Sock it to 'em this year with stockings made from novel materials, done up in creative shapes, and packed with coordinated gifts. Matching the stocking to a gift-giving theme makes it all the more fun for both you and your loved ones.
When you get down to it, a stocking is little more than a gift container. Use it for a variety of holiday packages. Here, a trio of cardboard stockings takes the place of gift bags or wrapped packages. Fill the stockings with earthy delights, such as gardening tools and seeds to start next spring's garden.
1. Cut simple stocking shapes from corrugated and embossed cardboard found at art supply stores.
2. Punch holes all around and lace two stockings together with leather strips or boot laces.
3. A plant marker makes a gift tag that you can use again and again.
Classic goes high-tech when you fashion stockings from aluminum window screening. Fill the stockings with bright packagesm shiny foil-wrapped candies, and metal jingle bells before hanging them from a windowsill.
1. Using utility shears, cut a pair of basic stocking shapes from screening material, then whipstitch them together using a large-eye needle and thin silver wire. (Wear gloves to protect your hands.)
2. Turn down the upper edge to create the cuff, then trim it with beads or charms purchased from the jewelry section of crafts stores.
Sewn from French blue-and-white fabric and carrying dolls dressed like French schoolgirls, these stockings are an international hit. Hang them from bedposts to encourage dreams of distant lands. One stocking has the look of a boarding school uniform with a simple check bootie and white cotton pique cuff. The other stocking wears the same cuff with fabric printed with French sayings. Giant rickrack trims the cuffs. Stuff the stocking with old-fashioned gifts, such as an orange in the toe, candy, and a doll.
1. Unless otherwise stated, sew with right sides together using 1/4-inch seam allowances. Clip all curves before turning and press all seams after turning. Enlarge the Oui Ones Stocking pattern 000 times or 000 percent. According to the pattern, cut two each of stocking, cuff, and lining.
2. With rickrack on right side of fabric, baste rickrack along the shorter of the two long edges of the cuff, centering the seam on the rickrack. Join the cuff and lining pieces along this same seam.
3. Sew the remaining long edge of the cuff to the stocking top. Sew the stocking front to back along all but the top edges. Turn the lining to the inside so the rickrack extends beyond the edge of the cuff. Fold down the cuff. Tack a hanging loop or hook to the back of the stocking along the upper edge.
Patchwork is pure Americana and helps create the feel of a bygone era. Fill stockings with new items that look old or that you can make look aged to fit in with the rustic atmosphere. Try old-fashioned ornaments, a stuffed teddy bear, or a large candy cane.
1. Unless otherwise stated, use 1/4-inch seam allowances to assemble squares into strips and blocks and 1/2-inch seam allowances for all other sewing.
2. Using rotary cutter, mat, and ruler, cut fabric scraps into 28 squares, each 3 1/2x31/2 inches. Sew squares into four strips of seven squares each. Join strips along long edges to create a 4x7-square patchwork block. Cut muslin and batting to match. Sandwich batting between patchwork and backing; pin or baste along seams. Hand- or machine-quilt all layers diagonally across squares of the patchwork.
3. Copy the Oui Ones Stocking pattern 100 times or 1,000 percent. Cut stocking from patchwork piece, allowing for 1/2-inch seams. Cut two lining pieces and one backing piece to match; set the pieces aside.
4. Cut 3-inch-wide strips on the bias from small-print fabric. Piece strips together along the short ends to form one long strip; encase cord in strip and sew close to cord, creating covered piping. Pin piping around edge of patchwork stocking shape, except top edge. Baste along seam stitching close to cord. Sew stocking back to stocking front along all but top edge, right sides facing, sandwiching piping around edge. Clip curves and turn to right side.
5. Sew lining pieces together with wrong sides facing. Slip lining into stocking. Baste lining to stocking around top edge of stocking.
6. Cut two more 3 1/2-inch squares for hanging loop. Sew together along one side. Fold under seam allowances along long edges. Fold strip in half lengthwise so folded edges meet. Topstitch along both long edges. Fold strip in half to form loop. Pin inside stocking at upper corner opposite the toe of the stocking; align the seam allowances so the loop points down into the stocking.
7. Pin piping upside down to inside of stocking along top edge, matching seams. Sew piping in place. Turn piping and hanging loop up so seam allowances fold down on the right side of the stocking. If needed, baste seam allowances in place.
8. Cut one 5 1/2X19-inch strip from cuff material and one from muslin for cuff lining. Write name on cuff piece so center of name is about 5 inches from left edge. Embroider name with tapestry wool.
9. Sew cuff and lining pieces together along long edges, right sides facing. Turn and press. Fold cuff in half so short ends meet and lining is to the outside. Sew across short ends; turn and press. Slide cuff into place on stocking. Slipstitch or topstitch to top edge of stocking.