Those Christmas Stockings

tf christmas stocking 1aGuess what? Only 360 days till Christmas! Anybody out there ready? No? 🙂

I’ve had some requests to share the pattern for the Christmas stockings I posted on Facebook. And I planned to do that — to just tell you the name of the pattern and maybe post a picture or two. But it seems there’s not one mention on my pattern, anywhere, of the name or copyright of the thing. And I’ve had it for 25 years. So … with my apologies to the pattern creator, I’ll have to show-and-tell you how to make them.

I made my first pair of these in 1985, the year Dave and I were married. No sooner did I have them tacked to the fireplace-less wall of our fourplex in Bellingham when our 75-year old neighbor, Kathryn (otherwise known around the fourplex community as “Babe” ) knocked on the door. She saw the stockings. She liked them. So as soon as she left, I sat down and made another, which Dave and I filled with goodies and walked next door to her.

Over the next few years, I made stockings for my sisters and their husbands, and, as they came along, my son and daughter and nephews and niece.

A long time passed before I needed to unearth the pattern again. This Christmas, we had two new additions to our family: Brittney and Gage. It felt very good to hang two new hooks above our wood stove on Christmas Eve. I can’t wait to add more. 🙂

In the beginning, I made the boys’ stockings with a combination of dark green squares and either plaid or some other Christmas print (Scottish girl that I am, I’m kind of partial to plaid, so Dave’s and mine are green/plaid, white/plaid). The girls’ stockings were white eyelet and either plaid or a print. For the kids’, I bought teddy bear print and Christmas wreaths and geese … pretty much all that was available to me back then. There’s a lot more fabric available now. I showed my friend, Taryn, how to make these in early December, and she bought a big variety of really beautiful fabric — all of it Christmasy, but using lots of colors other than just green and red. So you just pick whatever you like.

Since I can’t tell you how to buy the pattern, I’ll just give you my dimensions and you can use newspaper to draw and cut out a stocking shape you like. That will work.

First, decide how you’d like to do the names. I cross-stitched mine on 14 count Aida cloth (I think I used 18 or even 22 count in the beginning, but that was ridiculously small for me this time … the eyes, you know. They’re the first to go.) When I first made these, I just charted a very simple alphabet on paper. But this time I wanted something fancier. I searched online and found a free font I liked, then played with that and added some checkered red and green for color. Zac’s Aida cloth had gotten pretty stained over the years, so I went ahead and made a new one for him to match the two new ones.

This strip measures 9″ long by 3″ high. If you don’t want to cross-stitch the names, you could cut a piece of fabric this size and use fabric paint to write the names.

Next, cut 4 1/2″ squares out of your fabric. You’ll need 14 total. For the one I’m showing you, I cut 7 plaid and 7 from white eyelet (I couldn’t find eyelet like I used to use back in the day, so Taryn let me cut a section out of a curtain she had at home. Some incredible friend, huh?)

Lay those out on the counter in an arrangement you like. Then, pinning the squares together and using a 1/4″ seam, stitch them together by rows, then attach the rows. (If you do manage to find eyelet fabric like mine, make sure you thread the ribbon before sewing the pieces together.) Here’s what mine looked like after that:

Now you’ll need to make a stocking pattern. You want it to be as wide at the top as the name piece–so draw something that is 9″wide. Just sketch something on newspaper … it will be great. 🙂

Pin the stocking pattern to the sewn fabric and cut it out. It will look something like this:

Now you need to cut out a piece of batting for both the front of the stocking and the back. But you want the batting pieces and the back of the stocking to be the size of the front PLUS the name piece. So you need to pin the name piece pattern (or just remember to add 3″ to the top of your stocking pattern) and use that bigger pattern to cut out two pieces of batting (not too thick) and one piece of fabric for the stocking back. I forgot to take a picture of what I did, but it isn’t hard. I had a lot of dark green fabric, so I made the back of Brittney’s with that.

You’ll want to quilt that back piece to the batting. I just made crisscross stitches 6″ apart to hold the two together.

Next, pin the front of the stocking to the batting all around the bottom, then pin the name piece to the top of the stocking and sew, securing both pieces to the batting:

Now when you flip the name piece up like this …

… it will cover the rest of the batting.

If you’re adding trim, pin that to the front of your stocking in such a way that you cover the stitching. If you use eyelet trim like I did, thread the satin ribbon through the eyelets before you pin and sew. Stitch that piece to the stocking along the top of the trim and again about a half an inch below that. You want to stitch it so that if someone were to lift the trim they wouldn’t be able to see the stitching between the name piece and the stocking body.

You’re almost ready to stitch the front and back together, but before you do, cut a piece of satin ribbon (maybe 6″ … whatever seems good to you), fold it over on itself, and pin the edge of that to the edge of the stocking about an inch or so from the top. Stitch that to the name piece:

Now you can stitch the front of the stocking to the back. Lay them right sides together and stitch along the sides and bottom, using a 1/2″ seam. Leave the top unstitched. Turn the stocking right sides out and press the seams with your fingers to flatten.

Next, make a liner. For this you’ll just want to cut two pieces of fabric the same size as the stocking, place right sides together, and stitch along the two sides and part of the bottom. You want to leave a gap at the toe through which you’ll pull the stocking out at the end. I know that sounds weird … just trust me on that.

Leave a big-enough gap at the toe that you can pull the stocking through later.

Leave the lining inside out–the way it is right now–and start to slip the stocking inside it. This will seem awkward, but just keep tugging it inside. When you’re done, the liner will completely cover the stocking, and the right sides of each will be touching.

Keep tugging till the tops meet

Now pin and stitch the tops of both the liner and the stocking, being careful not to catch the satin ribbon you just sewed to the side.

When finished, reach down into the gap you left in the liner toe and grab the stocking. Start pulling it out:

I know this part seems very strange, but it will work out in the end. Just keep pulling and tugging until you have the entire stocking outside the liner. Now press the edges of the gap under and stitch it closed.

Tuck the liner back into the stocking, press all the seams with your fingers, and voila! You’re done!

Now check to see if the recipient approves …

… I think we’re good. 🙂

If you want to embellish, you can add little satin bows to the corners of your squares, or maybe buttons. I forgot one of the bows on Gage’s. Hmm.

Have fun! If you make one, I’d love to see a picture!


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2 Comments on "Those Christmas Stockings"

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anita scheftner

Darling! the Pic and the stocking 😀

Stacey Weller

Those are sweet. Lots of individual time working on those, too. Happy Holiday.

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