THE STORY
So a while back I designed a stocking for Christmas. It was an experiment in learning about designing sewing patterns for a Spoonflower competition, but also part of my efforts at justgraphic to learn more about designing patterns and fabrics. I was happy with the shabby chic style I created and ordered a yard, so that I could make my own Christmas stocking decorations. The other day I finally got the package in the mail and was excited to whip up those stockings.

THE SEWING PROCESS
Unfortunately, the whole project started off with me bonking my head several times. I had duplicated the stocking design to be the front and back when sewn together, but failed to flip the image… so I’ve just got fronts all over my yard of fabric. Ugh. Obviously, prototyping is so important in the process of creating any product. Even from the start, the design was flawed… what should I do?! I certainly didn’t want to waste a good yard of fabric and there was no time to order a corrected version. So I had to improvise a bit and do with what I had to still go through with the project. A little lumpy and weird, but still pretty cool for a door decoration, don’t you think?

Since I only printed the fronts of the stockings, I used some scrap brown fabric I had as the backing. It actually turned out to be a great solution that adds to the look of the design. Having a solid backing adds to the look. You can’t really see in the photos, but the back piece is patchy pieced together, so shabby cool looking that I like. My sewing skills are definitely nothing to take notice of…but I did get the job done. I’m simply too impatient and can’t slow down. I had a lot of trouble sewing the heart shapes as well and chucked one of them – no heart at the tip of the toes. Having something really small and intricate makes it a lot harder to machine sew – at least for me. Learnings for the future…

When I finally got the stockings sewn, I stuffed them with pillow stuffing – hence the lumpiness. Then I wrapped up some little boxes to stick on top for decoration and really like that spur of the moment idea. Originally they were just going to entirely stuffed, like little pillows. Using some ribbon from the dollar store, leftover beads and trinkets from around my desk, those fake gift boxes look pretty nice. And yes those are silver painted walnuts you see…

So in the end, even with all the issues, I was able to finish up the stockings and have a nice shabby chic door decoration. Not too bad and shabby in a good way! I labelled them with our names and of course made the little itty bitty one for Vash. Oh, the crafting for him is just starting…

THE LEARNINGS
I’ve definitely learned many things from this little foray into unplanned sewing of a poorly designed pattern…

– When designing a pattern, it must be tested to the end – probably multiple times before you get it right. Not that it can’t work out, but if you really want something to be simple and straightforward, everything must be considered.

– Sewing fabrics of different weights caused a bit of trouble…probably because I was not using pins to get it all together and I certainly don’t have the control or skill to get it nice and even. More practice needed.

– Tiny little parts, not a good idea for machine sewing.

– When I hung up the stockings I realized the fake gift boxes were all droopy and I had to add in some cardboard backing support. Makes me wonder how all those beautiful photos of perfectly set up houses might actually be all an illusion 🙂

In the end I’m happy to have created something for our door decoration and with my own design! I have uploaded a corrected version of the stocking design if you are interested though. I’m glad to have learned from this experience for future pattern designing. Thanks for stopping by and let me know what you think of the stocking decoration. Ciao ciao!

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