Friday, December 4, 2009

A Stocking for "Nikolaus"

The 6th of December is actually the Saint day of St. Nicholas, or Nikolaus, as we call him in German, aka Santa Claus. Traditionally in Germany children are given sweets and presents on that day - it's like "little Christmas". Children put their polished boots outside their doors on the evening of the 5th. Nikolaus visits them over night - and leaves treats in the boots. In my day, there were these hideous red, plastic miniature boots that came filled with cheap sweets *yuch* - although I can't complain; my mother was always a generous "Nikola"...

I am keeping up the tradition with my children while also trying to live the traditions of my adopted country, their home, Ireland. And something I have always loved were the Christmas stockings which are traditionally filled with the Christmas presents for Christmas day. Now, we do Christmas the German way, i.e. the big present-presentation happens on Christmas Eve. So we do not really have any use for Christmas stockings... Except - yes - they would do really nicely for the Nikolaus treats.

Anyway, even though I am not a very good seamstress, I decided to attempt sewing my own Christmas stockings. I had picked up a so-called "dolly bag" from a local haberdasher's which was full of red and green fabric remnants, perfect for Christmas.

I drew my own template of a large, roundy boot on newspaper first, cut it out, pinned it onto the fabric and then cut the fabric the right shape - three times per stocking. I first created a padded "side" for the stocking by  sandwiching some flat quilt wadding between two fabric layers. For a quilted effect I sewed a criss-cross pattern onto the fabric. Then I sewed around the boot shape. The dolly bag also contained some remnant felt which had been cut out in a scalloped shape. I sewed that to the top of the boot so it looks as if its top is rolled down.

I wanted to have a two-sided stocking, so I used the remaining cutout as a background for a giant, red C to personalize the stocking.

Then I put the padded front part of the stocking right-on-right with the personalised cut-out boot shape and sewed around it, leaving the top open, of course. Then I simply turned it inside out. Last thing I took a short bit of red silk ribbon and sewed it on as a hanger to suspend the stocking from.

I created another one for my daughter, this time in red, but essentially the same design. The kids love their stockings and use them every year now... 


Remodelaholic said...

Okay, now that you got me commenting, I can't stop! But my husband and I are going to do this. HE lived in Holland for 2 years and they had (don't know how to spell it, sounds like-) Sinter Clause Daj. They leave out their little dutch shoes! I can't wait to try it!

Sonja @ Craft-Werk said...

Yep, you are right, the Dutch actually have their "Christmas" on December 6th, I think. I come from a part of Germany that is close-ish to the Dutch border, maybe that's why we have similar traditions there... Hehe, anyway, surprise your hubby next Christmas - it's only 11 and a half months away ;-)