Tuesday, December 16, 2008

'Tis the Season...

I have been working on non-garment projects lately. Last week the Memphis Sewing Guild had our annual Christmas party. The challenge this year was to make and bring "the stocking of your dreams". These were to be brought in concealed in a brown paper sack, then they would all be layed out on a table and we would guess who brought which stocking. Well, I really don't have a 'dream' stocking. It is just not something I think about all that much. So I procrastinated until the Tuesday before it was due on Thursday. I grabbed a printed velvet from my stash along with a black satin scrap and threw together a stocking. It was finished, but nothing special. I was underwhelmed.

I decided I would purchase some fringe to attach to the little black satin cuff at the top, and that might snaz it up a bit....but it rained all day Tuesday, so I decided to wait until Wednesday. Well, by the time I got around to thinkng about getting ready to consider going to look for trim (are you seeing a pattern here?) it was raining again! Not that I would melt or anything...but who wants their hair to frizz just for some trim to snaz up an underwhelming stocking? Not me.

So I decided to make a different stocking! I decided to think outside the box a bit. I mean, if I don't 'dream' of a stocking, what would I dream of? The gift INSIDE the stocking? Like, a little velvet hinged box and what might be glittering inside? Perhaps a set of new keys with a bow on them? Hmmm.... Well, if I am gonna dream outrageously, I might as well take it further! So Here is "the stocking of my dreams":

My DH couldn't really see the humor in this. ;) But as I explained to him, had I put HIS face on the stocking, none of the ladies would have recognized it (Although he countered that they WOULD know a 'good thing' when they see it! Can't argue with that!).

To make the stocking, I googled George Clooney and found several photo sites. I picked the one I wanted and saved it to my computer. In Photoshop, I cropped and resized it to print 8½" by 11". Then I cut a piece of FREEZER PAPER that same size, ironed it to a piece of muslin, and cut the muslin to the size of the freezer paper. Then I put that into my printer and printed G.C. right onto the muslin.

I peeled the freezer paper off the back and saved it for another day/another print job. Then I put my stocking pattern onto George and cut him out.

Since the muslin was kind of thin, I doubled it, putting an unprinted piece behind G.C. when I cut him out...these were to be treated as one...like an underlining. I chose a black cotton for the backing and the lining and cut these out, too, the same size.

I layered the stocking front and back pieces right sides together.

I put the lining pieces right sides together.

I inserted a short piece of ribbon between the layers of the lining to use as a hanger...I wanted the hanging loop to emerge from INSIDE the stocking. Many times the loop comes from the outside seam of the stocking...this is just personal preference.

Next I stacked the stocking pieces onto the lining pieces and stitched around the whole thing...through ALL the layers.

Then I clipped all around.

To TURN this pile o'stockings right side out, I stick my hand between the stocking and the backing...this is NOT in the middle of the pile.

I cut some bias strips of the black fabric to bind the top. After joining the ends, I folded it in half lengthwise and pinned then stitched it to the top of the stocking, stitching through all layers (lining and stocking).

Then I flipped the binding up and over the top to the inside of the stocking and pinned in place. I stitched in the ditch on the front side to secure the binding and Voila! The 'stocking of my dreams'!

For the original (underwhelming) stocking, I treated the top edge a bit differently. For that one, I cut the lining pieces TALLER than the stocking. Then after the stocking is stitched all around and turned right side out, the lining sticks out the top of the stocking. It is then folded over like a cuff.

The raw edge of the cuff must be dealt with, though. You can:

  1. ravel the edge to create fringe, or

  2. add a sewn-on trim, such as purchased fringe, or

  3. turn under a full cuff's width and stitch or glue it to the top of the stocking.

You could probably calculate how much cuff to turn under and press it into place BEFORE stitching the layers together, so the cuff would be self-lined with a finished edge, although I haven't tried that! These are just a few of the top treatments...I am sure there are many others! But I do love this method of creating lined stockings...quick and easy!

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