Well it is that time of year again, time to hang up those stocking in hopes that someone will come along in the middle of the night and fill them with goodies.
Last year I threw away the ratty acrylic $0.99 cent stockings my BF had promising that I would make new ones worthy of actually hanging in my living room. But I must say this is one of the brokest holiday seasons I and may other folks out there have had in a long time, so going out and buying yarn or fabric was not an option. What to do?!
A few months back I was purging old cloths, old like from high school, and I came across a beloved red and gray Fair Isle sweater that had developed some holes. Even if the holes had been fixable it was too small, so I tossed it in the washer and felted it thinking I would make a pillow out of it or start collecting to make a patchwork blanket. I remembered the sweater and I knew I had my answer.
So here it is, how to make some fun stockings out of a felted sweater:
-One 100% Wool Sweater in holiday colors
Note: those scarry winter sweaters are great if you can find a wool one and they are very cheap at the thrift store
-Some good fabric scissors or a rotary cutter
-A sewing machine, but needle and thread work too, just slower
-A stocking pattern, optional but good for anyone not comfortable freehand sewing without a guide
Step 0: Felt your sweater in a washing machine, just run it through with your regular wash, might take a couple washes to achieve good felting.
Step 1: If you are going to make hanging loops from the neckline first trim it off
Step 2:Lay out your sweater on a clear table, it may not be totally flat because different areas felted different amounts but that is fine, just do the best you can. See Top Photo.
Step 3: Cut up the center of the sweater. Just be as straight as you can or use a ruler and rotary cutter if you have them.
Step 4: Cut off the extra sleeve lengths on each sweater half, save these to make fingerless gloves. Turn the sweater halves wrong side out.
Step 5: Sew the curve to form the toe on the sleeves. You may have to try a few different curves until you find one you like if you are not using a pattern or pre-marking the curve, it just depends on how “perfect” you want it to look. If there are any holes you can adjust the curve so they end up in the seam allowance or later you can embellish over them.
Step 6: Once you have the curve you want, trim off the extra seam allowance so it won’t take up room later on.
Step 7: Sew the heel curve and leg seam, stopping just before the end. The heel seam starts up where the neck opening of the sweater is so that the ribbing/edge treatment of your sweater forms the cuff of the stocking when you are all done.
Step 8: Insert the loop to hang it with. I used 1/2 the neckline for each loop. Fold over the strip/ribbon and insert it as in the picture below. It may be easier to sew by hand if it is very bulky, flat ribbon is easier then my neckline bit on the machine.
Step 9: Trim off any extra seam allowance from the leg and heel seam. Turn the stocking right side out.
Step 10: Marvel at your craftyness!
All in all this took me and Libby about an hour, mostly because we where taking pictures and giggling a lot. If you have any questions leave me a comment. You can click on the pictures to see larger versions.
Have a happy, cheap and eco-friendly holiday!!!