Sunday, 22 November 2015

Charming Advent Pouches

Many years ago, I made an Advent Calendar for Deb and her family when they were living in North Yorkshire.  (The original post can be found here.)

I was so happy that she loved it and, what's more, uses it every single year .. and it got me thinking.  A handmade advent calendar is a wonderful present for the little ones - but it doesn't have to be elaborate.  The little fabric pouches can be used in many different ways.

We thought we would show you a very simple way to make the pouches using charm squares (or if you would like to make your own - simply cut your fabric into 5" x 5" squares)


52 charm squares.  If you wish, the inside can be a plain fabric in which case, you would only need 26 'Christmas' squares of fabric.

Embroidery thread and needle

Fabric pen


1.  Line up your charm squares - right sides facing each other
2.  Stitch along one edge.  This is a fabulous project for chain piecing.
3.  Snip the chain between the fabric.
4.  Iron each set open
5.  Once the set is open, iron the sets in half lengthways, ready for sewing.
6.  Press closed and begin sewing from the corners.  
7.  Once you have stitched about 1.5" past the fabric join, stop, lift the needle and pull the fabric through the machine for about 1.5" - essentially making a giant stitch.  Picture 7 shows that the needles left the fabric at 'a' and didn't start sewing again until 'b'.  Finish the seam and then snip through the thread of the large stitch.  This creates the opening that the pouch will be pulled through.
8.  Using the gap that has just been created, turn the pouch inside out, press and then hand sew the small gap closed.
9.  Push one end of the pouch into the other.
10. Using a fabric pen, either draw (if you are confident and trace if you are not) the number of the bag.  Position the number towards the bottom so that the number is not distorted when the bag is closed.
11.  Using embroidery thread, chain stitch each number.

Once you get a system going, the pouches come together very quickly and then you can spend a relaxing evening in front of the television hand sewing all the numbers of advent.

If you are a bit stuck for ideas, what about - 
Action fabric for a little action man

  • Green combat fabric can be used for the little 'Action' man in your life.  It is green after all. Using a red ribbon to secure the pouches will give them a festive feel.  

Christmas 'Funk'
  • The 'hard to buy for' teen in your life might appreciate something tailored specifically for them.  What about some funky fabric in Christmas colours?

Super adorable faeries.

  • And we can't forget all the little Christmas Faeries in your life.  The fabric can be fussy cut to ensure that there is a faery on the front of each pouch.

The pouches can be used in so many ways - in a basket or a box.  They can be pegged onto Christmas twine with little pegs or you can create a 'hide 'n seek' advent by hiding one each day.  The little ones will love that.

Happy Christmas,
Louise & Deb

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Sunday, 8 November 2015

Regal Bookmarks

Someone in our household owns a bookmark collection, but a strict "no sharing" policy seems to have arisen over the years and I've resorted to grabbing whatever small piece of paper I could find to mark my pages as I read.  I thought it was probably time to make something a little more permanent, and dare I say regal, to use in future novels.


Using 2.25mm needles and crochet cotton, cast on 12 stitches.

Row 1:  Slip first stitch onto needle and then knit remaining 11 stitches.

Repeat row 1 a further 40 times - 41 rows in total.

Cast off leaving very long piece of thread attached to make crown topper.

For the crown topper:

Using length of thread attached and 2mm crochet hook, slip stitch into last cast off stitch of knitted row.  Chain 1 and single crochet into same stitch.

*Double crochet into next cast off stitch, Triple crochet into next cast off stitch, chain 3, slip stitch into end of chain 3, Double crochet into next cast off stitch, Single crochet into next cast off stitch.  Repeat from * until row is finished.

Block the bookmark (you can find our blocking tutorial here )

Happy reading!


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