Blog, Makes

Make your own Christmas Stockings

We are getting very close to Christmas, so I think it might be the time for a bit of Christmas making. I originally designed these stockings for Laura Ashley’s Blog. You can still find them on their web site. I used their fabrics at the time, however this is a great project for using up any fabric scraps that you may have in your stash.

You will need

Laura Ashley Fabrics in 3 different patterns:

50cm for the body of the boot, 20cm piece for the cuff, and 30cm for the bias, hanging loop, and the heel and toe features

Thread

Bondaweb iron on interfacing

Dressmaking Scissors

Sewing Machine

Instructions

Step 1: Fold fabrics right sides together and cut out two stocking pieces  from the main fabric, and two cuff pieces in the first contrasting fabric. Using the same pattern pieces, cut out bondaweb interfacing. Iron the bondaweb interfacing onto the back of the two stocking pieces and one cuff using a medium heat setting.

Step 2: Trace the heel and toe shapes onto a piece of Bondaweb. Turn the shapes over and trace again. Iron the Bondaweb onto the second contrasting fabric and cut out the shapes.

Step 3: Peel off the paper backing from the heel and toe pieces, position onto the stocking pieces then iron to fix in place.

Step 4: Using a zig-zag stitch, sew along the inner curves of the heel and toe pieces.

Step 5: With right sides facing, pin the two stocking pieces together. Leaving the top of the stocking open sew around using a 1cm seam allowance. Trim the seams and clip the curves.

Step 6: Cut a bias strip of the second contrasting fabric, measuring 46cm x 4cm. Cut a 44cm piece of piping cord.

Step 7: Fold the fabric around the piping and sew using a zip foot attachment.

Step 8: With the right sides together, sandwich the piping between the long edges of the stocking cuff. Sew as close as possible to the piping, using the zip foot.

Step 9: Open the cuff pieces out and with right sides facing, fold the short edges together and sew with a 1cm seam allowance. Fold the cuff the right way out.

Step 10: To make the loop cut a piece of the second contrasting fabric 20cm x 4cm. Fold in half length ways and sew the long edges together and across one short edge. Trim the seam and turn through.

Step 11:  Pin the cuff to the wrong side of the stocking, matching the seams at the back. Fold the loop in half and sandwich between the cuff and stocking at the back seam. Sew around the top of the stocking to attach the cuff to the boot. TIP – sew from the inside of the stocking.

Step 12: Turn the stocking through and fold the cuff to the outside. Merry Christmas!

Happy and successful making and MERRY CHRISTMAS everyone.

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Make lovely lavender bags using Laura Ashley Fabric

After being inspired by the new Laura Ashley collection I designed some lavender bags using the lovely new fabrics. They have a loop on the top so you can hang them over a coat hanger or you can just slide them between layers of clothes. They have an envelope back so you can replace the lavender sachet when it gets stale.

styled shot .jpg

You will need

For the front 1 piece of fabric 15cm x 15cm

For the back 2 pieces of fabric 15cm x 11cm

For the tab 1 piece of fabric 14cm x 3cm

2 pieces of muslin 14cm x 14cm

Dress-makers pins

Scissors

Sewing machine and thread

Tracing or greaseproof paper pencil and ruler to make a pattern

Steam Iron

Dry Lavender

Sewing Needle

detail front .jpg

Instructions

1.Make a pattern on tracing or grease-proof paper. Place it over an interesting part of the fabric choosing the part of the pattern you like. Pin in place and then cut one front piece, two back pieces and one tab piece.

step 1.jpg

2.Neaten one 15cm edge on both back pieces, turn over 0.5cm and 0.5cm again and press. Pin and sew with a running stitch.

step2

3. Make the tab by turning the long sides in by 0.5cm on both sides. Press flat and fold in half so all the raw edges are caught inside. Pin and sew with a running stitch.

step3

4. Fold the tab in half lengthways. With right side facing out, pin the loop facing downwards on the top edge of the front fabric square. Sew in place with a running stitch.

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5. With right sides facing and neatened edge towards the middle, pin one of the back pieces to the front piece, covering the loop just made. Sew with a running stitch.

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6. With right sides facing, pin the second back piece with its neatened edge in the centre, so that it overlaps the top piece in the middle, to the lower half of the front piece. Sew with a running stitch

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7. With right sides facing, pin the second back piece with its neatened edge in the centre, so that it overlaps the top piece in the middle, to the lower half of the front piece. Sew with a running stitch.

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8. Cut two pieces of muslin. Sew three and half sides with a running stitch.

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9. Fill the Muslin with lavender. Close the opening with a hemming stitch. Insert the muslin bag into the outer bag.

Step 9.jpg

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Why has Melamine suddenly become so desirable?

Have you noticed that most  of the high street shops, including supermarkets such as Asda and Sainsburys are full of gorgeous, what appears to be china, but is in fact Melamine. I was so curious as to why this could be, that I sent out a questionnaire to some of the buyers and designers. The only one who has got back to me so far is Laura Ashley, so thank you and below are the answers. laura ashley

Laura Ashley Spring summer 2017 Melamine plate with a fresh green outside feel to the design.

Until recently Melamine had rather a poor reputation but  that appears to have changed over the last couple of years. High street stores are now selling melamine plates trays and cups with really interesting and varied  new designs and  the quality of the product feels better, weightier and as though it will last for longer. What has made this change?

I think lifestyle changes are a factor here, at Laura Ashley we have talked a lot recently about people wanting to enjoy experiences, especially shared experiences. So entertaining, particularly informally, outside has grown in popularity. We have seen success with our outdoor entertaining and picnic ranges.

Is it being made from something different?

Not sure about the technicalities of product production but have noticed that there are a number of different styles that are giving melamine a more ‘realistic’ look and feel. Either with replicating a terracotta finish or uneven surfaces that that have the effect of something being ‘hand made’.

Can it be washed in a dishwasher?

Yes but not microwavable

Where has the inspiration for the designs come from?

We develop designs that we want our customers to enjoy, so we think carefully about where and how the product might be used. Not necessarily looking at a melamine version of a ceramic range, our ranges are designed in their own right. In keeping with a more casual way of living and the importance of entertaining, we think the designs should have a sense of fun and bring a smile to you face when you get them out.

Melamine is still a more affordable product than china.

 

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Marks and Spencer Spring Summer 2017 Melamine from the Frida Range This punchy and quirky floral range of melamine is inspired by the folk art feel of Frida Kahlo’s work.

 

Anthropologie 004_1029-color_RGB_Post_ICSAnthropologie  Spring Summer 2017 This range of plates has a strong Morocco Vibe with the design giving more than a nod to Moroccan tile design.

oli bonasLeaf Stripe Tray £28 DUE APRILOliver Bonas Spring Summer 2017 Melamine tray with stylized leaf and stripe design.

 

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Sainsburys Spring summer 2017  trays and plates with a nautical theme.