Friday, December 2, 2011


Two months ago Katie mentioned to me that she wanted to sew an Advent calendar. She grew up with a fabric one, and wanted something similar now that she has a baby of her own. I thought it was an awesome idea, and fell in love with the picture she showed me, so we decided to do it together. Katie found this pattern, we bought materials, and then we each started sewing.

I started mine on Sunday and finished it last night. It would have been quicker, except that my sewing machine is incredibly basic. It was purchased used 15 years ago and was pretty much the cheapest one my parents could find. I was able to sew the tree and, of course, the straight seams with it, but it completely butchered a snowflake and I knew not to even bother trying it on the intricate detailing of the numbers, so I ended up stitching all the numbers and snowflakes (and the star) by hand, which slowed me down.

But I finished it in the nick of time, on the first of December, and here is the finished product:

Each of those little pockets has a tiny wooden ornament in it, and every day you pin an ornament on the tree, so by Christmas the tree is completely decorated. Isn't that a cute idea? Plus, the pockets allow for so much flexibility. As Callum gets older we can stick little chocolates in there with the ornaments, or maybe slips of paper with holiday activities written on them (a la Elizabeth).

But for now, it's just the calendar, and the ornaments. And I love it. I feel so crafty! Like I've really CREATED a family holiday tradition, something that Callum will hopefully grow up adoring and looking forward to every year.

And, of course, we put up our tree. I won't put it up before Thanksgiving, but I do like to have it up for ages so we can admire it and feel happy every time we see it, so two days after Thanksgiving we bought it and decorated it. And put out our outside holiday lights. Now all we need is a wreath. But in the meantime the tree is sufficient.

The ornaments are the best part, naturally. He removed them from the tree himself. I was gratified to see that he grabbed a purple one first.


  1. I am so impressed with your craftyness. I have a wooden advent calendar that I dream the children will fight over after I am dead. (This reflects how much I want them to like it, not actual liking. Heh.)

    Anyway! We are doing ornaments on a little tree this year too! Kids make holidays exponentially more fun.

  2. WOW! That looks great! I cannot sew at all and these are the types of projects that make me wish I could!

  3. Ok, I may have snort/laughed when I read about your gratification. Hee.

    Looks great! I think it is pretty sweet that you stitched most of the advent calendar by hand.

    Your tree is beautiful! We just pulled our Christmas stuff out of storage last night and will spend the weekend decorating. I can't wait!

  4. That calendar is GORGEOUS!


  5. What a lovely advent calendar! My mom made one very similar to that when she was pregnant with me - a felt tree, embroidered numbers, and instead of pockets she safety pinned cute holiday-themed buttons ('ornaments') next to each number. When we were growing up, my sisters and I would take turns moving the buttons from each number to 'decorate' the tree, and on December 25 mom got the honor of pinning the star button on the top. It remains the tradition I remember most fondly, and when we have kids I plan to make a similar one to continue the tradition. Callum (and any more kids you guys might have) will definitely remember and enjoy this tradition!

  6. i love your tree! i am very bitter that i do not have a tree because of a specific asshole cat who does not allow such things in the house!

    that advent calendar is AWESOME. i'm very impressed! what a fabulous keepsake.

  7. It's so pretty! We don't have a full blown tree yet. Maybe we should get on that...