Throwback Thursday: Christmas Stockings!

Stockings hang enticingly during December, a constant reminder that Santa will be visiting soon.

Whilst nobody really knows how the tradition of hanging a Christmas stocking begun, legend suggests that it started with Saint Nicholas. Concerned for a poor father of three daughters, he climbed down the family’s chimney with three bags of gold. Discovering the girls’ stockings drying on the mantelpiece, he left enough gold for each of their dowries inside them, before continuing with his Christmas Eve ventures. News of Saint Nicholas’ kindness spread and soon children begun hanging their own stockings or shoes, hoping he would visit them and bestow the same kindness.

During the 20th century it became more and more popular to create special Christmas stockings for children to leave for Santa, rather than use their everyday socks, as was customary for centuries. Here are a few vintage stocking patterns that I hope will inspire you and your family to have a go at creating your very own.

1957 Vintage Simplicity 2327 Transfer Pattern For Christmas Stockings.

Lets begin with my favourite of the little collection that I’ve gathered. I absolutely love the example on the top left. It has it all; pom pom trim, striped piping and Christmas appliqué. Although I also love the use of ric-rac as an edging, as well as the personalised cuffed edges of ‘Mom’ & ‘Dad’s’ stockings. They would adorable all hung up in a row!

Vintage McCall’s Christmas Stocking Pattern 1830 with transfers.

Once again, a pom pom trim has been used to finish of the top of my favourite stocking and I love it! I also really like the simplistic designs used here- perfect for children to get involved!

McCalls 2411 1960s Appliqued Christmas Stocking Pattern.

The appliqué on your vintage-inspired stocking can be as simple or as complicated as you like. This pattern shows how busy and colourful designs can be really fun. I really like the lacy scallops along the cuffed edges of these stockings.

1970s Vintage Edna Looney Felt Christmas Stocking Kit.

Why not have a stocking design session one evening? Sit everyone together at the table, get the paints/crayons/glitter out and have each family member design their perfect stocking on paper which you can then use as sewing inspiration! Kids (and adults!) will love seeing their designs come to life!

1916 Sears Big Christmas Stocking stuffed with lots of toys and treats!

Close of the 1916 Sears Stocking

Close of the 1916 Sears Stocking

And if all that talk of stockings has left you feeling concerned that your child’s is currently looking a little empty and need a bit of inspiration for fillers, take a look at this incredible advert from the Sears catalogue in 1916! What better way to fill a vintage-inspired stocking, than with vintage-inspired toys and treats? Think tiny teddy bears and dolls, a pack of playing cards, boxes of wax and chalk crayons, a skipping rope, paints and paintbrushes, bubbles and butterscotch! The list goes on!

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