A Useless Guide to Sewing Stockings

I grew up with one giant red stocking. My grandmother made it for me 🙂 It’s red felt, and has some reminants of glitter glue on it. Back when we were little and Santa was as real as real could be, it felt like a darn tooin’ miracle to walk into the living room Christmas morning and see those stocking filled with goodies.

Stocking LoveActually, it still does. My parents have been pretty awesome with that tradition. Though they’ve always said how the stocking my grandmother made were far too large. It’s been in my head for a while. The thing is, we could go out and buy new stockings – but Lulu made these all by herself. How can you replace homemade memories?

Well you cannot replace them. But I was thinking to myself, and decided that Zsolt and I need little stockings that we can take with us wherever we may be for the Holidays, be it Canada, Hungary or the moon. So, I decided to sew us Christmas stockings.

Stocking Z and C

Here’s my how-to-list for making Christmas stockings, from someone who really cannot sew.

1) pick out pretty material. I picked mine up from a shop called Fabrications in Hintonburg.

2) Pick out some soft stuff to add to the material. Only do this is if you want to make your life more complicated. Sewer Beware, this is a time-adder to the project. Though I do think it is worthwhile. I picked up some raw felt from the knitting shop Wabi Sabi in Hintonburg.

2.5) Watch a Youtube video on how to use a sewing machine . . . after you find yourself one. You can also handstich, but be prepared to take forever.

3) Figure it out!

Forget patterns, I Lady McGuivered it by just piling the materials on top of one another, did some pinning and cutting out a vague, large sock-like shape. This resulted in several errors and a lot of repining. Each sock is unique, because I’m terrible at planning. So one is really wide, and the other is really tall.

4) Sew it all together somehow. First I almost sewed it backwards. Then I ripped that out and started again. Except the edges were raw. So I cut a strip to cover that up. Eventually I resorted to hand-stitching certain sections that somehow estocking for Zscaped the chomp of the sewing machine.

5) The details matter. Seconds before I was about to cut into my felt for the Z and the C lettering, once again about to freestyle the letters – I thought, hey, why not print out a letter and just trace it?


I did, and it turned out beautifully. Because these stockings are meant to be life-long stockings, I didn’t just glue on the letters, but instead stitched them on.

And voila! Lovely Christmas stockings.

No matter how meandering and ridiculous the process, they got there in the end. I’m quite pleased.

And speaking of being pleased. I’m focusing on enjoying life a bit more this month. After the puddles of misery throughout November with waiting for & receiving scan results, I wanted to stop being sad all the damn time. That is my big goal for 2015 that I made during my parents workshop.

So, that means a few big changes that I’ll talk about later, but also one pretty important one I’ll talk about now.

I signed up for National Novel Writing Month, and finished the 50,000 in one month! It felt incredible and bizarre. At the start of the month it really seemed impossible, but by the end I was rolling. If I could give myself time to write 2000 words a day, do you realize how much I could write? TONS.


So, what I’d really like to give myself this year to help make life more liveable is the gift of TIME.

TIME to do what I love. TIME to clean my apartment. TIME to write 2000 words. TIME to get together with friends. TIME for my writing podcast. TIME to exercise. TIME to play.

That means shaving off time from other things. It means a bit of change and letting things go that I have wanted to do, and still want to do. But at this point, I think what really matters is just finding a way to not cry so often. Silly things like Christmas stockings are part of that.

So there you go, a useless guide for sewing stockings, and the gift of time. That’s me. That’s all I have to say about that. Happy holidays. 😉

Happy pictureSpeaking of fun, we had a really good time recording our latest podcast over at our writing show. Here is a link if you feel like having a listen as you wash dishes or something. 🙂

10 thoughts on “A Useless Guide to Sewing Stockings

  1. I do like the drawing of you sending hearts to your giant red stocking. Your idea of making Zsolt-and-Catherine Christmas stockings is a wonderful tradition. They look great!

    Continue with your wonderful writing and look at the sky and laugh. 🙂

  2. Time is an amazing thing. Don’t waste a minute of it. Don’t take anything for granted. Enjoy each minute, hours and days. Show that beautiful smile and show the world what you are and what you will become with time
    Happy Holidays to you and yours. Your Friend, Christine!

  3. dear Catherine,

    oh, my dear – those stockings are beautiful! and YOU made them! I just loved reading the sewing steps you wrote – some bits and pieces were hilarious – true, but still hilarious! I was once a big sewer – really because I was once a BIG girl, and the things in stores were so crappy. I had to develop my own way of making my own patterns since I have some kind of messed up brain part that can’t deal with stuff that’s basically being created from the inside out. Hugh took me on a glorious vacation to Europe for my 40th b’day – and I made every single thing I packed into my suitcase. I still have some of them – way too big now, but they bring back memories and make me feel proud of how I found my own way to sew beautiful things.

    ahhhh, I LOVE that you are focusing on TIME. it’s such a great way to really see and value what’s important, and what can be let go of – and it can be fluid, too, so one doesn’t have to adhere to any rules.

    and I am so, so proud of you with what you were able to accomplish with the national novel writing month project – you da bomb, girl! will we ever get to read, “space opera in space” ?

    well, I am off to click the link, listen to your pod cast. I noted on the writing certificate where it says, “a winner”. Catherine, to me and I am sure to so many, many others – you are a consummate Winner, always thinking, always sifting through your life and determining what you most want out of it, then do all you are able to make it happen. do you even know how much you help other people? you have helped me so much on the journey I am on – and when I finally grow up I think in want to be just like YOU!

    much love,

    Karen ooooooo

    • Thank you so much for your wonderful words, Karen. I know your comments have touched many lives an lifted many moods as well. And reading these particular ones are a special gift. So thank you once again from the bottom of my heart.


  4. What a wonderful project! I have not sewed anything since I made a jumper in Jr. high. And that did not turn out well. I have been successful with the kit approach. And I do or did enjoy embroidery at one time. I can sew on a button and hem stuff when needed, but that’s about it. So I’m impressed! I am even more impressed with how you are setting goals and achieving them too. Focusing on time for you and doing things you want to do is such a terrific idea. I need to do a better job of focusing time on certain things too. Thank you for the delightful post and happy holidays to you and your dear Zsolt. xx

  5. Pingback: Weekly Round Up: The Crowning Glory Edition | Journeying Beyond Breast Cancer

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