DIY Spring Moss Wreath Tutorial

It is not too often that I actually make something for myself. I actually do not have a great place to display this wreath, but I made it anyway and I really love it!

I had some foam wreath forms a friend had given to me a long time ago and I just hadn't found a use for them. Recently, I was browsing Pinterest and saw some cute moss wreaths I thought I could make. For myself! Ha!

The wreath form was free, but they do carry slightly smaller ones at the Dollar Tree. I also got a bag of moss at the Dollar Tree. The flowers came from Michaels. I actually wanted coral ones, but there was a sweet older lady who asked my 12yo which flowers she recommended (I guess we have similar taste, my daughter and I) so I found something else. Anyway, this was a really cheap project!

So, gather all of your supplies...

A ribbon to hang would be helpful and is not shown. You also need hot glue sticks, a glue gun, toothpicks, and green floral tape.

Now, the moss part was a mess. I made this on my kitchen counter, but anticipate snibbles of moss everywhere!

Just take small bunches of moss and hot glue them onto the wreath form. It takes quite a few sticks of hot glue. Check for any thin spots and add more as needed.

how to make a moss covered wreath

It is actually still pretty cute plain!

Dollar Store Moss Wreath

Next, add the flowers. Cut them apart and lay them on the wreath until you get an arrangement you are happy with. My flowers had enough stem to poke into the wreath but I added some hot glue around the bottom of the flower just in case. Attach the leaves to toothpicks using hot glue and green floral tape. Stick them into the wreath as well.

how to add leaves to a foam wreath form

Pretty easy, right? Hot gluing the moss is a little messy and tedious, but I priced similar wreaths at $30. The moss sheds a little, so I don't want to hang it on a door that is opened and closed a lot, but on a wall it is pretty!

If you want to pin it for later...

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Ribbon Bow Mini Hair Clips Tutorial

Several years ago I was very ambitious and made hair clips for my girls. I got a bunch of supplies to get started. Then, over the years, I collected more. And more. And more. And made less. And less. And less.

They are so cute! You can make them for holidays, stocking stuffers, and Easter egg fillers. At one point I wanted to have headbands or hair clips to match all of my girls' outfits!

Ha! I am happy if I can find a plain, black hair elastic most days. (Seriously! Where do they all go?!?)

But in my #springdeclutteringchallenge I purged a lot of my ribbon and trims. It needed to be done because I had way too much stuff. I also used up a lot of what I had, even inviting a friend over to make hair stuff with me. (There were unfinished felt flowers in my box that we made last time- just before her 5yo was born!)

Since I was mass producing these adorable (and EASY!) little bow clips I decided to put together a tutorial. We had a Nor'Easter here at the time, so the pics are kinda dark. That is PA spring weather for you, though. Anyway, here it goes...

Here are the supplies you will need:

I used 3/8" glitter ribbon from the Target Dollar Spot that I got around Valentine's Day. Grosgrain ribbon also works. I got my 1 3/4" double prong alligator clips from etsy (in bulk) but if you just want to make a few of these you can pick some up at craft stores.  That bottle with the lettering worn off is my fray check. :)

Side note: The U.S. government has all sorts of safety rules to keep our kids safe from lead, so please be aware that there are regulations out there if you sell things like this!

You will need to cut two pieces of ribbon 4" long and one piece 1 1/2" long. Seal the ends with fray check. If I am using grosgrain I carefully melt it with a lighter.

Wrap one piece of ribbon around the hair clip, using hot glue to attach it. The underside of the bent, top prong will have ribbon over them, but the bottom prongs on the flat side do not. These clips are actually really cute with only the glitter ribbon covering them so you could stop there if you would like. I usually add the little bow, though.

To make the bow, take your other 4" piece of ribbon and overlap the ends, hot gluing them together. Then, glue the top and bottom of the circle together in the middle. Be careful to make these loops the same size!

Next, glue the bow to the center of the top of the hair clip. I just glue it down in the middle. You could glue more if you would like.

Finally, use the short pieces of ribbon to wrap the center of the bow. Glue it on top and overlap both ends on the bottom of the upper prongs. You have to squeeze the clip to open it up so that you can get to the underside. If you have non-slip grips you can put them on the underside of the top prongs as well. I don't have any.

Finished! These only take a few minutes to whip up. Can you see why I overbought supplies? I am being good now, though. I promise!

If you want to pin it for later...

Make these easy ribbon bow hair clips in just a few minutes! Tutorial with clear, step by step pictures...

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Doll Peasant Dress Pattern and Tutorial

doll-peasant-dress-1.jpg

Peasant dresses are a really easy beginner sewing project. When I teach my daughters to sew doll clothes, this is our first lesson. I have to help with a few of the steps, but they can handle most of it.

doll-peasant-dress-tutorial.jpg

After you learn how to make this basic dress, there are a lot of options to change it up for a totally different look. I also have tutorials for making peasant dresses in girls' sizes. Matching girl/doll sets are always a pretty big hit!

These dresses have a lot of variations, and I hope to expand on this pattern in the future. For now, though, I am starting off simple with a basic, short sleeve peasant dress. I have picked up some tricks over the years to make sewing them a little faster and easier.

doll-peasant-dress-free-sewing-pattern-and-tutorial.jpg

You will need:

  • a fat quarter of fabric or 1/3 yard of fabric if bought from the bolt
  • 8 1/2" of 1/4" wide elastic
  • thread
  • pins or wonder clips
  • sewing machine and needles
  • printed free pattern- available HERE

First, let's prep the pattern. Print it out in actual size and cut it out. To fit the longer main dress piece on the page, I had to do it in two pieces. So, you will have to overlap the little bottom section and tape it together. It is off a little bit- about 1/8" but I am not a professional and it is a free pattern so center it the best you can and don't complain. OK?

doll-dress-pattern-piececs.jpg
tape-dress-pieces-together.jpg

These dresses require very little fabric. A fat quarter works perfectly and I always seem to have a lot of those hanging around.

fat-quarter-doll-dress.jpg

You want to make sure to place the width of the fabric (the direction that stretches a little more) across the width of the pattern pieces. Just fold the fabric in enough to place both pieces on top.

how to cut a doll dress from a fat quarter

If you want to be really efficient about it, fold it again, accordion style, and cut two of each pattern piece.

How to double fold to cut two pattern pieces
how to cut two pieces on the fold

(If that was confusing, just ignore it and cut two pieces out individually!)

You will have four pieces total- a front, a back, and two sleeves.

doll peasant dress pieces

One trick I learned through experience is that it is easier to hem the sleeves before sewing the dress together. Fold it under 1/4" twice and sew 1/8" from the edge. (My girls usually need help with this when they are first learning because it is such a small hem.)

hem doll dress sleeves

Next, line up the curved edges of one sleeve and one dress piece as shown. Make sure to line up each set on the same side.

how to sew a doll peasant dress

Sew the curves together with a 1/4" seam allowance. (I also use a shorter stitch length to make those curves tighter.)

Then, sew the opposite side of each sleeve to the other side of the dress. This part used to confuse me, so I will show it at a couple of different angles.

sew-front-and-back-together-at-sleeves.jpg
how-to-sew-a-peasant-dress.jpg

Again, use a 1/4" seam allowance. It is kind of like sewing everything together in a loop or a rectangle.

how-to-sew-a-peasant-top-or-dress.jpg

Next, fold the right sides together and line up the side seams. Make sure the ends of the sleeves and armpits line up.

(Normally, I would nest the armpit seams so that one goes in each direction. It would lay flatter and be easier to sew. However, on this particular project, I like to face both of the seams towards the dress pieces, away from the sleeve hem. I just don't want more bulk in that area. You can do whatever you like.)

line-up-armpits-of-peasant-dress.jpg

Pin and sew along each side with a 1/4" seam allowance.

sew-sides-of-peasant-dress.jpg

Now, I happen to have an overlock machine, or serger. If you don't have one, go buy one. They are awesome. If that isn't an option or desire for you, you can finish the seam another way- pinking shears, zig zag stitch, etc. Google it.

finish-side-seams-of-peasant-dress.jpg

Now, I happen to have created a separate tutorial for how to tuck in those serger threads. You can see it HERE.

Next you have to sew the elastic casing for the neckline. This is the hardest part, in my opinion. It just seems to take a little practice. The most important thing to remember is this: KEEP THE SEAMS ALL PRESSED IN THE SAME DIRECTION! Did that seem like I was shouting at you? Good. I was. Trust me. It is very frustrating to get the elastic stuck at a seam and this will prevent it.

press seams in one direction

Fold the raw edge down 1/4" to the inside.

press-down-neckline.jpg

Next, fold it in 1/2" (and watch those seams!) You can iron and pin. You can use wonder clips (those rock!) You can just eyeball it up and fold it as you sew (maybe after some practice). So that I could take a picture... I pinned this time.

fold-neckline-down-again.jpg

Start sewing somewhere on the back. I like to start just before a seam. Sew about 1/8" from the folded edge all the way around. I keep my needle to the left and line up the outside folded edge with the edge of my presser foot.

sew-elastic-casing-neckline.jpg

Do NOT go all the way around! Leave the last inch or so open so that you can put the elastic into the casing.

leave-opening-in-neck-for-elastic.jpg

Cut a piece of 1/4" elastic 8 1/2" long. Pin a safety in onto each end. One will guide it through the casing. The other will keep the end from getting pulled in. (You can pin it to the dress if you want to be really sure!)

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Make sure that you push the safety pin towards the seam so that everything is going the same direction.

how-to-thread-elastic-into-a-neckline.jpg

Push the elastic all the way through the casing, being careful not to twist it.

make-an-elastic-neckline.jpg

Overlap the ends of the elastic about 3/4" or so.

overlap-elastic-ends.jpg

Use a small zig zag stitch on the machine to hold the ends together.

sew-elastic-ends-together.jpg

Stretch the casing to pull the elastic inside. Sew the opening closed.

sew-elastic-casing-closed.jpg

Finally, turn the bottom under 1/4" twice to make a small hem.

fold-hem-under.jpg

Stitch 1/8" from the edge.

hem-doll-peasant-dress.jpg

Hooray! It is finished!!!

doll-peasant-dress.jpg

To put it on the doll you will want to pull it up from the legs, not put it over the head. They are sort of disproportional so it is easier that way. Plus, you don't mess the hair up.

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Don't forget to save the printable pattern...

If you want to pin this post to save the instructions for later...

doll-peasant-dress-free-pattern-and-tutorial.jpg

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How to Tuck Serger Threads into the Seam

tucking-in-thread-ends-800.jpg

I absolutely LOVE my serger! I have the Brother 1034D, which seems to be a very popular model. I have had it for 7 years and sewed hundreds of dresses with it (FOR REAL!) Today I thought I would share how I tuck in all of those thread ends when finishing a seam with the serger or overlock machine. Maybe it is just common sense stuff that everyone who uses a serger knows, but at one point I did not. It makes everything more secure, can help even out slightly uneven edges, and produces a nicer finish.

How to Tuck Loose Serger Threads into the Seam

When you plan on tucking the loose ends into the seam, you have to leave a "tail" of serger threads after you sew. About 3 inches will usually work well. I start by gently sliding the threads between my fingers to even them out. The tail will start to stretch out, but two of the threads will be much longer. You want them all to be trimmed close to the same length so that they don't get bunched up. It will look something like this:

Trim off the two longer threads and thread the remaining section through a darning needle. My daughter calls this particular one the "magic needle" because it is a short needle with a wide eye. It works great!

Next, insert the needle into the seam, preferably between the fabric.

Push it through about an inch or so into the seam (more if you would like).

Pull the needle all the way through.

Finally, just trim the ends.

It really is a simple, little trick! It makes things look a lot neater, though!

How to Hide Serger Threads

If you forget to leave a tail for tucking, don't panic. You can trim the ends off and use fray check. It is not as good of a finish, but it is better than nothing.

how to neatly finish seams