Tuesday, June 9, 2015

More needlepoint finishing

I began showing some of the steps I use in finishing a needlepoint stocking here.  Here's the finished stocking and the rest of the instructions.
Here's the finished stocking, all ready for a treat to be placed inside and hung on the tree.
I cut out the backing piece using the patterns I showed in the previous post. I cut one of the seamless patterns from freezer paper and pressed it to the back of the backing.  When cutting the backing you need to be sure the toe of the stocking is facing in the right direction.  

I clipped into the seam allowance and then pressed the seam allowance of the backing, using steam, following the edge of the freezer paper. The paper makes this step easy. Once done and cooled, I pulled the paper out and proceeded. I don't baste the backing because that way I can adjust it to the needlepoint in case the edge changed slightly when I stitched it back on itself (previous post).
I stitched the backing to the needlepoint front going into the very first empty thread of the canvas and then about 1/8" into the backing, to pull the edge of the backing just to the edge of the needlepoint. If done neatly, you don't need to add a cording over the seam (unless you want one).  Each time your needle should only pick up one thread of the canvas--if you take a deeper bite, the backing won't be positioned right.  I make my stitches close, about every other canvas thread. Sometimes I'm going straight from one hole to the next, other times I'm going over one canvas intersection. It depends on the curves of the piece. 

The next step is to line the stocking. If you're doing a solid shape, you can just add a hanging loop and stitch all around, adding a bit of stuffing if you wish--and you're done!  But I want my stocking open to hold a gift.
The next step is to cut the lining. I use my pattern with the seam allowance but I make the top a little bit longer so I have a good edge to fold in and stitch. This is a very light-weight silk so it needs all the help I can give it.
Again, the stocking shape may have changed a bit as I stitched the edges of the canvas down, so to be exact, I traced around the completed stocking front right onto the lining. I just used a pencil.
I didn't want to get the machine out just for this so I hand stitched around the seam, going just about 1/16" inside the line I drew (the pencil added width to the drawing).  Then I trimmed the seam allowance with pinking shears to stop raveling. 
I folded the top edge in and poked the lining into the stocking. It's easy at this point to get the toes pointing opposite directions, so I carefully poke it all the way in to make sure it's right.  I folded in the top edge until it was even with the outer stocking and pinned it all around.

In the meantime, I took a remnant of silk ribbon and used it to make a twisted cord for hanging. I knotted the ends and used a really big needle to thread the loop and pull it through the canvas at the edge of the needlepoint stitches near the back edge.  Sometimes I just tack a loop of ribbon to the canvas to secure the loop.
The last task is to stitch the lining to the outer stocking.  Again, i took a stitch just about every other canvas thread, and about the same spacing on the fabric backing.
All done!

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