Hi, Everyone! Thank you so much for all the sweet compliments about my 2013 Christmas Home Tour! I am grateful and humbled by the sincere outpouring of sweetness from each of you! I promised in that post that I’d be sharing some tutorials of how I made some of the decorations you saw and today I’m sharing the first one… How to Make a dropcloth stocking. I have fallen in love with dropcloths because they are inexpensive, durable and have the look of linen without the high price tag. I see lots of pretty linen stockings around the web and have long been wanting to make my own and am so glad to share this tutorial with you. If you are brand new to sewing, take your time but know that you can do it! I’m not a sewing expert and some of my techniques may alarm more seasoned seamstresses but since this worked for me, I’m hoping it will also work for you. These are inexpensive, pretty and best of all, very easy to personalize, so I hope you’ll get creative with your embellishments! OK, let’s get started. Here’s a list of supplies you’ll need:
:: Supplies ::
2 pieces of dropcloth* ** for body of stocking, mine were 24″ x 12″ each
1 strip of dropcloth for ruffle, mine was 4 1/4″ wide by 50″ long
Ribbon for ruffle embellishment, I used about 1 1/2 yards for this
Ribbon for bow, approximately 1 1/2 yards, depending on size of bow
Scrap piece of dropcloth for hook, mine was 8″ long by 1″ wide
sewing machine, needle, thread, iron
*I use the Blue Hawk brand of dropcloths which I get from Lowe’s. I get the 8 ounce weight versions.
**Be sure to wash your dropcloths before you do projects with them. Not only does it keep them from shrinking (and potentially ruining your project later) but it also makes it much softer and easier to work with!
I suggest ironing your fabric to make sure it’s nice and smooth before your begin. (Note: I recommend always ironing the WRONG side of the fabric. I think I had the heat setting a little to high on my iron and was getting a bit of gunk on my iron which tried to come off on the fabric in other spots. Thankfully I was ironing the wrong side of the fabric so it didn’t much matter but I want to share that observation with you.) Now you need to draw your stocking template onto your fabric. I used an old stocking to help me (see photos #1 & #2). I wanted my finished stocking to have a slightly different shape so I modified my shape in photo #3. Cut out your shape and then trace it onto your second piece of fabric. Once both pieces are cut, pin them together and stitch around sides and bottom. Be sure to leave the top open. I hemmed the top of mine but later realized that was an unnecessary step since I added the ruffle. Once you’ve stitched your stocking simply turn it inside out. You might need to cut a notch out of the heel of your stocking if the fabric is too full there. Mine was fine but I’m just mentioning that as an option…
Now to stitch up the ruffle, first you need to hem each long edge so it looks like photo #2. Now you need to create your ruffles or pleats. You could pin each one in place and then sew but I decided to just wing it and it worked out fine for me. Basically I sewed a seam down the middle of the fabric and folded as I went. This isn’t a precise system but I was ok with that and it made the project move along a bit faster. My finished ruffle length was about 16 1/2″ inches, just enough to wrap around the top of my stocking. But before I attached the ruffle, I added a little extra ribbon detail. Be sure to iron the dropcloth (on the wrong side) once your done to help set the pleats – although I tried to keep the iron off of the very edges so as not to crush the ruffle- I wanted it to still have a little fluff to it.
I wanted an extra layer or detail on my stocking so I added a bit of ribbon. My ribbon is from May Arts, you can check it out here. This is a wired ribbon which made it even easier to just sew and go and not stop to pin every pleat… I sewed one line of stitching along one of the pattern stripes to secure the ruffle but not stand out too much. Then after the ruffles were set, I laid the ruffled ribbon (centered) on top of the dropcloth ruffle and sewed along the same line of stitching that I sewed the initial ruffle into the ribbon. This helped me to avoid a “seam” down the middle of my pretty ribbon embellishment.
Now, place the finished ruffle around the top opening of the stocking, slide it onto your sewing machine and sew the ruffle around the edge of the stocking. Make sure your stocking is slid onto your machine base and that you aren’t sewing the “mouth” of the stocking closed.
To add a little hook or loop for hanging, simple fold a 1″ wide by 8″ long piece of fabric into thirds so that it is 1/3″ wide by 8″ long. Sew a seam down the middle to fasten it and then place it where you want it on your stocking. Then stitch it with you machine, I did a couple of rows of stitching for extra strength. A zig-zag stitch would have been good here but I didn’t think of it while sewing… oh well!
There are probably a million better ways to make a fluffy bow but here’s how I made mine. First, loop your ribbon back and forth with the number and length of “loops” that you desire. Mine has two on each side. Be sure your “tail” of ribbon is in back. Do a little bit of stitching here to secure. I used a zig zag stitch to help make sure I was catching all the edges of my ribbon loops (photo #2). Next fold your ribbon tail up and over the stitched part of your bow, this makes it look finished (photo #3) and cut an additional length of ribbon for the second tail. Use a hand needle and thread to stitch the tail pieces into place on the back of the bow.
And now you have a ruffled stocking and a pretty bow. Simply hand-stitch the bow onto the stocking and you’re done. I added a pearl letter tag to personalize mine and will share a tutorial with you about making those soon, so please stay tuned!
I hope you enjoyed this make your own dropcloth stocking tutorial. I had a lot of fun making these and hope that you will too!
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