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Archive | July, 2015

Winter Wonderland Advent Calendar - this is how we did it.....


Winter Wonderland Advent Calendar Kit - 3

Okay so it is very much still British Summer Time here, but having taken delivery of the latest advent calendar panel from Dashwood Studio 'Winter Wonderland' collection, I just haven't been able to resist the urge to see this calendar made up in all it's glory.

I thought I'd take a few pictures along the way and let you know how I got on and how I approached this make.

Additional things you'll need are as follows:

Scissors or rotary cutter & board, chosen backing fabric (I opted for Winter Wonderland Robins) and wadding, bias binding (I used Polka Dots Bias Binding Navy) or material with which to make your own, cotton and any other ribbons, trims or embellishments you'd like to use to personalise and finish of the advent calendar to your taste.

The panel does come with it's own set of instructions which I'll include here and add any additional notes which I think might be helpful.


1 - Begin by cutting out the advent panel following the outer edge of the green seam allowance.

2. Cut out the pocket strips and individual pockets around the outer edge of the spotty blue seam allowance. (See image above).

For the pocket strips (numbers 2 to 6 and 14 to 18):

3. Press over the seam allowance on the top edge of each pocket strip and stitch this top edge in place.

4. Make a box pleat between each pocket by bringing the sides of each pocket together to meet the dotted centre line. (See image below).


5. Press and tack (optional) the side and bottom seam allowances on each of the two pocket strips.


Once you have completed the above for the pocket strips, you now turn your attentions to the individual pockets.

6. Press over the seam allowance on the top edge of each pocket and stitch this top line in place.


7. Press and tack (optional) the side and bottom seam allowances on each pocket (as per above image).

8. Pin each pocket and pocket strip onto the advent panel and tack (optional) in place.


9. Stitch each individual pocket in place on the advent calendar. Then stitch around the outer edge (2 sides and bottom) of the pocket strips attaching them to the advent calendar. Stitch along the blue dotted lines in-between each pocket on the strips, being careful to avoid catching the top of any of the pockets.



10. Layer the panel with wadding and choose a co-ordinating Christmas pattern to back the panel. As mentioned above, I decided to use the Winter Wonderland Robins which I felt complimented the front nicely, pin the 3 layers together or use some wonder clips to hold everything in place.

Now it's time to quilt the panel. I opted to sew around the edge of the Christmas Tree and then along the outer edge of the central panel. Finally I also sewed along the outer edge of the green polka dot border. However there are lots of options which would look great, so this is your chance to start personalising your calendar.


11. Having quilted the panel and when thinking about the binding, I decided to trim the advent calendar to the outer edge of the red polka dot border, however this was just my preference and is definitely not a requirement.

11. Having tidied up the edge of the panel, it was then time to make loops (you may chose to make a sleeve along the top edge of the panel) in order to hang the finished calendar. I cut one piece of Kona Cotton Solid - Storm 6cm x 50cm then pressed it along the long edge 1/2cm in on both sides. Then fold the entire piece in half lengthwise. Top stitch both edges lengthways and then cut the length into 4 even pieces - each approximately 12.5cm long.


12. Loop each of the 4 tabs in half and then pin or hold with some wonder clips to the top of the advent calendar spacing evenly across the top - match raw edge to raw edge. Sew these tabs securely in place.

13. Now bind the advent calendar. I decided to opt for a Polka Dots Bias Binding Navy as I felt this matched nicely. If you are unfamiliar with finishing a quilt, there are lots of videos available online to teach you how to apply the bias binding, here is just one example, however, you can search for others depending on what type of bias binding you are using.


14. I decided to keep things simple this year and simply wrapped some ribbon around a wooden rod, threading this through the 4 loops and then attached some mini pom pom braid too. However, this is your opportunity to tailor the finish according to your tastes, if you saw the tutorial I posted for last year's Dashwood Studio Christmas Wish advent calendar, you'll have seen that I added a pom pom trim to the bottom - this would also work nicely here.

Your advent calendar is now complete - fill with treats and enjoy!

Winter Wonderland Advent Calendar Kit - 2

We have put together a 'Complete DIY Advent Calendar Kit' for this Dashwood Studio Winter Wonderland panel, so if you like this particular finish, then simply buy the complete kit here.



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Vintage Market by Tasha Noel - Riley Blake

Having been a huge fan of Tasha Noel's designs for some time now, I can only say I was delighted last week, when the delivery of her latest collection arrived here at Poppies & Polka Dots.

Vintage Market does not disappoint, the cute characters that we have become used to from Tasha Noel; this time are featured as part of a vintage market place or cycling home with a basket of flowers. Combine these with pretty florals and garlands of strawberries, makes for a wonderful and fun collection that we are completely smitten with!

Vintage Market - Tasha Noel - 1 Vintage Market - Tasha Noel - 2

Dashwood Studio - Christmas Dreams versus Winter Wonderland

Back in February I asked the question on social media, should I order Dashwood Studio's Christmas Dream collection for 2015 or their Winter Wonderland collection?

Dashwood Studio - Winter Wonderland Fat Quarter Bundle Christmas Dreams

I loved both, although they are very different and really didn't know which one to opt for.
The response I received was completely overwhelming, it was wonderful to receive so much feedback and the overall opinion was the need for both!
To be honest in the end I didn't need much persuading, I had been so torn myself that the sensible option seemed to be "when in doubt, go for everything!"

So here we are five months on and I am delighted to say that both collections have now arrived and are available on the website:
Dashwood Studio - Christmas Dreams
Dashwood Studio - Winter Wonderland

Neither have disappointed, as previously said, they are quite different although both are a playful representation of Christmas and the festive season. Christmas Dreams uses bright pinks, greens, grey and teal with very bold illustrations. Whilst Winter Wonderland uses a darker pallet with navy blue and strong reds however still combines these with muted greens and teals. The combinations work beautifully, whilst the drawings are more delicate than those featured in Christmas Dreams, and include nordic-like details.

The Winter Wonderland collection also has a fabulous Advent Calendar Panel - which I cannot wait to get started on....I'll hopefully get a tutorial up on here as soon as possible!

Let me know what you think....any preferences between the two collections?

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Patty Doo - Zippered Pouch - Tutorial

I was recently looking for a pattern or design for a make up bag; which I wanted to make for a friend's birthday present. In the past I've made quite a few simple zipped make-up/ toiletry bags, but on this occasion, wanted to make something a little more special. I searched through various patterns and on-line tutorials, but the one that just kept coming back to me was the 'Zippered Pouch by Patty Doo'.
Zippered Pouch - Patty Do - Tutorial

If you haven't come across Patty Doo yet, she makes the prettiest items, with beautiful fabric choices and her sewing is so precise and very easy and clear to follow.

Unfortunately, if like me, you don't speak German, then not all of her tutorials have been given English subtitles. However, this particular one has and I absolutely love it!

Here's a few pictures I took whilst making this example. Patty Do - Zippered Pouch TutorialFor this particular one, I used fabrics from the Dashwood Studio Fly Away Collection, I love the delicate floral and birds that feature on the designs and thought they'd work beautifully with the pattern. Anyway, I think it works and really wanted to share this tutorial for it with you all, in case you haven't previously come across it.

So, I have been in touch with the lovely people at Patty Doo and they have kindly given permission for me to feature it here and on the website,  I hope you all love it as much as I do, let me know what you think below in the comments field x