Countdown to Halloween, Christmas, and Thanksgiving, a wedding event, family vacation, beginning of school, birthday or any special celebratory occasion can bring a restless chorus of inquiries from young children as they become aware of the waiting time until that very special event.
Contemporary commercial Advent style calendars show the month of December with 24 days that lead up to Christmas day, December 25th. This time frame often overlaps with the Christian season of Advent, hence the name Advent calendar. A secular meaning for advent would be the anticipated coming of an important event. Any number of countdown days to an event could be identified to create a special unique calendar.
Countdown calendars can be sewn fairly quickly with traditional pocket pouches of fabric for each day to hold a small amount of candy or prize. Cut two pieces of fabric, fleece, burlap or denim approximately 16 by 24 inches, (and same size fusible interfacing to create stiff support if necessary), stitch either wrong sides together and pink edges to finish or right sides together with an opening to turn right sides out, press and stitch around all edges to secure. Pockets for each day can be made by sewing several rows of fabric strips 2 or 3 inches wide by the finished width of the calendar. Attach to the calendar front in parallel rows by sewing the short end sides and across the length of the calendar leaving the top edge of each strip unsewn. Sew as many strips across the calendar as may be needed for the number of countdown days. Then, sew evenly spaced vertical lines down each strip to make the pocket pouches. Stamp the days of countdown on each pocket, or fuse purchased fabric numbers to the pockets.
Fold over the finished calendar top about two inches and stitch across to make a casing to insert a dowel rod for hanging support. Attach a length of ribbon or cording to the dowel rods ends to hang over a door knob or from a hook.
There are many, many variations of this traditional countdown calendar. Pockets can be adapted to be individual star, stocking or mitten shapes if anticipating Christmas time, or pumpkins, bats and witches hats for Halloween for example. Just attach the individual pieces to the finished calendar in rows to hang by tiny clothes pins on ribbon or jute string strung across the calendar width.
Countdown calendars allow for a wealth of creative sewing ideas to explore. Many ideas can be found on Pinterest, a social media pin-board website.
Sew happy, sew inspired.