Dashwood Advent Calendar Tutorial 2016

This tutorial is for the Dashwood Advent Calendar we released a few years ago called Christmas Wishes, but you can use the exact same method to create the brand new Festive Friends Advent Calendar too! If you make one of these please do share it with us on social media by using the hashtag #showcrafty so we can see how you get on! Enjoy!


For this, you will need Dashwood Advent Panel, Sewing thread, Iron, Sewing Machine (optional) Wadding, Backing fabric, Scissors and Bias binding.


The advent calendar, like many printed fabric calendars, does have instructions on the edges, sometimes they can be a little limited. Dashwood’s, however, is pretty good.

Start as they suggest by cutting out your back panel and the pocket strips.

Folding over the top seam allowance on the pocket strips, sew a straight line all the way along the top edge.

Continue to do this for all the strips.

Then one of the most fiddly but important steps to get your calendar to look really good is to iron small box pleats between each pocket.

Then iron under the bottom seam allowance to help hold those pleats in place before you can get to the machine.

Sew down the edge of each pocket, when it comes to the centre of the pleat, be careful not to stitch down the edges of the pockets but to catch only the back of the pleat to the back panel.

Work your way along each strip then finish off the row by sewing along the bottom of the strip of pockets all at once.

By doing this rather than stitching the three edges directly to the backing your pockets have a little more room to fit larger advent gifts in.

Carry on in the same way until you have attached all the rows of pockets to the back panel.

The next step is to add your backing fabric, I used a fat quarter.

Place your panel and the backing with right sides  (printed sides) together.

Sew all the way around three edges of the line where the red and green print meets.

Turn your calendar right side out.

Leave one edge open so you can insert a layer of wadding the size of your backing panel.

Pop your layer of wadding in and to keep it in place you can stitch through all the layers. We stitch around the inside of the red border and in-between each row of pockets.

To close up the open edge we sewed bias binding in a complimentary colour across the top and added some tabs to hang it on to a dowel.

If you prefer to, sew a strip along the top just on the backside to take a dowel.

I hope that has helped any of you thinking of having a go at making this. We have just a few of this panel, Christmas Wishes, left in the shop at the moment, but a whole load of brand new Festive Friends, if that takes your fancy instead. Both are just gorgeous. Let us know how you get on! 😀


Festival of Quilts 2016

Our pal and member of our design team Lou popped over to this years Festival of Quilts, had a ball, and decided to tell us all about it, with some FAB piccies! Thanks Lou! These are great!

Hi Ladies,

FoQ was amazing! It’s a sewing /quilting paradise filled with so many amazing quilts and shops full of fabric!
This year, for the first time they had a modern quilt category, so it was great to see so many amazing quilts that I’ve been admiring via IG in actual real life!
It’s also a great opportunity to meet up with other seeing  friends, old and new!
Here’s some of my favourite quilts:
unnamed-1 unnamed

Look at the matching binding! Winner of modern quilts category – Sarah Humpherys


Winner of best in show. An epic whole cloth quilt by Sandy Chandler

By Beatrice Lanter

By Anna Galvin
By Ellen Beavan
By Jennifer Letchet

Both above quilts by Nicola Howard Hobbs (that bottom one is a hand pieces La Passacaglia!

There’s also a quilt creations category. Here’s a few eye catchers from there:
By Claire Dollin
By Louise Jessup
By Daisy May Collingridge.
Stunning creations – thanks for sharing Lou! If you go to any amazing exhibits or shows related to sewing and craft please let us know, and send us some piccies if you’re happy to share! 🙂

90s Wish List

I don’t know about you but I was a bit “creative” with my fashion in the 90s, way before I know that it was okay. My style guru wasn’t Janet Jackson, or Kylie, as much as I loved them. I wanted to BE Clarissa Darling. I couldn’t be happier that the 90s are officially back! Who knew that such a miss-match of retro/neon fashion choices would be considered a trend 20 years later. Clarissa, or the shows stylist, took the current trends to the extreme and made it okay for little girls, and boys, to find their own style in life.

So here is my 90s wishlist, based entirely on my favourite episode of Clarissa Explains It All, complete with links so you can grab your own crazy 90s style haul. Enjoy!


1 Neon Snap-back – 2 McDonalds Style Glasses  – 3 Plain Black Converse – 4 Neon Baggy Socks – 5 90s Toys Pin Badges – 6 Sew Crafty Pin Badges – 7 Baggy Ripped Jeans – 8 Vintage Floral Waistcoat – 9 Neon Zips – 10 Neon Bum Bag – 11 Board Shorts – 12 Tie Dye Tee – 13 Keith Haring Tee

  1. Snap-backs were huge in the 90s, but you HAD to wear it backwards of course. Make it super 90s by adoring it with your favourite enamel pin badges!
  2. Remember these?? They came free with McDonalds Happy Meals maybe 5 times during the 90s and everyone had them. Now they’re a fashion statement! Follow the link to grab your own either with plain glass, your prescription, sunglasses, or prescription sunglasses, and tell everyone you kept them for 20 years! Available in blue, red, yellow, white, pink and green. From just £6 a pair. I followed the steps and got a good quality, uv and scratch resistant prescription sunglass pair for just £21! Amazing!
  3. Classics. Nuff said.
  4. Asos are the bomb, we all know that. They’ve got your 90s socks needs covered Boo.
  5. Grab the pins that suit YOUR style to pop on to your snapback now!
  6.  Our pins! These must be your style 😀
  7. These have been a staple for years now. But the baggier version are so 90s and only just come back into fashion, and I for one am so glad! So flattering on any figure and super retro.
  8. These will probably never be made new again, luckily there are hundreds of reasonably priced versions on ebay, this link will take you to them all!
  9. Add a zip to anything, make it neon and you are ready for the 90s. The Clarissa way.
  10. Bum bags! How did we live without bumbags for 20 years? Go go go!
  11. Swim shorts are getting longer, and everyone looks good in them. They cover a multitude of sins, and give you more fabric to help you show off your unique style.
  12. Of course you could do this yourself at home. You SHOULD do this yourself at home. There are plenty of tie dye kits out there. But if you’d want it now, and perfect, click the link.
  13. Clarissa wore her Keith Haring style tee ALOT in the show. She was already retro at the time wearing this 80s iconic artists work. Turns out that this might actually be an homage piece made for the show, and not from an actual piece of KH’s work. BUT you can easily create your own from a real KH work by downloading a high res image from Google and clicking the link in the list and getting your own unique tee printed up! Thats SO 90s.