Follow the Pattern is a brand new column from furniture maker and upholstery expert (and Food52’s Resident Design Wiz), Nicole Crowder. Nicole is here to show us how to breathe new life into old furniture, reuse and repurpose materials, take chances with color and pattern—and develop a signature aesthetic. Today, she shows us how to DIY a Christmas stocking—up-cycling all the bits of old fabric she has lying around.
The holidays are my favorite time of year for so many reasons, but certainly because of the opportunity to share homemade and handmade gifts with loved ones. And because I love anything that serves multiple purposes, I love thinking of new ways to repurpose my stash of fabrics remnants (a happy bonus of being an upholsterer): into gift-wrapping through the year, but also, in the holidays, into handmade gifts.
Have some extra fabric lying around your apartment or studio that you do not necessarily want to get rid of but don’t have enough of to use for a full upholstery project? Making a custom holiday stocking is a great way to repurpose them. What’s great about this oh-so-simple DIY is that once you create one, you’ll be inspired to mix and match prints and patterns to create multiple stockings in varying sizes for everyone in your family—from baby to grandparent. After all, nothing like waking up on Christmas morning to a one-of-a-kind stocking full of gifts (handmade, of course).
What You’ll Need:
- Sewing machine
- Sewing pins
- Two separate fabrics of your choice
- Stocking Pattern (You can also use a stocking that you already have)
What You’ll Do:
- Gather your tools and a pattern or an old stocking. I don’t use sewing pins, but having those on hand is a great way to stabilize your fabric to ensure that your seams are lined up more perfectly.
- Fold the fabric you plan to use as the main outer fabric of your stocking in half. This ensures that the right side of the fabric is on both pieces that you’re about to cut. Using your stocking as a pattern, or a pattern that you created, trace and then cut the outline to create two identical pieces for your stocking.
- Repeat this step for the fabric you plan to use for the lining of your stocking.
- With right sides facing each other, sew about a .5” seam allowance along the seams of your outer fabric, leaving the top portion of your stocking open/unsewn.
- Repeat this step for your fabric lining, but note: the difference here is that you are now going to leave about a 1 to 3” wide opening around the heel or the toe of your lining. This step is crucial because you will need to pull the main fabric through in a later step.
- Flip the main fabric for your stocking inside out so that the “right side” is now showing.
- Tuck this inside the lining of your stocking. Your lining should still be turned inside out or “wrong sides” showing at this point.
- Line up the top edges of both fabrics and sew a 1/4″ seam around the top portion of your stocking.
- With that hole in the lining fabric that we left open in Step 5, pull the main fabric of your stocking through.
- Press the seam of that small 1-3” opening together with your fingers and topstitch it closed using a sewing machine.
- You should now have “rights sides” of both your fabrics showing.
- Stuff the fabric lining inside the stocking and turn the lip down so that the beautiful lining is exposed.
- Iron your stocking and you’re all done!
What would you like to see Nicole design next? Tell us in the comments below!
Nicole Crowder is a furniture designer and upholsterer creating custom one-of-a-kind pieces. She has a lover of mixing vibrant color and bold textile patterns. Nicole and her work have been featured in design publications, including Architectural Digest, Domino, Martha Stewart Living, and Better Home & Gardens.