Our second project in our Handmade Holiday series is a set of coordinating stockings! The two of us thought long and hard about what we wanted our Handmade series to be comprised of, the most obvious answer being items we needed for decorations and for gifts.
Well, we were utterly bereft of any stockings for this Christmas. My sister had some felt stockings floating around that she had made a few winters’ ago that we excavated and used to make a pattern for the new stockings…and ran into so many bumps and hiccups thereafter that I am truly surprised I got all four stockings made in time for Christmas morning!
I must tell you that this post isn’t a tutorial. I’ve got to do some major revision on the pattern and my overall sewing process to make it worthy for a how-to, so instead I give you some tips if you’re new to sewing of everything I learned, in the hopes that it saves you from experiencing the same extreme frustration.
1. When you create a prototype in order to see if your pattern works, and the result is excellent, then sew the real deal as you sewed the prototype. Don’t do what we did when we decided that the fabric was too soft and the stockings needed more structure; this led to a trip to Joann’s and a huge waste of money as the interfacing purchased was the wrong weight and totally wrong in the general scheme of things, seeing as how we really didn’t need the interfacing.
2. Take the time to create your pattern. The two of us became completely impatient after we drafted our pattern and began cutting material hither and thither, never stopping to really think about what we were doing until something inevitably went wrong; then we would try to fix that mistake but simply make everything worse! (I’m pretty sure one of us cried at that point.)
3. Be sure to use sharp, sharp scissors. Seriously. I have a really nice pair of scissors but the best pair in the world won’t cut correctly if they aren’t sharp which mine decidedly are not. Every time I cut out a pattern piece it would come out with jagged edges and would never line up flush with its mate. More fabric than I care to remember was wasted because we persisted in using dull scissors. I had to bust out my sister’s stocking stuffer, a new pair of Fiskars, to see this project done.
We were so happy and excited to begin this project and have cute stockings this Christmas that we lost our heads in the process, but this experience certainly taught us a thing or two about patience and thoughtful planning, something we never would have learned if we hadn’t made a big mess out of everything.
And in the end, we did get some pretty cute stockings out of it all.