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The Christmas Stocking

December 23, 2015

Back in September my sister in law had her first baby – a little boy called Jacob.  I was very excited about being an aunt.  Whilst trying to decide what to make for my next White Tree Fabrics project, I came across the embroidery and sewing kits they sell, and thought it would be nice to make Jacob a Christmas stocking.  I felt very smug because it was only September and already I was planning a Christmas project.  The older and wiser me looks back at the younger, smug, more foolish me and laughs scornfully.

If you know me, or have read my blog for a while, you will know that this is not my usual kind of project.  I’m not a fan of hand sewing, really.  But still, I thought it would be nice to try something different, and I thought that it would be pretty easy.  I mean, it’s a kit, right?  You just, like, sew on some bits here and there and a few sequins and you’re done, right?  I envisaged setting aside one (child-free) day, and just sitting down with the radio and a pot of tea and making a lovely stocking.

Dimensions Felt Applique Christmas Stocking - Sequinned Santa

Dimensions Felt Applique Christmas Stocking – Sequinned Santa

Under this misconception, I decided it was too early to start making this when it arrived in October.  Instead I made a start on the family Christmas pyjamas, and by November I had made three childrens’ pyjama sets and two pairs of adult pyjama bottoms.  SO SMUG.  Then I made the dinosaur dress for my friend’s wedding at the end of November.  Then I did some boring sewing I had been asked to do but was putting off.  And then it was December.  Eek.

A child-free December day arrived – Monday 7th – and I got out the kit, made a brew and put the radio on.  I had six hours before I had to collect my daughter from school.  Plenty of time.  Six hours later, I had this:

Six hours

Six hours

Hmmm.  Maybe this was going to take longer than I thought.  The following Monday – 14th December – I had another child-free day.  I spent another six hours and got this far:

Twelve hours

Twelve hours

I started to get very worried that I wasn’t going to finish this in time.  I started to prioritise it and try to do as much as I could here and there.  By December 19th I hit the 18 hour mark, and was still only on step 9 of 20.

Eighteen hours

Eighteen hours – ignore leaflet from Jehovah’s Witnesses who called round to ask me ‘Will Suffering Ever End?’…spreading the joy, there!!

Suddenly I was thinking of everything I had to do before Christmas (I won’t bore you with a list – but be assured it was long).  I was going to have to really knuckle down to this and just get it finished so I could do all the other things in time.  It took a further ten and half hours to finish – so twenty eight and a half hours in total to complete.

Twenty-eight and a half hours

Twenty-eight and a half hours

Looking at it, I still can’t believe it took that long.  This kind of craft is so deceptive!  Having said that, I want to state, just for the record, that I did actually really enjoy the process.  It was a very absorbing activity and I listened to a lot of radio whilst doing it, so it felt relaxing in one way – I just wish I’d started it earlier so that I wasn’t worrying about all the other things I had to do.  I don’t love hand sewing, but that’s usually because I prefer to use a machine.  But this project wouldn’t be possible to make by machine – so it’s a totally different kind of hand sewing.  I have never done embroidery before and I’m pleased with how it turned out even though the embroidery is mainly just very simple stem stitch.

As for reviewing the kit itself – well I thought it was very good.  The instructions were excellent and the quality of the materials was top notch.  The only criticism I have is that you are supposed to stuff some of the applique pieces to give a more prominent, 3D, quilted effect, but the stuffing was not provided.  Everything else was provided – right down to the needles – so why they couldn’t also provide stuffing is a mystery to me.  Having never done a project like this, I have no idea what sort of stuffing I need, and frankly I didn’t have time to traipse around a craft shop guessing.  So, the stocking is not stuffed, and I think it looks fine, although I think a bit of stuffing would have made it look even better.

I’m very happy to have finished the project, and have already informed my own poor children that I will not be making one each for them: they can make do with the mass-produced £1 stockings from the Card Factory.  As for Jacob, I’m going to get him to sign an agreement to use this every Christmas Eve until he is at least 21 😉

Merry Christmas one and all!

  1. Pearl Sanguine permalink
    December 23, 2015 10:41 am

    That’s so cute! Well done on your mammoth hand sewing quest. 😀

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      December 23, 2015 10:44 am

      Thanks my lovely xx

  2. Karen permalink
    December 23, 2015 12:34 pm

    I have a tree skirt which gets a new bit of sewing each year I get it out. Think this is year 7 and still not finished. Well done with the stocking it looks lovely K xXx

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      December 23, 2015 12:50 pm

      Ahhh that’s an amazing idea!

  3. December 23, 2015 2:53 pm

    Wow! So much work, but the end result is lovely. 🙂 You’ve a very lucky nephew! And I hear you on smug procrastination. I’m cramming last minute sewing in right now, which I thought since it’s “only” pajamas (5 pairs–2 to go!) that it would be super fast–not so much. And after that, I have a quiet book to make–my toddler won’t notice if it’s a few days late, right?!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      December 23, 2015 11:37 pm

      Good luck! I too have made seven lots of pyjamas this year too and it’s not as quick and easy as you would think!

  4. December 24, 2015 10:19 am

    So special! Well worth all those hours! If I had a little someone special then I’d definitely want to make one, and thanks for the heads up on how long it takes in case I ever do 😀

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      December 24, 2015 10:25 am

      You’re welcome. If my sister in law and her husband have any more children I will probably make another one! But I’ll be sure to leave plenty of time to make it!

  5. December 24, 2015 4:29 pm

    It’s beautiful! But I had to lol a little at the amount of time it took. I just made a tree skirt for my in-laws and was cursing the amount of time it took to sew (by machine!). Crafty things always take more work than I originally think.

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      December 24, 2015 8:11 pm

      Definitely these things take a long time! But it’s nice if you can use them time and time again.

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