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Tutorial - Finishing a Christmas stocking

PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 10:50 pm
by Katiespark
Had some requests for this as I did my son's Christmas stocking in the SAL thread. Click on pictures to make them bigger.

So: After finishing the stitching of the Christmas stocking, wash and block it. Also, you'll want to have a backing fabric (I used felt) and I strongly recommend using a lining fabric to keep any chocolate or candies further away from your stitching.

1. Run a basting thread along the outside edge of the stocking shape if needed. (My pattern had a clear edge around the vertical sides, but not at the bottom.)
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2. Use a clear or quilter's ruler to mark out a one-inch border from the edge of the stitching.

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3. This, for me, is the most nerve-wracking part... cut out the stocking around the one inch border you've marked. This will become your template for tracing out the pieces you need for the lining and the back.

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4. Use the cut out to trace out the lining fabric. You will need one piece right side up...

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...and one piece wrong side up. This way, both sides of the lining will be showing right-side-up when the stocking is finished. I did my wrong-side-up piece by flipping my stitching and tracing onto the fabric (the sparkly side).

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Here's a picture of what all 4 pieces should look like when you're done. If there's one side of your backing fabric that you want to show, be sure you trace the fabric so that the side you want will be out.

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5. Now you're ready to start putting the pieces together. Load your sewing machine with the thread color you want to use - I used white. To sew your first seam, pin your stitching and matching lining shape together, back sides facing out.

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Run a straight seam across the pins, using your stitching as a guide. After sewing, remove the pins and flip the fabrics so the seam is hidden. The right side of your stitching should be up and the back should be the right side (sparkly side, in my case) out. If your seam feels bulky, you can trim it down.

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6. Repeat the process with your backing fabric and backwards lining piece. You'll see in the picture that I measured an inch down from the top and marked it with a pencil to give me a guide line for the seam. Before you sew, make sure that the sides you want will be facing out after you sew and flip.

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After sewing:

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7. Before you put it all together, use an easy-to-see color to baste the shape of the stocking on your stitching-and-lining piece. I used dark brown. This is an important step as you will be unable to see your stitching when you do the final assembly on the stocking. After I did the brown basting, I took out the blue thread. Here's what the basting looked like from the front...

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...and from the back.

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Note that the sparkly side of the fabric is up as this will be the inside of the stocking.

8. Now comes the moment of truth! Put your stocking pieces together, lining sides out. Following your basting line, sew a straight seam all the way around the stocking. GO SLOW to make the curves smoother, and whatever you do, don't sew across the top or you'll sew your stocking closed! Here's what it looks like when you're done. You can see that it has some thickness to it.

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9. At this point, you have two choices - either trim down the seams and THEN turn it inside out to see the finished product, or try to turn it inside out without trimming first. The second option is a LOT more challenging, but it's the only way to go if you suspect that you may need to redo part of your seam. I trimmed first, and I wish I hadn't. It gave me a lot less fabric to work with when I wanted to redo the toe. Keep in mind that this is just a check for you to make sure the shape is the way you like. Also, keep in mind that with a 1-inch piece of 4 layers of fabric all the way around, it will look a little lumpier than it really is. When you feel content that your stocking is the shape you want it and you're satisfied with your seam, then you can cut the seam down to 1/4 to 1/2 inch. The shape of the stocking will look much better if you press the seams open. Here's a picture of my trimmed-down seam with one side pressed open.

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10. Turn the stocking right side out for the final time. Really get your fingers into the seams and press on it to make sure you've got the shape you want. If you aren't happy with the way a curve looks, a simple trick is just to poke it with your finger from the outside. It gets rid of the "sharp" look. You can iron it to reinforce if you need to. There you have it - a finished stocking!

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View of the inside:

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If you want to add a hanger, you can loop some ribbon and hand stitch it to the inner seams at whichever corner you want to hang it from.

Please feel free to post or OM if you have any questions or if I can clarify a step for you. Happy stitching!

Re: Tutorial - Finishing a Christmas stocking

PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 11:49 pm
by dwitt
Wow! That looks really easy to follow :D

Re: Tutorial - Finishing a Christmas stocking

PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 10:27 am
by Mabel Figworthy
Great tutorial, very clear and helpful, thanks!

Re: Tutorial - Finishing a Christmas stocking

PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:16 am
by Sarah Gixxer
This is brilliant, excellent instructions and your stocking looks fabulous! Bet your son loves the stocking.

Re: Tutorial - Finishing a Christmas stocking

PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 12:37 pm
by coffee_freak
great tutorial! :applesauce:

Re: Tutorial - Finishing a Christmas stocking

PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 1:35 pm
by Lili
wow!! :applesauce: great tutorial, thank you :D

Re: Tutorial - Finishing a Christmas stocking

PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 4:12 pm
by tiffstitch
That is an excellent tutorial! I may be inspired to do another one now. I had given up trying after my last one ended up so lopsided. ;)

Re: Tutorial - Finishing a Christmas stocking

PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:48 am
by Lemmel
This is really helpful, thank you! My late mother made each of us a stocking and I have worked on one for my daughter for the past year and just finished cross stitching it, now am lost, this will certainly help. One question, I am pretty much a beginner and do not want to mess it up, when you say to wash it and block it, what do you mean? Thanks again!

Re: Tutorial - Finishing a Christmas stocking

PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 3:19 am
by Katiespark
Hello and welcome! :D

I like to wash my stitching before finishing/ framing it. It gets the oils from my hands off of it and makes it look brighter. People have a lot of different ideas about how to best wash your stuff, but for this stocking, I hand-washed it in cold water with a dye and perfume free liquid laundry soap. Blocking it refers to pressing/ ironing the piece. I blotted out as much water as I could with towels, then laid a clean towel over the piece and used an iron to finish drying and de-wrinkling the sewing. I generally apply the iron to the back side of the fabric so the stitches don't get too squashed looking. (Also, because I had plastic star sequins on the front of the stocking.)

I hope this was clear - it's past my bedtime! Please feel free to PM me if you have any other questions. I'm happy to help you out in any way I can!

Re: Tutorial - Finishing a Christmas stocking

PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 3:54 am
by calico
Thank you for taking the time to post this fabulous tutorial!! :applesauce:

Re: Tutorial - Finishing a Christmas stocking

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 5:10 am
by pattiebelle
I'd like to see this thread locked and put in "tips" permanently!!!

Rose???

:wub:

Re: Tutorial - Finishing a Christmas stocking

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 12:29 pm
by Katiespark
Aw!!! Super honored by that sentiment! :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops:

Re: Tutorial - Finishing a Christmas stocking

PostPosted: Sat Dec 14, 2013 7:31 pm
by annabruen
Another way to do this would be to assemble the lining and the stitching/backing separately, then insert the lining and finish the top with bias tape, which can be extended from the edge to make your loop. Then you have a finished seam on the inside as well as the outside. It changes the appearance a bit since it adds a bit of a border to the top of the stocking. I've also seen where you just sandwich all 4 pieces and run bias tape around the whole thing. That adds a border all the way around and it's fewer steps!

Re: Tutorial - Finishing a Christmas stocking

PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 8:09 pm
by slchartier
Thank you so much for posting this! I've been searching trying to find pictures of exactly how to do this!

Thanks!
Steph

Re: Tutorial - Finishing a Christmas stocking

PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2014 12:19 pm
by Katiespark
Thanks so much! It always makes me happy to hear that this post is still helping people out. :wub: PM me if you have any questions!

Re: Tutorial - Finishing a Christmas stocking

PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 4:27 am
by SarahLSells
Very helpful. I am intimidated about sewing this after all that work!

Re: Tutorial - Finishing a Christmas stocking

PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2014 7:10 am
by monic39
thank you very much, now it can't fail I think

Re: Tutorial - Finishing a Christmas stocking

PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 2:10 pm
by mrssstyle
This tutorial is amazing. I got up the nerve to finally cut the stocking shape out, and now I'm reading to start on the lining and backing.

A quick question: besides felt, is there another type of backing fabric you'd recommend? I bought something, but now I'm thinking it's not stiff enough. Should I try upholstery fabric?

Thanks again!

(I'm also in NC)

Re: Tutorial - Finishing a Christmas stocking

PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 2:36 pm
by Katiespark
Thanks so much! Congratulations on taking on the most nerve-wracking part - cutting it out! :)

As far as backing, you can really use anything you want. I recommend a heavier fabric simply for durability's sake. I wouldn't recommend using just a plain quilting cotton since it's so much lighter than the Aida. (Although a plain light cotton is perfect for the lining.) Upholstery fabric is something I've never tried, but I don't see a problem with using it. A thick flannel or a fleece would also work. Beware of the dreaded minky fabric! It's crazy soft and cute, but it's so stretchy that it's VERY hard to make it stitch in evenly with the lining and Aida. Good luck! Let me know if you have any other questions! :wave:

Re: Tutorial - Finishing a Christmas stocking

PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 2:58 pm
by fccs
I have always used either a velvet/velveteen or a light weight, very small wale corduroy. I've always been able to find them in colors to match the stockings, they're easy to sew on, and look great.