Advent Calendar

Many, many years ago, my sister, mother and I sat down and embroidered an advent calendar for my grandmother. While talking about Christmas and advent calendars she mentioned that she had never had an advent calendar. My grandmother’s birthday was on November 30th so we thought it would be fun to make her an advent calendar that year and it was a huge success. For years she would give us her advent calendar a week before her birthday and we would fill it for her.

When she died the advent calendar disappeared into a cupboard and none of us really thought about it. That is, until my mother got it out and gave it to me for Little Miss Bossy-Boots. The calendar had definitely seen better days and most of the little bags were falling apart.

Advent Calendar Before

Therefore I decided last year to take all the bags apart and sew new ones.

Advent Calendar During


I also used some woven vilene to stabilise the embroideries. Some of the bags we made were hardly big enough for more than a praline so I’ve tried to make these a little bigger. The easiest way was to sew a ‘frame’ around the embroidery and for this I bought a lovely red and white stripe that reminds me of candy canes. The back of the bags is a green cotton from my LQS.

Advent Calendar After

I’m so happy that this advent calendar is in use again. I haven’t quite finished all the bags so I’m sewing like mad to keep up with finishing and filling them. This calendar will hopefully be in use for another twenty-something years now that it’s all fixed again and all the work is definitely worth it, I think.

Bella’s Book Bag

Right, I missed one day of blogging. Yesterday felt like one quick blur and before I knew it I was in bed and too tired to even think about a blog post. Never mind.

Today Little Miss Bossy-Boots is invited to her little friend Bella’s fifth birthday party. Now I don’t know about you but my go-to gift for kids is always books. I love books, always have, and believe that it’s very difficult to be bored when you have the ability to read.

We got Bella “The Snail and the Whale” by Julia Donaldson (which is one of my favourites!) and I made a quick and easy reversible book bag to put it in. The stripy fabric is a vintage pillow case, the glittery Disney Princess was given to me by a friend.

The stripy side has a big pocket for a library card or some tissues.

Stripy handles and a little stripy flower finish it off. The princess fabric is more see-through than I realised. The stripes shimmer through even though I used some sew in interlining. Never mind.


A Birthday Skirt

Little Miss Bossy-Boots is invited to a birthday party tomorrow. Her friend Rebecca is turning four and when I asked her what she wanted for her birthday the answer did surprise me quite a bit:

a new skirt.

Well, Im happy to oblige. When Little Miss Bossy-Boots was still a baby I bought some fabric with the thought of making her a dress. Fast forward three years and the fabric is still here uncut. Or rather ‘was’. Because I turned it into a skirt and hair tie for Rebecca.

I hope she likes it.


A Rescue and a Finish

What do you do when your daughter’s favourite Barbie loses a leg? You turn her into a mermaid, of course.

I used some red organza leftover from the days when I made theatre costumes at uni. It has a beautiful golden sheen, perfect for making a fish tail.

First I layered the organza with some sew in interfacing and sewed a scallop pattern all over it to mimic scales. I didn’t do a great job but I don’t believe Little Miss Bossy-Boots minds. Then I cut out a mermaid tail shape (is there such a word in the English language?), added a heart shaped fin, sewed it together and turned it right side out. Next I removed the Barbie’s second leg and attached a pipe cleaner to the Barbie to ensure the tail could be moved into different poses. Then I put the pipe cleaner into the tail and added a little wadding to fill out the tail. My last step was to pull the tail over the Barbie’s bottom and hot-glue the tail to the Barbie’s body. Hey presto, a mermaid.


In other news Hester, the gorgeous Woodland Portrait by Jo Avery from Bearpaw, is finished!

I wish I’d had a darker blue floss for the name as it is rather difficult to read but it’s not the end of the world. Also, I don’t think this Hester is going to be alone for long, my friend Julie looooves rabbits so one might just make its way to Switzerland…