Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Haul Out the Holly: Day 3 with Noodlehead

Hi Gwenny Penny readers!  I was excited that Gwen asked me over today to share a Christmas tutorial with you all.  I've always wanted to make an advent calendar for my girls, so when Gwen asked me for a Christmas project, this was my chance.

While this isn't the quickest project to make, it's easily constructed with just some basic sewing skills and will make great memories for you and your family.  For my pockets, I included little activity cards.  So each day of the calendar we have a fun activity planned.

Of course I couldn't resist throwing some candy in here and there.  Be sure to stop by my blog tomorrow and I'll have a free printable of all the cards with the activities I have planned so if you'd like, you can print them out, too.

Materials needed:

1/4 yard cuts of preferably 5 different prints, or you could definitely do this with scraps
1 yard of muslin (to line the pockets and back the base fabric)
1 yard linen or base fabric for your calendar
1 yard fusible interfacing (I used an extra heavy drapery interfacing that was extra wide, but if you're using other fusible interfacing you can just cut and fuse pieces into place since most interfacing is 22" wide)
bias tape or ribbon for hanging
1/4" wooden dowel
number stamps (can be found at Michael's or Hobby Lobby)
ink pad
1/2" wide twill tape
(2) 3/8" grommets

{1/4" seam allowances unless otherwise stated}

Cut your pieces:
For the individual pockets, cut one front and one lining piece both 4.5" wide by 3.5" tall.  Cut 25 of each.  Next cut 25 twill tape pieces to a little over 4.5" wide.  Cut the calendar base and backing fabrics to 30" by 30".  And for the dowel pocket cut one piece 27" wide by 3.5" tall.

Sew the pockets:

Place the twill tape on the front pocket piece lining the bottom of the tape about 2" from the bottom of the pocket.

Sew down both sides of the twill tape to secure.

Next, place the front pocket and pocket lining pieces RIGHT sides together.  Sew around perimeter leaving a 2" opening in bottom of pocket.  Clip corners, turn right side out through opening.  Press.  Repeat for all 25 pockets.  Set aside.

Sew the calendar base:
Fuse interfacing to WRONG side of calendar base.  Place calendar base and backing RIGHT sides together, pin, and sew using a 5/8" seam allowance, but leave a 6" opening in one side for turning.  Clip corners and turn right side out.  Press.  Be sure to tuck in raw edges left from the opening you left for turning and topstitch around entire perimeter of the calendar base. 

Sew the dowel pocket:
{This can more easily be done using twill tape or ribbon, but I used fabric, if you choose to use ribbon or twill tape just remember to tuck in the raw edges of the ends of the tape or ribbon and sew down each long side}

Press the short edges towards the WRONG side by 1/2".  Fold the fabric in half the long way RIGHT sides together and sew entire length.  With a safety pin, turn right side out and press.

Pin at top of calendar base backing and stitch both the top and bottom long edges.  You'll wait until the end to slip in the dowel, it's just there to give everything more stability for hanging.

Sew on pockets:

Arrange all pockets into a 5x5 grid and pin in place. Sew all 25 pockets into place, stitching down the right side of each pocket, across the bottom and up the left side.  Be sure to back stitch at the top of each side of each pocket.  I found the best way to sew the pockets on was to roll the calendar up so it tucked into the arm of my machine, sort of like how you might do it for quilting a quilt.

After you have sewn on all your pockets, it's time to stamp the numbers on them. Using your rubber number stamps and black ink stamp the numbers 1 through 25 on the middle of each pocket's twill tape strip. Attach grommets in both top corners of the advent calendar, slip the dowel into place, and it's ready for filling and hanging!  This would also be a really fun project to use some colorful felt for the pockets, too!

Absolutely gorgeous, Anna! Don't you love the look of the stamped numbers on the twill tape? I have a little confession to make... if it's possible to have a crush on a blog, I'm a little bit in love with Noodlehead. Everything Anna makes is divine, and she has exquisite taste in fabric. I can't tell you how many cuts of fabric I have ordered after seeing her use them for her projects. It was an honor to have you here today, Anna. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful advent calendar with us.

Click HERE to see more Haul Out the Holly tutorials!


Unknown said...

Love it! That fabric is divine. I love the little strings on the cards!

Fowl Single File said...

So quaint and perfect! Thanks for sharing this tutorial. This is going to be the year that I finally make an advent calendar...the problem is choosing which one!

Kindra-At Home With K said...

I'm loving this craft event! Getting so many wonderful ideas!

Amy at Ameroonie Designs said...

Really lovely! And I love that they are all in one place and the fabrics are so beautiful, you can really dress up your home with it!

chris said...

Another Anna classic. I love her aesthetic.

Naturally Carol said...

Beautifully simple and well executed. I love the way she used non Christmas fabrics too, you could probably use it to count down to other events too using appropriate pocket contents.

Jess@craftiness is not optional said...

gorgeous! as usual. Love the stamping especially!

Amy @ Increasingly Domestic said...

This is beautiful...I love the fabrics!

Laura said...

What a great idea. I love it!

April said...

This is so cute!

I gave you a blog award!-you can pick it up on my blog at

the sleepy time gal said...

love it! i can't wait to see what is inside!!!!

KJ@letsgoflyakite said...

Anything with twill tape makes my knees weak. I can't get enough of that stuff! Great project Anna! said...

I love it! Thanks so much to both of you, I'll be linking.

Andi said...

beautiful! love the non traditional fabric and the idea of doing an activity every day.

funnyfunnyfunny said...

Awesome... I love your fabric for its beauty.

Thanks for sharing with us.
inflatable christmas

Cecily said...

Those fabrics are to die for and I love the way the whole thing turned out. Too cute!

Katie said...

I have always loved that fabric, it looks great as part of an advent! What a bright and colorful multi purpose decoration. Thanks for the tute!

beat making said...

Gorgeous work... I love fabrics... and your tips too

Unknown said...

i'm surprised...i didn't know this fabric would be perfect for an advent calendar. it looks really great!

I linked to your tutorial on my blog - thanks for sharing!

doro K.

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