In a Pear Tree Advent Calendar Holiday Sew-Along

on October 5 | in Handmade Holidays, In a Pear Tree Advent Calender Sew-Along, Sew-Alongs, Sewing Tutorials + Patterns | by | with 54 Comments

Linda Feldman of CraftApple joins us today with this lovely design for an Advent Calendar. Join us each Wednesday in October for instructions, and add your progress photos to our In A Pear Tree Advent Calendar Sew-Along Flickr group for a chance to win some fabulous prizes! Find prize details here, and here are Sew-Along Materials Requirements for each of our three projects. Sew along with us!

Linda’s design will help you create a beautiful wall-hanging calendar with 24 windows that open. You can adapt the calendar windows to reveal images of the Christmas season, photos of your family, simple sayings or whatever you choose. We think Linda’s design would be perfect for a “connection” calendar that focuses on the spirit of the holiday season; one idea would be to write the name of a family member or friend behind every leaf and connect with that person that day through a visit, phone call, email or writing a card. We also love this resource for an activity-based calendar, and this tremendous resource for Advent ideas. What will you put in the windows? Tell us in the comments for your chance to win a new sewing book this week!

If there was a project that was made for combining a bunch of fun fabrics from your stash, this is it. One of the things I love about having a stash is pulling fabrics and laying them together, imagining what they’ll look like on a final project.

Post #1 Goals: A) Select fabrics, B) Gather supplies, C) Print pattern pieces, D) Cut fabric

*Hint about selecting fabric: For this project, medium to small prints are best. Large prints will be lost on the small pattern pieces. While the background may be able to handle a large print consider selecting a fabric with a consistent pattern so that the other elements can stand out.

Diagram of Terms

Fabric Requirements (Don’t cut yet! See instructions below for cutting.)

  • Fabric 1: Background – ¾ yard (need ~25” x 25” piece)
  • Fabric 2: Liner – ¾ yard (need ~25” x 25” piece)
  • Fabric 3: Tree trunk (need ~8”x5” piece)
  • Fabric 4: Circle (need ~10”x10” piece)
  • Fabric 5: Large leaves
  • Fabric 6: Pears
  • Fabric 7: Small leaves
  • Fabric 8: Bird
  • Fabric 9: Binding – ½ yard


  • Stabilizer: ¾ yard (need 24” x 24” piece”)
  • Fusible webbing: 2 ½ yards (I used Heat’nBond Lite, but Wonder Under would work as well)
  • Pattern pieces (PDF available here)
  • Rotary cutter
  • Disappearing ink fabric marker
  • 24 buttons with only 2 holes in center, ¾” size

Alrighty, after all the supplies are gathered, we are ready to start!

1. Print Pattern Pieces
*Hint: For pattern pieces, consider printing them onto cardstock. Cardstock will stand up to the multiple tracing better than regular printer paper.

When printing the pattern pieces, set page scaling to “none” in the Adobe Acrobat print window. The box marked “1 inch” on page 2 should measure exactly 1”x1”.

2. Prepare Background Fabric
Cut out a 24” x 24” square out of background fabric. Cover entire WRONG side with fusible webbing. Peel off paper backing.

*Hint: When fusing fabric to fabric with fusible webbing, it is best to press without sliding the iron across the fabric. Sliding the iron can cause the fabric to stretch and create wrinkles which are difficult to remove. Instead, press for the appropriate tie, then move the iron to an adjacent spot and continue to press until all the fabric is fused.

3. Prepare Liner Fabric
Cut out a 24” x 24” square out of liner fabric. Lay on background fabric, WRONG sides together. Fuse 2 layers of fabric together.

4. Cut Remaining Pieces
Trace 16 large leaves onto paper backing of fusible web as shown. Fuse large leaf sheet to the WRONG side of leaf fabric. Cut out leaves. Remove paper backing from leaves.

Repeat with remaining pattern pieces: small leaves (cut 4), pears (cut 12), circle (cut 1), trunk cut 1), bird (cut 1). Note: Bird will be reversed when fused.

See you back here next Wednesday for more steps!…

Don’t forget!: Post photos of your progress in the In A Pear Tree Advent Calendar Sew-Along Flickr group each week for a chance to win:

Add a photo of the fabric you’ve selected, the cuts you’ve made… We want to see it all! Every photo enters you to win.

Comment today for your chance to win a new sewing book! We’ll select two winners from the comments each week. This week YOU can win Everything Alice or Sewing with Oilcloth. For book details see this post, and don’t forget to add your progress photo to our Sew-Along Flickr Pools for more chances to WIN!

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54 Responses to In a Pear Tree Advent Calendar Holiday Sew-Along

  1. […] Calendar Sew-Along. Find a supply list, cutting instructions and ideas for the Advent windows in Part 1, and learn how to assemble the front of the calendar in Part […]

  2. Kerry says:

    Finally got to start on this yesterday. I’ve never done a sew along before and it’s so fun. Can hardly wait to get home from work and see what the next steps are!

  3. […] Find a supply list, cutting instructions and ideas for the Advent windows in Part 1. […]

  4. SueRay says:

    What a great project, I love using my stash.

  5. MissMary says:

    Anyone else feel like 2.5 yards of heat n bond was excessive? Maybe a half yard would do? Or are we using this for something else. Please help relieve my cognitive dissonance (i.e. confusion) 🙂

  6. Mary Ann Murray says:

    Love this and it’s the perfect time to make one.

  7. sara says:

    Getting a late start in the week…but I decided I’m going to do this sew along. I’ve wanted an advent calendar for years and this is a wonderful idea. I thought I’d choose scriptures to read each day.

  8. Ramona says:

    I forgot to mention that I am thinking of putting scripture readings behind each leaf.

  9. Jenn says:

    I am so excited about the project…I know we are sewing for home dec, but I plan on using this as a gift for my sister. She lives over seas, so we won’t be together for the holidays. I plan on making the Calendar and placing pics of the year behind each day so she will have a little reminder of those who love her all season long.

  10. Ramona says:

    I love the modern look of this advent calendar. I will definitely be making this.

  11. Teresa says:

    Advent calendars are one of those things I’ve always wanted to make, but haven’t. This year, though, that’s all changing…

  12. amy d says:

    What a neat idea….my kids will have a blast helping me make this one!!

  13. lucy says:

    I LOVE this advent calendar…. I’m going to fillet with bible verses 🙂 Im working on it right now, uploading to flikr and thank you so much for designing and sharing this xxxx

  14. Alexis says:

    The colors are a welcome change from traditional advent calendars. I always thought ours was boring! Such a cute idea. I would leave it up after the holidays because it is so ARTful!

  15. Beth T says:

    I love advent calendars. You’re really tempting me to join in.

  16. Brooke says:

    I really like this project…going thru my stash to see what I can use for it!

  17. wow! What an awsome project. I love the idea of puting the name of family members & friends and dedicating some time to them. We are often so busy during this season that we rapdly forget about the ones that really make them important. Great Idea!

  18. Katrina H says:

    What a cute sew-a-long idea!

  19. I’m excited to be apart of this challenge and the Pear Tree Advent Calender is such a wonderful design.
    Thank you,

  20. Jessica says:

    This is such a sweet advent calendar idea!

  21. Molly Martin says:

    Thank you for posting the tutorial! I am so tempted by every class you off but we live far far away alas, my computer is heavily bookmarked with Sew! Mama Sew! Ideas.

  22. rwebb says:

    I am so excited about this sew along, I have wanted to make an advent calendar for years so that we can do away with the purchased cardboard ones. I love the idea of a message behind each day and may include some charitable activities such as donating canned goods or making cookies for a nursing home.

  23. Monica says:

    Love it! It’s very modern looking and “adult”. No kids in this family but we still like celebrating Christmas.

  24. Mhairi says:

    Can’t wait to start this.

  25. Jen Galan says:

    I love that this will be done in time to use it this year!

  26. Muriël says:

    I love the modern look of this advent calender! I think I will put cute fussy cut fabric in the windows.

  27. Glenys says:


  28. Brandi says:

    We do an “activity” advent calendar every year with our kids. This would be perfect!

  29. Roslyn Power says:

    Purchased all my fabrics last night an am excited to get started, This is going to be a blast.
    (((HUGS))) Roz.

  30. Ginger says:

    What a “different” (and I mean this in a good way) advent calendar. This would be a hit in our house.

  31. Sarah says:

    I am so ready to get started! I am going to put a Bible verse reference behind each window. It would be fun to read a little part of the nativity story each day.

  32. Joanna says:


  33. Gina says:

    I am looking forward to participating in this sew-along. It’s my first!

  34. Julia says:

    excited for this! I always say that I’m going to make an advent calendar but I never start early enough. This will keep me on track! I think that I’m going to go simple and just put an embroidered number behind each window.

  35. Jessica E says:

    I can’t wait to start this!! I’ve got everything but my buttons.
    I can’t decide what I’m going to put in my windows, I like the idea of activities, but I do not have kids yet and I’m not sure I could convince my hubby on that kinda thing for 24 days in a row! Hm, I’ll have to check out that link of ideas.
    Thanks for the sew-along!!

  36. Sara says:

    I’m so excited to start this project! I will probably put activities in the windows since my kiddos love that stuff! Thanks for the Sew-Along!

  37. Heidi Anderson says:

    I love this advent calendar! We always had homemade advent calendars at home growing up. I can’t wait to make this one for my daughter to enjoy!

  38. Sonja says:

    Oh, clever!!!! Love it!

  39. Tifani says:

    I love the idea of putting activities behind the leafs and pears!

  40. VickiT says:

    Thank you for such a detailed and easy to understand tutorial. This is such a different Advent Calendar unlike the ones that are more geared toward little children. I really love this one.

  41. Norma says:

    very nice advent calendar! Hope I can find the time to make one

  42. Erika says:

    I love this project but way over my beginners head. Maybe when i get more experince i can try it.

  43. Christine says:

    I really like the retro look of this. Very cool!

  44. Lisa Uotinen says:

    Yay! Christmas is coming!

  45. Joelle Lambert says:

    I do love the idea of putting activity suggestions behind each leaf daily. Small things can be very special at this time of year and make for lasting memories.

  46. Peggy says:

    I’m excited to be a part of this Advent Calendar sew along. I’ve read the directions several times and want to be sure I am doing this correctly. Does the stabilizer go between the background fabric and the liner or will we deal with this later? I thought it would go there but didn’t see any mention of it so wanted to be sure I had the right kind of stabilizer and used it in the correct place.

  47. Diana says:

    I’m excited! Time to find some fabric!

  48. Amy says:

    Can’t wait to get started on this! I think all I need to go buy is the fusible webbing.

  49. I love the idea to put the name of a person in each window and to find a way to connect with them on “their” day of Advent! That is what I’m going to do.

  50. deborah says:

    What a lovely Advent Calendar. I can’t wait to see everyone’s projects!

  51. Kerry says:

    Thanks, excited to get started!

  52. Ashley says:

    I really need to find the time to make this. It is so cute and everytime I see it I think …I must have that for the holidays!

  53. Mirza says:

    I absolutely love this advent calendar!!!! Great sew along so far. Very clear and easy to understand.

  54. Kathy H says:

    I love the partridge in a pear tree. Very modern looking and I am looking for some newer ideas. Thanks for sharing.

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