Sew a Custom Christmas Stocking

When the holiday season begins, my mind starts filling with all sorts of wonderful crafting ideas. I want to make everything I see! One of my favorite things to make is Christmas stockings. A single Christmas stocking doesn’t take a lot of time or materials and can be totally customized.

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For these particular stockings, I found this really cute burlap with sparkling red polka dots! Other good fabric options are cotton prints, old shirts (cute red or green plaid is nice), or warm flannels. The dog bone shape was a little bit trickier because of all the curves and sharp turns, but I’m pretty excited about how it turned out. To learn how to make a classic shaped stocking, follow along  below and/or check out this video tutorial.

Christmas Stocking Materials List

  • 2 pieces of fabric in shape of stocking
  • 2 pieces of  lining fabric in shape of stocking
  • 6″ piece of ribbon or trim for hanger

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I did not include a specific stocking pattern because I have always free-handed or traced an existing stocking to create a pattern. Now, this is not hard – I am in no way an artist and find straight lines challenging with pencil (and eraser)! Wax paper works great for making a pattern, as does printer paper taped together. I’ve found the easiest way to get the stocking shape, is to trace around an existing stocking and then kind of pencil in areas that need a little more definition. If you want an actual sewing pattern, be on the look-out for sales at Joann’s. They often have Simplicity patterns on sale for $1 each.

For the dog bone shape, I traced around a cup to make the circle portions and connected the circles with straight lines. To make sure it all came out even, I folded it into quarters so that I was cutting through all four quarters at the same time. This way it was even. It took a couple of tries to get the proportions to look right. The assembly process is exactly the same as a regular stocking (below), just go slower with the sewing to make sure you get around all the curves and angles.

When choosing fabric, just about any kind of fabric that isn’t too stretchy will work well for making a stocking. Even a stretchy material will work if you can iron a stiff interfacing to the back. Burlap is stiff enough without added interfacing, but when using cotton or any other flexible fabric, be sure to iron on inter-facing on the back of the fabric so that it has a bit of stiffness to it.

One of my favorite stockings is made from a men’s plaid shirt. I like to incorporate the features of the shirt, like the sleeve cuff, pocket, or button front. Another option is to piece smaller pieces of fabric together. Sew the strips of fabric together, then cut out the stocking shape.

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Assembling the Stocking

To get started, cut out your fabric and lining material in the shape of the stocking.

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Make sure to fold your fabric so that you are making a front and a back (opposite shapes.

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At this point, if you are adding interfacing, iron it to the fabric. The next step is to sew the fabric, right sides together, all around the edge (leave the top open).

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Cut small slits into the fabric all around all the curves. This allows the stocking shape to lay nicely when turned right-side out. Be careful not to cut through the seam!

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Turn the fabric right-side out and push out fabric from the inside until the fabric lays flat and regains the stocking shape.

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If you want to add any embellishments, now is the time. If you were to add it at the end, you’d need to sew through the lining too and it wouldn’t have quite the same finished look.

Next, we are going to the follow the same process with the lining fabric, with the exception of leaving a 6 inch opening along the side. In the picture below, the opening will be between the pins.

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Sew all around (leaving the 6″ space and top open).

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Make small cuts along the curves.

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Next, tuck the outside fabric (polka dot burlap) inside the lining piece. Right sides will be facing each other.

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Line up the seams and pin all along the top.

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At this point, tuck in the hanging ribbon. Place it “upside down” in between the outside and lining material. When we turn this right-side out, it will pop up and be right where it’s supposed to be (hard to see that now).

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Sew all along the top.

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Pull the outside fabric through the opening in the lining.

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Make sure all the stitching looks good and then stitch up the opening in the lining. I like to do a very narrow seam on the machine, but you could hand sew also.

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Push the lining down into the stocking.

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Iron or line up the top edge so that the lining is pushed down evenly inside the stocking. See how the hanging loop pops up perfectly?

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Stitch around the top of the stocking.

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That’s it. Your beautiful, custom, handmade with love Christmas stocking is complete. 🙂

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