Monday, December 26, 2011

Buying LOTS of Ribbon

Somewhere around November, I was randomly on etsy and I saw the cutest advent calendar I'd ever seen.  It was a row of white mittens all cutely embellished and numbered.  It was selling for $150.  I was somewhat incredulous.  I could totally do that, right?  How hard could it be?  And wouldn't it make a cute gift?  Feeling over-ambitious (and forgetting about the other work involved in the upcoming holidays and my sons impending tonsilectomy in early December), I figured heck, I could make what? 4? 5?  I bought tons of supplies and set to work.  And found myself having to table this craft for most of the holiday season.  I ended up making them for my two sisters and figure I will get to mine sometime before the next December 1st.
All in all, this was not too terribly complicated, just time-consuming and somewhat tedious.  I sort of invented this project as I went, and learned lessons along the way.  I used white felt for the mittens, white grossgrain ribbon about an inch thick sewed into a double-layer to connect all the mittens.  The embellishment is mostly rick-rack and various kinds of ribbon of different patterns and textures.  I love ribbon so it was not hard for me to buy many, many spools.  I am excited to have lots left over.  I ran into small wrinkles such as not being able to find pre-made numbers made out of felt that were the right size so I had to create stencils and cut them all out myself.  It turned out to be not as terrible to cut out all those numbers as I thought it might be.  I found that I could get all the numbers I needed out of a single 9x12 sheet of sticky-back felt.  Oh, and note about the sticky-back felt: I still had to use fabric adhesive to get the numbers to stay put.
The first calendar I made is of the red/green persuasion and all 24 mittens are different (I'm really proud of that).  It turned out very cheery and festive!

The second calendar is more a wintery-theme in blues and silvers.  It has four different mitten-styles and I made and used pom-poms to embellish the top.

I love them both.  I am still trying to decide how to do my own.  In keeping with most of my Christmas decorations, it will probably be mostly red.  At the moment I'm kind of done with sewing for awhile, but I will get back to it someday, I will, I will!  I love these sorts of advent calendars because they allow the flexibility to count down to Christmas however you would like: stuff them with candy, activities, scriptures, you name it.  It is a great way to create a holiday tradition.

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