Christmas Calendar by Alessandra Adelaide

A Mystery stitch-along for SAL Tuesday.  It’s that time of year, when the 2015 stitch-a-longs are being arranged and sign ups are still open.

2015 Christmas Mystery SAL
2015 Christmas Mystery SAL

What is it?

Christmas Calendar is a 10-month mystery stitch along by Alessandra Adelaide Needleworks (AAN) to produce a large festive wall hanging. The chart pack will include finishing instructions for attaching the accessories and sewing the wall hanging.

Sign-up closes:  29 Dec 2014
SAL Duration: 5 Jan 2015 – 3 Nov 2015

Why this chart?

I am a sucker for a stitch-a-long (SAL), especially a Mystery stitch along where you have no idea what the resultant piece will look like. This year, Alessandra ran a mystery Halloween stitch along from January to October.  I loved it so much I signed up straightaway for next year’s mystery Christmas Calendar.

Although large, this design does seem quite suitable for beginners and advanced stitchers. With only a few floss colours, you can easily customise floss and fabric.  For example, I’m planning to stitch this design on Emerald Green fabric and using gold instead of white floss; to me, Christmas means red green and gold 🙂

Finally I chose this because it is a Christmas theme and it comes with buttons and bells and every kid (including my nephews) need a Christmas Calendar in their lives.

2015 Christmas Mystery SAL sneak peak
2015 Christmas Mystery SAL sneak peak


Joining a mystery stitch along is an act of faith. Faith that the resultant item is worth the time and money you as a stitcher have put into it.  To help stitchers decide whether Christmas Calendar is the right chart for them, Alessandra has released a document listing the materials needed, number of skeins, stitch count and estimated size of the design.

To join in the SAL you need to buy the chart pack and be a member of Facebook.  Alessandra and Roxanne have organised a secret Facebook group for the stitchers’ of Christmas Calendar. Here we can discuss floss and fabric choices, receive each month’s design part and ask questions of each other and Alessandra as the need arises. I have found that the most successful SALs centre around such a vibrant community.

We will receive the Christmas Calendar chart in sections from January to November 2015.  The sections will only arrive electronically so you will either print each section out yourself or work directly from a tablet.

Alessandra usually does not add an overlap on successive pages, so you may need to tape your print outs together or spend a little more time counting carefully.  In the Halloween SAL  a second file of each part was released with an overlap. Unfortunately this created some confusion with a few members mixing up the with-overlap and without-overlap charts. I’m sure this was a learning experience for Alessandra and her team and the Christmas Calendar will have no such issues.

 Materials Required

To stitch the chart exactly as designed, you will need:

3 skeins – DMC 666 Christmas Red

9 skeins DMC 816 Garnet

1 skein DMC B5200 Snow White

1 ball DMC Perle #8 White

Any fabric type and colour except cream or white (stitch count 342 x 495). This design can be stitched over 2 or over 1.

For 14ct Aida or 28ct evenweave (with 3″ border allowance) fabric size is: 31″ x 42″  or  78 x 106cm  or  a full yard (36 x 52″).

28ct Natural/Raw Linen
28ct Natural/Raw Linen

1 cut of Christmas fabric – same size as stitching fabric

2 cuts of adhesive fabric ( Vliseline )to be applied on the back of the embroidery:

  • (342 stitches + side borders) x (103 stitches + top border)
    (so for 28ct example): 31″ x 11″
  • (342 stitches + side borders) x (152 stitches + bottom border) (so for 28ct example): 31″ x 14″

cotton thread to sew ( the same colour of your fabric )
5 ornaments
5 buttons
1 Christmas magnetic needle minder

Approximate cost for Project

As Alessandra is hand making a variety of small ornaments and needle minders for the Christmas Calendar and the cutting sizes for the Vliseline can be tricky, AAN is offering a variety of kit options in her store.  (Note: these prices do not include postage).

Option 1:
Christmas Calendar chart: €13.00 ($US 16.28)

Option 2:
Christmas Calendar chart
5 handmade ceramic ornaments
1 handmade ceramic button
4 jingle bells: €18.00 ($US 22.54)

Option 3:
Christmas Calendar chart
5 handmade ceramic ornaments
1 handmade ceramic button
4 jingle bells
1 handmade ceramic needleminder: €25.00 ($US 31.30)

Option 4:
Christmas Calendar chart
5 handmade ceramic ornaments
1 handmade ceramic button
4 jingle bells
1 handmade ceramic needleminder
1 piece of Vliseline 36″ x 24″:  €31.50 ($US 39.43)

Approximate cost to stitch the Christmas Calendar project using the recommended materials (prices are in $US, at recommended retail and do  not include postage):

Option 4: $39.43
Floss: $8.40
Fabric: $65.90

Total: $113.73    ($163.37 AUD or £72.67)

Places to Buy


Colours Down Under has all the DMC floss and Perle #8 in stock and some plain evenweave and Aida choices.

Colour Cascade Fabrics has some DMC floss in stock and a wide selection of fabric colours. For readers of this site she offers a 10% discount. Use code PeaceOut during checkout. Code valid for the month of October 2014.

United Kingdom:

SewandSo stocks all of your DMC floss and a variety of fabric choices.

Sparklies suggests “Any neutrals, or Snowy Skies, Glacier or Misty Morn”.

United States:

123Stitch stocks all of your DMC floss and a variety of fabric choices.

For Discussion

What do you think of Mystery Stitch Alongs? Have you ever stitched one? Which was your favourite?


Did you like this review? Did it contain all the expected information? Is there anything you would like added or removed from the reviews? Do you know of a particular chart or designer you want to see featured here? If so, please head to the Suggestions page and let me know.

Was this read worth a cup of coffee?


Last updated: 11 November 2014