The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there,' said Clement Moore in his 1822 poem. We love a traditional Christmas stocking – there are plenty of stylish options out there to buy, but if you have the time and inclination, why not consider making one yourself? Make one for a special child in your life and it could become a family heirloom to be passed on for future generations.
For years, the women of Hungary have been using the reverse-cut felt appliqué technique to embellish traditional clothing, and more recently it has been adapted for stockings and Christmas decorations. Polly Leonard, textile expert and founder of Selvedge, tells us how to do it.
You will need:
2 x 50x50cm felt in white, 1 x 50x50cm felt in red
Red and white cotton sewing thread
1 x 50x50cm piece of tissue paper
A sewing machine with an embroidery foot
An embroidery hoop
Small embroidery scissors
Pinking shears or decorative scallop scissors
1. Print out the pattern (here), cut along the dotted lines and join together.
2. Trace the pattern onto tissue paper.
3. Place your white piece of felt on the table, layer on top the red piece of felt. Then place your tissue paper pattern on top and pin in place. You will now have three layers: white felt, red felt and tissue paper.
4. Starting at the top, mount your felt and tissue paper into the embroidery hoop.
5. Using an embroidery foot, drop the feed-dog on your sewing machine and set the tension to 2.
6. Following your drawn design, slowly start free-hand stitching by moving the embroidery hoop around, keeping your stitches close together.
7. Tear away the tissue paper as close to the lines of stitching as you can.
8. Cut away the top layer of red felt around your line of stitching to reveal your pattern, starting from the outside: do this carefully making sure you don't snip the bottom layer of felt.
9. Use a lint remover or cello tape to remove the 'fluff' from the felt.
10. Once you are happy with your appliqué design, add another layer of felt to the back and sew around the stocking shape (you can use the pattern to trace the shape of the stocking).
11. Trim away the excess felt with pinking shears or decorative scallop scissors.
12. Using some of the leftover felt, add a loop so you can hang your stocking.
This story was originally published on House & Garden UK