There’s something so cheerful about Christmas stockings. They’re sort of ridiculous in their own sweet way—stuff a giant sock full of treats? Sure, why not!—but part of such a wonderful tradition, whether you’re on the nice or the not-so-nice list. I also love how the stocking ritual varies depending on the household. In my family, for instance, stockings can hold any number of things, but we always know what we’re going to find in the toe: a little orange. So, for better or worse, citrus fruits and socks are always linked in my mind!
My favorite thing about making my own stockings is how easy they are to personalize. Even with the same basic sock pattern, the end result is so different depending on the fabric and trim used. This time, I opted to use some cozy plaid flannel (the same cloth I used to line this jacket), edged with cranberry red satin ribbon. The mixture of textures in complementary colors really makes this little stocking pop!
- Wide paper to make a template (I used an old shopping bag)
- Straight pins
- Pen or pencil
- Tape measure
- Thread in a corresponding color to the fabric
- Basic sewing needle
- Iron and ironing board
- Optional: sewing machine
- Draw a stocking shape onto your paper, approximately 17 inches long by 7 inches wide, with a 10 inch wide “boot” at the bottom. Add an extra half-inch around the entire shape, then cut the template out.
- Fold your fabric in half with right sides facing. Use the template to trace out the stocking. You can either use a pen, or, if your fabric is dark, just pin the template directly to the cloth and cut around it. Cut out the two resulting stocking shapes.
- Pin the two halves of the stocking together with right sides facing. Remember to leave the top open!
- Stitch the two halves together, keeping your row of stitches a half-inch in from the edge of the fabric. If you’re using a needle and thread: sew using a simple in-and-out motion, keeping your stitches small, and knot your work by passing your needle under the thread of your last stitch. If you’re using a machine: sew using a basic straight stitch, and knot your work by reversing a few of your stitches at the end of the row.
- Fold the top edge of the stocking down a half-inch, and pin the fold in place.
- Cut a couple of feet of thread and fold it in half, then thread the needle and tie a knot.
- Using a simple in-and-out motion, stitch the fold into place. Be careful not to accidentally sew your stocking shut!
- Flip your stocking inside out (or, more accurately, right side in!). Push all of the seams out and iron the stocking to set its shape.
- Cut an 8-inch piece of ribbon, and fold it in half.
- Pin the folded ribbon inside the top of the stocking, along the edge of the straight side.
- Using small stitches, attach the folded ribbon to the stocking to make a loop.
- Cut a 16-inch piece of ribbon, one that’s long enough to go around the top of the stocking with a little extra. Pin the ribbon around the top of the stocking, folding in the ends as well.
- Stitch the ribbon to the stocking. I used two rows of stitches, one for the top of the ribbon, and one for the bottom. Knot your work at the end of each row of stitches.
- You’re finished! Now you have a sweet little stocking ready to be filled with treats.