Hipster's Tea Party Is A Place Where Modern Style Meets Good Ole' Fashioned Arts and Crafts.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

And the Stockings were Hung by the Chimney with Care... Wool Felt Stockings

Wanna get good at sewing on your machine?  Make these!  I'm not much of a seamstress, but I really wanted cute stockings for my family.  I found this fabulous company called Hable Construction out of New York that made (as of last year) the most amazing felt stockings!  ...for around $140 ea.  Ouch.  So, I basically ripped off there designs (all but 1) and made them myself.  So a word on taking other peoples patterns.  Here's where I stand.  No, I don't think you should take other peoples designs and mass market them to the world.  That's actually against the law.  Although I do love shopping at Forever 21... just sayin'.  But, in the privacy of your own chimney, I say in certain circumstances it's okay, as long as you give credit to the original artist when asked.  In this circumstance, Hable Construction no longer makes these, and I'm not selling them for a profit.  I'm just enjoying them in my own home... and now on my blog.  Face it, sometimes other peoples designs are just better.  Now you know my secret. BTW, can you guess which one is my design?

Now back to making these.  I have mixed feelings about the level of difficulty.  On one hand, they are tedious and down right frustrating at times.  But on the other, they are a wonderful learning experience if you want to learn to sew.  Well, don't make these your first sewing project, make them your 6th.  Because they are made of felt, there are no edges to tuck under, no ironing, not even much pinning.  The felt is the same on both sides, and when you mess up and have to pick a seam, the felt still looks nice!  Bonus!  If you want a project to work on over a few weeks, they're great.  Here's what you do:

1. Find an image you like, and a stocking shape you like.  I bought a $4 stocking from Old Navy because I liked it's shape.  You can wing it, if you want.
2.  Get felt!  I used 100% wool felt I ordered from Prairie Junction
3.  Trace your stocking onto brown paper or wax paper and cut out. Then, trace your image with tracing paper, or wax paper, or draw it out onto brown paper.  The latter is what I did. Cut out.  Take your stocking template and play with the image template on top so you see how everything is going to fit.  You will have to do this in layers.
4.  Color code all the separate parts of the pattern.  For example, put a "R" on the pattern where you want red, "G" for green...  I even put a number for which stocking if you are making multiples.
5. Take a picture!  You'll forget where everything is supposed to go once the pattern is disassembled.  Believe me, you'll forget. 
6. Disassemble the patterns and pin the labeled templates onto your felt.  Cut out.  Get yourself some of those little, really sharp orange scissors for the tiny corners.  They work great!
7. Felt glue the top layer of patterns onto the next layer.  For example, the colored pattern on the butterfly wings in my stocking.  Plan it out so you don't miss anything. 
8.  Start sewing!  Stay as close to the edge as you can with a straight stitch.  I used matching thread.  This part is very time consuming, so relax, turn on the tunes, and take your time.
9.  Felt glue the next layer into place and sew!
10.  Before I sewed the two sides of the stocking together, I put a colored edge and hook on the top of the sock.  Then I just sewed them together!  Done!  You cold blanket stitch them too!
11.  If you actually finished them, go pour yourself a glass of whine and cheers to you!

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