Monday, December 19, 2011

make a stocking in a bag

  I'm a bit fiendishly obsessive about stocking stuffers. I used to  share the fiendishness with Easter baskets but I have since lost that

Not having any kiddos to play Santa for I felt bereft until I learned of a common phenomenon amongst my mama friends. Most of my mama friends act as Santa's helpers and so on Christmas morning, when it is time to dive into the holiday socks, they are left with a limp stocking, partially filled with items they bought for themselves and a candy cane or two from Santa. Combine that with my tiny kidless casa and some lackluster holiday socks as well and hopefully, you can get the picture. A few years ago, Ms. Za and I started exchanging stockings. From using and reusing pretty stocking stockings to filling tiny suitcases and/or vintage tins, we've gotten our creative fiend out and filled up all sorts of happy. This year, I am adding a new mama to the mix and because she isn't really expecting it and probably already has her own stocking, I am sending her a bag filled with goodness. This is also a nifty way to send a series of tiny gifts to a friend far away who may already have a traditional sock to hang. I suppose we only really need one stocking, right? I still have and use the one my Mamos made for me when I was born. I even made one for the mister in the same style so we could match. Mine is bit more motheaten than his bu I love it all the same .

So. grab some burlap, felt or other fat quarter sized fabric you may have on hand and let's get to sewing, shall we?

*fat quarter sized (mine was actually larger) piece of felt, burlap or other fabric
*1 large rectangular doily, 1 medium round doily and 1 small round doily
*small patch of red fabric (I used a t-shirt scrap)
*sewing machine
*large button
Cut your fabric into a large rectangular shape using your non-happy fabric scissors if you are cutting burlap. My burlap piece is about 25"X15". Press with a hot iron to flatten it out. Fold over the edge of a short end about 1" and press to hold shape. Repeat for the other side. These will be your hemmed edges. Bring the fabric to the machine and stitch those hems down, trim threads.

About 5" down from one hemmed edge,  pin  a row of pins to mark where the other hemmed edge will come up to create the pouch. Think of it as a large envelope.
 Estimate where you want your rectangular doily and super pin into place (hemmed sides facing down). Doilies can be tricky to stitch on with a machine as they are wont to dance. You can do this by hand as well but the machine makes the stitching happen a wee bit faster, so make sure you get all pin-happy with that lace. Of course, you can use any shape doily you like.

Pin your medium sized doily over the top of one of your hemmed edges so that half is on the burlap and half hangs over the edge. Introduce this new bundle of happy to your machine and stitch the doilies to the burlap using a small zig-zig stitch. Take your time and unpin as you go if you find yer pins butting heads with the foot of your machine. Trim thread. when you stitch the round doily to the burlap, you will only be stitching half of it on, so yep, that's correct, the other half will hang over the edge.

Cut your small piece of red fabric (or other color) and pin to your almost-stocking. Pin the smaller doily on top and use your machine to anchor all that happy on.
Fold the bottom of your happy piece up towards the top edge leaving about 5" for a flap. Pin in place and use a running stitch on your machine to sew down either side thus closing your bag. Give yourself an inch or so on the side-seams so that you may fray those edges by gently tugging on the excess burlap.

Flip the doily top over and estimate where a good place for a button would be and hand-stitch your button on. If your doily has a loose lace you will not need to create a buttonhole. If you do need to create a button hole...have fun!
Fill your happy pouch with wrapped stocking stuffers (click here for suggestions on how to stuff a stocking for under $25), close the top and wrap with a contrasting yarn or rick-rack for added pizazz. Pop it in a box and mail it off to your very lucky friend.
Not up for stuffing a stocking or two but still want to give?  You can pick up a few new-in-box toys, games, or kits and donate them to your local toy drive such as Toys for Tots or perhaps pick up some canned goods for a local food drive, our local markets sell coupons for meals so that you may pick up a few and your  dollar donation will help feed those during the holiday season.  Happy giving!

1 comment:

  1. Love the concept and the execution so much!