Thursday, November 25, 2010

Week of Christmas crafts: Day 4 & Happy Thanksgiving!

First off- HAPPY THANKSGIVING if you're actually reading this on Thursday. I wrote this post on Wednesday, so I hope you're having a great day celebrating with friends/family and eating a whole lot of yummy goodness. (I know I will be)

Today's craft is something I've already talked about here on the ole' blog....
burlap Christmas stockings!

That's right...I've looked at hundreds, nay, even thousands (ok, maybe not) of different burlap stockings out there in the world wide web (mostly on etsy) and here's a couple of my favorites.

First up is this lovely with the ruffles. Oh those ruffles, how I love them. Also...diggin the fact that it's photographed in front of a pile of chopped up wood. Not quite sure why...
I've posted this pic before, and I think this one made the cut with me because of the monogram. Lovin that big ole' lower case g.
Now...onto how I made these, and oh by the way did I mention that I don't really sew? Hmmm? Because, by the by, I don't. Not really. The little bit of knowledge I have on the subject came from my mom, grandmother, friend and costumer, and costume construction professor in college. (theatre major) So... I'd like to thank Phyllis, Mattie, Judy, and John Franklin for teaching me how to thread and work a sewing machine.
First, you'll need burlap. duh. I picked mine up at the hob lob last week and guess where I found it? That's right- in with the remnants.

One of the remnants was 1.49...

And the other was 2.09. So, all together that's, .....hang on, I can do this......hang on............3.58. Yep. I spent a total of 3 dollas and 58 cent-a-roonies on my burlap. Score.

The other materials are ever whatcha want- you could use ribbon on the fronts, felt, maybe you want a monogram painted on, maybe you want jingle bells or pompoms.....skies the limit folks. Just go to etsy and type burlap stocking for more inspiration. (better yet, just click that link. but don't stay there forever. etsy can be addicting. not that I'd know.....I've just heard)

Anywho.... first I had to make my pattern. Since a stocking is a fairly simple shape, I figured I could just free-hand it. I got some packaging paper (I always have this on hand. Not quite sure why, but it sure came in handy today, didn't it?) and a pencil...

(you could always just draw a pattern onto newspaper or wrapping paper)

and went to a-sketchin. I drew one, wasn't crazy about it, so I drew another. And then another, until I felt I had one that I liked. It was kind of a hot mess:

but I cut out the one that I liked best, so there's my pattern:

Now, it's time to cut it out. I laid my burlap out onto my table, and it looked like this:

hideous. just plain hideous.
So....I knew I'd have to iron it. My first step there was to a)find the iron, and b) figure out how to turn it on. Before you think bad thoughts of me for not ironing, let me just say in my defense that we also have a steamer and I heart it. Big time. It's quick, it's always out, ready to go. All you have to do to turn it on is step on the button. That's right. Easy-peasy-lemon-squeazy. So that's why me and the iron aren't BFF's. The hubs likes to iron. I like to steam. Moving on...
I located said iron, turned it to the "will get wrinkles out of sheet metal" setting (or maybe it just said 'MAX'), and went to ironing. I knew since burlap is the Dwayne Johnson of fabrics, I probably needed that baby up as high as it would go to get those gnarly wrinkles out. And look...

It worked.
I pinned my cute little pattern to the burlap, which was folded so I'd be cutting two at one time, and cut it out about 1/4 of an inch larger than my pattern. You know, for the seam allowance and whatnot. (someone that sews, please let me know if I used the correct terminology. It will make me feel ever so smart if I did)
So it looked like this:

And this:
( I just love that turned up elf-ish toe)

As if I haven't already digressed enough from the stocking, please allow me just another moment to mention what just happened to arrive in the mail while I was in the cutting-out stages.(thanks to the hubs for fetchin it for me from the mailbox)
This little beauty-
Isn't she pretty? Since I've been making quite a bit of stuff lately, and had straight pins out and about on my work surfaces, and since I live with littles that would pick those straight pins up if their little fingers could get to them, I decided I needed a pin cushion. You'll never guess where I found this....
Here's the link to the fabulous shop she came from. And yes, this little birdie is a girl. I can just tell.

I immediately put her to work. She does a fabulous job- and not only does she fulfill the purpose for which she was intended (holding pins), but she also falls into the category of cute little white animal figure which I've been a little crazy about as of late. But, I digress....

Back to the stockings. I cut them all out-

And set them aside.
Next, I went to my remnant fabric stash and pulled out this white cottony fabric. (I know I'm nowhere near it's actual name- I have no clue what it is. It's just pretty and white and it's some kind of fabric) I cut it into strips about 2 and 1/2 inches wide. I did NOT measure. I just eyeballed it. I also did not iron it. I'd already ironed the burlap. Wore me out.

Now, for the ruffles. I'd seen some cute ruffles on some bags and clutches I'd seen online that looked pretty easy to replicate,and remember- I'm no seamstress. If I was going to do it myself, it had to be simple. I grabbed my cute little birdie and started pinning some pleats.

I didn't really want them to be straight, more haphazard, if you will.

Like this.
So I did a straight stitch down the middle, and...

And then I wanted another, so I pinned...
And stitched, and then I had two lovely ruffles.
Next I turned down the tops of each side of the stocking and sewed all the way across, and then put the 'right sides' facing each other-

pinned them together, and sewed all the way around my stocking. Again, I'm sure I'm not using all the correct terminology, but maybe the pics will explain it better than I. (or is it better than me? Too tired to worry about it just now)
And there ya have it-
My pretty elf-ish/burlap/ruffled stockings
Here's 'without flash'
and here's 'with flash'
(no idea why I put two on here)
And a closer look at those rufflies again-

Yes, I was a bit lazy and didn't sew ruffles onto the back as well. My thinking was that no one would be seeing the backs of them as they hang on my mantle. Speaking of mantle, I'll need to add a ribbon or somesuch that it can hang by. Hmmm....forgot that part. Ah well...that will be easy enough. I'll also probably add our initials to them since I think that'd be cool and the hubs did use the word 'awesome' when I asked (told) him about it. I'll post pics once they're completely finished and my house is all 'done up' in it's Christmas garb.
And I'll bet you never knew it, but guess who was hanging out with me while I made these?

This lil cutie. She was all about the stockings. And she wants initials on them too. Two 'M's though, not M cubed. I'll oblige.

Happy Thanksgiving once again! Hope your day is blessed and your belly is full!
P.S. I'm linking this project up over at the idea room. Check out all of the other great ideas there!


Pamela Michelle said...

So cute and rustic! Love them! New follower via we did it Wed :)

Jeanine said...

I really like your post, your writing is cute. But I have to share something with you. It's about your music. I normally don't like music on blogs and I did a poll on my blog and everyone said to remove it. It bothers people when they are looking at blogs at night and there husband is sleeping next to them. OK not happy about it, I removed mine.

But I love your music! I actually turned off my ipod just to listen to your selection. I had the best time looking through your blog with this little gift you had playing.

I am going to look into your female artist and buy her songs.

PS Love the stockings tutorial!

Merry Christmas I new friend

Debra from Bungalow said...

Adorable! I love how you did the ruffles, so cute!

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