Plaid flannel and sherpa fleece are one of our favorite combos for bundle-me-up winter scarves and toasty blankets. Perhaps, we thought… because we often stop and say, “perhaps” … this would also be an excellent pairing for a rustic Christmas stocking! Our friends at Janome America agreed, and so we put together this holiday décor classic, adding bias cutting and quilting that accentuates the plaid.
Thanks to the Janome America sponsorship, we are able to offer free patterns for the stocking body, its cuff, as well as templates for the toe and heel appliquéd accents. All these elements are bundled into one PDF to make the download easy.
Not only does it look cool to cut the plaid flannel and the mini wale corduroy on the bias, it’s also a little helpful finishing secret. The slight stretch of the bias cut helps the perimeter seam stay rounder and smoother. It does also require some additional yardage, so – as always – the final fabric selection is up to you, but the jaunty angle is a great look and adds to the rustic style. One benefit to this original pairing is the fact that both are in-stock and often on sale this time of year. Plaid flannels are available in lots of great colors and patterns to best fit your décor.
Our step-by-step instructions below show you how to cut the sherpa to preserve the nap, but if you are brand new, you might want to review our full tutorial on sewing with plush and faux fur fabric substrates. There’s a direct link below.
The front and back panels are cut to shape, layered, and quilted while flat. We loved using the large bed space on our Janome 9450 for this step. When you have that extra real estate, it makes it so much easier to keep everything flat. In addition, we engaged the built-in Janome AcuFeed™ Flex fabric feeding system throughout the project to help handle the thicker layers. You could also use a Walking or Even Feed foot.
These stockings are a great project for folks just getting starting with their sewing journey. If that includes you, and you are not yet familiar with these feeding options, we’ll stop for just a minute to explain what a life saver they can be in many situations. These type of feet (either separate feet or built-in systems) have their own upper feed dogs, which work with the feed dogs in the throat plate (those spiky things coming out just below the presser foot); they move the fabric layers through the machine in perfect unison from both the top and the bottom.
When you have a stocking project, you need to have a hanger, and we had some fun with ours. In keeping with the cabin-in-the snowy-woods look of the flannel and sherpa, we used real leather lacing and wooden accent beads.
The stockings finish at approximately 19” tall from the top of the cuff to the tip of the toe and 7” in width across the body of the stocking, 8” across the cuff.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Sewing Machine and standard presser foot
- Walking or Even Feed foot; optional, but helpful for the thick layers; you could also engage your machine’s built-in fabric feeding system, such as the Janome AcuFeed™ Flex system we love to use on many of our Janome studio machines
Fabric and Other Supplies
NOTE: Amounts shown are for ONE stocking. Because we are cutting on the bias, additional yardage is required. If you wish to use a different fabric or not cut on the bias (ohhhh… that would be sad with plaid) you could likely get away with less fabric. We recommend printing and assembling the patterns first to confirm.
- ¾ yard of 44″+ wide plaid flannel or similar for the stocking exterior
- ¾ yard of 44″+ wide solid cotton or similar for the stocking lining, cuff lining, and the seam binding
NOTE: Binding the interior seam allowance with custom bias binding is optional; you could choose to finish your seam allowance with another method.
- ¼ yard of 44”+ wide sherpa fleece
- ⅛ yard of mini wale corduroy
- ¾ yard of 44”+ wide low loft batting
- Scraps or ¼ yard of fusible web for the heel/toe appliqués; we used Pellon Wonder Under
- 1 yard ¼” of leather lacing for the hanger
- TWO large wooden beads for the hanger tails, make sure the lacing fits through the holes in your beads
- All purpose thread to coordinate with fabrics
- See-through ruler
- Iron and ironing board
- Rotary cutter and mat
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Straight pins
Getting Started and Pattern Download
- DOWNLOAD AND PRINT our SIX pattern sheets: there are FOUR 8½” x 11” sheets that make up the complete stocking pattern, plus ONE cuff pattern sheet, and ONE sheet that contains the two templates for toe and heel appliqués. These six pages have been bundled together into one PDF to make the download easier.
NOTE: You must print the PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page. There is a handy guide rule on each page so you can make sure your print out is the correct size.
- Cut out the pattern pieces along the solid line.
- Following the single and double arrow notches on the printouts, butt together stocking pieces one through four to form the complete stocking body pattern. Do NOT overlap. Tape in place. The cuff pattern and the heel and toe appliqué templates are all individual pieces.
- Fold the plaid flannel for the stocking exterior in half, wrong sides together. This allows you to cut both the front and back pieces at the same time. However, because the accuracy of the bias cut is critical and plaid can be tough to align, you may choose to cut each panel individually from a single layer of the fabric. If this is your choice, you’ll need to cut one panel with the paper pattern facing right side up and the second panel with the paper pattern facing right side down in order to end up with front and back pieces that match up.
- Pin the paper pattern in place, using the printed grainline to help insure you are on a true 45˚ bias.
- Cut out the exterior panels along the solid outer line. You can see in the photo below that we chose to fold our fabric and cut the front and back panels at the same time.
- From the fabric for the stocking lining, cuff lining, and the seam binding, cut the following:
Using the assembled body pattern, cut TWO
NOTE: You do not have to cut the lining panels on the bias.
Using the cuff pattern, cut ONE on the fold
55” of 2” wide strips, on the bias
NOTE: If you do not plan to finish the interior seam allowances with bias binding, you can skip this cut.
- From the accent corduroy, use the templates to cut TWO toes and TWO heels, both on the bias.
NOTE: As you did above with the body of the stocking, if cutting as a single layer (which we recommend to get the best 45˚ fussy cut on the mini wale corduroy), you need to cut one of each with the paper templates facing right side up and one of each with the paper templates facing right side down.
- From the sherpa fleece, cut ONE cuff. When working with any type of faux fur or plush fleece, you want to first trace the around the paper pattern.
Then, cut through just the backing with sharp scissors. This preserves the nap of the sherpa fleece.
NOTE: If you are brand new to working with this type of substrate, take a look at our full tutorial on Sewing with Faux Fur.
- From the low loft batting, cut TWO using the assembled body pattern.
- From the fusible web, cut TWO using the heel template and TWO using the toe template. Remember, just as you did above, you need to cut one of each pair with the pattern right side up and one of each pair with the pattern right side down so you have a match to your fabric heels/toes.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
Sandwich and quilt the front and back panels
- You should have three layers for each front and back panel: exterior, batting, and lining. Stack your three layers wrong sides together.
- This means the lining and the flannel are wrong sides together and the batting is sandwiched in between.
- Pin together the layers, spacing the pins between the quilting lines. For this project, because you are working with a plaid, you do not need to draw in your quilting lines but instead can use the lines of the plaid itself as your guide.
- The drawing below shows our quilting line plan in bright green against each of our sample plaid fabrics.
- Thread your machine with thread to best match the exterior plaid in the top and thread to best match the lining in the bobbin. Slightly lengthen the stitch. We also engaged the built-in Janome AcuFeed™ Flex system to give us the best control with these thicker layers. You could also opt for a Walking or Even Feed foot.
- Stitch along each of the quilting lines through all the layers, first doing all the lines in one direction. We love being able to use the Janome 9450 with its huge bed space to do this type of precise quilting without any bunching or rolling.
- Re-position the fabric and stitch all the lines in the opposite direction to form the diamond pattern.
- Repeat to layer and quilt the second panel in the same manner.
Place and stitch the heel/toe appliqués
- Find the two corduroy toe pieces and the two corduroy heel pieces along with the four matching pieces of fusible web.
- Fuse a piece of fusible web onto the wrong side of each fabric piece.
- Peel away the paper backing.
- Using the original paper pattern as a guide, place a toe and heel in position on each quilted exterior panel.
- Once properly positioned, following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse each appliqué in place.
- Re-thread the machine with thread to best match the corduroy in the top and bobbin. Re-set for a small zig zag stitch.
- Zig zag along the inner curve of each toe and heel catching the corduroy with the right swing of the needle and the flannel with the left swing.
- Re-set for a tight satin stitch and re-stitch each inner curve to finish.
NOTE: If you are brand new to appliqué, we have a full tutorial you can review prior to starting the project.
Sew front and back and finish seam allowance
- Place the front and back stocking panels right sides together. Pin around the outer perimeter through all the layers, leaving the straight top edge open.
- Re-thread the machine and re-set for a standard straight stitch. We went to the extra trouble to change out our thread as we sewed this seam, using matching thread to sew the main side seams…
- … then stopping to re-thread with matching thread to stitch around the corduroy sections. This insures that when the stockings are stuffed with goodies there won’t be any odd colors of thread showing through at the outer seam line.
- Grade the seam allowance, trimming the corduroy/flannel from the heel and toe areas…
- Then heavily clip the curve.
- Finish the seam allowance with your favorite method. We chose to make our own bias binding from the same fabric as the lining itself, encasing the seam allowance and stitching in matching thread. If you are new to creating and attaching bias binding, we have a complete tutorial you can review.
- The bound edge makes a lovely finish, but if you’d prefer another option, use your own favorite or review our full four-part series on Machine Sewn Finishes.
- Turn the stocking right side out through the open top.
- Use a long, blunt tool to smooth the seam line. A knitting needle, chopstick or point turner works well. Press flat.
Make and attach the cuff and the hanger cord
- Find the two pieces that create the cuff: one panel of sherpa fleece and one lining panel.
- Fold each panel in half and pin together along the short side.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch the short each seam, creating a sherpa tube and a lining tube.
- Press open the seam allowances. The image below shows the two tubes laying one on top of the other.
- Slip one tube inside the other so the sherpa and lining are right sides together. Pin together along one edge – this will become the bottom edge of the cuff.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch around the bottom edge of the cuff through both layers. If your machine has a free arm, now is a good time to use it.
- Turn the cuff right side out so the lining and sherpa are now wrong sides together, the seam is straight along the bottom each, and the upper edge is un-sewn. Press flat.
- Find the 36” length of lacing that will become the hanger. Fold it almost-but-not-quite in half. You want the ends to be offset about 2-3”.
- Place the folded “center” of the hanger at the top raw edge of the cuff, on the sherpa side in line with the cuff’s seam. Pin or hand baste in place.
- Find the finished stocking body. It should be right side out.
- Slip the cuff inside the stocking body so the sherpa side of the cuff is against the lining of the stocking body. Align the cuff seam with the outer seam of the stocking – the seam that is in-line with the heel. The hanger lacing is sandwiched between the layers.
- Pin all around the top raw edge through all the layers.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch all the way around the top of the stocking through all the layers. Again, if your machine has a free arm, this is a good time to use it.
- Trim the seam allowance back to about ¼” then finish with a zig zag or overcast stitch.
- Pull the cuff up and out and fold it over into its final position against the exterior of the stocking.
- Pull up the tails of the hanger lacing and tie them together into a knot about 3” from the stocking top.
- Determine where you want the two decorative beads to fall. As mentioned above, having the beads offset is the best look, and we felt the beads looked best with one at about the mid-point of the cuff and the other hanging just below the cuff.
- Tie a knot in each tail at each appropriate point, thread a bead onto each tail and slide it right up against the first knot. Then, tie a second knot below each bead to secure. Depending on the size of the holes in your chosen beads, you might need a double knot top and bottom.
Project Design: Anne Adams
Sample Creation and Instructions: Debbie Guild