Monday, November 21, 2011

Pleated Pocket Advent Calendar

 At long last here's my pleated pocket Advent calendar tutorial. 

For backing one piece of fabric 65 inches by 44 inches

  1. Fold fabric in half (with right sides together) so that it measures 65 inches by 22 inches if fabric is thin you may want to add some interfacing           
  2. Iron folded fabric
  3. Stitch around edge leaving an opening for turning.  Leave an opening at one short end so you can turn the fabric inside out
  4. Clip corners  and trim seam allowances
  5. Turn the project so the right side is now visible
  6. Iron flat
  7. Stitch around the edge taking care to neatly close the opening from turning - Use a decorative stitch or thread if you would like to add interest

For pockets  strip of fabric 14 inches by 37 inches for each of the six pockets - you can use different fabrics or choose to keep the fabric the same - *You may want to experiment a bit with the length of the strip you cut as it the way the pleats are folded may change the amount of fabric you need. 
6 strips of craft fuse interfacing 6 ½ inches by 36 inches (I cut a piece of interfacing that was 36 inches long and then cut it into 6 1/2 inch strips you could also piece the interfacing)    

  1. Fold strip right sides together so it measures  7 by 37
  2. Fuse interfacing to the strip (if you need to piece the interfacing together just overlap the edges a bit)
  3. Sew around the edges leaving one short end open for turning
  4. Clip corners and seam allowances as needed
  5. Turn through opening so that the right side is out
  6. Iron
  7. Stitch opening for turning closed
To create pockets
Cut a strip 1 inch by about 8 inch strip of card stock and a 5 inch by about 8 inch strip of card stock to act as folding guides. 
Iron each fold well.

Starting with the front up and make fold in 1 inch from the left hand side of strip 
Flip strip so the back is facing up and your fold is still on the left
Measure 1 inch from left hand side of strip 
Fold at the 1 inch mark - this makes and accordion fold
Measure 5 inches (notice the measuring card is inserted into the first pleat)

 Fold the strip from right to left (notice that the front of the strip is now up)
 Measure 1 inch from fold on right hand side  of strip
Fold strip from left to right (notice the back of the strip is now facing up)
 Flip strip so the front of the strip is facing up
Measure 1 inch from fold
 Fold from right to left (notice the back of the strip is now facing up)
Measure 1 inch from the fold on the right of the strip
Fold from left to right (notice the front of the strip is now up) the first pocket is now completed  continue in this way to complete the strip - pleated pocket Advent calendar photo set for step by step pictures

When you are done the front of your strip will look this
The back of your strip with look like this

You will want to add your numbers after you've pleated the strips so you can decide on placement and still attach them easily.  I fused steam-a-seam to the back of some fabric and cut out numbers to iron on - there's no stitching required with the steam-a-seam.  Hopefully they will stick well.  Last year I printed numbers on printable fabric and sewed them to my calendar. Add numbers however you like or leave them off if you prefer. 
Assembling the pockets
I spaced my pockets about 2 inches apart. 
I did a double row of stitching on the bottom of each pocket to add stability. 
Stitch between each pleat being careful not to stitch pleats down (I had to move the pleats aside as I sewed)
To stitch the first and last pleat lift the pocket out of the way and only sew through one layer of pocket. 

Make a pocket for hanging by folding the top of the backing to the back of the calender just above the top of the pockets.  Sew in place. Having the deep hanging pocket gives a bit of stability to the top of the calendar. 

Now that I finally have my new Advent calender done I'm excited to come up with ways to fill it!  Do you have plans for an Advent calendar?


  1. Great tutorial! So glad you linked up with us!