I started thinking about making Thomas an advent calendar in 2010, but there just wasn't enough time.
Sometime at the start of October 2011 I took over the dining table with my sewing machine and spread out my fabric and started to make a plan.
My first thought was to sew pockets of coloured fabric onto a felt tree, rather like this one I had seen.
However, after making a few pockets (some too small, some too big) I couldn't see it working. So I embarked on my next idea - little stockings. I have always wanted to knit a series of advent socks, but know I will never get around to it. This was the quick(ish) solution!
After a few failed attempts I used a template I found online .
I sewed them inside out with a 1/4" seam allowance, trimmed the seams, turned them inside out and pinked the tops.
I then cut out felt circles and numbers (I printed the numbers from Word and cut around them using tiny scissors). Bondaweb was my friend when it came to fixing the numbers. The heat from the iron also helped as it felted the two lots of felt together so the numbers don't stand proud of the circles. The final flurish was to add ribbons and buttons/bells to hang them with.
I managed all of this before the 1st December - which I was a bit shocked about because it was done in 10/15 minute bursts, whilst Thomas was napping in the day and I had finished my chores.
This year I filled them with mini Cadbury treat size chocolate bars. (I learnt very quickly not to let Thomas eat the Flake bars!)
Next year I have plans of creating some little knitted items to put into the stockings which we can hang up somewhere to help us count the days as you can't really tell which stockings are full and which are empty when they are hanging up. I've seen this advent garland pattern and feel some of these may work.