Lumberjack Stocking Tutorial - Felting Fridays
You can follow these instructions to make a stocking for any theme. All you need is an old, wide scarf (the longer the better if you want to make more than one to match), another stocking to trace your pattern, sewing machine, wool and felting tools. The scarf I picked up at a local thrift store was just begging for a lumberjack design, so I went with that.
This is so easy to do, it only took me about two hours from start to finish, and that's including stopping to take photos along the way. So it would probably take you less... or more, depending on how intricate you want your design to be. Also, the foam you'll want to use needs to be small enough to fit in the finished stocking. Grab some packing foam from and cut it down to size if need-be. I had a 4x4 block sitting around and that was small enough to fit in mine.
As I mentioned, you'll want a wide scarf, those skinny ones won't do. This one is about 15 inches wide. Also, it can be most any materials except fleece or knitted. Not that you can't do it on one but they're a bit more difficult to work with. Best would be wool in my opinion, but I'm pretty sure this one is some form of flannel, not sure if cotton or polyester, or a blend. It was a bit stretchy which does make needle felting on it a little more difficult. Wool I find to be the least stretchy which makes it easier to be more precise.
You'll also need another stocking to use as your template. Since the fringe will only be on one side (and the design), you'll also want to decide which direction your stocking goes, if to the right or the left. I ended up doing mine to the left. The method I'm going to show you, the way you trace it will be the same direction the finished stocking goes, so no need to worry about doing it backwards.
If your scarf is long enough, you can make two to match! In this case you'll want to find the middle and cut it in half. To check if it's long enough, fold it in half, then fold again leaving a few inches by the fringe at the top. If your stocking template fits on the folded part (minus the fringe, as in the previous photo) it's long enough to make two.
Hem the cut end by folding over twice towards the "wrong" side, and sewing it across. I used white, contrasting stitches on mine to make it easier to see (and because it does match the white in the scarf), but you can make yours blend in.
Fold the scarf so that the wrong side is on the outside, the hemmed part on top facing you, and the fringe is in the back. Using a fabric pencil or chalk, trace your stocking on the scarf. We don't need to worry about seam allowances because you'll trim the excess after it's been stitched. If you want to modify the shape of it, do it here. You will be stitching on the line. Also, make sure it's the direction in which you want your stocking to go, not the reverse.
Before you finish pinning the two sides together, fold the fringed part on the inside so the tops line up. Hopefully you left enough space so that you can have a nice wide band at the top. That way you can embroider or needle felt the recipient's name on the band at the end. Take care to separate the fringe where you'll be stitching the seam so it doesn't get stuck in the stitches - this is why I traced the stocking first before folding down the fringe, so I could use the lines as a guide where to separate the fringe.
Take it to your sewing machine and sew along the line. I did another pass along the outside, since if this is indeed flannel, it has a habit of ripping at the seams sometimes if overstuffed, plus it'll keep the seam from fraying right up to the first line of stitches. A little extra protection never hurts. Now you can trim off the excess!
Here's the finished stocking! Actually, we're not done yet. We still need to add a loop and needle felt.
For the loop, I cut a 2"x6" strip from the excess. You might want to make it a bit wider though, because turning it inside out was a bit of a pain. Actually turning tubes inside-out is always a pain, but worse when it's skinnier. Length is good though.
Here's the tube turned inside out. Fold this in half and...
... stitch it next to the seam at the top back of the stocking on the heel. Make sure you don't stitch it on the side with the toe. I stitched a box with an X in the middle to reinforce where it's attached.
For my lumberjack design, I wanted to make a cross of axes. I debated with doing a beard/mustache at the top like a skull & crossbones. I may put a beard on the other one. Whatever the theme you're going with, do some google image searches in your theme and find a design that you like. You don't have to look at stockings themselves, anything in the Christmas theme works. I found this looking at lumberjack themed cards. First I needle felted the handles, trying to be as symmetrical as possible. I used a merino/silk blend for mine, use any wool you have on hand that works for you. Also, if you're using a stretchy material, try to keep it taut with your other hand as you're felting, otherwise it buckles a bit as you poke the wool in.
And here's the completed axe-heads! This is also when you'll want to needle felt the recipient's name at the fringed hem at the top.
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