Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Bucilla Gingerbread House Advent Calendar Felt Applique Sewing Kit

Copyright 2017 Needlework Kits
I made a gingerbread house advent calendar in summer 2015. I bought this kit in July and worked on the kit the entire month. I made some work on the kit in August, but I took a break to work on the Haunted House wall hanging sewing kit. I returned to finish this kit in November where I added the trees and put the final touches. This sewing kit was the first advent calendar I made. Today it is still my favorite holiday kit I've ever made.You can see the progress I made working on this kit on the BritishPandaChick Pinterest and Instagram accounts.

First Impressions

Gingerbread is one of my favorite things about the holidays. When I was growing up, my family would make gingerbread houses using graham crackers, store bought frosting, and an variety of holiday candy. We would take a day making a gingerbread village complete with ice cream cone trees covered with green icing and sprinkles to a marshmallow snowman. When Bucilla released this kit in 2015, this kit brought many of those childhood memories that I knew I just had to make the house.
Copyright 2017 BritishPandChick

The only dilemma I had with this kit is making a an advent calendar. I have never done an advent calendar before. At the time, most of the craft kits I've done were ornaments and wreaths. I had a bad experience making a holiday wreath before which made me feel like my sewing skills weren't strong to tackle this kit. Initially the gingerbread house brought back these fears. I started learning how to sew only recently and I wondered if I'd be able to an advent calendar which is much bigger project. However my love of gingerbread won over my fears and I decided to try making this kit.

The gingerbread design isn't the only reason I love this kit. The ornaments were just as festive as the house. All of the ornaments fit with the design of the house from the candies to the gingerbread people. I didn't think much about the cording for this kit. Cording might not be my favorite part of making these kits, but that didn't bother me as much as it has been with previous kits.

Important Facts about this Craft Kits

The gingerbread house kit is made up of three parts. There is the house, trees, and the ornaments. There are 24 ornaments for this craft kit. One of the ornaments didn't have a back piece so I had to use leftover brown felt from the house to make this ornament. Once you get this kit, you will find:
  • all the felt for the project. All the pieces are stamped on the felt with numbers for how you attach the felt and marks for the sequins.
  • sequins
  • beads
  • thread
  • two needles
  • diagram and directions
You won't just need everything in this kit. This is a craft kit that needs polyster fiber fill. You can get this at your local craft store. You will also need poster board for the house. Finally, you will need scissors, pen/pencil for cording, and straight pins if you want to hold pieces in place.

When I work on craft kits, I often use a plastic grocery bag, make up bag, paper plates, and leftover supplies from previous craft kits. Plastic grocery bags are a great way to putting all your trash in one place as you work. I drape one of the handles over a chair next to me as I work and put all my scraps there. If you have leftover make up bags, use one to keep all your ornaments in one place. Paper plates are a great way to keep your sequins and beads organized as you work. Finally, you can always use leftover craft supplies from other kits if you are running low on any materials.

I ran out of supplies. What should I do?

If you run out of any supplies even if you have leftover materials from previous kits, there are ways to get more. Normally Bucilla does a good job having lots of materials for their craft kits. However there are times that you'll run out of beads and sequins. Thankfully many craft retailers will have your back in these cases. Places such as Bucilla or Merry Stockings will send you extra supplies if you get the kits from them.

Just send an e-mail to one of the customer service reps at Plaid Online or Merry Stockings asking them about their policy on extra supplies. A customer service rep will respond right away requesting your kit number, where you bought your kit, and your address. After you give them your info, just wait a few days. I usually get any extra supplies by the end of the week.

Where can I get this kit?

There are plenty of ways you can find this kit. When I am looking for new sewing kits to make, I always look in three places. First, there is Amazon. This is where I got the kit for this review.

===> Want to buy this kit? Click here to get it now!

Next, there is Merry Stockings. Merry Stockings is an online retailer which specializes in selling holiday sewing kits. They work very closely with Bucilla so they get the latest kits. Merry Stockings often gets the latest kits before some of the best craft retailers including Amazon.

===> Click here to buy the kit from Merry Stockings!

Finally, there is Plaid Online. Plaid Online makes all the Bucilla kits and sells  most of them on their online shop. You can still buy the gingerbread calendar on their online shop. If you are still struggling to find the kit, you can find plenty of other retailers selling this kit online. Just google the kit and you'll find millions of results.

===> Click here to buy the kit from Plaid Online!

Let's put everything together!

Before you begin this sewing kit, make sure you a few minutes to read over the directions and look at the diagram included in the kit to see what the project will be like. Most importantly you want to check out the key for understanding the diagram. The key identifies all the symbols on the diagram so you know what color sequins go where and what stitches you need to use.

You can also take a look at the image on the packaging to get a sense of what everything should look like. I recommend making all the cording before you start sewing. It is much easier to do all cording right now than trying to do cording as you put together all the elements.

The Gingerbread House

The gingerbread house is the biggest piece in the entire sewing kit and is the place you'll start first. When it comes to biggest pieces of sewing kits, the first thing to be done is add sequins and embroidery to the main piece of the kit. Adding sequins and embroidery might not sound like lots of fun, but this is the most important part for this portion of the kit. The red sequins are where the ornaments will hang on the calendar. Since the ornaments will be stuffed with fiberfill, the sequins need to be securely attached in order to hold the extra weight.

Although the red sequins need to be securely in place, all the sequins need just as much attention.
Copyright 2017 BritishPandaChick
Over time, many of the sewing kits I've made had some of the sequins starting to come lose. As you add sequins, make sure triple knots after the sequins. This will keep the sequins in place and will prevent them from becoming lose over time.

Once the sequins are on the house, it is time to tackle the embroidery. The embroidery is mostly the details near the roof and windows. There are lots of curls to sew and can be intimidating. However the best thing you can do at this point is moving very slowly around the curls. Moving too quickly will make big spaces between the stitches. Once you are finished with the entire curl, you can go back and fill in the gaps as much as you can.

The curls aren't the only bit of embroidery you need to worry about. The satin stitch is used in the droplets at the end of  the bottom window details. The satin stitch was one of the trickiest stitches I learned when I started to sew. However I got better using the satin stitches once I learned the right tricks. The best way to do the satin stitch is the same approach working with the sequins. Just keep your stitches very close together and soon you will have white drops that are completely filled in. If you do have some open spaces, don't be afraid to go back and fill in the gaps.

==> Learn more about the satin stitch from the Merry Stockings blog here!

Roof, Snow, Trees, and Beyond!

Once the sequins and embroidery are on the house, it is time to focus on the details. While you'll be still adding sequins and embroidery, you will begin attaching pieces to the house. This be the windows, door, and even the snow. These details will completely transform the house from a piece of brown felt into a festive home. First you will add the trimmings near the top of the house. Next is the snow covered roof and the snow hanging from the chimney. After that, you will attach all the windows and shutters. You'll add some of the details for the door, but rest has to wait until you attach the ground for the house. Once the ground is safely on the house, you can add the rest of the door elements.

Most of the extra elements were easy to put on the house. The only difficult part was attaching the green scallop border to the top of the house. The green border didn't quite fit in the stamped outline on the house. I tried to play around with the position before I picked the best position I could find. Once the border was attached, I went back and filled in any areas with the satin stitch. You can add stuffing to your house at this time, but I recommend waiting to add your stuffing once you do each of the elements for the house.

Once the front of the house is completed, you should move onto to the grounds and trees. You can put fiber fill in the trees, but be patient! Before we can do any polyster fiber fill, make sure you've added everything to the house and grounds. Once you double check your work, it is time to sew all the pieces to the front. This means attaching the ground and the front parts of the trees. Now that the front pieces are attached, start attaching the back pieces. Make sure you play around with the back pieces to make sure everything fits before you start sewing. When you start sewing, attach the back pieces for the trees first then attach the brown back piece.

This isn't how the directions want you to tackle this step, but I encourage you do this instead because it will be much easier to add stuffing and achieve the look on the packaging. I followed the directions for this kit by attaching the house first and putting in the polyster fiber fill. This was ok, but it made it much harder to the trees at the end. I was getting very frustrated trying to attach tree pieces to an already stuffed gingerbread house. If you follow the steps I mention earlier, you will have a much easier time without the headaches like I did.

24 Ornaments of the Gingerbread House

Once the gingerbread house is finished, it is time to make 24 ornaments. Unlike the Nordic Tree, I didn't make an extra ornament. If you have leftover scraps, you are welcome to try making one more ornament for your tree.

First thing you'll be doing for all the ornaments is getting the cording done. Remember cording for all 24 ornaments is easier to do now rather than later when you are trying to make each ornament. Cording is my least favorite thing about making these kits because it is something I still struggle with and practice every time I do craft kits. If you need extra help with cording, check out Merry
Stockings blog post to see their tutorial on making cording or find some videos to watch on YouTube.

==> Read Merry Stocking post on Cording here!

The ornaments itself are much easier than putting together the house. All the ornaments have pieces numbered so all you need to do is just follow the numbered order to make the ornaments. The only problem I had with the ornaments was with one gingerbread heart cookie. The kit didn't include a back piece for one of the ornaments in the kit. I uses the front piece to trace the same shape on the left over felt from the gingerbread house to make a back piece for the ornament.

Copyright 2017 BritishPandaChick
I made one mistake while making these ornaments. The kit has two lollipop ornaments which have the one sequin on the handle. When you applique the lollipop to the stick, the side with the sequin should be the front. I wasn't paying attention and managed to applique the stick with the sequin on the back. If you want to stick closely to the original design, make sure you get your sequined fronts are sewn on correctly.

After making this kit, I found I prefer the plain side for the lollipop handle over the sequin handle. If you make this kit, feel free to modify the directions on this step and just sew the sequin sides to the back.

Conclusion

There are plenty of ways to find this kit. I found this kit online through Amazon. You can find a link to purchasing the kit on Amazon in the links section. You can also find this kit at online stores such as Joann Fabrics website and Etsy. Just type "Bucilla Nordic Gingerbread House" into Google and you'll find plenty of sites that have this kit.

Would you like to see more posts about any particular crafts? Tell me what you think in the comments section.

Notes

All pictures belong to BritishPandaChick.

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