I'm sure they were rockin' in 1976.)
This year I couldn't do it. It was time to upgrade something more our speed.
Pete and I made these last night, literally in one evening. They are fast, green, and free if you have a wool stash. I am loving them in a big way.
Here is how it is done:
Materials (for one stocking)
One adult sweater, wool or wool blend
Wool craft felt
Thread, embroidery floss, and needle (or sewing machine)
Find a couple of lovely wool sweaters that you (or Pete someone you love) accidentally dried in the dryer. They needn't be 100% wool felt, so work with what you have. If you don't have a stash of felted wool sweaters, go thrifting, look in your closet, and ask your friends. You can work around small holes and stains.
Felt your sweater by washing it on hot and drying flat. Check often as some wool will quickly turn into knitted plywood. (Ask me how I know.)
Draw a stocking to the size and shape that you want (Martha is helpful here. Though her sweater stocking are not my style, the stocking in the PDF here is a good shape to work with if you need the assist.). Add a 1/2 inch seam allowance if you draw your own and cut out.
Lay your pattern over your sweater. Does it fit? If not, cut one sleeve open and machine piece together. (The King Winter stocking above is pieced). Before you cut, consider what direction you want the toe to face. For some reason toes facing left freak me out. I am a right-toe-mama all the way. If your neuroses are milder than mine just go with the best fit.
Cut out two opposite stockings so that wrong sides match when the stocking is together.
Applique pattern of your choice onto stocking. Names, stars, buttons, bells - anything goes. We went with King Winter for Sage (his true identity) and a "Fairy" (angel) for Lupine (her true identity).
Sketch your design on paper and cut pieces out of wool felt. Attach with tacky glue to stocking front, leaving a 2/3 inch border for sewing.
After glue is dry, hand or machine stitch details if desired. (In the interest of time we skipped this step. I will likely add the stitching next year.)
Match up stocking with wrong sides together and pin carefully. Sew along all but the top using your machine's longest stitch, or hand sew with embroidery floss and a blanket stitch.
Using 1 1/2 inch by 5 inch scrap of sweater, make a hanger loop. Attach like so:
Normal people would then trim threads and gently press, but I am on deadline here. I figure the wrinkles will hang out when the stocking gets stuffed.
No one but you will judge your work, so dive in and craft with joy! If you make a stocking I would love to see photos.