'Tis the season for felt socks with cute designs to hang around homes, offices, and classrooms. What better way to give a small gift or decorate your space than to break out the needles and thread and stitch up a (very festive) storm?
- Downloadable stocking template
- Acrylic thread in various colors (dark green, red, blue, orange, yellow, purple, brown)
- Fabric scissors
- Paper scissors
- Sewing needles
- Sewing thread in various colors
- Embroidery floss (green)
- Sewing pins (optional)
- Tacky glue
- Pencil, marker, or pen
1. Prepare Your Stocking Base
Download and print out the template linked in the supplies. For larger stockings, adjust the size or orientation of the image for printing in Adobe Photoshop (or with some other image editing software), or redraw the template by hand on larger paper. Cut out the design with fabric scissors.
Using a marker (I used a blue highlighter), trace the template design twice on to dark green felt. Cut out your felt stocking pieces with fabric scissors.
2. Assemble the Applique Pieces
Cut out circles from red felt. In this case, I didn't use a template and some of the edges are a bit sharp, but will be smoothed over during the stitching portion. Cut out enough circles to cover one side of one of the green stockings.
Don't worry about circles hanging off the edge of the stocking as they will be trimmed later. When satisfied with their placement, use a couple of dots of tacky glue on each circle to keep them in their place while you assemble the applique pieces.
Cut out small rectangles from various colors of felt and scatter them around the stocking. Glue them in place with a couple of spots of tacky glue. Alternatively, you can pin each shape in place.
Now it's time to cut out shapes to depict the ribbon and bows on the presents. Measure the rectangular presents and cut out thin strips to measure. Use a color that contrasts with the present itself. For the bow, cut out four little teardrop shapes from the same color as the 'ribbon'.
Alternatively, you can use actual ribbon for this step and make loops and knots for real bows. Once again, glue or pin each piece in place.
3. Sew on the Applique Pieces
Thread your needle with a color of either embroidery floss or sewing thread that matches the felt you're about to sew. I prefer to use a whip stitch for projects like this, but you could also use a back stitch or another stitch of your choice.
Continue stitching around each shape, knotting off and changing colors as you finish a shape or encounter a new color of felt. For an alternative detail, use Sulky thread or metallic thread to give your applique a shiny edge.
As an optional detail, you can sew on little faces to the presents to give them some personality (and extra cuteness). Cut out small circles from dark brown felt for the eyes and half circles for the mouths.
Cut out a large piece of white felt and measure it against the top of the stocking for the cuff. You want the pieces to cover 3/4in of the top of the stocking and to extend 1/2in or so beyond the edges of the stocking so they can be stitched together later.
4. Blanket Stitch the Sides of the Stocking
When you're finished with the applique designs on the front of the stocking, take the other green sock piece and place it behind the front. In order to stitch the sides up and add a finished edge, use a blanket stitch. If you haven't done blanket stitch before, just follow the next few steps.
Push your needle through both pieces of felt starting through the backside, as you would for a whip stitch.
Pull your needle and thread through. Before pulling it through all the way, bring your needle through the loop of thread. Pull tight.
Continue around the stocking for a full edging of blanket stitches.
5. Sew On the Stocking Cuff
Start with the front piece and side of the stocking and cuff. Cut a thread long enough for the blanket stitch edging to continue onto the stocking's white cuff. Continue with a blanket stitch, only catching the white felt piece and the front side of the stocking. Do this along the bottom edge of the cuff.
When you get to the side of the stocking, stitch together the back cuff piece (it helps to have these pieces pinned in place to their respective stocking sides).
When you get to the top edge, blanket stitch each white piece by itself. I found it easiest to go in this order: the front piece, the left sides, the front's top edge, the right sides, the backside's bottom edge, and finally the backside's top edge.
For a final touch, cut a two to three inch strip of felt no more than 3/4" wide. Fold it in half to make a loop and back stitch it to the inside of the backside of the stocking.
Hang Your Stocking
Your stocking it ready to be hung with care! I hope you enjoyed working with felt and make a plethora of winter and holiday themed stockings for gifts this year, if you celebrate some form of Christmas. If not, I hope you enjoyed working with felt and playing with some easy stitches and techniques.
For more fun with felt and fleece, check out the following tutorials: