How to make a ruffle-trim stocking

DSCN5745 When I shared some of my seasonal photos earlier this week, my girl Jackie was asking about this stocking. In fact, I made it myself and you can too!

I didn't take many photos of the stocking creation-process because I was wiped after ditching another (way too ambitious) project part-way through.  My goal with these was to GET FINISHED.  So you'll have to rely mostly on my instructions. Also, I was originally inspired by this etsy how-to for a pillow, which I saw on twig and thistle. They have more pictures of the ruffle process.

Step one: First you need to create the stocking shape. I used regular old felt. A yard should be plenty for two or three stockings, maybe get a little extra if you want to do more than that. Before cutting, draw out a pattern in the shape you want. I used a picture in a catalog as my "guide" to drawing this freehand. You might prefer a bigger heel or longer toe (or pointed elf-toe!). Draw it on tissue, newsprint or newspaper. Then use this pattern as a guide to cutting out your felt. You'll need two matching pieces for each stocking.

Step two: Now that you have your two stocking shapes, pin them together (right-sides together if you're using a printed fabric). Oh, I should mention, if you decide you want to embroider or monogram your stocking instead of a ruffle-trim, you should do so while the two pieces are still separate. Once they're pinned together, stitch all the way around the stocking, leaving the top flat part open (for obvious reasons). Turn the stocking right-side out. Gently iron your new stocking to flatten out the seams (the whole thing will be quite round otherwise.

Step three: Prepare your ruffle by making rosettes out of felt. I used a contrasting color but you could use the same fabric as the stocking. Cut out circles, all the same  size (mine were 3 inches across). I used probably 30 circles per stocking. Fold into quarters like so:

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You'll have a little triangle of felt (with one curved side). Put a stitch or two through the bottom near the fold. Note: you COULD skip the stitch step for each and every rosette, but I found that it helped the ruffle look fuller in the end because you can get a different angle when sewing them to the stocking. But for time's sake, it's possible to not stitch each closed. Maybe fabric glue?

Step four: Sew the rosettes onto the top of the stocking. I tried to map out how large the ruffled area would be with a pencil, and sewing the first few as markers so I knew not to stray beyond those lines. Make sure not to sew them too closely together or everything will flatten out, but they have to be within 3/4 inch together to keep the ruffle looking full. You have two stitching options: pull the needle up through the bottom side of the rosette (through all four layers of fabric). This is good for the edges of your ruffle because it makes that rounded side. OR you can stitch up through the center of the rosette (through only two layers of fabic, and back down the same way. These rosettes will stand up a little straighter.  Also, make sure to alternate the direction the rosettes are facing. You don't want a visible pattern. They should soon all blend together in one ruffly mass. I should mention that the ruffles only cover one side of my stockings. You could do it all the way around, but who has the time?

Step five: Now that you have a beautiful ruffle on top of your stocking, don't forget to stitch some ribbon or a strip of felt into a loop from the back panel of your stocking (you could connect it to the front as well, but not instead of the back. It will hang a little flatter that way, but stitching only to the front could be a problem when stuffing the stocking). Make sure these stitches are really tight. I stitched mine on in a little square. And yep, you can see the stitches from the back of the stocking, so no shame there.

And there you go! It's a little time-consuming, but a great and mindless project you can do while watching TV. Hope this helps, and send me pictures if you make one (or more!)! Happy holidays!