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Make it: Homemade Advent Calendar

November 12, 2013

Christmas Advent Calendar Tutorial

Last week’s cushion was for the beginner sewist, this is a bit more involved but making one of these is a one time thing (or in my case two time as I made Kate one and this is Piran’s). You still have time to get this completed before the beginning of advent. I shared this originally 2 years ago across two posts with other things mixed in so I have decided to bring it all together in one place this year. There isn’t a great deal of detail unfortunately but it should give you a rough idea of how I made it.

Advent Calendar 2011

I am backing my advent calendar with my fantastic reindeer fabric so I measured the size of the piece I had (I think it was around 50cm wide by 80cm tall) and worked out what size the pockets needed to be to get six rows of four and then cut them out allowing for a 1cm seam around the two sides and bottom and 2cm at the top so I could fold it over twice for a neater edge. My pockets are 9cm square so I cut my material 11cm x 12cm. I cut out 24 pieces from 6 different materials.

I then embellished them slightly using bit of ribbon and the other fabrics so each one is different.

Next I hemmed all of them, making sure that the top edge was folded over twice.

Then I played around with the arrangement.

Afterward I lay them on the fabric and switched a couple around to make it more balanced. After some deliberation I finally settled on the layout and then used numbered stickers to mark where each of them belongs.

The next step is to embroider the numbers onto each. I have discovered recently that you can buy iron on numbers from ebay that would look great and take a lot less time! You could also consider stamping the numbers on.


After a lot of pinning and measuring and moving I finally got all of the pockets spaced evenly out the way I wanted them. The next step was to sew each on in place around three sides. Once this was done I cut a piece of calico the same size and after placing the two pieces of material right sides together and adding in three ribbon loops at the top I sewed all round the edge, making sure that I left a gap at the bottom for turning.

I trimmed the seams and clipped the corners and then turned it right sides out. A quick press with the iron and then I top-stitched all around the edge, which closed up the hole at the bottom.

I am really happy with the way that it turned out and that I managed to finish it before the start of December. Piran loves going to see what is in it each morning. I want to make a patch to sew on the back with my name and the date but I will just do that before it gets put away this year*.

*It is two years later and I am yet to do this! Maybe this year.

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  • Reply Make it: Advent Bunting Tutorial | A place of my own November 9, 2014 at 4:23 pm

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