How to Make: Reversible Christmas Stockings!
(Or any other simple shaped item!)
Christmas is finally in the air and I am so excited! As I mentioned in my previous article, I have been looking forward to decorating my home in the loveliest way possible for the holiday season.
Today’s project is a reversible stocking! If you are not much of a sewer, don’t be nervous! This is a very simple project and a good place to start your sewing career. Once you master the art of a reversible item, you just change the shape a little and you have an endless amount of products!
Here’s what you need to make 1 stocking:
- a sewing machine! (or a friend that has one and knows how to use it)
- 1/2 yard of 2 types of fabric* (one will be the inside of your stocking, one will be the outside fabric) – if you get a fabric with a directional pattern on it and it has to face a certain way, you should probably get a little more – 3/4 of a yard at least.
- 1/2 yard of Batting (optional but recommended) – this is what’s going to give your stocking a little more shape and stiffness. It’s what goes in between layers on a quilt and can be found in your local craft store – just ask an associate for help and they’ll lead the way!
- 5-10 inches of a trim (ribbon, yarn, whatever you want to be the “hook” on your stocking – I am using jute twine – you can also just use the fabric you’re using for the stocking!)
- Thread that matches your fabric (keep in mind it won’t REALLY show but may in some places – you could choose a different color to make it more fun and decorative!)
- Embellishments for your stocking — if you want to embroider a name, or glue a letter or write in paint on the stocking, get whatever you need! This is optional, your stocking will be beautiful without any embellishments too!
- Scissors – there is nothing better than a wonderful pair of fabric scissors. If you do take the plunge and make the investment on these. (they can be expensive and you do not need special fabric scissors to complete this project but it will make cutting it out easier.) make sure you have a coupon! And tell your husband, children, roommates, and friends to back off the scissors unless they are cutting fabric! My husband knows to not go near mine!
- An Iron
- Newspaper (or just copy paper and tape!) and a pencil
- Sewing pins
- Your favorite Christmas album (my personal fave is Charlie Brown Christmas) playing in the background while you sew
*A few tips when picking your fabric: I would go to the quilting section of your fabric/craft store and get a simple light weight cotton fabric. Don’t try to go wild with this first project unless you are an experienced sewer. Using heavy fabrics such as canvas, burlap, those felt/fluffy fabrics, or upholstery fabric and slippery fabrics like silk, chiffon, and satin can make it very difficult to sew. I would recommend getting two cottons (and they have the cutest patterns!) that are similar weights.
Once you’ve gathered all your supplies, let’s get started!
Step 1: Cut your pattern.
Your “pattern” is essentially the shape of the stocking. Remember when you sew it, it will get a little bit smaller, but only about a half inch on each side. I taped together a bunch of copy paper to make a larger sheet of paper and drew a stocking on it.
If you are getting upset at me because I’ve asked you to draw something and “you’re not good at drawing,” tracing is allowed! When I did this project the first time I borrowed a Christmas stocking from my mom and traced the shape I wanted and just did a few minor adjustments to make it my own!
Once you’ve drawn your pattern, cut it out!
Step 2: Iron your fabric.
This is a step I always want to skip, but it will make your cutting and sewing easier and more accurate. No need to iron the batting. Just smooth it out if it’s wrinkled.
Step 3: CUT CUT CUT!
Fold your fabric in half as perfectly as you can (do this with both fabrics as well as the batting) and lay them on top of each other – put the batting on the bottom and your printed fabrics on top.
Then lay your pattern on top of the fabric, making sure that there is no part of your pattern without all of the layers of fabric underneath it. Take your sewing pins and pin* the pattern through all 6 layers of fabric (if you feel like 6 is too much, you can separate it out, it will make your cutting more accurate too, but if you’re confident or want to do this project quickly, this is the way to do it!)
*as a general rule, when you pin a pattern to your fabric, you don’t want the needles to get in the way of your scissors – you might miss one when cutting and ruin those beautiful sheers! (see photo of how I pinned mine.)
Now, follow the edge of your pattern and cut cut cut! Try to make your line as even as possible, but remember it’s not going to show so don’t freak out if your batting looks a little jagged.
Ta da! (There should be 2 of each piece!)
Step 4: Thread your sewing machine (the most intimidating step for most!)
If you don’t know how to thread your sewing machine (or what most often people have trouble with is that pesky bobbin), there is almost nothing Google can’t tell you! Search your make and model of your machine and someone out there will help you. If you search and still can’t figure it out, leave a comment on this post and I’ll help you. And if all else fails, call your Grammy.
Step 5: Sew your inside stocking and your batting stocking together! – STOCKING A
This is it! You’re going to start putting things together!
Take whichever fabric you’re calling your inside fabric (I know it’s reversible but pick one that we’ll call your “inside” even though it can be your outside if you want – mine is my red and white fabric) and make the stocking cutouts line up, right sides together. By “right sides” I mean for you to make the front of the fabric – the prettier side – face each other. Then I want you to sandwich the cut out batting pieces around your fabric. Here’s mind laid out and folded back so you can see the layering:
Then before you sew, take whatever you’re using to hang this stocking on your mantle, and place it in between your fabric layers a few inches down.
Now you sew! Just sew a plain straight stitch (I did mine at ¼ inch seam allowance, but you can choose whatever you’re comfortable with, just make it consistent), from the top of the stocking, all the way around to the other side – just make sure you don’t sew the top shut and don’t run over any pins you may have been using to keep your layers together! (And be careful around the toe because curves can be tricky but trust me when I say if you get a little wobbly around the curve it’ll look fine when you’re done! Don’t stress.
Step 6: Sew your outside stocking (no batting on this one!) – STOCKING B
Just like you did your last stocking, put the right sides together, pin them, and sew. This time will be easier because there’s no batting involved!
Step 7: Put the pieces together!!
This part can get confusing.
Take stocking A (still turned inside out) and turn stocking b right side out (the pretty fabric should be on the outside) and put it INSIDE of stocking A. The batting should be on the outside, and the two fabrics should be on the inside, with their right sides touching. Pin the top of your stocking (I don’t mean to pin the hole closed, I mean to pin the 3 layers so they don’t move).
A good way to make sure your stocking is lined up is to meet up your seams.
The next (and almost last) thing you’re going to do is sew the top! But what you don’t want to do, is to sew the entire circle closed – you want to leave 3-4 inches for magic to happen.
Watch this video to see what to do next.
Hurray! I love turning it right side out. Something about it is so fulfilling!
Step 8: THE LAST STEP!
Top stitch around the right side of the stocking. This is going to close your hole and also add a decorative stitch around the top of the stocking (keep this in mind – you could have your thread stand out in a different color!)
Another fun way (instead of using your sewing machine) would be to hand stitch your edge with embroidery floss to give it a thicker line! It will take a little longer, but will be really cute!
Once you do sew the top (whatever way you choose) you’re done!
Hang it up on your fireplace (or on your wall if you’re like me and don’t have a fireplace) and proudly tell all of your friends and family that YOU were the brilliant maker of your lovely Christmas decor.
Share with us your new lovely stocking! Have any questions for Janelle? Leave a comment here!