I had the wonderful privilege of growing up with a mom who sews. And while I may gawk and complain about the Easter where she made matching dresses for me, my sisters and herself and a matching tie for my dad, I can’t overlook the fact that she was the strongest point of influence and encouragement in my own artistic endeavors.
My mom is always crafting something—she is a very artistic person and is constantly finding new outlets for her creativity. I have so many cherished childhood memories and items that came from her own two hands, and I love that! One such item is my stocking. Actually, to be perfectly honest, my grandmother (my mom’s mom) made my stocking…but my mom made my two sisters’ stockings in the same style as mine, and then made a needlepoint stocking for my dad. The point is, that our family stockings are all lovingly handmade and each year growing up, I couldn’t wait for them to be un-boxed and hung by the fireplace so we could look at them and play with them and imagine all of the exciting things they would be filled with come Christmas morning.
Now that I have a family of my own, I wanted to continue the hand-made stocking tradition. It seemed like a pretty easy venture into the world of sewing, and something I could complete within a tight timeframe. I spent weeks online deciding on just the right fabric to use, got it all ordered and then waited for my mother-in-law’s visit over Thanksgiving to really jump into things.
My mother-in-law, Nancy, is easily the best seamstress I’ll ever know. Sorry mom, but this woman is unbelievable in her knowledge and experience with sewing. My mom is a very skilled seamstress, don’t get me wrong, but Nancy was “professionally” sewing for years, while my mom’s expertise is in personal projects for her family and immediate community. I am truly blessed to have both women in my life, especially when I decide to do crazy things like sew stockings!
Anyhow, I wanted to take advantage of Nancy’s presence over Thanksgiving to “hold my hand” while I braved the fabric store, figured out what to do with the stocking pattern and how to use my sewing machine. She was wonderful! We made an entire stocking while she was here and she gave me a lot of tips and confidence along the way.
Once she left, I was on my own to make two more stockings. I took my sweet time (mostly because it’s hard to sew with a toddler running around!) but eventually they got completed! And I LOOOVVEE them! I think they turned out great!
Next year I’m planning to have our names embroidered on the cuffs (by a professional! Don’t be crazy!) and to hand stitch small embellishments onto the patterned fabric.
(From left to right: Matt’s, Adelaide’s, mine)
Things I’ll take away from this sewing project:
- Sewing with velvet is hard! That stuff moves around sooooo much, even when pinned. UGH!
- I need to figure out if the seam that I’m working on is going to be visible or hidden before I spend an entire evening trying to make it perfect.
- Sometimes the imperfections are what make a project truly unique and lovable.
- No one actually wears stockings…so theres no pressure to make them an exact size.
- Sewing is fun! Especially if I give myself enough time to complete the project and set myself up in a space that can be left as-is and returned to at a later date (read: constant interruptions from a little kiddo).