Blog

How-to/DIY
  • Handmade Christmas Stockings Tutorial

    I love vintage fabrics. I delight in the sight of old rags that are forgotton and perhaps smell of mothballs. Prints that look like they are straight from your grandmother's couch. To make our "new" Christmas stockings look loved and worn in this year, I picked remnants of fabrics with former lives and purposes and got to creating. 

    Follow these steps to make your own holiday stockings to hang by the chimney with care. 

    Step One: Layer your fabrics and cut

    You'll need to have 4 layers of fabric (front side, back side, and two layers for the inside liner. Use a template of the shape and size stocking you want. I cut mine out of cardboard to use for all four stockings. Trace your template onto the fabric with a dotted line and use a rotary cutter to follow your dotted line allowing for 1.5-2 inches of extra fabric on all sides.

     

    Make sure to arrange your fabrics so that when sewn and turned right side in, they will be correct. Place the liner back and stocking fabric back together (i.e. back to back) and sandwich the front fabric and liner the same way. Place the two sandwiches together so the outsides of the stocking face one another. I used a white liner so it was easier to not make a mistake here. 

    Step Two: Pin your fabric and sew. 

    Sew just outside your dotted line (1/4-1/2 inch) all the way around leaving the top open. Reinforce your seam with a second zig zag seam (optional) and trim excess seam allowance but make sure to leave the extra fabric on your unfinished top. Turn stockings right side out.

    Step Three: Hem and finish the top with a fold-over trim.

    Fold over the extra fabric around the top opening and pin. Your "loop" fold over piece will cover this hem, so there is no need to make it pretty. Sew around the top hem of your stocking. Now, select the fabric for your fold over trim. I used the same fabric as the back of the stocking. Measure the diameter of the top of your stocking, muptiply it by two and add 1 inch. This will be the width of your hem piece. For a generous fold over trim, measure your fabric length at 11 inches. Fold your piece of trim fabric in half with the front faces of the fabric on the inside and sew together with 1/2 inch seam. Turn your fabric tube right side out. Take the ends and sew them together with your seam allowance and reinforce (optional) and now you have a loop. You will want to sit your loop down inside your stocking opening about 1-2 inches inside the stocking and make certain it fits properly. Fabrics with varying amounts of stretch may cause your original measurement to change slightly. Pin the loop inside your stocking and the seam of your loop should be facing out. Sew in the loop with a stitch line just under stocking hem stitch. Fold the loop over your stocking and this is your trim.

    Step Four: Make a fabric hook for hanging and decorate with additional trim.

    With scrap fabric, cut strips approximately 2.5x7 inches. Fold them and sew them into mini loops just like you did in Step Three. Scrunch the fabric over a pencil to assist you in turning the loop right side out. Sew your hook inside the top of your stocking so it hangs where you want it. Hint: Unfold the fabric of the trim to sew these few stitches directly to the back of the stocking so they will not be seen. If using a secondary trim, measure the diameter of the top of the stocking, multiply it by two and add 1 inch. Fold strip over with the faces of the fabric on the inside and sew the seam. Turn right side out and tack the trim on with a hand sewn stich. 

    Here is the reverse side of our stockings. Now every time I see these, I will think of the memories of these fabrics: The polyester pants I use to legitimately wear, the floral muumuu, the metallic quilted dress and my mother's plaid skirt. They will live on to be filled with a monsoon of cheap stuff, chapstick, peppermint patties and the obligatory tangerine in the toe.  Because....really, what else fits in the toe?

    Create yours and tell me about it!

  • How to make a playlist like a boss

    One of the most enjoyable parts of my work as a yoga teacher is making playlists (most recent playlist pictured above). I used to lament the time and effort that it took to put together a respectable, booty-shaking hour of tunes, but now it is cake. I have it down to a science; quick and dirty; git 'er done. Streamlining the process allows me to keep the music fresh and produce about one playlist per week. Here's how:

    1. Get a SiriusXM subscription for your vehicle. 

    This was life changing. Pre satellite radio, I was listening to the sad old local radio stations driving around town and scraping the dregs of my iTunes library which, let's be honest, contains an embarrasing amount of 80's music and Indigo Girls. Now, I use every moment in the car to Shazam the shit out of everything. Your drive time will now double as your work time. I have a wide variety of stations at the ready and have a contest with myself to see how many playlist-worthy songs I can tag in one single trip to the grocery store. 

    2. Shazam the shit out of everything.

    I'm talking radio, movie theatre, the catchy song on the television, break out your phone at the mall. Everywhere. 

    3. Subscribe to Spotify

    Stop kidding around with iTunes or Pandora or whatever else has formerly had your heart. I know....I know. It's so hard to say goodbye. The learning curve is not too hard, you don't need to own the songs forever squirreling them away in the bowels of your computer so you'll have them, just be free. And pay the $10 a month, you cheap bastard. It will be good to you. I get the remainder of my playlist music by browsing through Spotify. The app will begin to make playlists for you of music it knows you will like. Spotify--acts of service are my love language, how did you know?

    4. Connect your Shazam to your Spotify. 

    Go into the settings of your Shazam app and select "Connect to Spotify" under Music Streaming. This will automatically create a new playlist in your Spotify account titled "My Shazam Tracks". You may rename it if you like.

    5. Move your tracks into your new playlist.

    Select all your newly Shazamed tracks in the playlist and drag them into your new playlist. Rearrange the order of the tracks to your liking. I use the bell curve methodology for my yoga classes. Begin with slow songs to ease them into what you are about to bring, faster paced songs to bring it, and then slower songs again when it's already been brought-en.

     6. Share the love! 

    Make your playlists public. Make them awesome. Give them a name. Right click on the title of your playlist to select "make public". You can find over 80 of my public playlists here. You are welcome.