Wednesday, 31 August 2011

"Stocking" up for Christmas!

The Shop which I work for (C&H Fabrics in Winchester) has been getting all of it's Christmas stock in since the beginning of July.  Although this is depressing in one respect it has provided me with some crafting fun recently, in the shape of a store employee competition!

To promote our range of Christmas fabrics and crafts we employees were challenged to make a Christmas stocking decorated in anyway we chose.  The store provided us with a basic pattern and fabric for the stocking and it's cuff.  After that we were on our own!  The idea being that the staff would each vote anonymously for their favourite.  After that they would all be displayed in a shop window.

The Fabric that I was provided with.  I chose a design that I felt would make a good background, rather than dominate!
I have to admit that once the initial excitment of the competition in principle died down I was more than a bit intimidated!  You have to understand that I work with some extremely talented people who have been crafting a lot longer than I have and who are EXTREMELY talented in many fields (If you want to see what I mean pop over to Fairy Thoughts or Here's One I Made Earlier...). 

My intimidation was completed by my summer holiday, during which time I had zero ideas and forgot about the thing completely only to remember it in a complete panic when we got home!  In the end I gave up on getting and inspiration and just laid out the pattern and cut it out, hoping that something would pop into my mind.

Seeking inspiration...please!
After a couple of restless nights thinking about what to do time was running short and I was down to one week to get the blessed thing done (eeek, where did that go!)

To cut a  long story short I am still not sure when inspiration finally struck but I got up on the Wednesday morning and decided that I'd better do something! (The finished stocking was due in by the following Saturday).  Having limited time available made me want to use only techniques that I was comfortable with and so I settled on applique.

Last year at work I had fallen in love with an adorable book "Make Me, I'm Yours...Christmas" and bought it.  I has lots of fantastic ideas in it and I particularly love some of the little characters like the Gingerbread men.  I got the outline of the letters from their and cut them out in felt.  I then stitched round with starnded embroidery cottons in contrasting colours.

Detail of the lettering from the final stocking.
I then ironed on "crisp" interfacing and sewed the trim together as per the instructions. 

When it came to making up the stocking itself time constraints meant that I didn't have time to line it, which I was originally planning to do.  I cut out the felt Christmas Tree and raided my ribbon and trims box for things to use as "tinsel".

After playing around with the trims for a while I used fabric glue to glue the chosen ones into position. When they were dry I appliqued them onto the stocking panel, again stitching around the outside with a contasting stranded cotton.

After that all that remained was to repeat on the other side (well, I didn't know which way it would be hung up facing!) and put the whole thing together.  Almost all that remained!

I nervously submitted my entry to the competition the next day and was VERY relieved to find that it didn't look too poor in comparison with the others (whew!)  The stocking were judged by anonymous vote by our peers and the winner was.......

Not me!  Natalie, one of our Saturday girls won, and deservedly so. What made it even more fantastic though was that she was leaving about a week after that to become a full time primary school teacher after 5 years at C&H.

The following Tuesday the window display was put up inviting all our crafty customers to come and buy their supplies for Christmas crafting.  I have to say it looked fabulous and no-one has even complained that it's only August!

Now I am leaving Christmas alone for a couple more months!


Vicky said...

And your stocking looked amazing, so much work went into it. And I haven't heard any moans either!!

fairy thoughts said...

loved your stocking and the window did look great. LIke you I intend to leave Chrisymas for a while. But then I am on my summer hols... for 1 more day aghhh.