December 14, 2009

Days of Christmas: Day 14

As you may remember, sometime in September, I declared my intention to create Christmas stockings for my new family, modeled after the stockings in this photo that I found on the internet:
After posting that photo, my friend Beth emailed to say that she had seen that book at her local library. She was good enough to check it out for me and send me the pattern for the stockings! (Yes, I was too lazy to go to my own local library to find the book).

With the help of the pattern, some improvisation, and only one major wound, I finally completed the stockings last week:
It was harder than it might seem. First of all, the "pattern" in the book was very tiny. You can see it on the left side of this picture. The instructions said to increase its size by 200%.
Instead of taking it to Kinko's, or somewhere else with the capabilities of printing something larger than an 8.5" x 11", I just eyeballed it and tried to sketch it 200% larger. In my opinion, it should have said 300% or 400% larger. These turned out to be baby stockings.

I gathered all my holiday fabrics.
And set out to cutting.
There was so much cutting. Four pieces of stocking-sized fabric per stocking (two for outside, two for lining), plus interfacing, plus two toe and two heel pieces per stocking, plus binding, plus loops, plus letter squares . . . plus cutting a whole new one for me after I messed mine up too badly to recover.
Lining up the buttons on the letters was a little tricky too. But, I figured it out.

Things tend to get a little messy when I am sewing. I don't have my own space for it.
Troubletron ironed the bindings and loops for me. Very helpful!
As I began to sew them on, though, something horrible happened.
This very bad photo was taken some time after the injury, but as you can see from the spot on my fingernail, I sewed (with the sewing machine) right through my pointer finger on my left hand. The blood flow started almost immediately. And, of course I started freaking out because I could see the needle through my finger.
Troubletron came over to see what I was yelling about, saw the blood, and took a quick sit-down. But, it wasn't as bad as you might think. Luckily, it happened when I was manually turning the sewing dial (so the needle was moving fairly slowly and I was able to stop it) while trying to retrieve the bobbin thread.

Less than an hour after injury, I got back to work.
Troubletron helped me with the finishing work, like pulling out the curved seams and ironing them.
And, though smaller than I would have liked, I think they turned out beautifully.
Would you believe I've never blanket-stitched before? The internet taught me how!
I am loving the mixtures of fabric patterns, and the buttons.
The fabrics are a mixture of newly purchased fabrics, fabrics I bought during college, and fabric I inherited from my mom's sewing stash from 30 years ago. I purposely chose fabrics from each time period to represent the mix of old and new.
I love their sameness, and their differences.
Family stockings done!

10 Robot Reactions:

Beth said...

I love the stockings! I think they turned out great. Thinking about you sewing threw your finger makes me sick to my stomach. My sister did that once, and I saw it, and it was horrible.

Sparklebot said...

Thanks Beth.

And, yeah, the finger-sewing was pretty awful. I just keep thinking how much worse it could have been. I was most scared about losing my fingernail, but since the nail was punctured, the blood escaped. Phew.

Ginna said...

I love how they turned out--almost worth the frightening wound.

I really love the buttons. And the heels and toes!

Sherpa said...

Oh, I sewed my finger too.
You've joined an elite club!

R. Siren said...

First time blanket-stitching? Would you believe that I've never sewed ANYTHING before? Ok, fine, I've sewed on buttons.. that have fallen back off within a couple days. So, I am very impressed with the stockings.

Still... are you sure the hobby is worth possible loss of a fingernail?

~Amy Jo~ said...

You rock!

Side of Jeffrey said...

That is awesome. WE also have strong desires to make our stockings this year, but may not get to it. Mostly because I won't be doing much of it and Caitlin could hit labor any minute...but is that an excuse?

Poor Little Critter on the Road said...

beautiful craftage, Sparklebot. I count myself as a crafting influence in your life. What is it about our family that sends the most creative of us off to law school, where the creativity is extracted from us along with our souls?

snowbird said...

Sparklebot! The stockings are beautiful!!!! I love them. You did a great job. Just another example of your creative juices. The size will fill just right when Santa has to start filling those stockings.

Cathy said...

They are beautiful!
You are now officially a seamstress (finger sewing is the club membership dues)
I was thinking to myself the other day, :how did I make it through Mrs Price and Make-it-with-wool without learning to blanket stitch." Glad to know I am not the only one.