Sock Garland Advent Calendar

As followers of this blog will already know, recently I was gifted with a beautiful, old Singer machine from my boyfriends grand aunt. I was super excited as so many crafting techniques and projects require sewing and I just don't have the time or patience to do it all by hand! However, my first attempt at using it didn't go too well. It ended with me crying on the bed while my boyfriend used a screwdriver to remove a clump of thread from the inside. I was defeated and scared and the beautiful old sewing machine was put back in it's case.

Luckily, it kept shouting from the end of the bed to be used and my favourite craft magazine, Homemaker Magazine, came with an easy sewing project for beginners that month so I plucked up the courage to try again. This time, the thread clumped again but I fixed it, read a bit more of my user booklet, adjusted the tension on the machine and away I went! I finished my first sewing project on my own machine! Huzzah! 

I was so happy that I immediately hopped onto Pinterest to see what my next project could be and then it hit me. An advent calendar. The one I made two years ago didn't have big enough pockets to hold the sweets and that really annoyed me so I decided a new advent calendar would be the best project. There were so many ideas to choose from but I loved all the garland based ones so much that I decided to do one in that style.

So out came the old Christmas tea towels (4 to be exact about it!)...

Out came some sock drawing skills, which I didn't know I had, to make my template. I first drew it on paper, added a 1cm border as  a seam allowance and cut it out. Then I glued it to some cardboard and cut it out to have a firm template to use on the tea towels. 

I then drew around the template 12 times on each tea towel making sure to turn the template every second time. This ensures that once all the socks are cut out, each pair will have the right side of the tea towel facing out when pinned together.

Once all the socks were cut out I had 48 single socks pinned into 24 pairs. Then it was time to sew.  Originally I was going to sew them on the wrong side and then turn them out but when I had them all cut I liked their size as they were so I decided to sew on the right side instead. Scarily, on my first sock, this happened...

But I just took a breath, ripped it out, adjusted my tension (as I learned previously!) and off I went. In no time I had 24 beautifully sewn socks. Thanks to the boyfriend I also, and a beautifully new pair of pinking shears so I used them to trim the edges. And yes my sewing wasn't perfect, so many of the borders became smaller than the others post pinking resulting in various sized socks but that's the joy of homemade right? Right guys?! .... Right?

I was then ready to hang my garland. I had bought some lovely red twine which I weaved in and out of the bannister on my stairs and then tied it in place. I had also bought the adorable pegs below - I know, for shame, I should have made them too but one step at a time guys!

I then pegged each sock to the twine, popped in the sweets and my beautiful advent calendar sock garland extravaganza was complete!

I can't express how happy I am with the finished result. I can't stop looking at it and smiling. Seriously, if you haven't made anything for your home for this Christmas yet do it now! I can't tell you how wonderful it feels to have something you made yourself hanging up and looking so beautiful.  I think I might finish this project crying on my bed too but this time they will be tears of joy. 

Yes. Crying over tea towel socks. I am still cool. 

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