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!
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.