Wednesday, December 27, 2017

A Christmas (Stocking) Story

Back in the 80s, my Mom made stockings for our family from a kit/pattern. My parents had this Papa and Mama Bear stockings, I had a wreath with teddy bears, and my sister had a rocking horse.  (Note: This now makes so much sense, because my sister is definitely unique among the four of us! LOL)

But when Dan and my now brother-in-law joined the family, we weren't sure what to do about stockings.  At first, we added individual mis-matched stockings, but this resulted in Dan's candy melting last year as his was a longer length than the others over the fireplace.  We considered replacing all the stockings, but after 30 years with our old ones, my sister was heartbroken at the thought of retiring them.

After Christmas she texted me, "What if you make us some, Aubrey?  You could find more like these."

Motivated as a big sister could be after a plea from the baby of the family, I scoured the internet using random search terms like “80s stocking fabric rocking horse” and similar ilk.  To my surprise, I found two lots of the original stockings for sale on eBay, in the same prints as my stocking and Sissy's.  I bought them all!  They must have been sitting in someone's fabric stash for all this time, and I never would have found them if not for the power of the internet.

Adding fusible felt interfacing

I found enough to make four stockings in each design, meaning as our families grew, we would all have matching stockings.  I received the fabric, and it sat on my to-do list for a while.  But then I got pregnant, and I realized that it just wasn't moving up the priority list fast enough.  I wanted them to be finished in time for my sister to come home for Christmas from Arizona, her first Christmas as a married woman!

So I called my Mom via FaceTime in November and showed her the fabric.  You should have seen her face when she saw those old prints!  We decided we would make them over Thanksgiving, as I would be home in Indiana this year.  It worked well since we were sort of an assembly line together.

I pinned, Mom sewed

We went to the fabric store together for notions, which was kind of a funny experience.  When she made our stockings in the 80s, she lined them with felt as batting, but that seemed like a lot of work to me.  I suggested a fusible felt interfacing to stabilize the fabric, which we could iron directly onto the pieces and then sew.  She was skeptical, but in the end it was soooo much easier than the old days when she sewed in loose felt!  The new stockings are actually more sturdy than the old ones as a result, and we were more efficient in pinning and sewing them together.  We used bias tape for the top trim and loop for hanging.  It's a little different in color from the originals, but that's just fine.

Now, Mom has all the stockings up by the fireplace, in the order that we each joined the family.  I love that she hangs them up for me and Dan, even when we aren't spending Christmas in Indiana that year.  And she already has one ready to go, with bears just like mine, for my little one's first Christmas in 2018!

The 80's stockings live on!

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