Merry Christmas (Stocking): Free Tutorial & Pattern

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As you know, I taught some sewing classes in Boston earlier this year, with the plan of teaching sewing down here in Georgia. Well, it’s been almost six months and I still haven’t booked anything. I put out some feelers, including the offer of teaching a ‘make your own Christmas stocking class’. It was more of an idea than anything else; the Christmas season was approaching and I got the feeling that a traditional Christmas project would attract students. I myself have never celebrated Christmas, and don’t intend to ever start. So naturally, when I offered this class, the universe said, ‘Oh, really?’ A few weeks later, I got a request to possibly teach this class, and did I have a sample?

Well, no, I didn’t have a sample! I’m the sort of person who makes the sample after I book the class. Samples cost me money because I rarely have fabric/materials that I’d both want to lose to a class sample and that would appeal to a general audience on hand, so I always have to go out and buy them. I was eager to seal the deal, so I said I’d send along photos on a specific date, despite not having any of the materials I needed or solid picture of what a Christmas stocking looks like. Whew! You saw how that turned out in my quarterly quilting update two weeks ago. Needless to say, I did not secure the class.

But you know what I did secure? Valuable lessons. When I taught classes in Boston, I prepared in advance to offer classes reflecting my interests and experience, and they naturally went well. But this time I offered classes outside my wheelhouse and my main skill in an all-fired hurry and got an output befitting my input. Instead of sharing my skills with the world, I was trying to make a buck. Wrong, wrong, wrong!

I decided that I would re-do the stocking in a way that reflects my normal sewing process, and take pictures along the way. Well, sewing my normal way – planned, not rushed, and well finished – resulted in a bomb stocking that I’m proud to share with you and a tutorial that I hope will inspire a stocking or two this Christmas or in the future. :) Oh, and if you do make this stocking and happen to share it on Instagram, it would be awesome if you could tag #hotforteaching and @makingtheflame. Okay, on to the newest Christmas stocking tutorial on the block!

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You will need:

1/2 yd batting

3/4 yd two different quilting cotton fabrics

1/4 yd faux fur, fleece, felt, minky fabric, or contrast quilting cotton

This tutorial will show you how to make a lined, quilted Christmas stocking with a cuff and hang tab. You will need to pick one of your fabrics to be the exterior fabric, and one to be the lining fabric. The batting is needed to give the quilting some depth. The minky/furry/textured fabric is what make a Christmas stocking, a Christmas stocking!

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1. Draw/download your pattern. You can definitely draw your own stocking pattern, or you can grab the one I made – click here to download it for free! And no, you don’t have to give me your email address or get bombarded with ads, or anything else like that. That link goes to a file on my Google Drive. :)

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2. Using a pattern, cut out two mirror image stockings from the batting and both fabrics. Alternatively, you can cut the stockings from the fabrics first, then trim the seam allowance plus a little more (up to 1/4″) off the pattern and cut out the batting stockings. For speed, I folded the quilting cottons along the grain and laid the fabrics on top of each other, aligning the folds and the bottom edge on the cut side. I then put my pattern on top of the stack and cut all four stocking pieces in one go! After this step, you want six stocking halves, with the batting halves smaller all around than the fabric halves.

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3. Prep stocking halves for sewing and quilting. Lay both batting halves on the wrong sides of both exterior halves and pin the layers together in a few places. Lay the lining pieces together, right sides facing. Pin as needed to keep everything in place. You should have one complete, unstitched, stocking and two stocking halves.

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4. Quilt and stitch exterior and lining stockings. Stitch the lining pieces together using a 1/2″ seam allowance, starting at the top edge and stopping somewhere along the sole, backtacking at the end of your stitching. Repeat on the other side. The lining stocking should be fully stitched except for an opening of 4″-6″ along its sole. Grab the exterior stocking halves and mark stitching lines on the right side of the fabric, 1″-2″ apart. Quilt each half along those lines. After quilting both exterior halves, lay them together with right sides facing. Stitch all the way around the stocking, starting at one top edge and finishing at the other top edge. Press the stitching lines and pink the seam allowances on both stockings.

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5. Form the cuff. The cuff on this sample is kicked up a notch because that’s how I roll, but you can keep things simple and get an equally cool result! Cut a rectangle of 13″x15″ from your contrast fabric. Bring the 13″ ends together, right sides facing each other, and stitch. Press the seam open and then fold the tube in half, wrong sides together, so you have a circle measuring 14″ around and 6.5″ high. Press the fold.

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6. Form and stitch the tab. (Sorry, I didn’t photograph this step!) I love the tab because it is dead simple – cut a rectangle 5″x15″. Fold it in half along the 15″ length, wrong sides together, and press. Open the fold and then fold each half of the fabric in half again along the 15″ length, wrong sides together, and raw edges meeting that center fold. Press. Keeping those two side folds intact, refold the piece along the center fold and press again. Starting at one short end, stitch across the short end toward the long, open edge. Stitch the long edge and finish by stitching across the other short end. Press the stitching line.

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7. Stitch all layers together. Turn the exterior stocking right side out and place it inside the lining stocking so that the two have their right sides facing each other. Grab the cuff (should be two edges, ie both sides of the fold) and insert it between the two stockings, raw edge aligned with the raw edges of the stockings. Insert the tab at the outside stocking seam (ie, not the side with the “ankle” curve) between the lining stocking and the cuff. Pin, pin, pin! Make sure everything is neatly aligned and in place. Stitch. Press the stitching line. You can grade the seam to help it lay flatter, but it’s not absolutely necessary.

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8. Finish. Pull the exterior stocking, cuff, and tab through the opening in the lining stocking, then slipstitch that opening shut by hand. Press the top edge of the stocking a bit more. You’re done! You have a fab Christmas stocking that you made yourself. Merrrrry Christmas to you and yours!

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Soooo are we going to talk about this fact I made a sewing pattern???? My first one, and not my last – I really enjoyed the time consuming and maddening process! I already want to make a pattern for oven mitts. My first several patterns will be non-sized, non-garment patterns because I want to use them in classes I teach down here, and because I want to work out alllll the kinks before I attempt a garment of any size or type. If you use this pattern, please let me know what you think of it! If you are in a hurry, just post a pic of your finished item on Instagram and tag #hotforteaching and @makingtheflame, so I can see it and reach out to you. Otherwise, you can come back to this post, my About page, email me, or contact me through another social media/blogging channel. Weehoo! Closing out 2019 with a bang because it really needs to be blown up, hah.

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