Monday, November 30, 2009

Fabric Garland/Advent... with Tutorial

This year, I decided that we'd countdown to Christmas a little different.... without spending any money! I love, love fabric garlands so I thought that I would incorporate that idea into an advent calendar type thing. I made 25 links, put them in a pretty glass vase, and each day in December one link will get added until it looks like the picture above. I figured out that by the end of the second week, the chain will be long enough to drape nicely. Until then, they will just snake along the mantle.

If you'd like to make your own, here's what I did.

You'll need:
-(25) 4.5 x 12.5 in. pieces of fabric (I went with random scraps, but you could be more coordinated if you are so inclined.)
-(25) buttons (I let my daughter rummage through the buttons and pick them out.... shear 5 yr old girl heaven!)
-You could use a light interfacing if you want, but I didn't.... just starched them well instead.
-Your basics - needle, thread, scissors, rotary cutter, ruler

Once you get your fabric pieces all cut out, iron them in half lengthwise, right-sides together. Then, with a 1/2 inch seam allowance, sew up the long edge and one of the short sides. Clip the corner and trip the seam allowance. You've made a tube that looks like this:

Then, carefully turn your tube inside out. Be careful about using pointy things when turning, you don't want to poke a hole in your fabric. Once they are right side out, iron them well. To finish the other end, turn the raw edges in about a 1/2 inch and press. Use a teeny seam allowance to close it up. (hint: Start stitching on the folded side instead of the seam side. My machine likes it much better that way.)

Now here is where I had to really overcome a major fear.... buttonholes. If I can do it, so can you! Mine are not perfectly perfect by any means, but they work (glad my machine has good instructions). Here's one before I opened it up. See, not so perfect. I put the buttonholes on the "pretty" end, the one without machine stitching because that is the side you are going to see when you button them up.

Once you have that done, all you have to do is sew a button on the other end!.... Easy Peasy!
This entire project took me a few hours. The bulk of the time was spent choosing, cutting, and ironing the fabric.

Happy Holiday Crafting!!!


idyll hands said...

This is a very, very cute idea.

TheTwistedPurl said...

This is such a cute idea! I may just have to make one! Thank you so much for sharing. :)

Rat Trap Press said...

Okay, my wife likes this idea, so I'll probably give it a shot when I get my machine back from the shop (for cleaning and tension adjustment). The only problem for me are the button holes. My machine has a scary looking attachment for making buttonholes. There are instructions, but they have been chewed up by a dog at some point. What other method would you suggest for closing the loops? Could I sew on Velcro tabs?

dogwood said...

Thanks guys!

You could totally use velcro instead of buttons... or snaps even!