Our friend and Uppercut art director Karen Chu Gervais wanted to make personalized stockings for her family that had a vintage feel, which she created by recycling old sweaters. We love them and asked her to guest blog this DIY — our first in a series of holiday-themed tutorials.
What you’ll need:
- Assorted old sweaters (100% wool)
- Old pillowcase
- Sewing supplies
- Sewing machine (optional)
- Embroidery floss
- Embroidery needle
Searching for vintage sweaters
Look for sweaters made from 100% wool. Blends with at least 80% wool will give you decent results, but you won’t get a tightly felted fabric. A good indication is to look for a “Dry Clean Only” tag.
Felt sweaters in the washing machine:
- Separate your sweaters into darks and lights.
- Place your sweaters into an old pillowcase and tie the top — this helps capture the fibers that will come out of the sweater in the wash.
- Wash in hot water and rinse in cold water.
- Don’t use fabric softener.
- Transfer the sweaters to the dryer, keep them in the pillowcase and dry on high heat. Some wool sweaters may need a second cycle of washing and drying to get the desired felted result.
- Iron the sweaters flat before using.
Print out the pattern you’re using and arrange it on the sweater. I like to use the waistband to serve as the top of the stocking. Cut out the pieces and allow a ½-inch seam all around.
Pin your decorative pieces (right side facing up) on the stocking sweater piece. Make sure you’re pinning on the side of the stocking you want facing out. Sew on the decorative pieces by hand or use your sewing machine.
Use embroidery floss and stitch around the decorative pieces.
Pin your stocking together with the sewn decorative pieces on the inside. Sew perimeter of stocking. Turn right side out. Iron the edge of the stocking.
Select a fabric ribbon for a hanging loop. Stitch the loop inside the stocking at the side seam.