Sunday, July 19, 2009

Christmas in July: Secret Santa Stockings


Project: “Secret Santa Stockings” , using Sweet Roll Stocking Kit from Moda. Click here to purchase the kit.

Pattern: designed by Moda fabrics, included as an insert in the Sweet Roll Stocking kit.

Finished Size: each stocking measures approximately 4” x 10”. The kit includes the fabric to make SIX stockings, with the exception of backing fabric. Use “fabric from your stash” for backing, or ask us to add a suitable coordinate to your kit purchase.

Skill Level: Confident Beginner

Technique: Traditional Piecing, with a ruffled trim

Let’s Get Started!


Strip piece a pair of strip sets using the pre-cut 1.5” strips that make up the mini honey-buns. You’ll cut each strip in half to measure approximately 1.5” x 20”. As you sew the strips, finger-press each seam before you steam press. This helps to prevent bowing, or curving of your strip set.


As with all Moda pre-cuts (charm squares, jelly rolls, turnovers, etc.), the edges of the honey buns are “micro-pinked” to prevent raveling. The zig-zag edges can be a little tougher to line up than straight edges. I try to align the outermost tips with the exact edge of my presser foot. csb4

Arrange the strips in a pleasing order, and add them one at a time to the strip set, pressing as you go (first finger press, then steam press). Press all seam allowances in the same direction.


Continue adding strips until your strata has a total of (8) different strips. Then, using the other half-strips from the mini honey-bun, piece an identical strata. However, on the second strata, you will press the seam allowances the opposite direction compared to the first.


Lay both strata on your cutting table, right sides together. Carefully align the top and bottom edges, and make sure the seams interlock neatly as you smooth the fabric into position.


Cutting through both layers, subcut the strata into 1.5” segments.


Right sides together, sew (2) strips that are off-set by a single square. Choose strips that have seam allowances pointing in opposite directions.


Press. The seam allowances can be pressed to one side.


Continue to add segments, offsetting by one square each time. You don’t need to pin the seams, as long as you carefully align each as it approaches the needle. I do this by firmly pressing on the top and bottom of the seam joints (until you feel them lock into position). Then, I firmly hold the “joint” into position as I guide it under the presser foot.


Stitch a total of (9) strips into position, creating a pretty seminole effect.


Trace the stocking shape from the pattern onto freezer paper, and cut it out on the line. Then, press the freezer paper onto the wrong side of your backing fabric.

The edge of the freezer paper is the seam line. Do not cut on that line! Instead, cut a generous 1/4” away from the edge of the freezer paper.


Remove the freezer paper, and carefully lay the stocking back on your seminole piece, right sides together. Pin in position, then sew approximately 1/4” away from the edge of the backing fabric along the side and bottom of the stocking. Do NOT sew across the top.


Trim the seminole piece even with the stocking back. Zig-zag in the seam allowance, if desired (this helps to finish the seam, and prevent ravelling.) Cut notches in the top and bottom of the foot area, to eliminate bulk.


Turn the stocking right sides out. The pattern recommends adding a binding to the top, but honestly this seemed like way too much work. Instead, I just folded about 1/2" of the top of the stocking to the inside , and zig-zagged around the cuff. This area is hidden underneath the ruffle trim anyway.


The ruffle trim is created from a half strip of fabric. Join the ends, right side together, to create a continuous loop. Then, using the longest stitch length on your sewing machine, stitch (2) basting rows, approximately 1/4” from the top and bottom edges.


Turn the loop right sides out, and gently begin to tug on your basting threads, gradually gathering the fabric into a ruffle.


Pin the ruffle strip to the top of the stocking. Tighten or loosen the basting threads as needed so that the ruffle fits the cuff. You will likely need to intensely pin the area where the basting stitches start & stop, creating your own ruffles with each pin. If you don’t do this, you’ll have a flat area in the ruffle cuff, as it is hard to “hold the ruffle” without a lot of pins. About half of the ruffle strip should be below the top of the stocking, and the other half will be above the top of the stocking.


Working from the backside, straight stitch the ruffle in place. In this photo, the row of stitching you see just above the zig-zag is the stitch that attaches the ruffle to the stocking.


Remove all of the basting threads you used to create the ruffle. The top of your stocking should look like this.


Although the pattern does not mention this, I think the stockings need a hang tab. I created this by folding a 1.5” strip of fabric in half, and pressing it.


Then, I tucked the raw edges inside, folded the strip again, and top-stitched with matching thread to create a long, thin, strip for the hanger.


I stitched a 5” segment of the hanger as a loop on the back part of the cuff. I pinned the loop in place, and carefully stitched along the same location where the stitching for the ruffle was. I then backstitched over my stitches, to securely fasten the loop in position.


Tada! One is finished! Repeat with remaining fabric strips to create (2) more identical stockings.

Use the second mini honey-bun to make (3) more stockings for a total of six.

Fill with candy canes, wrapped chocolates, or other small stocking stuffers. Also, these could be used as tree ornaments, depending upon your preference (they are a little large compared to the average ornament).

Although this project is a little time consuming, the end result is uniquely beautiful. And, once you’ve made the first one, the next ones go much more quickly. The cost of each stocking is minimal ($20.00 for the fabric rolls & pattern), plus backing fabric of your choice.. each unit likely costs about $5.00. Well worth in, in my humble opinion :)

Have fun!