Saturday, 19 December 2015

Advent Calendars

I think the first sewn advent calendar I ever saw was a small sewing shop in Lady Hayes antique centre where there was an assembled demonstration piece on display.  You could buy the kit for £18 but I just wanted it already finished.  The idea stayed with me but on looking for one, they were quite expensive so I never bought one or made one.  I started a few but dimensions were wrong and I gave up part way through.  Then earlier in the year I decided I would make them for my sisters and sister in law.  I have few assembly pieces of the ones I made for my sisters but I spent some time researching on pinterest for ideas around little stockings.  I had a die of a stocking which made cutting out 48 stockings easy.  Sewing them all on however was quite time consuming!

The shape of the stocking was perfect for Candy Cane goodies and so 2 packs later, each stocking contained a treat. 

 For the numbers, I bought little pegs and wrote on those and then clipped them onto the stockings.
At the end of November, we went to my sister in laws just in time to give them out but one sister couldn't make it so hers was posted instead which was why I delayed in writing this post initially.

For my sister in law, I went with a different design which was based around a Father Christmas panel.  Several years ago I had made my niece and nephew Christmas stockings using these panels and so thought it would be nice to co-ordinate the two gifts.  I started by sitting out my squares and adding numbers to them (over several nights).

I then arranged them randomly around the main panel which was backed on a large burgundy napkin. I sewed about the sides and bottom but left the top open so they were mini pockets. The squares were the perfect size for chocolate coins and I finished it all off by framing Santa with some red ric rac

  Shortly after finishing my calendars, my lovely co- blogger Samantha from Betsy Makes also posted about an advent calendar she had made.  I'm so glad I gifted mine before seeing hers as mine pale into insignificance to hers and I may just have hidden them in embarrassment!! I love her use of fabric and the finish is much better but joking aside, I recognise this 'comparison' is all part of the process of trying new things and getting better on each attempt. I am encouraged and inspired by better crafters and hope to continue admiring others work long after my own work is more refined.  I know my family really appreciate the time and thought that has gone into their gifts which I hope will make an appearance each Christmas over the years to come despite wonky cutting and sewing etc.  I hope to make our family one for next year and like the idea of putting a decoration in each that the children can hang on an accompanying tree each day- perhaps made out of felt and I know I will now have the incentive to be more patient and particular so that I can have an end product like Samantha's and be proud to have it on display.  Don't get me wrong, I am pleased with my efforts (and I would still have given them even if I had seen Sam's) but I am also striving to improve :)

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