DIY Christmas Stockings

Decor, Sewing

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Christmas traditions really are the most fun, aren’t they??  When I was a kid, we moved around a bit which means that our favorite traditions had to be mobile, like decorations or favorite foods.  Our stockings, handmade by my mom, are one of my favorite memories so I decided to duplicate them for my kids.  They’ve been so fun to create!

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Note: this is a great tradition to start when you only have like 2 or 3 kids, instead of 6.  I made 2 last year but have been nice and busy playing catch up this year.  And even though the personalized cross-stitching does take a little time, these stockings are otherwise super simple and fun to put together.  Let’s get to it!

First thing to do is create a pattern.  Sketch a stocking shape out on some cardstock, thinking about what Santa usually leaves in your kids’ stockings and making sure that the stocking is big enough.  For reference, my pattern is 17.5″ long (from top edge to toe), 6.75″ wide at the top and 4.5″ wide at the toe area (before it starts tapering).  FYI, ours are just slightly too narrow for a DVD, in case that’s important to you.

You’ll also need pattern pieces for the coordinating toe and heel fabric.  My toe piece is 3″ long and my heel piece is 1.5″ wide x 6.5″ long.

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Now you’ll need to cut out your fabric, as follows:

Cut 4 stocking pieces out of your main fabric (2 on the right side of fabric, 2 on the wrong side)
Cut 2 stocking pieces out of thin batting
Cut 1 piece of aida fabric (the kind used for cross-stitching).  You need a piece measuring 3.5″ x 7″ but I always cut mine several inches bigger to allow some breathing room when cross-stitching.
Cut 1 piece of main stocking fabric also measuring 3.5″ x 7″
Cut 1 piece of fusible interfacing also measuring 3.5″ x 7″
Cut a piece from your toe and heel patterns out of coordinating fabric

Cut 2 pieces of trim to decorate your toe and heel pieces (long enough to cover the raw edges of each piece as seen in finished pictures)
Cut 1 piece of trim to decorate the bottom of cross-stitched piece (7″ long)
Cut 1 piece of trim or bias tape, 4″ long (for a loop to hang your stocking)

Now comes the easy part!  Top-stitch the toe and heel pieces to the front of your stocking piece.  Add trim where desired, to cover your stitching.

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Now make a stocking sandwich: batting, back and front stocking pieces (right sides together) and the other piece of batting, and stitch together with a 1/4″ seam.

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Separately, sew together the remaining 2 stocking pieces, also right sides together (this will be your stocking lining).

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Turn your outer stocking right side out (the one with batting) and press edges as best as you can.  Then insert the lining inside the outer stocking (keep it inside out…you want the right side of fabric visible when you look inside the stocking).

Once you finish the cross-stitching for your cuff, you’re ready to put together your stocking cuff.  **You can also skip the personalization and just make the cuff out of another piece of main stocking or coordinating fabric!  Start by ironing your fusible interfacing to the wrong side of your 3.5″ x 7″ piece of main stocking fabric (this will be the back of the cuff).  Press the bottom edge of this interfaced piece to the back 1/4″ and topstitch.

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Do the same to the bottom edge of your piece of aida fabric and add your decorative trim.  Then, sew your aida fabric and back cuff piece together, RST.

Now comes the only tricky part!  I’ve done this several times and finally think I’ve figured out the best way…so here goes!

Turn the entire stocking inside out, lining and everything, making sure you remember which side is the front of the stocking (mark it with a pin).

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Turn the cuff inside out as well, then slip it over the top of the stocking, making sure the cuff isn’t upside down and that the name is facing the front side of the stocking that you marked with a pin.  Pin all the way around the top, making sure the edges of the cuff, outer stocking and lining pieces all match up, then stitch together, using 1/4″ seam allowance.

Now, one final step!  Turn the entire stocking right side out and fold cuff down.  Rip out one inch of the seam you just sewed, wherever you’d like to put your hanging loop.  Fold your piece of trim or bias tape in half, and insert it into this hole in the seam, making sure your raw edges of the trim are even with those of the stocking.  Turn your cuff back up to access the seam, and sew this portion of the seam closed again, over the loop.

Tada!  You’re done!  Stand back and admire your handiwork and think about the years of memories it will bring!

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