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Sunday, July 17, 2016

Christmas in July- The World’s Largest Bucilla Stocking

I like going to estate sales. You never know what you will find.

This Christmas gem was found last week. It had been living just two streets over from me.

To give you an idea of the size of the stocking I am 5’4” tall. This photo is of me INSIDE the stocking, arms straight up, holding the stocking over my head.

(Yes, my daughter and I were cracking up while taking this shot. :)

Christmas in July 002

I know a few of you are thinking “Why on earth did you buy that?” (cough, Mr. Decor, cough)

Decor To Adore is known for its annual handmade Christmas extravaganzas. I create a new theme each holiday. But I don’t like to spend oodles of money creating the various themes.

Over the years many of you have wondered “Where do I get my inspiration from?”

So this stocking is the perfect place to share my thought process.

I often start planning Christmas in July. As a working mom, who is also a college student, I need that much time to plan and create all that goes into the final results. 

When I saw the stocking I couldn’t help but admire the intricate hand beading on each of the felt accents.

It must have taken the seamstress hours to execute.

Christmas in July 007

The eyelash button detail made me smile and brought back happy memories of Christmases past.

Christmas in July 009-001

Although the stocking itself, I believe, is a hand made design I think the felt applique elements were from a vintage Bucilla kit. I can remember my grandmother and aunt creating various ornaments and stockings. They were all the rage in the 1960’s and 70’s.

christmas tree wall hanging by bucilla

Bucilla was founded in 1867 Bernhard Ulmann. He was a European emigrant who sold handkerchiefs and doilies from a pushcart along the streets of New York City. His first and only retail store was opened in 1875. The company was known as Bernhard Ulmann Company, Incorporated and featured Lace, Linen, and Accessories. Those letters in bold were shortened to the acronym BUCILLA.

(If anyone has this Wizard of Oz kit/ornaments and no longer needs them, I can provide a loving home! :)

wizard of oz kit from bucilla

In going down the rabbit hole to learn all of that historical information I found some lovely examples of tree skirts.

DIY Network has instructions on how to make an easy retro-style Christmas tree shirt.:

I loved the scalloped versions…

Vintage 1950s Pink Felt Christmas Tree Skirt Hand Made Sequins Reindeer Bells:

…and was drawn to shades of ivory, pink and turquoise.

Vintage tree love this look!:

The large red stocking itself has several moth holes and is coming apart at some of the seams. But I felt that the vintage needlework should live on. So I gently removed all of the applique.

I’ve decided that I am going to make a pale aqua felt tree skirt. I plan on adding on the ivory reindeer and sled to the skirt just as it is.

Santa however is going to get a bit of a makeover.

Christmas in July 013

He was carefully taken apart and everything was saved to use as a pattern. He’s going to get a new pink suit.

Christmas in July 016

Of course just as when you give a mouse a cookie and then need some milk to go with it, I will need to create a few felt ornaments for my happy 60’s made modern tree.

Sequin Ball Ornament:

Then I spied this tree skirt with the DACHSHUND on it and thought, “Surely I need to make a table runner too.”

I’m envisioning a white doxie on either end with a gold bow on a turquoise background.

But I need to find TWO EYELASH BUTTONS. Just like those shown on the reindeer above. Anyone have two that they want to sell or donate to the cause?

Red, Vintage Felt, Sequins, beads Christmas tree skirt. Adorable:

I imagine all this work it will take me until….Christmas.



Mary 120 Spring Street said...

What a fantastic find! Love the idea of making a tree skirt and table runner for Christmas, this is a good time to start. I love Christmas so much I could do it all year ;) Hope you find the extra pieces you need, guess you've checked eBay and Etsy. Can't wait to see your finished projects.

Lynn Bean said...

I love all of these vintage pieces! Great ideas. Thanks so very much for sharing, Lynn

Terri Steffes said...

I love your Christmas in July preparations! I believe I have some ornaments that are of the design you speak of. I'll have to wait until Christmas to confirm though. These were ornaments made by my grandmother. I could use a bit of your creativity on my blog today! Could you stop by if you have a moment?

Vicki said...

Awesome find! I can't wait to see your finished product, I know it will be gorgeous.

Eilis said...

My mom made the exact same Christmas tree with the sequence ornaments when I was a kid. I still remember how proud she was of it and how magical it seemed to me. She later believed that working on it in the evenings hurt her eyesight.
I haven't started thinking about Christmas yet, but you have given me another project to focus on :)

Lisa said...

Your tree skirt is going to be so beautiful Laura! So great that you were able to find the stocking with the appliqués. Can't wait to see the finished skirt in those gorgeous colors!

Norma Vaughn said...

wow! the uncraty me is so envious of your talent!!!!!!

Liz@ Infuse With Liz said...

Oh my goodness that surely is the largest stocking I've seen! I wonder if it was displayed at a place with extra tall walls? I have a tree skirt my aunt gifted me from the early 1980's that has this kind of decorative touches on it. It will be interesting to see how you use it. The light aqua tree skirt will be a pretty touch!

Shenita @ Embellishments by SLR said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shenita @ Embellishments by SLR said...

Laura, what an amazing find! And, I love the ideas that you have come up with. A tree skirt and runner would be beautiful with those appliques. I also love the color scheme that you're contemplating. It's one of my favorites! I can only imagine what the ornaments will look like. You are so talented!

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

Oh my word, how fun is this. You have the patience to tackle this project, and boy, what a project it is. Can't wait to see it.

Christine said...

I'm cheering you on!!
Some really cute ideas. I might have to follow and start now.

Denise Altman said...

So interesting! I have an advent calendar, made by my great aunt, that we carefully pin every year. I think must be a vintage Bucella kit. Any suggestions on how to find out?

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

Hi Denise I couldn't contact you directly as you are listed as a "No reply" blogger but I wanted to tell you that I had great luck going to Pinterest and first typing in "Bucilla" then "vintage sequin ornaments". You could also try "felt advent calender" to see what might appear. I do recall seeing a few in my research so perhaps you might see a kit like the one you have. They are now highly sought after on Ebay and Etsy. Let me know how it turns out. Happy hunting!

Jeanie said...

I can't tell you how much I love this post and I'm so glad I dug down to find it! Love the stocking -- what a great find! And all your history! Pure and simply, the best. I have a raggedy ann and andy my mom made from those Bucilla patterns and probably there were other things, too. I remember our tablecloth and some of those round balls. I wish I still had it all -- I still do have some. Real treasures and they remind me of my mom. Thanks for this one!