Sunday, February 4, 2007

Christmas, Revisited

These are the stockings I made for my neice and nephew for Christmas. I forgot to get a picture before I sent them out but my sister-in-law sent some pictures she took of them. They turned out pretty well. I know I arranged the ribbon on the ballet one wrong (it shouldn't spiral up the ankle like that). I noticed it after I made them and took my daughter to her Highland Dance class. The school teaches mostly ballet and there were ballet posters everywhere. Oops.

The monster stocking was inspired by the monster stockings from Crafy Robot and the ballet slipper stocking was made using the template at Family Fun.

I just sort of "eyeballed" it when I cut and assembled the monster stocking. I used vinyl for the toe nails, a very sturdy black fabric for the main stocking, and faux fur for the cuff. I lined it with some more black fabric. However, I made the lining smaller with the toes cut off so there were no toe sections on the inside. I think that may have been a mistake.

Although I used a template for the ballet stocking, I constructed it differently. I used satin instead of felt for the slipper. I did handstitch over the edge of the slipper portion (as the directions stated) but this would be better acheived by using the zigzag stitch with almost no length (overedge or overlock are the preferred terms, I think). Since I hand stitched it, I did this after the outside was assembled. While I was doing the overedge stitching, I added the ribbon just to where it attaches to the shoe. The rest was tacked into place later.

Although my ribbon wasn't exactly correct for ballet slippers, I did place the part where it attaches to the shoe properly. I guess I learned something from sitting around waiting for dance class to end. I made a lining using the same template for the main stocking body sewn around the the sides with 1/4" seams (no slipper). I didn't leave a place to turn it so I attached it by ironing the edge over 1/4" and stitching the two together, catching the ribbon hanger in between the layers. Then I added the tulle trim.

The next time I do this, I'll use my machine to overedge the slipper on the front and back pieces (with ribbon sewn-in) then assemble the outside by putting the pieces right sides together and machine stitching around the sides with 1/4" seams. I'll still tack the ribbon in place after assembling the outside. I can only think of how badly I'd mess it up otherwise.

I had looked up ballet stockings on the web and really liked having a template already done for me. But I did notice somewhere else (I don't remember where--ebay?) that someone makes them with loops sewn in the upper inside along the seams. These loops are so the stocking may have a strap attached to use as a dance bag for little ballerinas. What a clever idea!

I may make ghillies (Highland dance shoes) for next Christmas using a similar technique.

Another Christmas project was towel turbans. I found some towels at Target onsale for $1.44 each and bought them up. It took maybe 15 minutes to assemble the turbans so I made them for the girls on my side of the family--the side with so many neices and nephews that we aren't supposed to exchange gifts with them. I usually throw together some fun stuff for them anyway. The boys got flashlights that you wear on your head. The turbans were packaged with bath scrunchies that I found 6/$1. So I got away with spending less than $2 on stuff that the girls all seemed to like.

Various assorted kids also got sock monkeys made using the pattern at Craftbits. I have no pictures of the sock monkeys but I used a variety of different socks, including striped and patterned socks in a whole bunch of sizes. I followed the directions at Craftbits. One of mine looks a lot like the picture in the instructions. Talk about your funky monkeys.

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