Designed by Judy Kriehn, 1998

In summer of 1998, Anne Colvin Mosher and Nancy Schneider challenged me to "do something" with the many colors of Bengaline around the store. I was putting together my entries for the 1998 State Fair of Texas Creative Arts competition, and on a whim put together this stocking to enter.

I made 1/2" tubes out of jewel-toned Bengalines using the FasTurn tool. I pressed the tubes flat using Celtic Press bars, then pin-wove the strips together to make the "body" of the stocking. I chose a royal blue Bengaline for the cuff, back and binding.

The stocking captured a fourth-place ribbon in the "Holiday Corner" division. I am sharing the instructions in the hope that you will come rushing to The Fabric Affair to buy copious quantities of special fabric so you can make one too! <g>

If you'd like to see another pinwoven bengaline project, check out "The Anne and Nancy Challenge" in the Show and Tell section of the site.

You have my permission to duplicate these instructions, and to distribute copies to other stitchers for non-profit purposes only. All copies must include the statement: "Created by Judy Kriehn, 1998."

Materials needed:




Prepare your strips.

(If doing FasTurn, you will have to stitch the tubes, turn them, and press flat. If using the bias tape maker, run the strips through that.)



Trace the part of the stocking that you are going to weave onto the FUSIBLE side of your interfacing. It is important to have the fusing side UP because after you have finished weaving, you will use the iron to fuse the weaving to the interfacing.

Pin the stocking shape in the center of your pinning board.
(no, I didn’t get in the center on the sample shown. Oops!)

You will want to stretch it slightly to be sure it is good and flat.


Lay your first strip down. Check to see if it has a 45 degree angle to the line drawn for the top of the woven part of the stocking. Once you are happy with the placement of this first strip, pin each end into place. Angle the pins so that they are pulling against each other.

Start pinning strips next to this first strip. Be sure to lay them tight against each other so that they will remain parallel. I try to leave about an inch hanging across the line marking the edge of the stocking. This way, you will have a little bit of "fudging" room when you actually trim it to size before starting to stitch it together.

Note: This is also a good time to start thinking about color placement. For the sample at the store, I did not plan ahead of time what colors would be where - I just didn’t want to get strips that are very similar in either color or value side by side.

Continue laying strips down until you have completely covered the drawn stocking shape.


After you have covered the whole stocking shape up, you will start to work the cross-strips/weaving process. I find it is easier to just unpin one end of every other strip, lay the cross piece down, repin the pulled back strips, then unpin one end of each strip that your first one just went on top of. This way, you don’t actually have to "weave" like you did the potholders we made as kids. However, you do have to be sure to keep the strips tight against each other. Continue this process until you have the whole stocking piece woven.


Take your pressing board to the iron, and smoosh the strips to the fusible.

Note: If you are using a particularly nice fabric or one with a nap, you may want to be sure to use some sort of presscloth. However, the thickness of the strips will keep a lot of heat from getting all the way to the fusible.

Once you feel confident that the weaving has fused to the backing sufficiently to hold together, you can unpin everything.


THEN return to the iron and press the BACK. This will ensure that it is fused well.


Now, you are ready to place your pattern piece on top and cut out the stocking piece.

Note: If you like, you can draw the stocking shape on top with a Chaco liner or something like that, and then staystitch just inside the cutting line. I only use a ¼" seam allowance, so be sure that your stay-stitching is close to the cutting line.


Cut out the top of the stocking and place face down on the woven section. Stitch in place, then press top back. With the thickness of the weaving, it will naturally press toward the top.

Cut your bias strips for the binding. I am partial to 2 ¼" wide strips, but you might like a wider binding. Fold the bias in half lengthwise, wrong sides together, and press.

Note: For a stocking, it is particularly important that you make true BIAS strips - not strips cut from the straight of grain. Since the stocking is nearly all curves, only a bias strip will have the "give" to bend smoothly around these curves without wrinkling.


Lay a binding strip on the top of the stocking so that the raw edges of the binding line up with the raw edge of the stocking top. Stitch the binding down, using a ¼" seam allowance. Wrap binding around to the back side, then stitch into place. You can either slip-stitch by hand or (if your binding is wide enough) pin into place and stitch "in the ditch" on the right side, catching the back in your stitches.


Lay your stocking face up on wrong side of your remaining "chunk" of backing fabric. You will want to have at least a ½" around the sides and bottom of the stocking. Trim the top of the stocking straight across. You can mark where each end of the top would be.

Stitch and finish binding to the top of the backing the same way you did the front of the stocking.


Now, lay your stocking front on the back, lining up the tops. Pin the top in place.


Lay your binding on the top of the stocking in the same manner as the top sections were done. You can almost stitch it down as you go, but I recommend pinning into place first. The problem you will encounter is going around the big curves like the toe or the heel. You want to be sure you have not stretched the bias as you stitch it down. If anything, you want to scrunch the bias together so that it will wrap around to the back smoothly. Be sure to plan to have a tail of 4-6 inches at the top edge of the stocking to make a hanger out of.

After you have the bias strip stitched down to the stocking all around, turn the non-hanger end in on itself to make a nice smooth top. Pin in place.

To make the hanger, you can handstitch or machine stitch. What I usually do is something resembling double-fold bias tape; turning the folded edge in ¼" and lining the new folded edge against what would be the stitching line on the raw edge. Pin in place, then stitch.

Loop this around and trim the stitching at an angle so that it will tuck in nicely. Stitch into place inside the stitching line.


Stitch down the binding all the way around, and you’re done!


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