Getting Christmassy!

Last week I found that my to-do list wasn’t too long, so I took the opportunity to grab a few hours at work to make one of this year’s advent calendars from Stof Fabrics.

Rather than the traditional colours, I decided I would make one in the copper colour way to show people just how lovely and effective it is! Stof do some really lovely Christmas fabrics.

I had fun with a little free motion quilting on the top too, trying to follow the swirls 🙂  Think I succeeded ok!

copper advent calendar from Stof Fabrics

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Some Christmas sewing

We have a new sewing machine in the shop – the Janome Atelier 5, which was brought out in October. Although I had a quick go on it when it first arrived last month, I have been wanting to have a more in depth look at it so I could review it properly on the shop’s blog.

As yesterday was a quiet day I decided that I would use it to sew the advent stockings that I’ve been wanting to make. They are made from a panel by Makower which we sold in the shop. I hope that they redo them again next year because they just flew off the shelves and we sold out very quickly.

stocking advent bunting

The first decision I had to make was whether to line them, so I sewed a couple together, one with and one without and decided they were nicer with lining.

Then I had to decide how I was going to do the tops… do I put bias binding around them or if not, how do I fold them so it looks neat? They are quite small stockings and a bit fiddly! Fortunately my Mum was here with me and she had her new Elna 664Pro Overlocker with her. She suggested that we overlock the top edges of the stockings, cut the lining so that it was slightly shorter than the stocking pieces and then fold them back in order to hand stitch the top down.

overlocking stocking tops on Elna 664 Pro Overlocker

I also used Mum’s neat trick to put the lining in:

Cut out the lining pieces using the stocking pieces as a template.

Put the stocking piece and backing piece right sides together.

stocking right sides together

Put the two lining pieces together (if they had a right side, it would be the right sides together). Then pin them with the stocking pieces.stocking and lining together

Sew down the side, around the toe and up the other side. Leave the top open.

sewing advent stocking

You can then turn the stocking pieces inside out and the lining just falls into place, just like magic!

stocking right way out

All that is left to do, is turn the top edges down and hand stitch into place together with a ribbon to string them up. I decided they are too small to top stitch on the machine neatly. I’ll get them done this weekend hopefully.

Incidentally you can read my review of the Janome Atelier 5 here.

Sitting at the sewing machine

I spent a couple of evenings this week at the sewing machine.  Yes, I know… sewing, not knitting!  I haven’t actually done much knitting for a couple of weeks now.  I started a jumper at knitting club this week, but I think I’m going to start over with it, because I don’t like what I’ve done so far!

But I needed to make a sample advent calendar for the craft fair I’m attending in a couple of weeks time.

Christmas Tree Advent Calendar
Christmas Tree Advent Calendar

The sewing’s not perfect by any means, although the gold thread I used for quilting it is sooooo pretty.  I’d completely forgotten how to do the quilting on Mum’s machine so had to get her to remind me and I knocked the tension dial on the machine and sewed for ages before Mum pointed out that you could see the upper thread colour on the back on the piece which wasn’t right!

But hey, it’ll do as a sample and I’ll probably give it to my brother as a present when the craft fair is over!

If you’re interested you can buy the advent calendar fabric panel in my shop!

I’ve also blogged about the whole making process on the shop’s blog.

Christmas is coming!

I’m in the Christmas spirit.  Actually I have been for a little while now.  Mum and I went to a place called the Dartington Cider Press Centre yesterday which is where Dartington Crystal comes from.  But they have a number of different shops there – gifts, kitchen, toys, books – and there is always a festive spirit there in December.  It got me really in the mood and so when we got back, I spent the rest of the day sewing an advent calendar.

Yes, I know we’re already a week into December, but because sewing scares me, I have to be in the mood to do it.  I’d bought this advent calendar panel by Makower back in September at the craft fair we went to and decided I ought to make it before any more time had passed.

It took me all day to do, but I did it and I love it.  I’m quite chuffed with myself for doing it and it looks fab!

advent calendar

It has little pockets to put sweets or something in and my Mum said it’s like an heirloom because I’ll be able to get it out, year after year.