Wednesday, November 10, 2010

12 Days of Christmas Crafting - Day 1

Got your to do lists handy???

I decided to start off with a big project so I am breaking it up in 2 parts ;)  

I was kind of intimidated with starting with this project, but I really love this tutorial ...and honestly, it was not so bad (so don't be intimidated either).

Day 1 - Christmas Advent Calendar (part 1)

Tutorial found HERE

Now for my disclaimer... for some reason I can not just work with a pattern or tutorial as is.  There is nothing wrong with the patterns or tutorials, but for some reason I have the urge to change it.  More work for me *sigh*

That said, I did no do the tutorial exactly as done in the original tutorial linked.  Instead of making 4.5" squares for the pockets I purchased a jelly roll of Robert Kaufman's "Sparkle" (love that holiday collection!).

For those that don't know.  A jelly roll usually contains about 40 or so strips of fabric cut to 2.5".  This works b/c I get one dimension already cut and I can just go through and cut a bunch of 2.5" squares.  With the remaining fabric, I can piece it together and make bias tape ;)   Plus I get all those multiple prints for a good deal and one purchase.

***Just know, that if you choose to do the jelly roll method as well that your pockets will be smaller than the original tutorial.  

I only cut 25 of those.  There were 16 different prints in the jelly roll so I had a couple repeats.

Then I cut out 2.5" squares of coordinating prints.  I ended up with 50 total of those.

You will need 3 squares for each pocket.  This was the step I had to read and re-read.  After reading all the directions first, it made sense (I recommend that for you too).  instead of using my pretty prints on the back of the pockets, I will be using solids (hence the 50 2.5" squares of the solid colors and only 25 2.5" squares of the prints).

That said, materials I used:
  • 1 jelly roll of Robert Kaufman's Sparkle cut into 25 2.5" squares
  • scrap pieces of coordinating solid colors cut into 50 2.5" squares
  • Steam A Seam sheets (found in the sewing area of most fabric stores)
  • fabric paint with fine tip nozzle
  • white woven fabric

So, if I haven't lost you's time to have fun!!

1.  Decide what print you want with what solid.

I did this by laying my 25 print squares out on a 5 x 5 grid (that is how you are going to sew them down, so best to visualize it).  Then I started adding 2 solid squares to each of the solids and moved them around until I had it arranged and coordinated how I wanted.

2.  Time to add the numbers.  

I cut my Steam A Seam paper to an 8.5 x 11 (size of printer paper) to fit through my printer.

note: I have an HP ink jet printer and did not have any problems with the Steam A Seam sheet getting stuck in my printer... you may want to test it out first or take and alternate route.

I loved the font they used in the tutorial but found out it was the creators hand drawn numbers, bummer!
So, I played with some fonts in photoshop and came up with my own.  Best news, though, is I am sharing it with you guys if you care to use it.

You may notice that the numbers are mirrored...why?...I'm getting there....

Take your 8.5" x 11" sheet of Steam A Seam and place it in the printer to where it will print the numbers on the PAPER side of the sheet (NOT THE BUMPY SIDE!)

Print.  Don't cut the numbers out exactly, but a general shape around it (like the original tutorial)

Iron each number (iron bumpy side down) on the back of the coordinating fabric for each pocket and cut it out!

Peel the paper backing off, position the number on the front of the fabric you have selected for the front of the pocket and iron it down.  Mine are .5" from the bottom and side like recommended in the original tutorial.

And... I am going to go ahead and end this novel of a sew along here.  Tomorrow is part 2!

 In the original tutorial it has you applique the numbers.  Meaning you are going to sew around each of those 46 numbers individually..... 

I decided on a lazy more efficient route.  Using my fabric paint with its fine tip, I drew around each of the numbers.  Still a little time consuming but I like the outcome ;)  

If you prefer to applique the numbers, that will be your next step, but if you are painting them like me then I recommend saving that step until the end so you don't mess is up when piecing the calendar together.

With a steady hand and clean tip on your paint, it will look something like this (or better lol):

Happy sewing!!

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