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! 😀