Sample Project From Sew Advent Calendars

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Sew Advent Calendars

There’s no need to leave your faithful friend out of the festive fun this year – but do make sure you hang their calendar out of reach so that the biscuits aren’t all eaten on the first day!

Finished size
79 x 28cm (31 x 11in)


Extract from

Sew Advent Calendars by Debbie Shore

Published by Search Press

Count down to Christmas with the new title from bestselling author Debbie Shore; her books have now sold a total of over 313,000 copies. This is the perfect guide to sewing fun, personalised advent calendars for loved ones - perfect for filling with festive treats and handpicked goodies. There are 20 designs included, from traditional flat-pocket calendars to hanging cones and festive pouches, for both adults and children alike, along with a treat-filled calendar for the family dog! At time of writing there isn’t a comparable title on the market, and the trend for creating handmade, personalised, Instagrammable Christmas traditions is very popular. The book contains all the techniques needed to make the calendars, and every project is shown clearly step by step, with helpful tips and advice throughout. Using Debbie’s friendly and easy-to-follow instructions, readers will want to get crafty and create new festive family traditions!

© 2018 Debbie Shore / Search Press · Reproduced with permission.


  • Step 1

    Mark on your body fabric a rectangle measuring 49.5 x 18cm 
(19½ x 7in), but don’t cut this out yet. Place your dog head template 
at the top of one end and the tail at the top of the other end; draw around these shapes onto the fabric. Round off the bottom two corners of the rectangle with your circle template. You’ll have a long, legless dog shape; cut out two pieces.

  • How to make an advent calendar. Canine Calendar - Step 2
    Step 2

    Cut out four foot pieces using your template. Sew right sides together in pairs, leaving the top open. Snip into the curves, turn right side out and stuff with a 
little toy filler.

  • How to make an advent calendar. Canine Calendar - Step 3
    Step 3

    Cut a piece of wadding/batting to the same shape as the body. Fuse it to the wrong side of the front of the dog with spray adhesive if you wish. Tack/baste the feet, facing upwards, to the tummy, 5cm (2in) from each side.

  • How to make an advent calendar. Canine Calendar - Step 4
    Step 4

    Pin the two body pieces right sides together and sew all the way round, leaving a turning gap of about 10cm (4in) across the dog’s back. Remove the pins and turn right side out. Hand sew the opening closed.

  • How to make an advent calendar. Canine Calendar - Step 5
    Step 5

    Cut out two ear pieces using your template. Sew right sides together, leaving the top open. Snip around the curves, then turn right side out and press, with the open top tucked inwards.

  • How to make an advent calendar. Canine Calendar - Step 6
    Step 6

    Pleat the top of the ear and sew to the dog’s head, 2.5cm (1in) from the centre top. Hand sew a French knot as an eye.

  • How to make an advent calendar. Canine Calendar - Step 7
    Step 7

    To make the coat, draw a 2.5cm (1in) grid all over the outer fabric with an erasable ink pen. Place the lining wrong sides together with the outer fabric, with the wadding/batting sandwiched in between, then sew over each line to quilt. Trim the edges if necessary, then use your circle template to curve the bottom two corners, as shown.

  • How to make an advent calendar. Canine Calendar - Step 8
    Step 8

    Apply bias binding all around the coat; fold over the first end of the tape, then overlap the opposite end when they meet.

  • How to make an advent calendar. Canine Calendar - Step 9
    Step 9

    To mitre the corners, stop sewing 5mm (¼in) before the corner, keep the needle in the fabric but lift the presser foot, then fold the tape to create a neat triangle. Line up the edges of the tape and coat and continue sewing along the next edge:

    [ Applying bias binding
    And here’s how to apply your bias binding. A neat, mitred corner really gives a professional finish to a project, and it’s not difficult when you know how...
    1 Open out the bias tape and pin right sides together with the edge of your project. Fold over the first end of the binding. Sew along the crease line but stop 1cm (½in) from the corner and back-tack to stop the stitches coming undone.
    2 Take the tape along the second side, making a triangular pleat in the corner. Fold the pleat away from your stitch line, pin in place, and sew along the second side, again stopping 1cm (½in) from the end.
    3 Continue in the same way around the next three corners. When you’re back to where you started, overlap the ends of the tape by about 5mm (¼in).
    4 Fold the tape over to the back, tucking the folded edge under, and you should see neat mitres forming: mirror the same mitres on the reverse. You might need to use fabric clips to hold the edges together as the fabric will now be quite thick. Sew the bias tape in place by hand with a slip stitch, making sure your machine stitch line is covered by the tape.
    5 When you’re finished you’ll have really neat, square corners both from the front of your work and from the back! ]

  • How to make an advent calendar. Canine Calendar - Step 10
    Step 10

    Wrap the binding around the edge of the coat and sew, either by hand from the back of the coat or by machine from the front.

  • How to make an advent calendar. Canine Calendar - Step 11
    Step 11

    Draw two lines across the coat with an erasable ink pen, 11.5cm (4½in) and 16.5cm (6½in) from the top. Make twelve marks across each line, 4cm (1½in) apart. Cut twenty-four 15.25cm (6in) lengths of string, and hand sew one over each of these marks.

  • How to make an advent calendar. Canine Calendar - Step 12
    Step 12

    Place the coat over the dog, wrapping the top of 
the coat over the dog’s back by about 4cm (1½in). 
Pin, then sew to the back of the dog across the top 
of the bias binding.

  • How to make an advent calendar. Canine Calendar - Step 13
    Step 13

    Fold the coat back over the dog. Tie a biscuit to each piece of string, then trim the string if necessary. Glue numbers 1–12 across the top of the first row, and numbers 13–24 underneath the second row. Pop a little glue onto the back of the coat to hold it in place.

  • How to make an advent calendar. Canine Calendar - Step 14
    Step 14

    Thread the dowelling through the back of the coat and tie the remaining string to each end to hang.

    You could use a button for the eye, and why not make your pooch a collar?

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