Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Mrs Smyth... crafts at a painfully slow rate.

So... I got the sewing bug again. Which I find strange because I wouldn't actually call myself a sewer at all. In late pregnancy I got the itch to borrow a sewing machine and sew a doona cover. And pillowcases. Laydeepants helped me measure things out and I went on my merry way.

Fast forward to now, I've sewed a headscarf for my first week back at work and little else. Then, I started actually reading the Spotlight catalogues that get sent to me every week. There were these sweet sewing-for-dummies panels for Christmas stockings. I still have my Christmas sack (a big plastic printed one with my name on it, but never fear safety standards of the 1980's, there's holes punched in it.) as does Mr S (a fancy handmade one...)

I wanted to make Millie a handmade Christmas stocking. Oh god.

I purchased the necessary materials, looking blankly at the sales assistants when they asked 'Do you want to line it with poplin or straight drill?' and saying things like 'Seam a-what-ance?'

Then I looked at all the materials for about a month. I'd pull them out, look intently at the instructions, hear the baby crying and put it all away again. After this time I decided I could do this. Laydeepants talked me through interfacing, so I went and bought Vlisofix (the only craft product I know the name of, thank you days of quilting.) Turns out, that's not what I needed.

I went back again and said 'Laydeepants uses that grey stuff there. What does that do?'
Spotlight lady: 'How stiff do you want it to be?'
Me: 'How stiff are stockings usually?'
Spotlight lady: 'Other Spotlight lady, how stiff would a stocking be? This lady is making one.'
Other Spotlight lady: 'You don't want stiff do you? Just to bulk it up a bit?'
Me: 'Um... yes?'
Other Spotlight lady: 'You want this.'
Me: 'Ok?'

Sewing it all together.
So I wound up with wadding interfacing. I started assembling and cutting and ironing. And recutting and reironing. (What do you mean stockings have two sides that aren't the same shape? What?)

Rick-Rack assembly.
Now, because I'm difficult like that, I decided my lack of experience was no barrier and that I'd like to add that giant rick-rack along the edges of the stocking. I thought this would work. And blow me down, it did.

The entire time I had a little helper sitting on the floor next to me. This is a rare moment of her not attempting to eat the sewing machine power cord.

 I was then mostly finished apart from the pesky top seams. The instructions on the panel said something... but I just didn't read them closely enough. I thought about it for a good long while, and wound up deciding to add a 'sock' style of band top to it.

Almost done!
In the midst of all of this Millie decided to start waking up every 60-90 minutes at night, so there's no photos of this next little bit because my eyes were bleeding and I was lucky I didn't sew my hands together.

I made the sock, and sewed the hanging tag on the wrong side. So I unpicked it and promptly resewed. With the tag on the right side but on the wrong end. So I unpicked it and resewed it. Properly. Finally.

I decided that the best course of events would be to add the sock to the lining, and I looked at it and thought about it and did lots of pinning. After a few goes at pinning the sock to the lining I sewed. And it wasn't right. So I unpicked and repinned and sewed. Still not right. Unpicked, got a chocolate, walked around, thought about it, had another chocolate. Repinned. Sewed. Still inside out.

More chocolate. Another walk. Then I tried something so ridiculous because I was Out. Of. Ideas. And it worked.

All that was left was the hand stitch the sock facing to the stocking as it was only affixed with the lining.

Does any of this make sense without pictures?


Ok, here's the ending.

It worked. And looks ace. I'm really proud of myself. All that's left to be done is for a friend to hand stitch a felt panel for the front with Millie's name on it, and she's got her own home made stocking for her first Christmas!

Almost done!


  1. Far better than anything I could hobble together. I'm pretty good at screwing up a stick man, let alone tackle something like this. Probably why I no longer own any IKEA furniture, all that would be left would be chips.

  2. Very proud of my clever niece. That's how we all started - I think they are called Originals. Just remember "Fake it till you make it" - you have done well. Keep on crafting!!



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