Christmas competition sewing

Win an Advent Calendar fabric panel from elephant in my handbag

I love this time of year so much. I got an early start of my festive making with a sew your own Advent Calendar fabric panel from elephant in my handbag. It’s always lovely to make your own decorations and gifts (time permitting!) and I really enjoyed putting my Advent Calendar together over a couple of evenings.

I chose the Winter Wonderland panel, designed by Bethan Janine for Dashwood Studio. The panel is 100% cotton and the instructions are cleverly printed at the top of the panel. Once you have the fabric panel you need to buy wadding and some pretty fabric to back the advent calendar. The pockets are large enough to hold chocolate coins, a little toy or note.

I’ve been sharing some pics of my progress on Instagram but I’d thought I’d tell you a little more about how to put together a fabric Advent Calendar using a pre-printed panel.

Equipment needed to make a fabric Advent Calendar panel:
OneΒ Advent Calendar fabric panel
Cutting mat
Rotary cutter
Fabric for backing

fabric Advent Calendar panel

First cut up the panel along the dotted lines to leave yourself one large panel, the instruction panel and pockets. Then cut the pockets into two strips of pockets and the individual pockets.

Advent Calendar panels

I used a rotary cutter, a self healing cutting mat and quilting ruler I got free with a magazine to make sure I had straight lines.

Advent Calendar panel tutorial

I ironed everything to make sure there were no creases and started folding and pressing the pockets. Then I pinned them in their correct place on the fabric panel. I gave them a quick press again to make sure everything stayed in place and fitted.

Advent Calendar panel tutorial

Then I started sewing everything according to the instructions. First I did the individual pockets then the two longer strips. I took my time with the longer strips as you need to make box pleats and pin them in place making sure they fit correctly. I admit it took me a few attempts and a phone call to my mum!

Advent Calendar panel tutorial

When I reached this stage I sewed on the longer strips, removed my pins and gave it another press.

There were no detailed instructions for finishing it off so I trimmed the panel a little, measured and cut my batting and backing fabric. I placed the two pieces of fabric right sides together with the batting on top and sewed around the four edges, leaving a small gap to turn the panel the right way. I hand stitched the edge closed, making sure the corners were all pushed out.

You can quilt the panel as you like so I opted for simple lines around the red to look like binding and along the two long sides. You could hand quilt around the tree and deer if you liked. The finished panel measures 50x60cm and I’ve hung it up on my quilt gallery wall as it looks lovely on its own without the sweet treats.

fabric Advent calendar

Altogether it took me a couple of hours to make and I really enjoyed the process. You could probably hand sew the fabric panel but a sewing machine makes this a quick make. Of course I have 2 children so I’ll be making another panel as they are not interested in sharing Advent treats yet!

Win a Winter Wonderland fabric Advent Calendar panel from elephant in your handbag:

I’ve teamed up with fab fabric shop elephant in my handbag and have one extra Winter Wonderland fabric panel to giveaway to a reader of the gingerbread house. For your chance to win please answer the question and leave a comment on this post via the Rafflecopter widget below. The giveaway ends on Friday 13th November and the winners name will be announced on this post. Find more competitions at

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  • Reply
    Helen Heaton
    November 3, 2015 at 11:36 am

    I would love to find little sewing essentials in my advent calendar this year… I always seem to run out of the basics!

  • Reply
    Angela McDonald
    November 3, 2015 at 11:52 am

    I’d love to find some Fluffy socks!

  • Reply
    tracy k nixon
    November 3, 2015 at 11:56 am

    A Christmas themed Yankee Candle!

  • Reply
    Victoria Thurgood
    November 3, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    i would like to find candles

  • Reply
    Bonnie King
    November 3, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    Anything crafty. I’m always after new sewing and soap making ideas and projects.

  • Reply
    iain maciver
    November 3, 2015 at 12:35 pm

    some sweets

  • Reply
    kim plant
    November 3, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    nice perfume x

  • Reply
    Dawn Jermy
    November 3, 2015 at 1:39 pm

    I’d love to find some gorgeous fabrics in my advent calendar xx

  • Reply
    ashleigh allan
    November 3, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    beauty products!

  • Reply
    November 3, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    a little sweet treat everyday πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    November 3, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    Beautiful prize

  • Reply
    Hannah Ingham
    November 3, 2015 at 4:38 pm

    Nail Polish!

  • Reply
    Samantha O'D
    November 3, 2015 at 9:25 pm

    charms for my bracelet

  • Reply
    Shirley Evans
    November 3, 2015 at 10:50 pm

    Would love to find a perfume

  • Reply
    Rachel clayton
    November 4, 2015 at 8:43 am

    I’d love to find some new make-up each day.

  • Reply
    Ruth Harwood
    November 4, 2015 at 9:32 am

    Some lovely Chocs!!

  • Reply
    Rose Smith
    November 4, 2015 at 9:55 am

    I’d love to fingers an engagement ring in my advent calendar!
    – I know it won’t happen, but a girl can dream πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Sarah Cocker
    November 4, 2015 at 11:06 am

    A miniature bottle of rum πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Judith Newton
    November 4, 2015 at 11:53 am

    Love seeing all the beautiful fabrics and accessories so anything in the Calendar would be lovely!

  • Reply
    laura stewart
    November 4, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    chocolate xx

  • Reply
    danielle stewart
    November 4, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    I would love to just wake up and see my children’s faces πŸ™‚ im not fussed for myself but a nice rum would be nice so I can relax on the evening with a lovely mojito πŸ™‚ bliss!

  • Reply
    claire woods
    November 4, 2015 at 4:36 pm

    some charms

  • Reply
    Julie D
    November 4, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    anything! not fussy, its nice to be a surprise!

  • Reply
    Charlotte Moore
    November 4, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    Candles and chocolate ?

  • Reply
    November 4, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    luxury chocolates

  • Reply
    Claire D
    November 4, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    Thorntons chocolates

  • Reply
    sarah rees
    November 4, 2015 at 6:34 pm


  • Reply
    chloe brill
    November 4, 2015 at 6:51 pm


  • Reply
    Jennifer Potter
    November 4, 2015 at 6:58 pm

    Some jelly bean sweets as I’m not a fan of chocolate

  • Reply
    Mark R
    November 4, 2015 at 7:56 pm

    Posh chocolates!

  • Reply
    November 4, 2015 at 8:04 pm

    some nice perfume

  • Reply
    Kirsty Webb
    November 4, 2015 at 8:04 pm

    Yankee candle wax melts

  • Reply
    Laura Pritchard
    November 4, 2015 at 8:18 pm

    Tiny bath bombs!

  • Reply
    Chantelle Binge
    November 4, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    Chocolate sweets

  • Reply
    nicola clarkson
    November 4, 2015 at 8:30 pm

    a chocolate orange

  • Reply
    Nicki Ramsay
    November 4, 2015 at 8:49 pm

    Ideally I’d like to find a winning lottery ticket, but failing that I think that an advent calendar with a different flavour teabag every day would be quite novel.

  • Reply
    Deb Alexander
    November 4, 2015 at 9:17 pm

    I would love a Yankee Candle x

  • Reply
    Lisa Pond
    November 4, 2015 at 10:00 pm

    Different jewellery everyday ?

  • Reply
    Jessica Powell
    November 4, 2015 at 10:59 pm

    Chocolate, always chocolate πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Caroline Blaza
    November 4, 2015 at 11:23 pm

    I would love to find a different nail varnish each day x

  • Reply
    Clara Bee
    November 4, 2015 at 11:56 pm

    I’d love some lindt chocs

  • Reply
    karen cowley
    November 5, 2015 at 3:38 am

    a nailvarnish themed calendar would be lush x

  • Reply
    November 5, 2015 at 6:08 am

    Coupons for hugs and kisses

  • Reply
    Laura Tonks
    November 5, 2015 at 9:50 am

    Lindors πŸ˜€ xxx

  • Reply
    Wendy Gould
    November 5, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    Making an Advent calendar kit is a great prize

  • Reply
    betony bennett
    November 5, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    Chocolate πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    katrina adams
    November 5, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    I would love a selection of my favourite things i.e. my favourite nail varnish, a sample bottle of my fave perfume, a yummy chocolate. Something like that would be lovely and would be incredibly thoughtful. I have made my own advent calendar this year and the hubby is putting goodies in the even numbers and myself the odd numbers for the other person so neither of us know what is in it πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    November 5, 2015 at 8:56 pm

    I’m happy with chocolate but a crafty one but be brilliant!

  • Reply
    Kelly Dutton
    November 6, 2015 at 11:57 am

    Make up

  • Reply
    Dawn Brodribb
    November 6, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    Little pieces of paper reminding me of some of the happiest times at Christmas and maybe a little choc!

  • Reply
    Vicki H
    November 6, 2015 at 4:08 pm


  • Reply
    Kelly Wells
    November 6, 2015 at 7:22 pm

    Anything from Tiffany!

  • Reply
    November 7, 2015 at 6:47 am

    I would love to find shoes…..

  • Reply
    Andy Kadir-Buxton
    November 7, 2015 at 11:20 am

    Dumbbells. They would be a bit heavy for Santa to carry, though.

  • Reply
    Amanda A
    November 7, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    A miniature bottle of Baileys!

  • Reply
    Fiona K
    November 7, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    I’d like a nice warm pair of socks for when I work outdoors. My feet get really cold and then I get miserable.

  • Reply
    November 7, 2015 at 8:43 pm


  • Reply
    November 8, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    Beautiful keepsake for a fun Christmasn tradition.

  • Reply
    lorna kennedy
    November 8, 2015 at 5:20 pm

    i would love to find some yankee candles x

  • Reply
    sohadre A
    November 8, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    I would love anything with lavender.

  • Reply
    Debs Bream
    November 8, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    Advent calendar chocolate is always a win.

  • Reply
    Corinne Henson
    November 8, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    I think a Pandora bead would fit in one of those pockets quite nicely πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    rominy colville
    November 8, 2015 at 6:29 pm

    moisturiser and perfume minis

  • Reply
    Anne Bostwick
    November 8, 2015 at 6:55 pm

    A Gingerbread Man would be very welcome.

  • Reply
    sarah birkett
    November 8, 2015 at 7:00 pm

    A little puzzle for each day, something to occupy me on the train to work

  • Reply
    Clare H
    November 8, 2015 at 7:37 pm

    always chocolate!

  • Reply
    Jo m welsh
    November 8, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    I’d like a mini bottle of gin everyday …..well maybe not everyday alternate between that and fudge

  • Reply
    Jen English
    November 8, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    I would love to find gift cards in my advent calendar

  • Reply
    Stephanie Tsang
    November 8, 2015 at 9:13 pm


  • Reply
    Lyn Burgess
    November 8, 2015 at 10:01 pm

    I’d like a chocolate for each of the days 1 to 23, and on the 24th a small keepsake , such as a glass tree bauble.

  • Reply
    Caroline H
    November 9, 2015 at 12:51 am

    Little mini nail polishes would be lovely.

  • Reply
    caroline walliss
    November 9, 2015 at 9:16 am

    Some yummy Dark Chocolate.x

  • Reply
    Christine Dodd
    November 9, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    A tube of smarties

  • Reply
    Ruth Thomas
    November 9, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    A diamond ring (but I’d be happy with a luxury candle!) x

  • Reply
    Michelle O'Neill
    November 9, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    a winning lottery ticket lol

  • Reply
    Charlotte Davids
    November 9, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    I would like to find good health and happiness for all my family in my stocking this year.

  • Reply
    Katie Walker
    November 9, 2015 at 9:52 pm

    Something nice for the bath

  • Reply
    leanne weir
    November 9, 2015 at 11:09 pm

    a warm pair of slippers!

  • Reply
    Maria P
    November 9, 2015 at 11:41 pm

    theatre tickets πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Isabelle Smith
    November 10, 2015 at 12:59 am


  • Reply
    Jo Carroll
    November 10, 2015 at 10:47 am

    Tickets to a Panto for the whole family would be great. x

  • Reply
    Lizzy Cooper
    November 10, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    Lots of money please! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

  • Reply
    Keith Hunt
    November 10, 2015 at 4:19 pm

    family bar of chocolate as im cheap to run.

  • Reply
    Rachael O'Mara
    November 10, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    Diamonds pleeease

  • Reply
    Eileen Tingle
    November 10, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    A new ladyshave

  • Reply
    Kat Lucas
    November 10, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    Gift vouchers

  • Reply
    Eleanor Powell
    November 10, 2015 at 11:38 pm

    shower gel

  • Reply
    Amanda noble (@Noblejaneamanda)
    November 11, 2015 at 2:22 am

    I would like to find a piece of jewellery in each pouch! ☺☺

  • Reply
    Stephanie Whitehouse
    November 11, 2015 at 10:27 am

    A golden reindeer to add to my ever growing collection

  • Reply
    Sharon L Johnson
    November 11, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    would love a bottle of vodka lol x

  • Reply
    Rebecca Howells
    November 11, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    A different sweetie each day! (@PeanutHog)

  • Reply
    jo liddement
    November 11, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    Some nice hand made soap or some scented bath oil.

  • Reply
    November 11, 2015 at 9:44 pm

    Winning lotto ticket!! Failing that, chocolate.

  • Reply
    Victoria Prince
    November 12, 2015 at 9:26 am

    Money would be good! And an assortment of festive chocolate – some of the more unusual things, such as Hotel Chocolat’s festive range πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    donna l jones
    November 12, 2015 at 10:33 am

    some yankee candles

  • Reply
    elaine stokes
    November 12, 2015 at 11:34 am

    a different treat each day, chocolate, chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate, im easy to please

  • Reply
    Diane Jackson
    November 12, 2015 at 1:46 pm


  • Reply
    Alice Fox
    November 12, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    Β£10 note in each door πŸ™‚ xx

  • Reply
    Kerry Lock
    November 12, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    Daniel Craig …. or am I aiming to high

  • Reply
    Andrew Hindley
    November 12, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    Chocolate coins

  • Reply
    Vera Bahounkova
    November 12, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    some toys

  • Reply
    Lisa Houston
    November 12, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    yankee candle tarts

  • Reply
    Rachel Butterworth
    November 12, 2015 at 6:27 pm


  • Reply
    Wendy Guy
    November 12, 2015 at 6:46 pm

    I would like to find a voucher for a theatre break.

  • Reply
    Karen Howden
    November 12, 2015 at 6:51 pm

    some money

  • Reply
    Caroline Buckley
    November 12, 2015 at 7:05 pm

    Some money!

  • Reply
    Samantha Atherton
    November 12, 2015 at 8:17 pm

    little perfumes.

  • Reply
    Corinne Peat
    November 12, 2015 at 9:21 pm


  • Reply
    Pauline Wilson
    November 12, 2015 at 9:39 pm

    Tealights and beauty products

  • Reply
    EJ Dunn
    November 12, 2015 at 10:26 pm

    An engagement ring!

  • Reply
    Gillian Hutchison
    November 12, 2015 at 10:28 pm

    I would love to find little IOU notes for things like Running a bubble bath, making breakfast in bed, going out for a meal without the children πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Nancy Bradford
    November 12, 2015 at 10:35 pm

    I know it won’t happen but I’d love to find travel vouchers and spending money.

  • Reply
    ellie spider
    November 12, 2015 at 10:55 pm

    Some pandora charms would be lovely πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Miss Tracy Hanson
    November 12, 2015 at 10:59 pm

    Chris Hemsworth – although you’d need a huge stocking considering he’s 6ft 3 lol

    • Reply
      Miss Tracy Hanson
      November 12, 2015 at 11:01 pm

      Huge ADVENT CALENDAR sorry πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Mandy S
    November 12, 2015 at 11:02 pm

    Ferrero Roche x

  • Reply
    claire little
    November 12, 2015 at 11:09 pm

    a bath bomb

  • Reply
    Natalie Crossan
    November 13, 2015 at 12:46 am

    Diamonds πŸ˜€

  • Reply
    November 13, 2015 at 7:51 am

    A ring

  • Reply
    Kelly Summerfield
    November 13, 2015 at 7:53 am

    Yankee candle tarts

  • Reply
    Maria Jane Knight
    November 13, 2015 at 9:38 am

    Minitures πŸ˜€

  • Reply
    Kati Whiteoak
    November 13, 2015 at 10:23 am

    Anything to keep my hair tidy – combs, elastics, etc. as I can never find one when I need one.

  • Reply
    Emilia nastaly-howard
    November 13, 2015 at 10:50 am

    some cosmetics πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    November 13, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    Novelty socks!

  • Reply
    jodie harvey
    November 13, 2015 at 12:55 pm

    miniture bottles of baileys πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    November 13, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    Nail varnishes I’m obsessed

  • Reply
    Jo Glasspool
    November 13, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    A bit of everything, chocolate, yankees & make up x

  • Reply
    Kim Lawrence
    November 13, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    A diamond ring would fit nicely in one of those pockets [aims high]!

  • Reply
    Lieke van Vugt
    November 13, 2015 at 1:29 pm


  • Reply
    Rich Tyler
    November 13, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    Some white chocolate buttons!

  • Reply
    stacey kavanah
    November 13, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    a chocolate that i can eat before my kids get to it

  • Reply
    Heather Tinkler
    November 13, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    Anything chocolate!!!

  • Reply
    November 13, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    Some rubber stamps πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Helen Thurston
    November 13, 2015 at 4:42 pm

    craft bits, or some really good colouring pens, or minature bottles of Christmassy drinks πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Kerry W
    November 13, 2015 at 5:26 pm

    I would really like a good set of scissors.

  • Reply
    Matt Brasier
    November 13, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    luxury chocolates

  • Reply
    Kim Styles
    November 13, 2015 at 6:12 pm

    A new phone- mine is so old

  • Reply
    Gemma Cook
    November 13, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    Scented candles xxx

  • Reply
    Anne Woodthorpe
    November 13, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    Daniel Craig! …but don’t think he will fit, so maybe just choccy πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Denielle Nicol
    November 13, 2015 at 7:44 pm


  • Reply
    Aaron Milne
    November 13, 2015 at 8:16 pm

    A few extra days off work

  • Reply
    Tamsin Dean
    November 13, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    some general yummy treats, but different ones each day

  • Reply
    November 13, 2015 at 9:45 pm


  • Reply
    November 13, 2015 at 9:56 pm

    Anything to do with craft work would be great.

  • Reply
    Brenda Wilkes
    November 13, 2015 at 10:05 pm


  • Reply
    November 13, 2015 at 11:17 pm

    I would love to find some make up and on the 24th would love it to be filled with snow outside and empty inside ! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Leanne Bell
    November 13, 2015 at 11:41 pm

    I would love to find an engagement ring πŸ™‚ After almost 11 years together and two children I think I’ve been patient enough x

  • Reply
    Robyn Logan Clarke
    November 14, 2015 at 12:00 am

    Chocolate and jewellery.

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