Makower Fabric Christmas Advent Calendars - Mini Stockings Bunting Panel
I know, we haven't had half term or Halloween or Guy Fawkes Night and I'm already onto Christmas. The thing is when I'm asked to make something I like to get on with it, especially when there is a deadline involved.
Vintage Christmas Stocking
My friend Ursula (the one with the spottier stow it all) asked for 2 things, firstly could I re-create her vintage Christmas Stocking for her 2 grandchildren, and secondly could I make a couple of advent calendars to go with them. She needs one stocking and one advent calendar by the 26th October as her grandson is visiting. I took her off to my local treasure trove (www.sewcreative.co.uk) where we found the Makower Advent Calendar range.
She chose the Stocking Advent. It comes with the fronts of the 24 stockings and 6 bonus gift labels. We picked out some plain red and green fabric for the backs, narrow green ribbon for the hanging loops and red cord to hang them on. We decided to re-cycle some cream sheeting for the lining.I had never done one of these before, and was told to check out the Makower website for the tutorial on making the stockings. The website address is printed on the panel.
I looked under 'free tutorials' and only found instructions for making full-sized stockings, so I printed them off. (***I have found the correct instructions since, see footnote!***) I decided I wouldn't bother with the quilting or topstitching, but I did fit a Quilting Needle and use my Walking foot. I cut myself a plastic template to cut out the backs and linings, and then another to trace the sewing line onto the lining with a frixion pen. I left my opening for turning in the bottom of the foot as it was easier than the side.
Otherwise I followed the instructions. I stitched the front and backs together following the edge of the print, then did the same for the lining (remembering to leave the gap). I pinked all the seam allowances rather than clip the curves and trim the seams.
The next step was pushing the lining inside the stocking so they had the right sides together. I used a wooden knitting needle for this, fitting the lining over it then pushing it up inside the stocking. Looks like one of those puppets on a stick! Remember to make sure the ribbon is tucked inside.
The trick now was to stitch around the top, following the printed edge. I found this a very fiddly process. Perhaps I should have changed the foot? I stuck with my walking foot though, and to be honest the first half a dozen went well. After that I spent more time unpicking and correcting wonky stitches, but I got there.
Then I had to turn the stocking inside out so I could pull the stocking out through the gap in the lining, which worked beautifully. I gave it a good press, then stitched the gap closed and pushed the lining down inside the stocking. I started off making them one at a time, then decided to step it up and do a production line instead.
***I have now found the instructions entitled "How to make Christmas Panel Instructions". It's a pdf file you can download for all the panels. The 'Mini Stockings Bunting Panel' are on page 6. The instructions I followed are on page 7 "How to make Stockings" which as you can see worked just fine, and I will make the second set the same way.
Next up are my adventures using the fabric gift labels, and making a new version of that vintage stocking!