Top Christmas Stocking Tutorials

Just in time for Christmas, here’s a round-up of great Christmas stocking tutorials on the web.

Family Fun Elf Boot Stocking

An elf boot stocking from Disney’s Family Fun site.

Amy Butler Stocking Pattern

Amy Butler’s stocking pattern (scroll down to the stocking pattern) made with felt, fabric trim and pom-pom fringe.

CRAFT Podcast: Stitched in Time Stockings

CRAFT features a monogrammed stocking pattern straight from Alicia Paulson’s new book Stitched in Time.

A Fanciful Twist’s no-sew stocking uses hot glue on scallop-edged felt.

Martha Stewart has a slideshow of Christmas stocking ideas including rick-rack felt stockings and decorative hole-punch felt stockings.

Finally, a couple of knitted versions: Knitted mini stockings from Little Cotton Rabbits and a knitted and felted stocking excerpted from the Winter Knits Kit
(via Canadian Living).

And please feel free to add other tutorials in the comments.

Anthropologie’s (Too Cute to Be Just) Dishtowels

Anthropologie Dishtowels

Cotton dishtowels, 28" long by 21" wide, from Anthropologie.

Dacia Ray shares a great idea for making the most of Anthropologie’s dishtowels, which might be too precious to use for their intended purpose. Try repurposing the dishtowels to use as a sewing machine cover like the one shown at Dacia Ray, or maybe as a pillow or for decorating a child’s room. Many of the dishtowels have cute appliques or embroidery so they would be perfect for kids.

How to Make a Sash Belt or Scarf

Sash Belt - 1
Sash Belt - 2

Silk charmeuse sash belt measuring 71.5" (1.8 m) long by 2.5" (63 mm) wide with angled ends and edgestitching.

This sash belt also works as a long scarf, especially if you make it wider, like this 5.5" wide Banana Republic scarf, this 9" wide Karen Zambos Vintage Couture scarf, or this 5" wide Porter Grey scarf. Some, like the Karen Zambos scarf and this J.Crew silk twill sash belt, are topstitched. They are generally about 2 yds (1.8 m) long.

Materials: Silk twill and silk charmeuse are common fabrics to use, but any non-sheer woven fabric would work. Heavier weight fabrics would work best for use as a belt; lighter weight fabrics should be used if you want it to double as a scarf.

Instructions

  1. Cut a strip of fabric about 2 yds (1.8 m) long as shown in Diagram 1. To determine how wide the strip needs to be, multiply your desired finished belt/scarf width by two and add 0.5" (13 mm).
  2. Diagram 1

    Diagram 1

    Note: Alternatively, you can cut the fabric on the bias. With 44" (1.1 m) wide fabric, you can make a bias sash about 60" (1.5 m) long before having to add a seam.

  3. Fold the fabric strip in half lengthwise with right sides together and cut the ends at an angle, as shown in Diagram 2.
  4. Diagram 2

    Diagram 2
  5. With a 0.25" (6 mm) seam allowance, sew the raw edges together along both angled ends and along the length of the fabric, leaving an opening of about 4" (10 cm), as shown in Diagram 3.
  6. Diagram 3

    Diagram 3
  7. Trim the seam allowances at each corner, turn the sash right side out, and press.
  8. Finish by either (a) slipstitching the opening closed or (b) topstitching close to edge along all four sides of the sash.

How to Make Twisted Fringe for Scarves and Wraps

Twisted Fringe

Twisted fringe on the end of a wrap.

While I’ve shown fringe on a sarong and a scarf already, I haven’t covered how to make the most popular type of fringe, the twisted fringe.

First, section off the loose fringe into evenly spaced intervals. Starting at one side of the scarf, divide the first section of fringe in half and twist one of the halves until it starts to kink. Separately twist the other half in the same direction until it starts to kink. See Diagram 1.

Diagram 1

Diagram 1

When the two halves are twisted, hold them together at the ends and twist them together in the opposite direction, as shown in Diagram 2.

Diagram 2

Diagram 2

Finish by knotting the twisted fringe close to the end. Repeat on remaining sections of fringe.

Adding Shirring to Tops or Dresses

Shirred Top - 1
Shirred Top - 2

Zara blouse with three rows of shirring added to the waistline. The shirring was formed with elastic thread with the rows spaced 0.5" (13 mm) apart.

Tops and dresses that are full or boxy, lack a defined waist, or just need a slight change can be quickly altered with some shirring or smocking. To try this out yourself, you’ll need elastic sewing thread.

Hand-wind the elastic thread on your bobbin and use regular thread on top. Be sure to sew with the right side of the garment facing up so the elastic thread will be on the wrong side. If you’re sewing around the circumference of the garment, start and stop at one of the side seams (or both, especially if you think you may have to adjust the tightness of shirring). As you start and stop each row or each section of shirring, leave long thread ends and don’t backstitch. After you have finished shirring, and adjusted the fit if necessary, tie all the loose thread ends.

If you haven’t sewn with elastic thread before, practice sewing with it on some scrap fabric first to see how tightly you should wind it on the bobbin or if you need to adjust the tension on your machine. Keep in mind that the smocking will get tighter as additional rows are added.

Here are some ways to try this technique:

Add shirring at the bottom of the shirt (i.e., drop waist) for a blouson effect like I did with the Zara shirt and like these at Topshop and Urban Outfitters.

Add shirring at the natural waist or the empire waist of a dress or top like on this fine gauge sweater at Anthropologie, this Theory dress, and this C&C California tunic.

Add shirring to short flutter sleeves to turn them into puff sleeves like on this Urban Outfitters blouse.

Add a bit of shirring to the center front of a dress just under the bust like on this Vince sweater dress.

How to Make a No-Sew Jersey Scarf

No-Sew Jersey Scarf - 1
No-Sew Jersey Scarf - 2

Viscose jersey scarf with raw edges, measuring 2.5 yds (2.3 m) by 18" (46 cm).

Perfect for a long strip of leftover jersey fabric. I was inspired by the American Apparel jersey scarf which is as basic as it gets (just a rectangle of raw-edged fabric), but seems to be pretty popular for being so soft, versatile and portable (read what Mighty Goods had to say about it). All you’ll need to make your own jersey scarf is 2-2.5 yds (1.8-2.3 m) of a soft jersey knit fabric. Cut the fabric as shown in Diagram 1.

Diagram 1

Diagram 1

You can pick a slightly sheer cotton jersey like the American Apparel scarf (which is 93" long by 16" wide). You can also try rayon jersey like this narrow Banana Republic metallic scarf (80" by 7") or this Nordstrom scarf (80" by 18"). Make sure that the wrong side of the fabric looks fairly nice because both sides of the fabric might show when you are wearing the scarf. After you cut your fabric, just leave the edges raw; the edges of many jersey fabrics curl up naturally.

Liberty Fabrics at J.Crew

J.Crew stores are full of Liberty fabrics right now. The soft, lightweight Liberty cotton comes in so many different prints, so which ones did J.Crew choose to use? Here they are:

Liberty Fabric

They’ve used the flowery prints on shirts, a skirt, a makeup bag and kids clothes (really, they are all over the store). You can find the same fabrics yourself, along with other Liberty prints, at intfab.com (which has the red and pink fabric and the navy fabric) and fabricsandbuttons.com (which has the lime and periwinkle fabric).