the build up

UPDATE:  This calendar is now part of a book and the pattern is available at no cost on the Stash Books website.  See here.

I’m not going to apologize for posting a Christmas related project in October. For me, one of the best parts of the holiday season is the build up.

I don’t mean all the sales that begin in early November. I’m not much of a shopper. I am talking about the crafting, thinking up new gift ideas, debating which types of cookies to bake, picturing my little guy going bonkers with glee because this is the first year he will actually “get it,” wondering what type of goofy stunt Grandpa will come up with for Christmas Eve…those types of things.

I gave this advent calendar to Grammy for her birthday recently. As usual, I was late getting it to her. It took me longer than I thought because I couldn’t decide on the fabric combinations. I knew that I wanted to use that print from day #14 because it is a scrap from a tea towel that was once owned by Grammy’s sister. I then limited myself to a predominantly red and green palate, but something wasn’t quite right. I added #16 with that sweet little navy blue bird, and decided that a little more dark blue would work. Numbers 10 and 24 rounded it off and I struck a balance that I liked. Most of the pockets are lined with that beige striped fabric, although there are a few surprises. Incidentally, the fabric from day #10 was supposed to be used to make an Oliver & S. playsuit for the little guy. Maybe next summer.

For the backing, I used a heavy corduroy that I found for $2 a yard. I stenciled the numbers onto pieces of twill tape using Micron permanent ink pens and sewed them into the pockets like tags. Rubber stamps and fabric markers would have been quicker, but I don’t own a set of rubber stamp numbers and was sticking to a strict “use what I have” policy.

The Cydermaker cut a piece of molding that we had in the garage and drilled a hole in each end so that I could hang the calendar with the remainder of the twill tape. The molding was slipped into the sleeve I created at the top of the calendar. My original idea didn’t quite work out, so my handy husband helped me rig it using a couple of roofing nails at the ends. Have a peek Grammy. You will see what I mean. Inspiration came from here and here. Aren’t they great advent calendars?

This is my new favorite project to make. They take a bit of time, but it is a lot of fun to pull out all of your fabric bits and see what you can come up with. While you work, its also fun to eat some of the chocolates that you intended to insert into the pockets. Good thing both Grammy and I like dark. What’s another trip to the store?

P.S. My 100th post is just around the corner. Silly little giveaway coming soon…


14 thoughts on “the build up

  1. i completely agree! i love deciding what i’m going to make for gifts, designing my xmas cards, decorating the house. i find the actual holiday to be a complete let down, but i still enjoy the build up.

    looooove the advent calendar! what a great way to use up scraps!

  2. Dan and I (yes, two adults) are going to make (I’m going to make…the sewing) an advent calendar. One day will be his and the other will be mine…’cause it is more difficult to find small gifts for adults than for kids! We are just that silly!

  3. Very awesome! And I love that you used little pieces of fabric that were meaningful. I wondered what you were putting in there. All chocolate or will there be other things as well?

  4. OMG! Love it, love it, love it! I have always wanted an advent calendar, yet never found one I liked enough. Just add this to the ever-growing list of items I wish you had time to make for me! 🙂

  5. Pingback: Second Sunday « domestikated

  6. Pingback: Handmade Christmas: advent calendars « domestikated

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