Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Tutorial: Frayed Flannel Christmas Stocking

My first tutorial ! Ah ! I'm so excited. This is so much work. Thanks for everyone everywhere that has ever made a tutorial that I've used. You're wonderful !

So this is a stocking that I had the privilege of learning to make when I was living with a wonderful family from my church in my early 20's. They were wonderful. And I totally give her credit for this idea and have no idea where she got it from. So... no one sue me. But I loved mine and have since made one for my husband and then for my newest little addition. They're pretty simple to make, honestly, its just the time to make it. And then prefiguring out how to make them since I have made one every three years. That's a lot of forgetting time.

The wonderful thing about this stocking is it frays and looks so cute. And it hides my lack of skilled technique and they all look so different. So if you need a forgiving project... this is it. 

Please be patient with me if I don't explain clearly. Or by all means, leave me a (nice) comment and I'll edit directions, or add in more information. Whatever you need !

So first off supplies:

Flannel (4 different patterns/color)
       -I use one main pattern, white, and then 2 coordinating colors
       -The pattern I get 1 yard which is always MORE than enough. But I'm afraid its never enough. And I was making a bigger stocking then my last two. And then 1/2 yd for the colors. I had left overs of the red and white.


Sewing machine



Christmas music (not necessary but totally fun)

So I used my husbands stocking from last year as my pattern. You can always use a brown paper bag and trace and reuse that every time you make one if you want uniformity. Where I was making my son's stocking bigger, I just used this to get the same-ish shape.

Take your pattern flannel. Mine was still folded in half, and lay the pattern and trace to cut. You'll need to cut two, which is why I left my flannel folded.

So I have my huge stocking cut out of my pattern moose flannel (so cute huh?). There are two. One for the back and one for the front.

Now to cut the color layers. I always have used white as the front's back layer, for contrast I guess against the different colors. One day I'd like to use the pattern, or a color. I'll experiment one day. 

I lay my fabric in the order I want them. I just want to cut once, make sure they're all even. Etc. So white on the bottom, red, then my bright green. (In retrospect, because my moose flannel has a bright green background I should have put the red on top to go between the two green layers.. oh well. Keep your colors in mind!) 

Then I used my moose flannel to trace onto my layered colored flannels and cut.  

All my layers cut. Beautiful. Even. Yay!

Next we're going to sew the top layers in preparation for the cutting and fraying. This is why its good to have your flannels already layered. My layers were top to bottom: moose, bright green, red, white. Moose (right side) facing up.

I pin them to hold them as much together as possible. Unfortunately as you sew the layers will shift slightly. And if the fabric bubbles, its ok ! Isn't that wonderful. You're going to chop it all up anyways. So pick a corner and start sewing at a diagonal.  Back stitch at the beginning and end. You're going to be tossing this in the washer to fray it and I hate to see all those beautifully straight-ish lines unravel. And just keep going all the way down and across the whole stocking through all layers. I did my lines about 1/2 - 3/4in apart. It varies. Again. This hides my flaw in technique and lack of OCD care. Just don't make them too close together because the scissors won't fit. 


And always sew a ridiculously short tiny line on the end and beginning. You're going to need to cut between these lines, and if I hadn't sewn that last little tiny stitch (seen all the way to the right in the above pic) then I'd have a 1 1/2in of non frayed fabric on my stocking. Sad. 

Here's the front of my completely sewn front of my stocking. All the pretty diagonals.

And my back, which is just my white. I'm showing you everything. I hate lack of pictures in tutorials. Sorry if I'm forgetting some. 

Now we start the cutting ! Take some good fabric scissors (I don't have any yet, lame) cause you'll be cutting thru three layers. Your hand gets tired. Cut between the lines, from end to end, BUT only through the top three layers of fabric. So my backing was white, I only cut thru the red, green and moose. Multiple pictures to make sense. Otherwise you'll be cutting little single separate strips of flannel... and that's useless. 

See? Don't cut that bottom layer. 

See again? Please don't. Ok. You're good?

Ok, here's my chopped up front of my stocking. In two lightings because my flash made it look gross, but no flash made it look gross. Yay for doing this at... midnight :]

Pushed the layers out of the way so you can see that bottom layer is fully in tact !

One last time for kicks, don't cut the bottom layer !

Now on to the top of the stocking ! Unfortunately I don't have measurements for these. I mostly just line up my big stocking piece and cut what looks proportional. I'm a horrible tutorial-ist. When you figure out what size you need lay out your white flannel and you'll need 10 pieces of white. So layer, layer, layer. Cut, cut, cut! You'll use 4 pieces to fray the front of the stocking, and then a piece to line the inside of the front piece. And then the same on the back. 4 more pieces to fray the back and lining. Obviously you don't have to fray the top back piece, since the bottom patterned piece in the back isn't frayed.. but this is how I made my first one. So it's how I do it. I also very much like the look of having just a flat patterned flannel piece for the stocking body and fraying the top white portion. Be creative ! 

Anyways. Back to prepping. 

So I have my 10 identical pieces cut. And I have my white piece against my moose piece to check for proportions. I think I would have made mine a bit bigger. Go with what looks right to you. It always turns out. 

Next, take 4 pieces of your white flannel. Line up. Pin, and we're going to diagonally sew this in prep to cut. 

Start in one corner and sew across the whole piece. Take another set of 4 white pieces and do the same thing. So you'll have two sewn white pieces (4 flannel layers each) and 2 single pieces. 

At this point in the night, it was late. 1230am... I had taken my sewing machine apart, put back together, and again. Brought it home, AND maybe from rushing, being tired, this taking longer than it should, I decided when sewing white flannel, it would be a good idea to put the needle through my finger. AH. Yeah, I'm that person. I've always heard the warning, keep your fingers away... but really. No, I'm that person who didn't listen, had the speed turned up way fast, moved to push the back stitch button, and my one hand... wasn't paying attention and needle went into my finger. 

Not really much to do with the tutorial. But I was told to include the drama and literally blood sweat and tears that went into this.  I'll put the pic of the needle thru my finger at the bottom. So be warned, o ye of weak stomachs. BUT I didn't get any blood on my beautiful white flannel. Winning!

So after an ER trip, back at 2am. Waited til the next day and I was right back at it. Just needed to replace the needle. 

Thank you for making it through that.

Back to the stocking.

Take your scissors again and snip through all the sewn lines, PLEASE don't cut your bottom layer again. Please ! Especially where these are all white, pay attention. 

Cut, cut, cut!

Now take one of your single pieces, and place it over the front (right side) of the frayed white pieces.  You're going to sew along the top close to the edge. 

Either long side is the top... Pick your favorite. 

You can see the seam. That white piece will be folded behind.
The top plain piece is the lining that will be inside. 

Repeat with the other white layered piece and single piece. So you'll have two pieces.

Let's starting piecing ! 

Take one of your cut layered white pieces, with the single white piece folded over (as seen above) and line up the raw edge with the top edge of one of your stocking body pieces. I did the single back piece first. Make sure your cut edge front (right side) is facing the pattern front (right side) of your fabric. 

You can see the pattern side is up, and the cut side is facing that. Pin together. Does this make sense? Bear with me people !

Sew together along the raw edge, piecing together the pattern piece the two pieces of the white layered piece. 

When you open it, it looks like this. 

Do this same thing again with your layered front piece. Sewing the white layered piece to the patterned layered piece. Hopefully you did the other one first so you're really good at this now, cause this is the front, that everyone will see. No pressure !

Now it's time to line up our big pieces and make a stocking !

Right sides facing each other, just lay your big pieces together. Make sure to line up edges ! 

Especially the seam where the white and patterns meet. This is my pet peeve that I wish I'd pay more attention to in making my other one.

Pin pin pin ! This is pretty thick. Lots of layers of flannel. So be careful. I pin because stuff slides. And I like it to line up. 

Just sew along the edge from one side of the top white down the body, around the foot, and back up the white edge. DON'T SEW ACROSS THE TOP OF THE WHITE AREA! I know this seems pretty "duh" but just in case. You want your stocking to be open, so you can stuff it with all kinds of goodies.

From here you would leave it inside out and just go ahead and wash it, which is where the fraying magic happens. But I like to turn it inside out and admire my work. It's so fun looking even just chopped up.  But if you do admire it, just remember to turn it back inside out before you toss it in the wash. 

And I always forget this step. It's easier to add this in when you're sewing the seam around the whole edge. But I never remember. Grab a shoe lace, I used an old hoodie string.  Something sturdy to hang your stocking by. 

With the stocking inside out, line up the string on the outer edge of the white, near the top, and sew. 

Flip it over and repeat with the other side and other end of the string. 

So when the stocking is turned right side out you won't see the seam and all that.  I don't mind forgetting this stuff since it usually looks just fine like this. 

With your stocking inside out, toss it in the washer and dryer. Beware... my poor little boys stocking turned pink. Duh. Red flannel. But I promise I used this same flannel for my husbands a few years ago and don't remember his turning pink. And I don't remember if I pre washed. But someone also told me about using the color catcher sheet thing next time. It saves the time of pouring my homemade detergent full of oxy clean and baking soda on my white part of the stocking over and over and rubbing and wringing it out. Now it's barely noticeable :] Hopefully he won't mind the pinkish stocking when he's 16. 

And here it is in all it's washed, frayed glory. So much color and frayed goodness. So cute !

This is the back. And what I said looks pretty cute when it's just frayed at the top and keep the plain pattern on the bottom. With the frayed front you can't really see the adorable pattern and cute moose faces. Pick what you want ! I like them both !

All our stockings, hung by the chimney with care. 
 His turned out so much bigger than ours, must bigger than I intended. 

Oh, the middle one (mine) I used a paint stencil and hand stitched letters with embroidery floss and sewed those onto colored little blocks and then onto the stocking. I'm working on it for my husbands and little boys. But that takes time. Lots of time. 

Hope this makes sense! Hope you enjoyed it. If you decide to make some for your family let me know ! I'd love to see others stockings ! And if you have any tips on how to make this clearer, or any questions on stuff that wasn't clear, just comment ! 

Thanks for stopping by !

Below: Be warned !
Because I was asked, I will include the one picture I got of the needle through my finger. It's not gruesome. But some people might not have a strong stomach. I don't know. 

So the needle. Thru my finger. Right thru the top of my nail. Nice. 

Just got it pulled out by the ER doc. No numbing. That takes too long. But boy did it hurt worse after he pulled it out.  Only souvenir was the tetanus shot I got. Woo !

Be careful. Don't stab your finger. It doesn't make for a fun stocking making experience.

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