Monday, January 11, 2010

Before the Christmas stuff gets packed away...


Making good on my first resolution, I decided to finish my Christmas works-in-progress before we put the Christmas stuff in storage until next year.

First was the Christmas bunting I've been meaning to make since 2008. Everyone else is doin' it, so why not me? It is such a super easy project and makes the room look much more festive. I used a variety of fabrics: a pack of modern Christmas fat quarters, some Christmas prints I found on sale, and diverse green and red fabric scraps I had in my stash (another resolution, check!). I kept my colors in the red, forest green and lime green range, mostly.

I simply cut 2 triangles out of each fabric with pinking shears. I made yards, and more yards, of bias tape out of some green fabric I had. Then, I pinned the top of the triangles (wrong sides together) inside the bias tape and top-stitched all the way. I sewed the tape into loops at either end to simplify hanging. Easy, peasy, done!

Next on my Christmas project list was finishing our family stockings. I made some basic stockings last year out of a bunch of red flannel I got for a great deal. I promised myself I would personalize and embellish them before Christmas 2009 and it didn't happen. I couldn't get away with putting those puppies in storage without finishing them!

I wanted to do something fairly modern and simple, and also include each family member's initial. I was inspired by these lovely and simply sophisticated stockings on Inchmark. And when I saw Betz White's review of Applique Your Way with a couple of detailed photos, I thought I would just wing it and try out some applique letters. Right.

First off, I picked a fabric for each person out of my scrap stash, somewhat suited to each family member's personality and gender. For the applique letters, I started by drawing some capital letters I liked from various font families. Next, I drew my favorite version of each on fusible interfacing and cut them out, and ironed them onto fabric scraps. I cut the fabric a 1/4 inch around the interfacing.

This is NOT how I ironed the interfacing!
I just laid out all the fabric and scraps
to give me an idea of the finished look.

And this is where the fun began! I clipped notches around the letters so that I could neatly fold the fabric and make some pretty applique. Or so I thought. It ended up looking like crap.

Crap, I tell ya!

Change of plans! I ironed the clipped edges flat once again and trimmed very neatly along the interfacing. Since my stockings were already sewn, I couldn't bear the thought of hand-stitching each letter through the stocking tube. Can you imagine the finger-stabbing nightmare? So I top-stitched the individual letters very carefully about 1/8 inch from the edge. I then pasted them on the stockings with masking tape (gasp!). I'll just need to get some fabric glue before next Christmas.

The top portion of the stocking was easiest. I simply cut out rectangles, folded and pressed the edges and attached them by top-stitching at the top of the stocking. On the back, I tucked one side under the other folded side and top-stitched. I focused on making the front pretty and neat, so the back has unfortunate pleats, but who cares.

Jenny: Embellished Christmas Stockings

I added an embellishment for each person. Husband got some "masculine" brown grosgrain ribbon, baby boy got some white rickrack, and I made myself a rickrack flower (thanks Martha!) with a button center -- from the stash of vintage buttons my mother-in-law handed down to me this past summer!

Overall, I'm pretty pleased with the result. Ta-da! Now we can finally put those Christmas boxes away. Did you get to finish your Christmas stockings before the holidays?

Angel-mini-button I did get my stockings finished! I used a PurlBee pattern but did not do the embroidery. I like them *ok* but knowing me I will either embellish them somehow before Christmas or will make new ones. Because I didn't follow the pattern exactly, they ended up quite a bit smaller than I'd have liked. We love stockings in my family and tend to load them up! Yours turned out great, I love the monograms.

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