Martha Stewart Living, December 1995
Using a photocopier, enlarge the template to make a paper stocking pattern.
Pin the pattern to two layers of fabric. Make sure that fabric is pinned with wrong sides facing together.
Mark each side notch from the pattern onto your fabric with a pin.
Leave 3/4 inch extra at the top of stocking for fringing. Cut out.
With right sides together, start sewing from one notch (which you've pinned) toward the foot of the stocking, up to the other notch. Trim seams to about 3/8 inch. This fabric frays easily, so finish edges with dabs of Fray Check.
Turn right side out, and press with a steam iron.
Sew the remainder of the open side edges, leaving top of stocking open. Trim and dab with Fray Check near these edges too.
Fold down top of stocking, and fray the edge 3/4 inch by removing horizontal threads.
Cut a piece of carpet, with the grain, 9 inches long by 1 1/2 inches wide.
Fray 3/8 inch along each of the long sides.
Fold in half, and pin the front side of the loop to the inside front of the stocking, and the back of the loop to the inside back of the stocking (same side as the heel, not the toe).
Adjust the length of the loop to suit the spot from which it will hang.
Hand-stitch. You can make the loop from a beautiful length of ribbon, if you prefer.
Ingrain carpet remnants
Christmas stockings may be made out of remnants of ingrain carpets -- richly colored and patterned floor coverings that were popular during the late nineteenth century. Reminiscent of woven tapestries, and suggestive of the Victorian era, they have a thick, textured feel that makes them wonderful material for stockings.
Once woven in long narrow strips and used as stair runners and hearth rugs, the carpets are thin enough for most home sewing machines to handle. Because the carpets are reversible, you can use either side for your stocking; just make sure that the front and back match. Look for ingrain carpets at antiques markets or shops. Or, for a similar effect, try using remnants from a worn old blanket or shawl.