Today we have our final instructions for the Advent Calendar Sew-Along from Linda Feldman of Craft Apple! Add your progress photos (and show off that finished calendar!) in our In A Pear Tree Advent Calendar Sew-Along Flickr group for a chance to win Craft Apple sewing patterns!

For cutting instructions and ideas for the Advent windows see Part 1. Learn how to assemble the front of the calendar in Part 2. In Part 3 you cut leaf and pear openings, and add optional art for the windows.

Post #4 Goal: Add Buttons, Bind and Finish

1. Attach Buttons
With a small dot of glue to the back of each button, place 16 around the inside of the circle as shown and 8 along the tops of each pear. Make sure the glue will not interfere with sewing through the holes or interfere with holding the windows open. Buttons should line up with the leaves. Note the orientation of the holes in the buttons to the leaves. Making sure the button holes are placed this way will make room under the button to hold the windows open.

Stitch the buttons in place, sewing through all layers.

*Hint: I used my machine to stitch the buttons. I did NOT use my button sew-on presser foot because it allows buttons to be loose for use in clothing items that will actually be buttoned. For this project, the buttons should be sewn on tightly. Any open-front presser foot will work here.

2. Create Binding
From binding fabric, cut 2” strips and join them together until you have a continuous strip that is at least 110” long.

Join 2 strips as shown, RIGHT sides together laid perpendicularly. Stitch at a 45º angle.

Snip excess fabric, leaving ~ ¼” seam allowance.

Open fabric strip and press seam allowance flat.

3. Bind the Calendar
This next part is much easier to show with diagrams (pardon the inconsistency).

Fold over one short end of strip ½” toward the WRONG side. This folded end will be where you begin your binding. Starting in the center of a long side, begin laying the binding along the edge of background, RIGHT sides together. Starting ~5” from the fold, stitch the binding to the background (through all layers) using a ½” seam allowance. Stop sewing at the corner ½” from the edge (shown with dot) and snip thread.

At the corner, fold the binding up as shown…

… And fold back down so that the raw edge is flush with the raw edge of the background. Start sewing from the top of the corner and continue sewing, treating each corner in the same way.

Stop sewing 1” before you reach the folded edge of the binding where you began. Let binding over lap 1½” and trim away extra binding. Sew across the gap in stitching.

Now back to pictures!

Here’s a shot of the binding that has been sewn on:

Flip binding toward outside and press.

Continue to fold binding toward the back. Pin in place and stitch around entire calendar, stitching in the ditch, securing the binding to the back of the calendar.

What does “stitch in the ditch” mean? When you fold the binding up toward the back, the “ditch” is where the binding and the background come together on the front of the calendar. Stitching with your needle dropping into the ditch is referred to as “stitching in the ditch” and should be almost invisible from the front. For some machines, a “stitch in the ditch” presser foot is available.

4. Attach the Ribbon (optional)
The ribbon on this calendar is decorative. This calendar will easily lean against a wall or rest on a shelf. If a ribbon is desired, snip ribbon to desired length and attach by securing it to the back of the calendar with pins and stitching in the ditch to attach. My ribbon is centered with an 11” space in between ends. Please note that with hanging, the stabilizer may not hold its shape well.

Congratulations, you’re done! Thanks so much for sewing along with me!

Comment today for your chance to win a new sewing book! We’ll select two winners from the comments each week. This week you might just win Sewn by Hand: Two Dozen Projects Stitched with Needle & Thread or Get the Most from Your Sewing Machine. For book details see this post, and don’t forget to add your progress photos to our Sew-Along Flickr Pools for more chances to WIN!