Lined Christmas Stockings

This was our year for new Christmas stockings.  Our last set had come under attack by the garage mice, were falling apart and needed to be retired.  My first thought, of course, was to make our next ones.

I went through a few phases, like planning for each of us to design our own, then I would sew them all.  When I sobered up, I scaled the plan back to a more reasonable level.  Instead of designing the stocking, each family member would choose a fabric print that reflected their personality.  Boy, did we nail it.  If you happen to know us in real life, you can probably tell exactly who each of these belongs to.

These little babies are fully lined and have a soft, furry Minkee cuff.  My daughter made her own, and since she’s still a newbie, that should give you an indication of how easy these are to make.

stockings 2

stockings 2

To make one, you’ll need this pattern.  You can piece it together, using the lines and letters as guides.  Cut two outside socks, two lining socks, two iron-on fleece socks and one hanger from cotton fabric. 

You’ll also need to cut one cuff piece from Minkee folded in half with the pattern on the fold as indicated.  The Minkee can be tricky to work with because it’s slippery, so you may want to go with regular cotton if this is one of your first sewing projects.  I would also recommend cutting the Minkee outside, if possible, and shaking well before bringing inside.  I cut mine on the back deck, and it looked like I had slaughtered a bunny when I was done.

stockings 3

stockings 3

Iron the fleece onto the back of the outside pieces.  Pin the outside pieces right sides together and stitch around, leaving the top open.  Pin the lining pieces right sides together and stitch around also, but in addition to leaving the top open, leave a 4” opening in the side about midway between the top and heel.

stockings 4

stockings 4

Fold the cuff in half with the short sides together with right sides facing each other and stitch across the short end. 

stockings 5

stockings 5

Turn halfway right side out, so it’s folded with the wrong sides together and the edges are even.  Stitch both layers together close to the raw edges to keep it from shifting.

stockings 6

stockings 6

Fold the hanger piece in half the with the long sides together and stitch down the long side.  Turn right side out and press.  I added a piece of webbing to the inside for added strength, mainly because my husband likes to give the kids tools for Christmas and they’re heavy.  You might not need it.

stockings 7

stockings 7

Turn the outside sock right side out.  Slip the cuff over the top so all the raw edges are even at the top. 

stockings 8

stockings 8

Slide both into the lining, which should still be inside out.  Line up seams and edges, making sure everything is even and pin generously.  Fold hanger in half and slip between cuff and lining at back seam.  Stitch through all layers 1/4” from the edge.  Stitch very carefully over the hanger, especially if you added the webbing.  I broke a couple of needles trying to sew through that area too fast.  Zigzag over the edge for added strength.

stockings 9

stockings 9

Turn the entire thing right side out through the opening in the side of the lining.

stockings 10

stockings 10

Turn the edges of the opening to the inside and zigzag over the edge to close.  Santa isn’t going to care.

stockings 11

stockings 11

Push the lining into the outside stocking and press.  Don’t press the cuff if you used Minkee.

stockings 12

stockings 12

Just roll the upper edge toward the inside with your fingers and make sure the lining is pushed all the way to the bottom of the stocking.

stockings 13

stockings 13

I love the size of these.  Big enough to put some stuff in, but not so cavernous that Santa has to resort to sneaky tactics to fill it. 

In case you didn’t already guess, this red one is mine.  My husband, who loves to build, chose the fabric covered in pipes and I lined it with bricks.

stockings 14

stockings 14

Codi went with pineapples, which usually is only topped by Batman, with a bright yellow lining.

stockings 15

stockings 15

And Tucker, who thinks camouflage is a color, not a pattern, chose blue digital camo with fire inside.  I’m just glad he branched out a little and chose blue instead of green for a change.

stockings 16

stockings 16

Not traditional choices, I know, but these make me so much happier than a bunch of ordinary ones would have.  Kind of like my little family.

Halloween and Thanksgiving Table Runner

I bought a piece of Halloween fabric last April.  I almost never buy Halloween fabric, much less in the spring.  But this one was so cute I couldn’t stand it.  I brought it home, put in on the shelf, and apparently forgot about it.  I’m just considering myself lucky I remembered I had it BEFORE Halloween and not after…

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Flip-Flop Covers, Part 1

I’m not usually a huge flip-flop fan, mainly because I have a seriously hard time keeping them on my feet, but that rainbow on the Old Navy wall draws my attention every time.  They look great all together like that, but take any pair out of formation and it’s just not as exciting.  Until now…

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Fabric Wrist Strap

Sometimes, it’s the small, simple things that catch my eye.  I kept seeing these fabric straps all over the place, but never saw the hardware for them anywhere.  I thought they were cute, but had given up making any until recently when I was searching one of my favorite supplier’s site…

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Cord Keeper

This is a quick little item I made to go along with the Messenger Bag from last week.  I originally intended to include the instructions for it in that post.  However, by the time I was done writing the bag tutorial I realized it was more than long enough on its own.  I made the messenger bag for my daughter to carry her laptop in and computers come with cords.  Kinda big ones.  This handy little wrap helps tame them while they’re in the bag.

You’ll notice in the photos that my two pieces of Velcro are different sizes.  This is one of those “do as I say, not as I do” moments.

To make this you’ll need:

2 1/2 by 10 1/2” strip cut from cotton fabric

4” of Velcro

Cord keeper 1

Cord keeper 1

Fold the fabric the in half lengthwise with wrong sides together.  Press the fold.  Unfold.  Stitch the Velcro on 1/2” from each short end and on either side of the fold.

Cord keeper 2

Cord keeper 2

Fold lengthwise again, this time with right sides together.  Stitch 1/4” from the edge, leaving a 2” opening above the hook side of the Velcro.  Turn and press.  Topstitch all the way around near the edge.

Cord keeper 3

Cord keeper 3

Cord keeper 4

Cord keeper 4

These would be handy for taming the cords under a desktop computer as well.

Cord keeper 5

Cord keeper 5

It works great for the girl’s cord.

Cord keeper 6

Cord keeper 6

And, the most important part, it matches the bag!

Cord keeper 7

Cord keeper 7

Messenger Bag

My daughter saved up some money a few months ago and bought herself a notebook computer.  So far, it’s saved us all some grief.  She can do her homework and keep up with what’s happening on Facebook without anyone in the house losing my mind.  I mean, their minds. She wanted to be able to take it to school once in a while, but was afraid to try to carry it in any of the bags she has because none of them are padded.  I’ve been wanting to try a messenger bag idea I’ve been carrying around in my head, so we gave it a go.

051 (2015_11_18 16_02_27 UTC).JPG

This project is a little more complicated and has a lot more pieces than most I post here, but you start out with nothing but rectangles and if you read through the directions before you start you’ll get thought it just fine.  I’m going to refer to the pieces by a letter and number to make it easier to follow.  This is also my most photo-heavy tutorial yet.

You’ll need outer fabric, lining fabric, medium weight interfacing and cotton batting or other thin padding.  Here’s the pieces you’ll need to cut from your fabric:

  • A – bag – 20” wide x 15” tall

  • A1 – cut two from outer fabric

  • A2 – cut two from lining fabric

  • A3 – cut two from interfacing

  • A4 – cut four from cotton batting

  • B – top flap – 20” wide x 7 1/2” tall

  • B1 – cut one from outer fabric

  • B2 – cut one from lining fabric

  • B3 – cut one from interfacing

  • C – closure tab – 3 1/2” wide x 11” tall

  • C1 – cut two from lining fabric

  • C2 – cut one from interfacing

  • D- closure loop – 4” wide x 1” tall

  • D1 – cut one from outer fabric

  • E – tab for strap hardware – 4” wide x 5” tall

  • E1 – cut two from outer fabric

  • E2 – cut two from interfacing

  • F – outside pocket – 12” wide x 12” tall

  • F1 – cut one from lining fabric

  • F2 – cut two 2” square pieces of interfacing

  • G – outside pocket flap – 12” wide by 5” tall

  • G1 – cut one from lining fabric

  • G2 – cut one from interfacing

  • H – inside pocket – 7” wide by 11” tall

  • H1 – cut one from outer fabric

That’s a lot of pieces, so keep the list handy as you go through the instructions so you know which piece I’m referring to.  Everything is sewn using a 1/2” seam unless otherwise noted.  Also, if I tell you to turn and press something, always trim the seam and clip the corners first.

You’ll also need two 1 1/2” D rings, a 1 1/2” button, two 1 1/2” by 3/4” pieces of Velcro and about 1 to 1 1/2 yards of webbing for the strap.

Iron the interfacing onto the back of pieces A1 (the one you intend to use on the back), A2 (the one at the front of the bag), B1, C1 (either one), E2 (both) and G2.

Fold D1 lengthwise with right sides together.  Stitch down long side with a 1/8” seam.  Don’t trim seam.  Turn and press.

Lay out B1, right side up.  Pin ends of D1 8 3/4” in from each end.  It should measure 2 1/2” between the ends when you’re finished.  Lay B2 on top, right side down.  Stitch sides and bottom (the side where you pinned D1).  Double stitch over D1 ends.   Turn and press.  Top stitch close to edge.

Fold H1 in half lengthwise.  Stitch all sides except fold, leaving an opening to turn.  Turn and press.

Measure 7” in on each side and 4” from top on A2 (the one with interfacing) and pin H1 with fold on the top edge.  Stitch close to side and bottom edges.  Stitch a row from top to bottom of pocket 1 1/2” from one side.

Fold G1 in half lengthwise with wrong sides together.  Press fold.  Open, right side up.  Position a 1 1/2” x 3/4” piece of Velcro 1” from edge at side and 1/4” from crease on both sides.  Stitch both pieces on securely. 

Fold G1 with right sides together.  Stitch around all edges, leaving an opening for turning.  Turn and press.  Top stitch sides and creased edge.

Fold F1 in half lengthwise with right sides together.  Press fold.  Unfold and turn wrong side up.  Iron a 2” square of interfacing 3/4” from edge and even with fold on both sides.

Turn F1 right side up.  Pin remaining Velcro 1” from edge and 1/2” from fold on both sides.  Stitch securely in place.

Fold F1, right sides together.  Stitch around all sides except fold, leaving an opening for turning.  Turn and press.  Top stitch edge near Velcro.

Lay A1 (with interfacing) right side up.  Place F1 4 1/2” from edges on sides and 4 1/2” from top edge.  Make sure Velcro is on the outside and near the upper edge.  Stitch sides and bottom close to edge.

Pin G1, Velcro down, 4” from upper edge.  Velcro and sides should match up with F1.  Stitch close to top edge of G1.

Pin both C pieces right sides together.  Stitch sides and bottom end.  Turn and press.  Top stitch sewn sides.

Stitch a buttonhole the width appropriate to your button (mine is 1 1/2” but you could go smaller) 1 1/4” from stitched bottom end of C.

Fold E in half widthwise with right sides together.  Stitch long (5”) edge.  Turn and press with seam centered.  Repeat with second piece.  Top stitch both long sides on each.

Layer these pieces:  A4 (one); A1 (with pocket) right side up; C1 centered, even with top edge and buttonhole end away from edge; A1 right side down; A4 (other one).  Stitch sides and bottom.  Backstitch over C1.  Trim seam.  Press side seams open.

Flatten bottom corners so bottom and side seam meet.  Draw a line at the point that measures 2 1/2” across (a little over 1” from the corner). 

Stitch along that line.  Trim off the corner below stitching.

Repeat the entire process from layering with lining pieces A2 and remaining two A4 pieces, excluding piece C1.  Leave a 6” opening in the bottom for turning.

Thread a D ring onto each E1 piece.  Fold in half and stitch close to edge to hold.

Turn outer bag, A1, right side out.  Pin each E1 piece onto A1 (on the back - side with the pocket) 1 1/2” from the side seams.

Pin top flap, B, on top, sides matching bag side seams, raw edges even and outer side (B1) down.  Stitch around top 1/4” from edge.

Stitch around bag lining, A2, 1/4” from edge.  Stuff outer bag, A1, inside lining, A2, with inner pocket facing the front of the outer bag.  Pin edges, matching seams.  Stitch 1/2” from the edge.  Trim seam.  Zigzag edge for added strength.

Turn the bag right side through the hole in the lining.  Push out the corners.  Stitch the opening closed. 

Push the lining into the bag.  Press the upper edge.  Topstitch close to edge.

Feed the closure tab, C1, through the closure loop, D1, and make a mark in the center of the buttonhole.  Sew button at mark, so button faces out when tab is fed through loop.

Feed one end of the webbing through the hardware tab, E1.  Fold the end under about 1 1/2”, then under again about 3”.  Stitch securely through 1 1/2” section in several directions.

I made the strap adjustable using the necessary hardware but it broke the first time she used it because it was plastic.  I recommend adjusting the strap to the desired length, feeding the remaining end through the other D ring and sewing it in place, which is what I’ll be doing with her bag now.

I’m pretty sure it took me a lot longer to write this tutorial than it did to actually make this bag, so don’t be intimidated by the length of these instructions.  One step at a time, and you’ll be carrying your notebook in style.

Faux Suede and Fleece Scarf

I have a hard time deciding what to do with the fabric left over after I’ve made a project.  I hate to throw it away, but often there’s either not enough to make anything else, or there’s nothing else I want to use it for.  In this case, the scraps practically told me what they wanted to be…

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