As Christmas will soon be upon us, I decided that I would get out my sewing machine and try to make something festive….

My younger sister is pretty creative; Every Christmas her house is festooned with stockings that she has made for various people, all named,and with other little personal touches to make them extra special. She has festive bunting, also home-made, plus loads of other little Christmas bits and pieces that she has created over the years, .This along with the various tasteful lights she has, always makes her house seem magical .

Christmas dinner around her house is not only a gargantuan feast (she is a fantastic chef),  but everyone has a little personalised place-name, and the table is dressed to perfection, everything matching, and it is obvious that a lot of thought and effort has gone into it.

I am rather envious of how homely and welcoming her house is, and thought that I would have a go at making something Christmassy for my daughter that she can use each year, and maybe even for her own future children; after all Christmas is all about family and tradition….

I had already seen some thing that I wanted to make, It was an Advent bag! My sister had handmade a beautiful Advent Calendar herself with lots of different materials and little pockets for gifts each day, but I thought that might be a little ambitious for me and the Advent Bag  it was going to be.

I had actually bought the materials I needed over the last week, as I had seen this pattern some time ago. Mr Grump had resigned himself to the fact that I was determined to make this bag, and he reluctantly accompanied me into the fabric shop. I got out my little list of things I needed, but I hadn’t really been very specific so I ended up buying far too much stuff! A metre of velcro sounds about right. Oh and I need some fabric glue etc, until I came out of there as light in the purse as Mr Grump was purple in the face!!

I searched the town for other bits I needed, and ended up buying some velcro dots as well (they seemed easier to use), E Bay took care of the other small pieces I needed, and today as I had got all of my equipment together and had a bit of time on my hands (This giving up smoking lark has given me a bit of extra time plus I needed to do something with my hands) I was ready to begin.

Looking at the Tutorial (I had to make sure it was a step-by step one with photos) I reckoned it would only take me about an hour and I was looking forward to seeing the end result,..By the time I had got out my sewing machine, ironing board and other paraphernalia, I had lost a bit of enthusiasm, but as Miss Hap was out playing, and Mr Grump had fallen asleep in his chair, I decided I would get on as I had a bit of peace, with no interference.

I cut out all the bits I needed according to the pattern, and now came the exciting part of putting everything together…

Step 1, prepare pocket….I hadn’t cut out a bit for a pocket, there was nothing on the pattern for a bloody pocket!! Oh, well. I’ll have to wing it, and cut a bit of fabric that looks about the right size. That done I started on the outside…of the bag..After 3 attempts of sewing and unpicking, then re-sewing, that looked ok, so now the inside…great I have to attach the sodding pocket but it doesn’t say how..I did  what I thought looked right and carried on…

The velcro dots I bought were way too big for what I wanted, as were the lovely bright number stickers, but undaunted I made do with what I had, and wrote the numbers on by hand, plus cut strips of velcro from the metre I had bought (I used in total about 20cm)! Great now all I had to do were the finishing touches…

As I turned the bag the right way round I realised that I had put the bottom on the bag the wrong way around! Never mind, I managed to unpick that and put it right, Also the stupid pocket was sewn in down the side instead of across the back! Bugger! Oh well I took the scissors to the bag and cut the offending pocket straight out, no-one would even know that it was supposed to be there anyway!!

At last the finished result!! Mr Grump had somehow managed to sleep throughout most of my swearing, cursing and slamming around, but he wisely said  I had done a good job.  Miss Hap, however, had just come in from playing, and I said to her to stay out of the front  room for a minute as I was making something for her, and I didn’t want her to see it! “Oh no, you’re not making me a Halloween costume are you?” Great! I had spent ages making this damn thing that I hoped she would enjoy come December, but unfortunately Miss Hap has had previous experience of my sewing frenzies in the past (She still has the summer dress I made her out of ‘liquorice all sorts’ material unworn in her wardrobe)!!