This year for the festive season, Maison Sajou with the kind participation of embroidery teacher Catherine Rouchié, has come up with an Advent calendar. Some of you may know Catherine from her classes or our sales outlet at Le Bon Marché (now closed).
The Advent Calendar boxes:
We have prepared a box containing everything you need for this Advent calendar, including lining fabric and the hanging ribbons.
See the Sajou Advent Calendar box.
As an extra surprise, we have even prepared another box containing 24 Sajou products to put in your Advent calendar. All the items are products we sell regularly on our site.
See the Advent Calendar Surprise box.
Origins of the Advent Calendar:
Advent is the period when Christians prepare the Christmas celebrations. As with lot of Christmas traditions, the Advent calendar originated in 19th century Germany, where each day leading up to Christmas, children would receive a pious image. Over the years, these calendars have evolved and become more varied. We propose you make your own in embroidery.
The Maison Sajou Advent Calendar:
Our Advent calendar associates cross stitch and many variants, as well as easy traditional embroidery stitches. The motifs are embroidered on different fabrics for even more variety: red Aïda; 12 count off white linen and two colours of traditional embroidery linen. You will also be using a variety of our embroidery flosses – Retors du Nord, Tonkin and Laine Saint-Pierre, as well as our golden metallized thread.
Tie your 24 bags on a tree or make them into a garland.
Publication of free pattern charts:
The pattern charts are free and will be published every two days on our website. You can download them in A4 format. The first pattern chart will be published on Monday 10th October and the last one on Friday 25th November.
Each publication comes with detailed explanations. And of course we are here if you have any questions.
At the end you will have 24 gorgeous little bags measuring 11 by 15 centimetres which you can hang on your Christmas tree or suspend on a garland. They are frighteningly simple to sew – you will see how in our video how quick and easy it is.
Download the pattern charts here.
Cutting the embroidery fabrics:
Cut 5 pieces of red traditional embroidery linen measuring 13 x 32 centimetres, 6 each in red Aïda and off-white traditional embroidery linen, same dimensions and 7 in the 12 count off-white linen, still with the same dimensions.
Cut 24 pieces in the Toile de Jouy lining fabric, each measuring 13 x 32 centimetres.
The embroideries should all be done on the top half of the linen, well centred.
Sewing the Advent Calendar bags:
The size of each finished bag is 11 centimetres wide by 15 centimetres high.
Once the embroideries are finished, check that each piece measures 13cm by 32cm. If needed, cut to the right dimensions.
Cut two pieces of ribbon measuring 23cm each per bag.
You can follow the detailed explanations in our video below. As it is in French, you will find the translation below.
Place the embroidery on the lining fabric, right sides together.
Pin the embroidery on the fabric at the top and bottom, making sure they both have the same dimensions. If needed, cut to size. Fold in two, wrong sides together, a piece of ribbon and place in the centre of the top side (ribbon inside the two pieces). Pin into place.
Do the same on the bottom half. You will be machine stitching the top and bottom at 1cm from the edge: don’t forget to reinforce the stitches at the start and finish. Remove the pins as you advance.
Press open the seams with your nail and remove any straggly threads.
Place the two seams on top of each other, pin all along one side. Do the same on the other side but leave an opening of roughly 6 centimetres, which will enable you to turn the bag right side out. This must be on the lining fabric side.
You can now turn your bag right side out, using a knitting needle or scissors to push out the corners. Flatten out and sew shut the opening close to the edge.
Now place the lining inside the bag, press with a fingernail and iron on the back of the bag.
Do not iron on the embroidered side as this will not only flatten all your hard work, but could also melt some of the threads.