20 October 2017

A Little Happy Sew Along ~ Advent Calendar ~ Cutting Instructions and Embroidery

Welcome to week 1 of the Advent Calendar a little happy Sew Along!  Thank you for sewing along and big thank you to everyone that purchased a kit from us!!  This week, I'll be giving all the cutting instructions, plus we'll be getting all the embroidered elements ready.

BEFORE STARTING Always Remember to:

1. Read all instructions before you begin.
2. RST means right sides together.
3. All seam allowances are 1/4”.
4. FWOF means width of fabric.
5. If you need any help, please do get in touch!

Cutting Instructions

I've shown above the three different kits that we offered on the website...you can order one HERE, but by all means feel free to grab some fabrics from your stash!  

Here's what you will need to make your Advent Calendar:
  • A - Binding - Cut (3) 2 1/2" x FWOF strips
  • B - Front Top - Cut (1) 8 1/2" x 18 1/2" rectangle
  • C - Numbers - Cut (1) 7" x 17" rectangle 
  • D - Linen Front - Cut (1) 18 1/2" x 21 1/4" rectangle
  • D - Linen Christmas Countdown Panel - Cut (1) 5 1/2" x 10 1/2" rectangle
  • E - Pockets, from each of 8 different Fabrics - Cut (3) 3 1/2" squares
  • F - Backing Fabric - Cut (1) 20 1/2" x 31" rectangle (for those of you who purchased kits you can leave this piece of fabric as is)
  • F - Pocket Linings - Cut (4)  3 1/4" x 18 1/2" rectangles
  • H - Pocket Trims - a selection of ribbons and lace 
  • - Buttons - (4) small buttons for Pockets and (1) large button for the Countdown Panel
  • J - Ribbon for ties

You'll also need (not pictured)
  • Light Weight Sew In Interfacing I use Vilene L11 Cut - (1) 7" x 17" rectangle for the numbers and (1) 5 1/2" x 10 1/2" rectangle for the Countdown Panel 
  • Wadding - (1) 20 1/2" x  31" rectangle  (for those of you who purchased kits you can leave the wadding enclosed as is)
  • Aurifil 12 wt Thread or Embroidery Floss in a complimentary shade.

Lets get stitching!

First off you will need to print of THIS TEMPLATE, which includes both the numbers and also the Christmas Countdown text.

Rather than embroidering the numbers on to individual 2" squares, it's far easier to work with a larger piece of fabric.

So, on your Fabric C rectangle, using an erasable marker draw a rectangle measuring 6" x 16", then within this, draw a grid with 3 rows x 8 columns with the squares each measuring 2", you will have 24 squares in total.

At the centre of each square pop a little dot.....make sure that what ever you use to do this, it is erasable!!!

Transfer the numbers on to the fabric from the sheet you have printed off, using the dot (as shown by the arrow) to help you position them centrally within each of the 2" squares.  You may find THIS TUTORIAL helpful.   Using Back Stitch embroider all the numbers.  A Back Stitch tutorial can be found HERE.

Once you have embroidered all the numbers (1 - 24), cut using the drawn grid lines as a guide,  the (24) individual 2" squares.  From the piece of interfacing put aside for the numbers, cut (24) 2" squares.

Place a 2" square of interfacing on top of the right side of an embroidered 2" number square.  With a 1/4" seam allowance sew around all 4 sides.  Overlap the stitches at the start / end for a secure finish.
Snip off all four corners, taking care to ensure that you do not cut through the stitches.
Carefully cut a little cross in to the interfacing only.
Turn through.... a chop stitch is great for pushing out the corners.
Give each square a nice press and make sure that the centre dot reference point is removed.
Repeat for all 24 numbers!

The Christmas Countdown Panel is made in exactly the same way...just a little big larger.......  

You will need the piece of Fabric D Linen and the piece of Sew In Interfacing both measuring 5 1/2" x 10 1/2".

Then as before.......transfer the Christmas Countdown Text to the centre of the linen and embroider using Back Stitch.  Place the interfacing on top and sew around with a 1/4" seam.  Trim the corners, then pop a cross in to the centre of the interfacing...turn through and press.

Please remember, so that mum and I can follow your progress, if you're sewing along and sharing on social media please use the hashtags:

#alittlehappysewalong or/and #prettyfabricsandtrims

That's it's for this weeks Sew Along.  See you next Friday when we'll be working on the pockets and adding all the pretty trims..... my favourite bit!!


  1. I was working all day yesterday, and then on call for the night. So today, I took a shower and had a nap. Then I went out into the garden and potted on some seedlings for my dream of a cut flower garden next year. Now I'm back indoors, making a start on the calendar. This is so my ideal afternoon! Messing around with pretty fabrics and trims, the smell of starch, and the joy of seeing a project come together. I will try and get to grips with the hashtag thing so I can share my progress.

    1. Hi Sara, hope you have lots of happy stitches! xo

  2. Oh Sarah, what a lovely project to get the brain thinking about Xmas. printed off the template for the numbers but my erasable pen has dried up,bother! can't wait to start this. Thank you for sharing. Sharon x

  3. Hi Sarah, I received a bundle of lovely fabric so I can start to make Advent Calender, how lovely it is too. Just a couple of questions please. Fabric C is for the numbers is it embroidery fabric? Also what fabric did you use for backing & pocket linings? Lastly what sort of wadding? Thanking you in advance, Claire X

    1. Hi Claire, thank you for stitching along. The Fabric C used in the kits is a linen look 100% quilting cotton. I used a Bella Solid for both the backing and pocket linings. The wadding I use for nearly everything is 100% cotton Sew Simple low loft wadding/batting. Hope that helps! Sarah xo

  4. Do you have a link for the tutorial for adding the pockets and pretty trims? You mention that at the bottom of this post.

    1. Here you go: https://alittlehappyplace.blogspot.com/2017/10/a-little-happy-sew-along-advent_27.html xo


Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment, it really does make my day! If you have a question, please do ask away and I will do my very best to answer. Sarah xo

Update July 2020: Unfortunately, due to a large increase in spam and inappropriate comments, I have turned on 'Comment Moderation', so your comment will not appear immediately. My apologies for this!

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