Friday, December 2, 2011

Christmas stockings, anyone?

Well, my laptop is alive and kicking again!  I've been sewing and crafting like a mad woman in anticipation of Christmas, and now I can post about it!

You've already seen my bookpage ornaments, so today I thought I'd do a sort of double post about the cute little stockings I've made and the star ornaments I've been making to go with them.  If you follow this blog for very long, you'll soon discover how much I LOVE burlap and linen.  Probably my two favorite fabrics to work with for home decor projects.  Actually, when I say favorite to "work with", I should probably qualify that by saying that, in truth, burlap is the most annoying fabric in the universe to work with, but the results are so pretty I'll just ignore that aspect. ;)

I've seen lots of burlap stockings this year, so I decided to put my own spin on some.  Our house doesn't have a fireplace, with the result that we have no proper mantle from which to hang stockings.  I do, however, have 2 shelves that serve as my seasonal decorating space in our living room.  Each shelf is held up by 2 wrought iron brackets that have a little loop at each end, making them the perfect place to hang some small stockings.  Haha!  Problem solved.  I'm not entirely sure what I'll do if we have any other children, since the 4 stockings we have now look so perfect together, but I'll cross that bridge if we ever come to it.  For now, I just needed 4 stockings.

I scaled the stockings to fit with the small shelves, so each is about 6 1/2 inches from cuff to heel, and about 8ish inches when hanging.

I didn't have a pattern, so I just drew a rough stocking shape on some paper, and used it as a guide.  Each stocking is lined with muslin, and has a white linen cuff.  The muslin lining doesn't really have a purpose, as we won't be actually putting anything in these, but it does peak through the burlap a bit, so it looks nice.  The linen cuffs were a bit of a problem.  I planned to sew the stocking and then attach the cuff with my machine after I'd turned the stockings right-side out.  Umm, yeah, that didn't work out.  At all.  The stockings are so small and stiff (Remember my comment about burlap being annoying?  Consider this be be exhibit A.), there was NO WAY I was going to be able to maneuver them under my machine's foot.  Soooo, I had to hand sew those suckers in there.  Not my original plan, but it ended up working out fine. Since these stockings are so small, and really just decorative, it doesn't matter that the cuff is just hand sewn in.  Plus, they're so stinkin' cute, who cares if the inside looks a little rough?  I've already sold several on Etsy, and I'm delighted that they'll be brightening other people's homes this Christmas, too!

As you can see in that picture, I decided to label each stocking with a cute little star charm.  I hand-shaped the stars out of polymer clay, baked them in the oven, and then painted a little monogram on them.  They turned out so well that I'm making lots of them to give as gifts.  Here's a close-up of the ones I did for our family:

How great are those?!  They have a little twine attached for hanging, either from a stocking or as a separate ornament.  One customer ordered a set with red letters, rather than black, and those turned out really well, too.

So here are our stockings in their Christmastime home.  I apologize for the heinous lighting in this photo, but we have very little natural light in our living room, so there's not much I can do about it.  Boo!  (Cue toddler-style tantrum)

I'll do a post soon about my holiday decorating on those shelves (the other one is, obviously, not pictured above), so this is just a sneak peek. :)  Hope your holiday decorating is coming along well.  I absolutely love decorating for this time of year.  And yes, most of that went up the day after Thanksgiving!

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