Saturday, November 2, 2013

how to make Christmas stockings (no, really - how?)

I'm sure you don't remember the time I got a brilliant idea for how to make throw pillow covers out of pashminas.

It was brilliant:

Then the other day I was looking at dozens of fascinating overpriced Christmas stockings on One Kings Lane, and I thought, "Hey - if I found the right print, I could make gorgeous Christmas stockings out of a pashmina!"  I have been mildly focused on making some nice-looking stockings with inexpensive materials since this time last year, and hadn't hit on a winning idea.  I thought it was brilliant.  I know - not very creative.  All the brilliant ideas I've ever had have either been someone else's idea, or how to make something out of a pashmina.  I don't blame you for being underwhelmed.

I finally remembered that the place I got my previous project pashmina was A.C.Moore, and got myself over there.  They have a whole wall of the things.  But here's the catch.  Last year, they were $5.  This year, they're $10.  My enthusiasm took a nose dive.  And last year, they had all sorts of fascinating patterns - a great variety, many colors, that sort of thing.  Today when I went, all the options were boring.  Even ignoring that I was trying to narrow the selection down to Christmas-colored items, they had almost no pashminas with more than two colors.  Not that a tone-on-tone look couldn't be nice, but color was my whole goal, so I was disappointed.  Plus the doubling of the prices was no good.  I didn't buy any.

And suddenly, the vast pit of indecision from last year reopened.  (I've been really excited about this idea for about a week now, and I am very disappointed.)

So my stocking plans are going about twelve different ways.  I could stop by the street vendor on the way to work (if he's still there) and see whether his pashminas are $5.  The idea does have potential:


Then on a second hand, A.C. Moore did have a table full of fabric (between one and two yards apiece) for $5.99.  It was all drapery- or upholstery-weight fabric, and really high quality.  And there were several different options that would have made nice stockings.  So why didn't I immediately buy a piece?  Well, I was there right before closing, and was starting to descend into mental frenzy and didn't want to buy something just for the sake of buying something.  Also, each piece was big enough for three or four stockings - just what I was looking for.  But with the pashmina, I figured I could have one side, and my DH could have the reverse - they'd coordinate, you see, but they'd be different.  The decor fabric had a clearly right and wrong side - the stockings would be identical.  I could have gone through the notions section to find appliques of our initials, but I don't know the store well and it was nearly closed and, as I said, mental frenzy.  Besides, do I want a pair of (nice-quality, admittedly) red stockings with big gold initials on them?  Isn't that boring?  Or maybe anything other than that would be way too trendy and would look like crap in a few years.  How can I be sure?

And then some fancy-pants store or other (Pottery Barn?  Who knows) sold stockings last year that were knit - something like this:

And I thought, hey, I could make cable-knit stockings, with furry tops!  (I know - these are not cable-knit.  I was being at least a little bit creative.)  I had leftover white fake fur from another project, so I was excited.  Then I discovered that I had about two square inches of it.  I figured I could find some ugly men's sweaters at Goodwill that would magically become beautiful stockings.  That didn't happen either.  I forget why; maybe I just ran out of time to stalk Goodwill?

But maybe I should go for straight-up traditional.  Maybe this is how it ought to be:

But then I see things like this, and I get all excited:

Maybe I don't need to find red or green or gold fabric.  Maybe no matter what I use will look like Christmas if I sew it into a stocking shape and hang it from the mantel, yes?

So maybe then I should buy a fleece blanket with a buffalo check.  Or the really nice blue and green fabric in the decorator pile...except, again, that would only allow for one print and I want several complementary ones.

The only thing I know is that I am not embroidering or quilting anything (yes, I know how to do those things, but life is so short.  Maybe when I am old and retired and bored and all my friends are off playing with their grandchildren, I will take up crocheting and embroidery and calligraphy and painting again.  But only if I don't give myself arthritis by doing too much carpentry in my 30s.  Actually, that doesn't sound like such a bad life).


(As you see, I have now gotten in the habit of posting [mostly] every day and it's hanging on so far.  I have two more craigslist posts to do before I hit 31, but since it's November now I decided to cut loose and post about something else.  I know - it's getting crazy up in here.)

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