Something I’ve learned over the last few years is that tea towels make a surprisingly great resource for fabric-based projects. They usually have cool colors, patterns and textures, and I like that they’re a perfect size for smaller projects. I also use them quite a bit for styling and dyeing.
And this year, after going through my ever-growing stack of these kitchen textiles, I decided to use a handful for some handmade holiday stockings.
I’m sharing the tutorial today, in case you have an extra stack of tea towels lying around and want to give these a whirl (each one takes less than an hour to make). Anyway, click through for the full shebang and let me know what you think.
- 1-2 tea towels per stocking (depending on size) I used these: one // two
- scrap fabric (or even old cloth napkins) for the liner
- 3/4 inch wide leather strip (I like this one)
- paper, pencil, and scissors (for template creation)
- thread and sewing machine
1. Create a paper template that is your desired shape and size.
2. Let’s start with the liner. First, fold the fabric in half, so you’ll only have to cut once. Then pin the fabric together, so it holds the two fabrics together while you cut. Trace around the template, leaving a little room in between the template and where you are tracing, since you’ll loose about a half inch when you start sewing. Cut out both liner pieces at once. Set aside.
3. Now, trace the template again, this time with the decorative fabric you’re using for the outer stocking (leave room again as you did the last time). And cut. Then, repeat the trace and cut step one more time to create the second piece for the back of the stocking.
4. Flip decorative fabric from step 3 so that the good sides are facing each other, wrong sides out. And pin together (make sure the pins are added vertically so you can easily sew on top of it with having to remove the pins as you go).
5. Sew around the outer edge of the stocking, leaving the top opening unsewn. Be sure to also leave a small gap on the long side of the stocking to add in a leather loop later.
6. Repeat pinning and sewing steps #4 and 5 separately with the liner cut outs from step 2. The only difference this time, is that you won’t need to leave a gap for the loop on this one. Set aside.
7. Next, put the loop side inside the outer fabric gap (as shown in photo). Hold in place and sew on top to keep it secure. Flip the fabric right side out and now you can see the leather loop in place.
8. Next, turn the liner right side out (with the seams on the inside) and place inside the stocking (which now has a leather loop). The lining will hide the loop edge and give a more finished look inside the stocking.
9. Line up the outer fabric and the inner liner fabric together as best you can and then fold over 1/2 inch and then fold over another 1/4 inch and pin all the way around. Then, slowly sew the pieces together to become one. All done!
I love ’em so much, they’ve already replaced my old Christmas stockings at home. And in case you’re wondering….you can totally just use regular fabric for this one – no tea towels required. Though, I love repurposing old items for something new.
Sewing Liz Scoper
Photography and styling Brittni Mehlhoff
What do you think? Do you have a stack of tea towels at home that could get some use out of this holiday DIY? And do you hang stockings at your house?