The royal baby will be celebrating his first Christmas, along with thousands of other little ones this year. To celebrate the occasion, why not make a special stocking like this one to fill with gifts for your own prince or princess? By combining scraps of vintage linen and lace with pretty embroidery, you can create a family heirloom to treasure for years to come.
- Fabric, cotton, plain white for lining
- Napkins/tray cloths, vintage Thread: embroidery, six-strand, white; pink; peach; pale blue; pale green; taupe; green; red; yellow; gold; sewing, coordinating
- Lace, braid
- Ribbon, satin, pink, blue or white, 60cm
- Needle, crewel; sewing Embroidery hoop
- 22cm x 30cm
Make a stocking
Download the template and print. Draw the outline shape of the stocking twice onto a large piece of fabric, such as a damask napkin, but do not cut it out. Choose the crown or heart motif and the wording you wish to use, then place the fabric over the design template you’ve printed off, and trace directly onto the fabric using a pencil or ballpoint pen. If you can’t see the design through the fabric, photocopy the motifs onto a piece of thin paper, and go over the outline on the wrong side (mirror image) with a transfer pen. Position the paper transfer-side down on the right side of the fabric and press with a hot iron.
Place the fabric in an embroidery hoop and make sure it’s taut. Starting with the wording, and using two strands of pink or pale blue embroidery thread and a crewel needle, fill in the lettering, inside the outlines, with running stitch. Then use satin stitch to fill in the thicker parts of the letters, and stem stitch for the narrower lines and the flourishes, making sure the stitches go just outside the outlines. The running stitch will create a good foundation for the embroidery, producing a slightly padded effect and helping to prevent the white fabric showing through the lettering, ensuring a neat and professional result.
For the crown motif, reposition the fabric in the hoop. Use red, green and white to fill in the jewels in satin stitch, then outline each one using gold thread. Fill in the areas within the outlines of the crown with running stitch, using two strands of yellow thread, then cover with satin stitch, in the same way you filled in the lettering previously. Do the same for the heart motif, but using pink thread.
Remove the fabric from the hoop and press lightly on the wrong side, then cut around the embroidered (front) stocking shape, 3cm outside the outline. Lay out the stocking shape on your work surface and place pieces of napkins, coasters and other linen scraps, as well as lengths of lace or braid across the shape. Small pieces with fancy edges are ideal for placing across the heel and toe of the stocking.
When you are happy with the arrangement, pin and tack all the pieces in position. If you use the hemmed and bound edges of fabric scraps, there should be no need to hem the pieces or to turn under the raw edges. It doesn’t matter at this stage if the pieces overlap the edges of the stocking shape. Stitch pieces in place by hand or machine and remove pins and tacking stitches. If there are any large blank areas without embroidery, add a few more motifs to these areas: you can use the ‘snowflake’ flower motif, or replicate motifs from any embroidered pieces you have used.
Cut out the shapes for the front and back of the stocking, and cut two more from plain white fabric for the lining. Place the front and back stocking pieces together, right sides facing. Pin and tack, then stitch the two together with a 1cm seam allowance, leaving the straight edge at the top open. Clip the curves and turn right sides out. Then stitch the two lining pieces together in the same way. Turn over 1cm, slip inside and use to line the stocking securing with slip stitch.
For the bow, cut two 8cm x 45cm strips from plain white or vintage linen fabric. Fold one of the strips in half lengthways, right sides together, and stitch across one end, then down the side, with a 1cm seam allowance, and turn right sides out. Do the same with the second strip but when stitching the end, sew at a 45 angle.
Press the two strips and tuck in the edges on the open end using a 45 angle on one again, then slip stitch the folded edges to close. Fold the two ends of the straight-ended strip to the centre to form the loops of the bow and place centrally on the other strip. Stitch right through the centre, then sew two ends of a 12cm to 15cm length of thin ribbon to the same place, to form a loop for hanging. Take a 45cm length of ribbon and tie around the centre to hide the join, and make into a neat bow.