Thursday, December 6, 2012

Christmas Cheer Inspired by Ballards

I enjoy getting the Ballards catalog, and over the years, I have gotten a lot of inspiration from them and occasionally  I will make a purchase.  Right before we moved to Ukraine this last time, I received the Christmas catalog in the mail and saw some stockings that I {mostly} liked.  Since the timing was completely off, I just saved the pictures and determined to use what we had for a couple more years; I gave a lot to Sveta when I took decor down last year because I intended to change our colors up a bit and finally make stockings for the five of us that matched.

These are the stockings I liked from the 2010 catalog. I love the green and ivory mix, the velvet, and the bells were a cute touch and nod to my musical side.

After having the fabric sit around for two weeks because I was scared to cut it, I finally bit the bullet on Thanksgiving Day, and sat down to make new stockings for the family.

I won't go into great detail on how I made these because I would not pretend to be a knowledgeable seamstress- but I can follow directions with minimal practice of ripping seams!  I did not like the shape of the stockings in the catalog, so I traced one we had that I did like onto craft paper.  Then I went around with a ruler and marked a half inch out from the edge and made the top a bit longer as well; I cut out the pattern and used it for both the velvet layer and the lining.  I used this tutorial from CluckCluckSew  on how to make a lined stocking with a cuff and hidden seams.   The green velvet was ordered from Ballards (2 yards made five and I had enough to make a sixth if I wanted), and I purchased ivory muslin for the lining.  I did use a layer of batting, too, to make them a little plusher; I fused it to the wrong side of one of the lining pieces.

The ivory fabric is leftover matelasse from a coverlet I bought and had made into Euro shams for my bedroom.  I used the already surged scallopped section for the girls' stockings and then made a straight cuff for the guys, trimming the edge with grosgrain ribbon.  Since I was limited on how much fabric was left, I didn't think too hard about what design in the fabric went where - it made them all unique and I plan on monogramming each one at some point. I haven't decided if I'll add the bells or not- maybe next year?!  I'm really happy with how they turned out!

These pillows - in the same catalog - also caught my eye.

$75 was a bit out of my budget, so again, I waited for our stateside return.  {I didn't use my machine too much overseas because it'd have to go through a transformer and I didn't want it to ruin the motor.}  I loved the red musical fabric and I searched and searched for something comparable to no avail.  I finally found this fabric at Winter Creek Cloth (I don't remember the name of it and it doesn't look like they have any more; I think Amazon might have had some, too).  It's hard to tell in the photo, but there is a faint gray script behind the red damask design.  {I think chevron fabric would make a cute ornament, too!}

I traced a circle onto some interfacing using a bowl.  Then I ironed the interfacing onto the fabric and cut the fabric a bit larger than the inner circle so I could fold it underneath and not have any raw edges that would fray.  I added ribbon, sewed a brown "hanger," and then sewed the ornament to the front piece of the pillow cover (a drop cloth) before sewing the front and back pieces together.  I didn't calculate an exact cost, but my version definitely comes in under $10!

I also have the green quilted tree pillow cover in the works.
  I'll try to remember to post a photo when it's finished.  

What is your favorite place to find home decor inspiration?



  1. Beautiful! I really like the pillow! Will you add bells to your stockings too? I'm so impresed by people that can actually sew :-)

  2. OMG, I. have. tears. You mentioned a SEWING website and a FABRIC website and you got all fancy with batting and lining and fusing stuff and OMGOODNESS! Tara, you are a SEWER!!! ;) The stockings are wonderful! And then BAM! You made a pillow too???!!! With more sewing projects in the works, even. Oh. my. I think I need to sit down. ;)

  3. Well you go, Holly Homemaker!! Love the stockings and the pillow. You're so creative! :)

  4. Really great work. Way to follow thru your inspiration!