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Archive | November, 2016

A gift from us to you - Free Stocking Tutorial with pattern template

stocking-tutorialThe countdown has well and truly begun and we're getting ever so excited by the overwhelming choice of Christmas fabrics available. A really good way to not have to choose between them is to combine contrasting or complimentary patterns and a stocking is a great way to get started. Suitable for all abilities and can be embellished as much or as little as you like. Stockings also make an incredibly thoughtful gift too! If that's not inspired you to become a one person stocking-making factory this Christmas then read on because they really are satisfyingly clever to pull together...

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Without further ado I present you with your Classic Christmas Stocking with Cuff tutorial, courtesy of Louise Ambrosi of Sew Sofia fame.

First things first...

Stocking Pattern Template:

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Stocking Materials:

20 x 23 inch main fabric (this is just over one fat quarter. To make two stockings we used 0.5m of both the Christmas Puddings and Snowflakes and Stars from Festive Friends collection by Dashwood Studio)

20 x 23 inch lining fabric (we used Sunny Kona cotton cotton)

10 x 14.5 inch piece of contrasting fabric for stocking cuff

10 x 3 inch piece of contrasting fabric for hanging loop

16 inches of pompom trim, ribbon or ricrac (optional)

Basic sewing kit

Tailors chalk

Ruler

Iron

Fabric glue (optional for the trim)

Points to note before you start:

Seam allowance, unless otherwise stated: Quarter inch

Finished stocking measures 18 x 7 inches (45cm x 17cm)

RST is right sides together

WST is wrong sides together

SA is seam allowance

Backstitch at the start and finish of any sewing to secure stitching.

Stocking Instructions:

Print out the PDF stocking pattern pieces at “actual size” use the 1 cm square to check you have printed the correct size. Tape the stocking pieces together by overlapping the pieces as per the diagram on the pattern.

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Lay stocking pattern onto your main fabric, trace and cut then FLIP over the pattern piece to cut out the other side of your stocking. Repeat with the lining fabric so that you have four stocking pieces.

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Hanging loop

Fold the 10 x 3 inch rectangle in half lengthwise and press to make a centre crease. Now fold the two long edges to the centre and press. Fold again to have a 10 x three quarter inch piece with no raw edges showing. Pin and stitch to close the open edge, then stitch along the other long edge. Set aside.

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Sew the Stocking

Pin the main stocking pieces right sides together (RST). Stitch down one long side, slowly follow the curve of the foot and toe, then up the other long side with a quarter inch seam allowance (SA). The top short edge is left open. Cut tiny slits on the curved part of the stocking, turn the stocking right side out and press well.

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Repeat with the two lining pieces, leaving a 6 inch gap on one long edge. When you get to the foot and toe of the stocking, increase the seam allowance to ½ inch. This will prevent a baggy lining inside the stocking later! Trim seam allowance to one eight of an inch and leave the lining stocking wrong side out.

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Sew the Stocking Cuff

Fold the 10 x 14.5 inch piece in half RST matching the shorter edges. Pin the short edges together and stitch, then press open the seam allowance. Turn this tube right side out and press again. Tuck half of the tube inside itself and press again.

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If you are planning to decorate your cuff, this is a good time to do this. I added a cute red pom pom trim to the FOLDED edge of the stocking (the raw edge of the cuff will be disappearing soon!). The pom pom trim is quite elastic and fiddly to pin, so I stuck it in place with a thin strip of fabric glue before sewing it on with a zipper foot, this can also be sewn on by hand but be sure to tuck in the edges that join around the cuff.

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Fold the hanging loop in half to make the short edges meet and pin to the top raw edge of the cuff piece about half an inch in from the side seam and with a quarter SA. Backstitch a few times to secure.

 Add the cuff to the main stocking

Take your finished cuff piece and slip over the top of the main stocking so that the side seams match and pin in place. The hanging loop needs to be pinned down flat on the cuff and on the ‘heel’ side i.e. the opposite side to the toe! Sew all around the top edge with a quarter inch SA.

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Final assembly

Now slip the whole stocking still right side out inside the lining which is wrong side out. Match the side seams, pin in place making sure that the hanging loop is still down between the layers and that the main stocking toe is pushed into the lining toe! Stitch all around at a half inch SA.

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Pull the main stocking through the gap in the lining. Fold and press the seam of the lining gap and stitch closed.

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Tuck the lining into the main stocking, press well and edge stitch the top of the cuff to finish it off. Now all you need to do is get, or make, some stocking fillers!

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Variations:

Personalise your stocking by adding a name or initial with embroidery or applique to the front stocking piece or cuff piece before assembly.

Make a patchwork effect by cutting different fabrics for the toe piece and shaft piece adding half inch to the seam allowance to sew them together.

Add a cute pocket in contrasting fabric to the front of the stocking.

We hope that's got you focused if you were wondering where to start. Happy Christmas Crafting everyone!

Yours, by the fire x

 

My Yummy (and ever so exclusive) Sewing Kit

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We are very excited to announce the arrival of our exclusive 'My Yummy Sewing Kit' tins.

Each kit has been carefully designed to include everything you might need in one place. The tin has been luxuriously lined with felt to help everything stay in it's place and the contents are quality, premium sewing essentials that make a very thoughtful gift, either for the established sewer who will recognise the calibre of contents, or for a sewing enthusiast starting out to help them get off on the right foot.

Pretty as can be and reliable class all at once.

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Each tin includes:

- Mini Wooden Cotton Reel with quality 'sew all' thread

- Crafters Collection General Sewing Needles (18 premium hand sewing needles)

- Sewing Tape Measure

- Adorable Polka Dot Embroidery Scissors (colours may vary)

- Seam Ripper

- Needle Threader

- Polka Dot Buttons x 4

- Collection of pins and safety pins

Made from tin and measuring 12cm x 12cm

We love how the pink felt lining picks out the pink on the front of the tin. A lovely, weighty little kit that exudes worth.

Yours, neatly organised x

 

 

 

 

 

 

Best friends forever - Essential sewing paraphernalia

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I was reminded last weekend at a sewing circle, that we all have our sewing essentials that we reach for every time. One woman's trusty seam ripper is another woman's worst enemy.

Sewing for me is synonimous with blissful solitude. But occasionally I like to meet up with others to share my excitement, latest pattern or to just eat cake and be. Inevitably at these sewing circles, someone has an incredible gadget that none of us have ever seen before and so it makes for expensive repercussions afterwards when I rush home and spend the evening tracking down those new fangled must haves!

It's lovely to try out new techniques and short cuts, but what are our top 10 must haves? We'll, I'm glad you asked!

Number 10: Bobbins

Bobbins, spare bobbins and even more bobbins! You can never have enough bobbins because there's nothing worse than all your bobbins being full of the wrong colour thread and there's nothing nicer than sitting down to your project and already having a freshly wound bobbin ready and waiting. Image credit.

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Number 9: Bias Binding Maker

This neat little device allows you to become your own bias binding making factory from the comfort of your own home! No more unsightly, mismatched binding, you simply cut the stated width of fabric on the bias and then iron while passing through the device to create the folds in all the right places. Viola! Image credit.

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Number 8: Small fabric scissors

It's so much easier to tidy up thread ends as you go rather than at the end of a project. For that reason it's ideal to keep a small pair of sharp scissors within arms reach.

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Number 7: French chalk

Whether you like a large hulk of chalk in your hand, a tape measure around your neck and the imagination to pretend your work on Saville Row as you mark (guilty!) or you prefer the chalk pens that wind up for ease, french chalk is a must for pattern markings. Image credit.

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Number 6: Vanishing pen

Occasionally a vanishing pen will have better results than chalk, depending on the fabric that you are working on. Always do a test on a scrap piece of fabric to ensure it vanishes and be sure not to iron over this to avoid setting in. We love vanishing pens for their ease and accuracy and it really is magic when those markings disappear all on their own. We wouldn't be without ours.

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Number 5: A magnet

When you've just sat down and inadvertently knocked over a box of open pins everywhere, a decent sized magnet is great for rounding up all those loose pins. Your feet will thank you the following day! Image credit.

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Number 4: Bodkin

This trusty little tool is fantastic for turning tubes of fabric inside out such as straps and waistbands. It has a rounded end which means that unlike the safety pin method, there is no danger of the fastening opening up and getting wedged inside the tube.

bp80055730-silver-jpg-spotwf-productNumber 3: Ironing gloves

Who knew there was such a thing! Heat resistant gloves mean you can iron in your hem or pleats with dignity rather than looking like you're playing a very hot piano. Genius. Image credit

sbs-487110Number 2: Bobbin holder

We are huge fans of the sacred bobbin holder. Not only does it prevent disastrous tangles but bobbins can be arranged in rainbow order - and that's the part that really make us smile!

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Number 1: Seam ripper

Okay, so I know you've probably got one but have you got a sharp one? A sharp seam ripper can take dreaded seam ripping from dreaded to not quite so dreaded. Slightly. And they even make bejewelled and gold ones too, if you're stuck for Christmas list ideas that is!

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What are your sewing bff's? hello@poppiesandpolkadots.co.uk

Yours, feeling November-eee x