How to Embroider a Festive Polarfleece Stockingcomments (9) November 15th, 2008
Stockings can add so much more to your holiday decorating than just hanging them off the mantel. This fleece and chenille stocking has already become a cozy home for one of my Boyds Bears, and it will hang on the inside of my front door from now until the end of January...sort of a kickoff to my holiday doo-daa! I made pastel stockings to hang from my daughters' bed posts all year long...a home for a surprise or treat to celebrate all kinds of stuff!
Embroidering on fleece is easy if you know how. The challenge with working with fleece is the nap of the fabric. Stitches tend to sink in and disappear. To prevent that, all you need to do is put a piece of wash-away stabilizer over the top of the area you are going to embroider. This allows the stitches to settle nicely next to each other and not get distorted. If you are going to embroider a design that has a lot of filled-in areas, you can use a piece of tulle instead of wash-away stabilizer. The tulle can be trimmed away from the outside edge after the embroidery is complete, but it will stay permanently behind the stitches, offering long-term protection.
To make my stocking, I chose a swirly design that does not have a filled area. These kinds of designs are perfect for fleece because you don't have to worry about the nap poking through! I got my design from Embroidery Online...I love the convenience of shopping for embroidery designs online—five minutes after I pick one out, I've already paid, downloaded, and imported it to my machine. If you want to use my stocking pattern, click here.
Here's what you'll need:
- Stocking pattern
- 1/2 yard fleece
- 1/2 yard lining fabric
- One 4 x 19-inch piece of contrasting fabric for cuff (I used chenille)
- Embroidery design of your choice
- Soft n' Sheer cuta-way stabilizer (such as OESD's Polymesh)
- Clear wash-away stabilizer (such as Sulky's Solvy)
- Embroidery threads of your choice
- All-purpose sewing thread
Start by cutting out the stocking using the pattern that you downloaded (or you can use any stocking pattern you already have). Lay the pattern piece on a double layer of fleece and cut out two at once. Cut out the lining fabric the same way.
Import the design you are going to use into your embroidery machine. I hooped a layer of mesh cut-away and used temporary adhesive spray to adhere the stocking into the hoop. Then I positioned a single design on the screen and copy/pasted three more to get an overall design I was happy with. Depending on the size of your largest hoop, you might have to rehoop to embroider all the way up the stocking. Layer a piece of clear wash-away stabilizer over the fleece before you start to embroider.
Here is a close-up of the embroidery. You can see how the wash-away stabilizer helps the stitching to form nicely on the surface of the fleece.
Gently pull the wash-away stabilizer away from the edges of the embroidery.
Take the embroidery out of the hoop and lay it face down on a cutting board. Trim the mesh stabilizer so that it's even with the outside edge of the stocking.
Place the embroidered front of the stocking right sides together with the back and pin them together. Do the same for the lining.
Clip notches along the outside curves. This will give the toe and heel a nice shape when you turn it to the right side.
Clip the inside curves to get a nice smooth shape.
Trim the entire seam allowance to 1/4 inch to reduce bulk.
Cut a rectangle measuring 4 x 19 inches out of the contrasting fabric to make the cuff. Turn one long edge under 1/2 inch.
Topstitch the hem in place to finish the lower edge of the cuff. Fold the cuff in half, right sides together, and sew the short ends together, completing the cuff. (Now it's ready to attach to the top of the stocking.)
To make the loop for the stocking, cut a 2 x 9-inch strip of fleece. Fold in half lenghtwise and stitch using a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Trim the seam allowance to 1/4 inch. Turn the tube to the right side. If you have a Fasturn Set, check out Shannon's post for details on how to use that wonderful tool! If not, here's an easy way to use a screwdriver to turn a short tube.
Turn the ends into the opening and use a small screwdriver to push the ends in farther.
When you can't push the screwdriver in any farther, start to smooth the outer portion of the tube toward the handle of the screwdriver. It just takes a few seconds to push the outer portion of the tube out of the way so you can see the end at the tip of the screwdriver that's turned to the right side.
Matching the raw edges, position the cuff at the top of the stocking, wrong side of cuff facing right side of the stocking. Position the loop so that the ends are centered to the left and right of the seam that's over the heal of the stocking. Baste the loop in place.
Turn the stocking lining inside out. Matching the raw edges, place the lining over the right side of the stocking and cuff. Pin in place along the top edge.
Stitch all the way around the top edge, leaving a 4-inch opening. Start and stop in the back of the stocking so the opening will be in the back. Pull the stocking through the opening.
Pin the opening closed. Press the cuff into position, making a crease. Topstitch along the edge of the stocking, closing the opening as you stitch along.
After you make this project, show off your work to other members!
Post your project in the gallery
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