Each year, Arizona Reservation Ministries is blessed to provide filled Christmas stockings for children, teens and even some adults of the San Carlos Apache Nation thanks to the generosity of our partners as they contribute and spread the word! For many, this will be the most they will receive this Christmas season. As we have been able to participate in such a humbling, yet fun event, we have discovered ways to create the stockings, and what to put in them that make this Project even more practical (such as draw-string stockings, brand-new toiletries inserted, the most requested toys, etc.). ALL that ARM does is deliberately intended to an eternal purpose. Stockings and toys will wear out. Jesus Christ and His plan for these recipients is eternal. SO…also contained within each stocking will be something leading them back to the One whose birth their stocking represents.
We intentionally choose specific items to add to the above list for the Greater Plan of pointing the recipients to Christ. If interested in helping to provide the item(s) we have chosen, please contact us, or send funds designated for this special purpose. The revised (2015) general “Wish Lists” for these stockings can be printed simply by clicking on the link above.
Please note the deadline we have requested. Because of the logistics of purchasing additional items with donated gift cards, and “stocking stuffing”, we need all items no later than November 15, 2016
Calling All Seamstresses…and “Non-Seamstresses”
This past Christmas, we were able to distribute well over 450 Christmas stockings and blankets!
Help with Stockings…We will need at least 650 Christmas Stockings this Christmas Season. If interested in helping to create these stockings, please click on the directions below. Friends of ARM have discovered that other sources, in addition to fabric stores provide great fabrics and significantly reduced prices. *Please choose fabrics that reflect the Christmas season, and are strong enough to hold the contents of the Stocking, such as shampoo, bulky items like diaries, packaging around a toy, etc. They need to be able to endure the stress of these gifts without puncturing. Velveteen, corduroy, etc. can be found at Thrift stores. Tablecloths, curtains, etc. that are not faded could also be repurposed into a beautiful Christmas Stocking. In addition, the cording needed for the drawstring can be purchased online at times for less than the price at your local fabric store.
Please note that these Stockings are not “normal” sized. They are constructed different than Stockings sold in stores, because they will be used as bags to deliver Christmas gifts. These stockings will, Lord willing, hold full-sized bottles of shampoo, socks, toys, etc. Each stocking will be constructed to close with a drawstring making it a bag in the shape of a stocking.
It is our hope that all stockings will be the same size and style so that each child feels blessed…and not singled out.
For this reason, we ask that you download the pattern noted here:
Help with blankets…
Not a seamstress? Along with the stockings each Christmas season, we also distribute an equal amount of hand-tied fleece blankets. For many, their blanket is their favorite gift! If living in a home with over 20 others, this gift provides a special spot to sleep, and warm, comfortable place that they can call their own.
We deeply appreciate those who follow our requests for both the stocking design/dimensions and the fleece blankets! This helps us insure that each recipient receives a similar gift. The hand-tied, two-ply fleece blankets are 45″ x 60″. Because owls represent bad omens for Apache people, we ask that the fleece not display owls. Groups in the past have gathered to cut and create these stockings or blankets while listening to Christmas music and eating Christmas cookies-even in July! Directions here are minimal because we are excited to see what God will provide through you…let your creativity by your guide! Tying blankets can be accomplished several ways. Instructions can be found on YouTube. All we ask is that the fleece or these blankets be teen-or child-friendly. No “Halloween” or owl prints, please.
Christmas Stocking Sewing Instructions
We thank God for those who create the Stockings we need each year! Below are the instruction and patterns you’ll need.
Feel free to download the pattern for our Christmas stockings! They are typically constructed of a cotton/poly blend of Christmas fabric. Others have arrived made from corduroy, velveteen,* etc. Your help would be appreciated! If you’d like, you can download a set of the instructions and patterns for the stockings. (Adobe PDF file).All seams are ½ inch. Press fabrics as you go. There will be a cord run through the casing at the top of the cuff to tie the stocking into a bag. (This prevents bigger kids from taking the gifts of little ones as they head home. This also allows Grandma to “hide” what’s inside if it is their primary Christmas gift.) Each stocking will consist of the following fabric pieces:
- 2 stocking pieces
- 1 contrasting cuff piece
- 1 cord, 1 yard long
Please refer to the pattern below for cutting the pieces.
- Cut out the pieces for stocking construction.
- Stitch the stocking pieces right sides together, leaving the top open (unstitched). All seams are 1/2″. Carefully clip curves and turn. Turn the sock portion of the stocking so that the right side is out. Press as you go. Lay this portion aside and begin creating the cuff. (top portion of the Stocking)
- Fold the cuff portion of the stocking with right sides together so that 8″ ends are aligned. Stitch the ends of the cuff together for 6-1/2″, leaving an opening that is being left to accommodate the drawstring cord which will run through this casing at the top of the cuff to tie the stocking into a bag. Press the seam open. Topstitch the open seams to the cuff to secure them in place. By sewing this seam down at the top opening, you are protecting the stocking as it is handled by its recipient.
- There are two ways to “finish” the edge of the cuff: Turn hem of this cuff twice; ¼ inch each time, and top stitch., or, if you have a serger, serge or zigzag hem, then turn once, ½ inch, and top stitch.
- Retrieve the sock piece. Tuck the cuff into the sock by inserting the cuff into the sock (right side of cuff next to the wrong side of the sock) with the portion of the cuff with the seam lined up to the back seam of the sock. (Please note that the unstitched portion of the cuff is at the top of the sock and will provide the opening for the drawstring/cord.) Stitch 1/2″ seam around the top, just below the sock opening.
- Turn the cuff out and over the right side of the stocking (the cuff should be right side out now, and the seam should be hidden underneath the cuff.) Press down.
- You are now ready to make the casing for the drawstring/cord to run through. You will do this by top-stitching the cuff to the stocking by sewing 1″ from the top of the stocking all the way around the top of the cuff.
- Tie the cord to a large safety pin and feed it through the casing and back out the opening. Tie knots in each end of the cord so it will not unravel, but DO NOT tie the two ends of the cord together. They will be tied together when the stocking is filled.
- Please pray for the recipient of your Stocking; pray for their safety, and for this stocking to be a tangible reminder of Christ’s love for them.
- Pick up the next stocking and repeat!
A few suggestions to make this project a bit more simple/meaningful:
- A work party to cut out and stitch the stockings is a lot of fun, and it is easier to do assembly-line style with your friends helping. (Even some of the men might get involved!) Add a bit of Christmas music and Christmas cookies to the gathering-no matter the time of year and the fun fellowship that results will be remembered as children and teens of San Carlos enjoy your creations!
- Cutting the cuff fabric in long strips, sewing it together, then cutting the right length for cuffs works well and saves fabric. Just lay out the fabrics and use a rotary cutter, cutting across the width of the fabrics. You can do several layers at a time, and have someone on a sewing machine or serger putting them together while you cut.
Thank you for helping with this project. Have fun, and may you be richly blessed both in your fellowship and through your generosity!