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Friday, December 10, 2010

And the (Gorgeous) (Velvet) (Embellished) Stockings were hung by the chimney with care....

Earlier this year a neighbor client of mine asked me to be thinking about some ideas for Christmas stockings for their family.  Their home has some Renaissance accents (and even a knight in shining armor!) and I knew they would want to continue that theme with their stockings.

They actually own Sherwood Forest faire, a Renaissance style festival outside of Austin, Texas.  You can learn more about their event at http://www.sherwoodforestfaire.com/

Below are a few pillows I made for them last year, including an ultrasuede fleur de lis and an embroidered castle motif.

Keeping in mind the Renaissance accents and the existing gold, deep burgundy and bright blue accents, I designed coordinating stockings that would work well with their existing furnishings.

I made a trip to High Fashion Fabrics, a fabric store here in Houston.  They have a four story building full of designer interior fabrics, and another adjacent one story building for apparel fabrics.  In the apparel building, I found the perfect combination of fabrics, ribbons, trim and China silk for lining the stockings.

First, I stabilized the bright blue and burgundy silk fabrics to add a little body.

We wanted to differentiate the male stockings from the female stockings.  Opting not to incorporate embroidered names, we decided to use blue pleated cuffs for the male stockings and burgundy rouched cuffs for the girls.  The toe areas and microcorded seams would contrast with the cuffs.

Additionally, we wanted the adult stockings to be about 25% larger than the children's stockings.

I used my handy-dandy Clotilde pleater to get perfect pleats for the cuffs.  The stabilized fabric added a little bit of fullness to the pleats also, allowing them to have a bit of heft to them, which I loved!.

In the photo below, I have two cuff sections pleated onto one pleating template.

In addition to differentiating the stockings by gender, we wanted to identify each person's stocking in another way.  All of the stockings had a grouping of sheer blue ribbon loops, double faced satin ribbon loops in burgundy and also gold, and bright blue rattail cord as a fun accent. 

I sewed blown glass accents to the ribbon of each stocking:  the first born girl had one glass accent on several ribbons; the second born girl had two glass accents on several ribbons. 

Each stocking had several jingle bells attached to the rattail cord and one bell at the pointed and curled-up toe.

The foot and toe sections of each stocking are stuffed with batting for fullness and to ensure a nice shape.  The matching China silk lining fills the body of the stocking down to the heel area, so that the batting is not disturbed and cannot shift out of the designated area.

I love the sheen of the crushed gold velvet, don't you?

Below is a photo of the beautifully decorated mantle, underneath a tapestry wall hanging that I had applied banding and backing to and had installed above the fireplace.

I hope you have enjoyed this project as much as I have!

Happy Holidays -


  1. You've created stocking art! The details are incredible. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Lesa B.

  2. What fun, Susan! Every year I say I want to do custom stockings and table runners for Christmas, but it's usually mid-December by the time I think of it. I need to set an Outlook reminder to get started on that sometime in July in order to have it done for Christmas!