Saturday, December 2, 2017

Sew a traditional chimney stocking

Left, Note the holes at the bottom for attaching him to the stocking. Right, A Belznickle character for my chimney stocking.
       Here is one of several chimney stocking patterns I have created from earlier Victorian designs. It is my own interpretation; obviously, because of the Belznickle! Chimney stockings are not new to  American homes but, alas, as all decorative things in America, they have fallen out of fashion here.
        I, however, am not a slave to what is fashionable; I have more of a curious nature than that. Vintage designs and the history of objects have always been peculiar hobbies of mine. So, here is a pattern to make one, two, or three for your own mantle this Christmas.

Left, Stitching through the cardboard to attach the Belznickle. Right, The backside of my chimney stocking.
       Chimney stockings are usually stuffed with candies, nuts and/or small toys. This is in part because they are a bit more narrow than other Christmas stocking designs. Chimney stockings also  have a Christmas character either poking out of the top of the chimney cap or through a fireplace depicted at the bottom of the stocking. My version here does not have a fireplace at the bottom, only a suggested foot. But I will include other versions of stocking patterns on this blog that will show you how to make a variety of interpretations in the future if you are interested in these.
       You will need to purchase "brick" novelty print online for this sewing craft, for the fabric stores in the U. S. do not carry it this season. Perhaps we may start a trend here and brick or stone novelty prints will make a come back? But for now, you will need to search fabric suppliers online.
See how long I've made the chimney stocking? Most of these designs are very long and nar-
row. It's up to you to decide just how long you wish the stocking to be. I include the lower
boot half in the pattern and the snowy piece above, but you must extend the length of the
chimney part in accordance to your own tastes. The face mold that you acquire to use on
your Belsnickle or Santa figure will also effect your own version of this stocking design.
Supply List:
  • novelty cotton print of brick (1 yard)
  • needle and matching threads
  • cotton batting or white felt or faux white snowy fabric
  • Sculpey clay
  • press mold mask
  • paper clay
  • wood glue or hot gun glue 
  • masking tape
  • acrylic paints: flesh tones, red, brown, eye colors, white etc...
  • acrylic sealer or Mod Podge
  • stiff cardboard
  • pattern (below)
  • embroidery needle or nail
  • dental floss
Step-by-Step Instructions:
  1. First you will need to cut out the "figure" of the Belznickle from a stiff piece of cardboard. The stiffer, the better. Some of you may even choose to use a thin piece of wood alternatively. 
  2. If you use cardboard, cover it completely with masking tape.
  3. Then you will need to acquire a press mold of St. Nick. These are very common in the United States in hobby shops. If you cannot find one of these you can make one of your own. Click here to see a video and get directions for press molds.
  4. I use Sculpey for making my Santa face molds, in part because Sculpey is very durable and waterproof. You do not need much for this project; a very small block of it will suffice.
  5. After baking the clay face in an ordinary oven, let is cool and then glue it to the cardboard cut-out figure. See pattern for positioning.
  6. Now mix your paper clay according to the directions from the manufacture. Spread this out around the face mask and over the entire surface of the cardboard cut-out, excluding a narrow strip at the bottom of St. Nick's coat. (see pattern) 
  7. After the front surface of your coat dries, turn it over and repeat the process on the backside of St. Nick's coat. Let it dry.
  8. Take your sharp nail or large eyed embroidery needle and make a series of small wholes across the bottom of the exposed cardboard strip so that you will be able to sew the figure of St. Nick into the top of the finished chimney stocking.
  9. Print, trace and cut the stocking pattern onto your brick, novelty cotton print, front sides facing together, because you will need two pieces exactly alike. Sticklers may wish to line up their bricks. Don't forget to add a half inch seam and to also position your pattern at the bottom of the folded fabric. This because you will need to determine how long your chimney stocking will be on your own. (see pattern)
  10. With right sides together, allow for the seam and sew a straight stitch by hand or machine around the stock foot and up. Leave an opening where St. Nick will be sewn into the top, peeking out from the chimney as he slides down it. 
  11. Sew a strong loop six or seven inches long and approximately 2 to 3 inches wide to attach to the backside of your stocking. This loop may be made from the brick fabric or the snowy white fabric. (whichever is stronger) Attach it the the backside of the finished stocking before sewing the Belznickle in place.
  12. I've included the curvy piece of pattern for a snowy top to add to the top edge of your chimney stocking opening. Cut this from a white felt or some other fuzzy white fabric.
  13. I used a blanket stitch to attach the snowy applique buy any stitching would be nice.
  14. Now sew through the backside of the finished stocking through the cardboard holes to attach St. Nick, leaving the front half of the stocking open to insert candies or nuts. Use a heavy thread, embroidery floss or even dental floss to do this with. The heavier the thread the better the wear of the stocking over time.
  15. You may also choose to reinforce St. Nick to the stocking with a bit of hot glue.
A Chimney Stocking pattern by kathy grimm. Free for personal craft use only.
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