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Gift Ideas

  • Mood DIY: Leather Card Holder

    I'm currently making my website for my leather goods brand, Brandhyze + Co, and thought...."hey, I'm gonna need a trusty new card case holder for my cards once they come in" (hope she doesn't mind, used my hairstylist's cards here to demo). :) So, I made a template, grabbed some leather from Mood Fabrics, and got to work folding and sewing -- it's really easy! You can add a snap, paint on your initials, etc...the possibilities are endless. Have fun making your own.Screen Shot 2016-09-07 at 4.25.01 PMLeather Card Holder 2SUPPLIES: pattern, rotary cutter/scissors, 3-4oz leather, skiver, tragacanth, edge burnisher, edge note, a q-tip, needle and sinew. Screen Shot 2016-09-07 at 4.22.44 PMHOW-TO: 1. Cut out the template, trace it on to the leather, and then cut it out of the leather. 2. I wanted the stiffness and "stand-up" that a slightly thicker leather would have, but that thickness also made the case hard to fold. So, I used a skiver to shave off some of the "flesh" of the leather to make my job a little easier. (Note: I learned this the hard way while making a duffle bag once...but you'll want to go a little slower until you get the hang of skiving, or else with a new blade you may shave a hole right through your leather). 3. After you shave some of the back off, there may be some leather sticking up along the edges. If so, use a little tragacanth and a burnishing wheel to smooth everything down. 4. Crack a window and lay down some paper towel or newspaper to coat the edges of your leather. I usually use about 2 coats and let it dry for about half hour before picking it up again. Lastly....I used a leather sewing machine, but feel free to use the method I always fall back on -- good ol' hand stitching (using the saddle stitch) like I did here. Screen Shot 2016-09-07 at 4.25.01 PMBrandhyze Stanley is the chief voice of the award winning blog, Frugal-nomics.com; a platform designed to share with women how to live and look fabulous on a dime. A DIY girl at heart—Brandhyze has been featured on Dr. Oz, The View, The Today Show, InStyle Magazine, Essence Magazine, and MTVStyle. A Wilhelmina Model for over a decade, with a Business Degree from Loyola University Chicago, Brandhyze provides DIY content to the popular How-To Site, eHow; and has been a contributor for the Huffington Post, Yahoo Finance, Super Money, Good Housekeeping, and Newsday Westchester, to name a few. Brandhyze is a huge thrifter and a lover of all good deals, follow her on Twitter @MyFrugalnomics and on Facebook at Facebook.com/Frugalnomics

  • Zodiac Gift Guide

    Zodiac sign readings and horoscopes might not always be completely accurate, but they can be fun to look up and share with others! They give little insights to the type of person you might feel you are, or they might just give you another perspective to see things from that you hadn't thought of before. A fresh look is always exciting, so we wanted to put together a kind of fabric horoscope that would do this for everyone to try! Combined with DIYs and other sources of inspiration linked for your convenience, we've tried to narrow down and tailor a fabric and design for each Zodiac Sign that could help you find a style choice for yourself, or even for a friend or loved one as a gift! Take a look below and see which of our sign designs you like best! No one is made up of a single Zodiac sign, so don't be surprised if you find yourself loving more than one! There are only positive vibes in these designs--have fun with it!

    Aries: Sequins, high energy, and bright colors!

    Aries signs are usually know for being very self-motivated and passionate, and that energy should shine out! We think sequins fit them for this purpose! Sequins glitter in any light and make a statement the moment they're seen, which can be a great asset. Take a look at our latest stock of sequin fabrics and trims here! Bright colors would fit this sign as well. If sequins aren't your thing, a bright, strong color can be just as effective for showing off that confident personality. Consider this DIY, especially if you're iffy on sporting a sequin piece! There's no shame in going for a more mature or muted design. You can look just as fierce in this style!

    And with all that energy to use, plenty of you probably try to keep up with a daily workout plan! (If you don't already, consider trying it out for fun!) This phone case armband DIY will make it easy to keep in touch during your workouts or to carry your music with you. Music can make a world of difference during a workout and can be a great motivator for both pros and novices!

    For some Other Inspirations, check out this Mood Trend Report: Trend Report: Milan Fashion Week | Spring 2017

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    Taurus: Tweeds, stable but comforting and warm!

    Taurus is known for being a sturdy sign where comfort and stability are key! A warm skirt or jacket made of tweed will last forever if you take good care of it (and Taurus signs will!) and they'll look professional. The muted colors tweeds usually come in will also give off a mature appearance. Take a look at our latest stock of tweed fabrics here! Consider this color-block wool skirt DIY if you have little experience with working with tweeds! Practical and comfortably conservative, this skirt is easy to assemble and will maintain a long lifespan with you!

    And when you're ready to bundle up at home and take that time for yourself, consider doing so with this handy reading pillow! Fashioned with multiple pockets for storing writing and/reading materials, this pillow project is great at multi-tasking as it is at relaxing! (Plus it's super cute!)

    For some Other Inspirations, check out this Mood Trend Report: Trend Report: Fall 2016 Office Fashion and Styles

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    Gemini: Brocades, versatile, and creative!

    Geminis have a lot going on in their heads creatively, and fashion is a great medium to express that through! Fabrics that are organized with a lot of detail are great for this purpose! Some might think these styles are too "busy," but when crafted carefully (and with your natural expertise!) into your style, they can look stunning! Brocades are perfect for this! Fabrics with duality are also appealing for these signs, because it allows them to switch up the style without having to find a new piece! Take a look at our latest stock of brocade fabrics here! Consider this bomber jacket DIY for a versatile design that can keep up with your need for something refreshing! Reversible and beautiful, a brocade bomber jacket will be just the thing you've been looking to add to your wardrobe!

    Another hidden gem to add to your accessory collection is a cord and chain bracelet! Though small in size, a bright and colorful piece of jeweley can bring your entire look together!

    For some Other Inspirations, check out this Mood Trend Report: New York Fashion Week Trend Report | Fall 2016

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    Cancer: Performance Fabrics, energetic, and positive!

    Cancer signs are sensitive to the energy and emotions around them, and that sensitivity comes out best through positive interaction and activities! Hobbies like dancing and working out are natural outlets for you, which is why performance fabrics are a great fit! The more the fabric and outfit flows, the better, and it'll follow with you as you dance your way through your day. Take a look at our latest stock of performance fabrics here! Athletic and charismatic, Cancer signs feel best when they're sharing their excitement and energy with others, making you one of the best influences on the people around you. Solid, bright colors are good, but a print will help you reach out well, too! Consider this DIY for a flowing skirt and matching crop top that won't restrict your blinding and sweet personality! Continue sharing your positive outlook and it will come back to you!

    This adorable watermelon purse will bring an extra slice of energy to your wardrobe! With its shine and bright colors, just looking at it will lift your spirits!

    For some Other Inspirations, check out this Mood Trend Report: Trend Report: New York Fashion Week | Spring 2017

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    Leo: Faux furs, intelligent, and warm tones!

    Strong and confident are the usual qualities of this sign's focus, but they're more than just a proud face! Their intelligence is what makes them so strong-minded, and their confidence is what drives their action-oriented personalities. But for all their motivation , they can also be reserved and quiet in their personalities, eager to be there for others. Faux fur is show-stopping and needs a wearer who's bold enough to wear such a fabric confidently! Combined with warm tones, this fabric's style shows off the inviting personalities of Leos. Take a look at our latest stock of faux fur fabrics here! Consider this DIY for a simple but powerful faux fur vest piece! It's a stylish garment that will make you look and feel like a rock star that the world is waiting to see.

     What better way to show off your intelligent disposition than with a neck tie or bow tie? Try this DIY with a paisley fabric to add a more familiar or personable touch to your image!

    For some Other Inspirations, check out this Mood Trend Report: Trend Report: Brocades on the Runway .

    Virgo: Viscose, reliable, and modest!

    Virgo signs are loyal and positively analytical, making them reliable and dependable friends! Their desire to be prepared fuels this reliable quality, and while they prioritize being ready for most situations, they see this as merely a logical way to live. This makes them a fairly modest and admirable people. Viscose fabrics are both comfortable and adaptable, which fits Virgo signs well! Viscose has great stretch so it can conform and flow when needed, and its subtle sheen makes it a beautiful addition for many designs! Take a look at our latest stock of  viscose fabrics here! Consider this t-shirt dress DIY for a cute and comfy look to make with your favorite Viscose fabrics!

    And for all the modest and reserved design one might think of along with a Virgo, shake it up with an accessory that stands out! Design your own faux fur pompom key-chain and show off to the world that you may be dependable, but you don't mind spoiling yourself from time-to-time, too (which is good!).

    For some Other Inspirations, check out this Mood Trend Report: Trend Report: Fall Pantone Forecast

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    Libra: Velvets, balanced fabrics, and soft textures!

    Libra signs are probably the softest and most cooperative sign, generally speaking, and they're good at being around other people (because they love to be around them!). They are a very balanced sign in that they can get along with most kind and good-natured people easily, making them very pleasant company. A nice Lyons velvet or stretch velvet could be great for this sign! The colors that velvet comes in are usually easy on the eyes, which is pleasing to both the wearer and passersby. Velvets are also soft, which would be comfortable to the gentle minds of the Libra sign. Take a look at our latest stock of  velvet fabrics here! Consider making a velvet dress with this DIY! This dress has a lovely flare and a tapered fit that's perfect for the fall season.

    For a little bit more flare, add an accessory like these tassel earrings! Another simple assembly project, these earrings will jump your ensemble up from casual to dazzling!

    For some Other Inspirations, check out this Mood Trend Report: Trend Report: Paris Fashion Week | Spring 2017

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    Scorpio: Leathers, resourceful, and wise!

    Scorpios are a brilliant sign known for being the truest of friends, and their passion for others makes them resourceful and assertive when they need to protect others. They are wise with their loyalty and honest in all their efforts. Truth can be a big deal to them. This is why leather fabrics fit them so well! Leathers are worn and beautiful, and they're strength makes them durable and long-lasting. Take a look at our latest stock of  leather and faux leather fabrics here! For a brave and confident sign like this, a style has to match to them! We think this bomber jacket with a twist DIY would be perfect for Scorpio, because it takes a bold and confident person to both create and pull off this style! Scorpios who are confident about strutting through in a jacket like this will look fantastic!

    Don't think we've forgotten about the leather! A hand-crafted bag like this messenger bag/backpack combination DIY is what a Leo might be looking for! Multi-styled accessories like this are hard to come by, just like true friends!

    For some Other Inspirations, check out this Mood Trend Report: Trend Report: Satin Draping

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    Sagittarius: Guipure Lace, a extroverted, and enthusiastic!

    A wandering soul with a heart for exploring, Sagittarius signs enjoy their freedom! This sign is very extroverted and loves engaging with people and the outside world, and being dressed for it is important! Things like statement pieces and conversation starters are perfect for this sign. Other great pieces are ornate fabrics for going out to socialize, like guipure lace! With scalloped edges and geometric designs, these intricate fabrics are gorgeous and stand out in a crowd. This complex design will reflect this sign's complex and interesting personality! Take a look at our latest stock of  guipure lace fabrics here! Consider trying this Lace Kimono DIY for a quick and easy garment that looks beautiful and stunning!

    And to mix it up a bit, try dressing up a simple shirt or dress collar with a hand-made removable collar! These are a lovely way to play up your look without making any permanent alterations to your clothing--no strings attached!

    For some Other Inspirations, check out this Mood Trend Report: Trend Report: Abstract Prints

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    Capricorn: Cotton prints, honest, and rational!

    Capricorn signs are wonderful people who should be valued for their directness and honesty! Interacting with people like this is easy, because you never have to second guess what they're thinking--they'll tell you themselves! Their presence can be comforting in that way, and they'll always help in the most rational way they can see themselves. Their truthful efforts make them responsible and capable people, and their self-control is admirable. A fabric like cotton--tried, traditional, and true--is a perfect fit for this sign! Sport a cotton print to add a little style without having to put in too much extra effort (though they'll appreciate the extra effort, too!). Take a look at our latest stock of cotton prints fabrics here! Consider this plaid flannel shirt DIY to make for yourself or someone you know! Flannel and cotton shirts are pieces that can look incredible when their corners are crisp and their designs are sleek. Take the time to carefully put together a shirt like this, and this sign will be thoroughly impressed to hear you made it yourself!

    While a bolder print may not be your thing, changing up your style or combining it with one that your comfortable with can be refreshing! Try making yourself a pair of these custom fit leggings for a chic and comfortable style!

    For some Other Inspirations, check out this Mood Trend Report: Trend Report: NYFW Fall Forecast | Spring 2017 .

    Aquarius: Silk Charmeuse, innovative, and elegant!

    Aquarians are often noted for their attention to detail and their never-ending effort to improve, even when others think they're already at their best! This is because they constantly have new ideas that they think their project would look better with, and they don't mind getting their hands a little dirty to do it. Hard work always pays off for this sign! But for all their readiness to do the hard labor, they'll appreciate looking good, too, because they're good enough to balance both! A beautiful silk charmeuse  fits this sign. There's nothing better than someone who can do hard work and look elegant doing it! Take a look at our latest stock of silk charmeuse fabrics here! Consider trying out this ribbon tie blouse DIY made with silk charmeuse! It's a cute and dainty style, but that doesn't meant you can't get down to business and be taken seriously wearing it! Show them how it's done!

    Consider this velvet choker DIY for making an every-day accessory that's subtle yet stylish. Hold your head high knowing you've got the right ideas to take on your day!

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    For some Other Inspirations, check out this Mood Trend Report: Trend Report: Cotton Eyelets .

    Pisces: Silk Chiffons, artistic, and sophisticated!

    Truly a child of the arts, Pisces signs may thrive best through a creative outlet that lets them express emotions and their naturally intuitive thoughts! Clothing designs and styles that are too stiff or modern may seem boring, so look for or create your own patterns that help you feel right in your own skin. Ornate sleeves or decorative trims paired with smooth and shiny fabrics might fit your tastes better than others! A silk chiffon could be your perfect go-to fabric for this. These flow beautifully, feel smooth, and look like they're from a different time.  Take a look at our latest stock of silk chiffon fabrics here! Consider this buttoned sleeve shirt DIY that uses silk chiffon for a style that will make you feel both modern and elegant!

    For an accessory that incorporates aspects of nature or flowers, try making this fabric floral crown DIY! This is another cute and elegant piece to share!

     

    For some Other Inspirations, check out this Mood Trend Report: Trend Report: London Fashion Week | Spring 2017

  • Mood DIY: Wine Cozy

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    A gift that's always well-received during the holidays is a nice, expensive wine, but it's always important to add a personal touch to any gift, especially if it's store-bought! Why not try sending your gift off to its new home in a personalized wine cozy? Wine cozies make it easy to dress up your wine gift for the holidays, and the gift will be both functional and practical! And what I love most about them is that they're reusable! No fussing with wrapping paper or throw-away wastes.

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    These are so quick to put together, too. You could put it together in about half and hour if you're taking your time, and in about 10 minutes if you're familiar with sewing! Here's what we used for the project,

    Materials List

    1/3 YDs of Khaki Stretch Cotton Sateen 1/3 YDs of Yellow/Orange/Gray Checked Peached Cotton Shirting 1 YD of 1/4" Rust Solid Grosgrain Ribbon 471 Dark Orange 100m Gutermann Sew All Thread 8" Fiskars All-Purpose Scissors Dritz Size 3/9 Sharp Needles Dritz Tailor’s Chalk Dritz 250 Long White Ball Pins The design is reversible, too, so you can use two different or complimentary fabrics to make them, and with a removable ribbon at the top for a small tie closure, this cozy is simple and easy to use! . The dimensions of the fabric cuts you need are 14 inches high and 10 inches wide (14" x 10"). With the 1/3 YD cut of fabric, you should have no trouble fitting this dimension onto the cut if you line the height of you piece parallel with the selvage. You need two cuts of this size rectangle total, one in the khaki fabric and one in the plaid fabric. Make sure your plaid's design is running the way you'd like it to!

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    After you have your two cuts, take one cut and get your pins. Fold the one cut in half long-ways, and pin the long sides with the right sides together like in the photo. You can also take the time to pin just one of the shorter sides together, so that you have a path of pins shaped like an "L."

    Do this for the other cut of fabric you have as well.

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    Once you've pinned the sides, sew a plain stitch down the long side you've pinned, pivot at the corner, and then sew that bottom line along the short side. Trim the extra seam allowance, and then repeat this step for your other pinned piece. You should now have two fabric bags!

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    Next, we have to "round" off the bottom's corners. This will help the round bottom of any bottles you put into the wine cozy after you complete it sit more stable. In order to do this, slip your hand inside and fold your bag so that the bottom of the bag can be folded like in the photo above. The bottom seam should run straight through the center when you fold it; this is important to do, because it will keep your bag centered!

    Once you've folded it down properly, pin the corners so they don't slide around, and sew another plain stitch about an inch and a half (1.5") away from the point. Make sure to only sew through the corner, and don't sew it onto the bag! Do this for both sides, then repeat the step for your other fabric bag.

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    You should have two bags with finished, rounded off bottoms! Now you can turn one right-side-out, whichever one you want to be on the outside of the bag when it's completed. In this photo, we made the plaid bag for the exterior design, so we turned that one right-side-out. You can see the difference between the two bags in the photos.

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    We're almost done! This is where you need to assemble the two bags together. To do this, first fold the raw edges and set a few pins into the fold to keep them still. For the plaid /outside bag, fold the fabric IN; for the khaki/inside bag, fold the fabric OUT.

    Next, you'll need to slip the bag you want on the inside into the bag you want on the outside, (don't worry, it will still be reversible at the end). Be careful of the pins as you slip the bag in! Line the folded edges up, starting at the seams so they're together, and then work your way around, making sure the folded edges are lined up neatly.

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    Sew your pinned edges together now with a 5/8" seam allowance. Work slowly--this top-stitch looks really sharp if it's nice and straight! You could also use a decorative stitch at the top here if you want to add a little extra design. For this time, we just went with a plain stitch.

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    This is what both of ours looked like after top-stitching. We're almost done!

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    The last step is to sew a small loop for your ribbon. Take a hand needle and some of your thread and sew a loose loop into the seam on the back of your wine cozy about 1 inch (1") from the top. You don't want the ribbon loop to sit too low, because it needs to tie around the neck of the wine bottle that will sit inside it.

    Be careful not to make the loop too tight, otherwise the ribbon won't be able to slip in or out easily. We designed this so that the ribbon could be removed easily in case you need to wash your wine cozy. That way, the ribbon won't get ruined in the wash!

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    And there you have it! A beautiful, seasonal wine cozy! With the amount of fabric suggested for this DIY, you could easily make two wine cozies like we did for double the gift-giving possibilities! A perfect design for the autumn season and Thanksgiving holiday.

    So what do you all think? Can you see this being a great gift for any of your friends or family members? Maybe even one for yourself? What kind of designs would you like to do?

  • Mood DIY: Neoprene Beanie with Rib Knit Trim (and Gloves!)

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    Beanies are a popular hat to wear when the wear starts turning chilly. They fit snug, keep the wind out, and can still help make a fantastic ensemble. They look good in almost any color, and so long as the fabric is warm and has stretch, it usually fits pretty well in a beanie style!

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    That's why we decided to try making a beanie with neoprene fabric. If you didn't know, neoprenes are thick, comfy woven fabrics that come in a variety of bright colors and prints, and they're designed with athletics in mind. Making a beanie for your morning run through the brisk air or to wear and keep warm with at a game are perfect reasons to make one for yourself, and with so many colors available, you’ll have no problem making your own collection! And to top off this design, a border of rib knit trim! Rib knit trims are wide and usually used for sleeve cuffs, but they can also be used for hats. We offer a whole bunch of colors for rib knit trim, too, so the possibilities are nearly endless. Take a look below to see how easy this design is and get inspired to your own neoprene beanie!  

    Materials List

    Mood Brand Lia Sewing Machine ½- YD of Black/Gray Jersey Backed Neoprene/Scuba Knit 1 QTY of Black Striped Acrylic 6.5" x 64" Rib Knit Trim Dritz 250 Long White Ball Pins 10 Black 250m Gutermann Sew All Thread (for sewing and top-stitching the fabric)  

    Drawing the Pattern

    You’ll need a couple of measurements.
    1. Head Circumference—measure around the head your making the hat for over the forehead and underneath the head, basically along the hair line. Generally, head circumferences are 13” for newborn infants, 14” for babies, 16”-18” for children, and 20”-23” for young teens to adults. If you reach a ½” measurement, round up to the closest inch.
    2. The length of the actual hat correlates with the wearer as well: you can go with 8” for newborns, 9”-10” for children, and 11”-12” for young teens to adults.
    3. Follow this pattern diagram to get your pattern piece. Seam allowance is already included when you go by these measurements; neoprenes and knits stretch, so you won’t have to worry about it being too tight in the final product!

    Pattern Image

    Fold your fabric with the selvages together, and lay your pattern piece going with the grain like so:

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    Pin your pattern into place and cut the fabric. Since you’re cutting two pieces at once, you only have to cut once total! You can make two hats with ½ a yard of fabric.  

    Putting the Beanie Together

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    DSC_0305 After you’ve cut the fabric, go ahead and fold each piece in half, right sides together (in this case, we went with the grey side since that’s the side we wanted to show) and pin along where your dart will go. Sew these darts in place using a plain, straight stitch. You do not need a zigzag stitch for these darts. Next, pin your two whole pieces with the right sides together like this. Sew along the pinned edges. Do NOT sew along the flat bottom—that’s where your head goes!

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    Turn it right side out and check the shape. If it’s not round enough for you, use some tailors chalk to sketch out the shape you want on the WRONG side of the fabric and sew down. Check until you’re happy with the result.

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    Put your hat to the side and grab your rib knit trim. This trim has a lot of stretch, so we need to cut a few inches off from our head circumference measurement. With our beanie, we were working with a 24” (rounded up from 23.5”) circumference, so we cut out rib knit trim measurement to 22”. You want the trim to be a little tighter so that it stays on your head! After you’ve cut it to the needed length, fold your trim in half right sides together and pin the edges. If you’re using the striped trim like we did, make sure to guide up your lines! It’ll look messy even if it’s just a bit off. Start pinning at the white lines first and work your way out. Repeat this method when you sew this part together. Double-check for quality after you sew it together before moving on. DSC_0318 Next, fold your rib knit in half, starting at the seam you just made (make sure to line this up neatly, too!) so that the lined side of the trim is facing INSIDE. If you’re using a rib knit trim that has no design, you only have to fold the trim with the wrong sides together. Grab your hat from before, slip it into your ring of trim, and pin your trim around the OUTSIDE of the hat. Check that the hat’s trim is distributed evenly as you pin it. Once you’ve pinned it all, sew it down using a plain, straight stitch while pulling the fabric slightly and giving a 5/8” seam allowance. We set our stitch a little wider, too, but this isn’t always necessary. Be sure to pull it gently, too.

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    That’s all there is to it! We love this beanie design and though it’d be great to try with all our different rib knit trims and neoprenes. This type of hat would look great with both solid and patterned neoprenes, and with so many color options, there are a bunch of ways to make and design it!

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    You can also make a matching pair of gloves with the leftover trim and fabric! you can make cuffed gloves with the rib knit trim, or throw together a pair of fingerless gloves like these quick! Just fold your rib knit over once, trace your hand, cut out four pieces total, sew them together (remembering to line up the rib knit's design if need be!), and you're good to take on the chilly autumn weather! What other accessories could you add to one of these beanies? Maybe some buttons? Or an extra trim? Share your ideas with us, we'd love to hear them! Other Neoprenes to try! Other Rib Knit trims to try!
  • Mad About Plaid! "Men's Flannel Shirt" Style Post

    It's definitely flannel season! With that being said, my hubby has been wanting me to make him a shirt since forever. So, I decided to make him a nice cozy, rustic plaid flannel. Perfect for Fall if I do say so myself. Here's what I used: 3yds of Red/Blue/Brown/White Plaid Cotton Flannel: Product #308634 from MoodFabrics.com 1 yd of Blue Denim-like Cotton Chambray: Product # 308653 from MoodFabrics.com Simplicity Pattern #1544BB-Option D Men's Shirt. This shirt actually took me a couple of days to complete because it is so detailed. This is my first attempt at menswear and I'm pretty pleased with the outcome. I added a contrast denim-like chambray to the button placket, underside of the pockets, back tab, and under-collar. The contrast really brings out the blue in the pattern. This flannel is super soft and feels really yummy! The look was completed with a waffle thermal layered underneath. Mood Fabrics has so many great plaids to choose from if you're looking to make something similar. I think I'll be making myself one pretty soon. Enjoy!

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  • Mood DIY: Leather Messenger Bag/Backpack

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    Learning to sew with leather has been on my list for a while now, and I love things that are changeable and versatile. The solution? Make a messenger back that's also a backpack! Overall, it was a fun project, and definitely a great gift idea. Fabrics & materials used:

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    The leather base of the bag is pretty simple - 15" across and 18" up, with rounded corners on the top. The bottom is a 12"x6" oval.

    Having rarely worked with leather before this, I was a little worried about this project, but it was so much easier than expected! Plus, this stuff glided through the Mood sewing machine with no issues at all.

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    The adjustable front pocket is a 12" square with one quarter cut out. I wanted the pocket to have structure and be able to pop outward from the bag, so stiffener was a necessity. This is where the osnaburg would typically come in - it's easy to work with, strong, and keeps its shape. However, I had a bit of sticky-back foam left over from a previous project that worked wonders! I stuck three triangles onto the back, folded the seam allowance over and top-stitched them into place. The result was a perfect pyramid when the two top points were brought together.

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    The "pocket" has two positions. I put it in quotes because it's more of a little pouch, great for easy access necessities like headphones or pens or anything you can hook over the side.

    Each point has a snap on the underside so it will stay secure when the pocket is flat. To make it a pyramid, I added a snap to the middle of the bag, like you see below. The left point can be brought to the center and the right point can attach onto the extra snap on the topside of the left point.

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    The pocket was then clipped into place along the bottom of the front bag panel. It was time to attach the zipper!

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    I made two loops with the green vinyl and inserted a ring into each. They were pinned on either side of the back bag panel, between the leather and the zipper, and in line with the top of the front pocket.

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    I sewed the remainder of the zipper on both the front and back panels, which finished up the sides, and then attached the bottom of the bag.

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    After the oval base of the bag was sewn, it was just finishing details! An 8" strip of vinyl became a loop on the top rear of the messenger bag. To make the bag into a backpack, the strap simply needs to slide through this loop!

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    For the strap, I used more of the green vinyl, but this could easily be substituted with some webbing. One end was sewn onto one of the rings, while the other was attached to a clip so it can remain adjustable.

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    So will you be making one to gift this holiday season? What color scheme are you going to go with? Tell us below!

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  • Mood DIY: How to Sew a Men's Tie & Bow Tie

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    With the holidays slowly creeping in along with this chilly weather, it's time to start thinking gifts! Especially if you go the handmade route. Ties are a quick and easy go-to during the holiday season. They're fun to make, and most guys need them, so why not make some unique ones that they can't get anywhere else? To help out, we've even created a free template for both, a neck tie and a bow tie!  

    DOWNLOAD FREE TIE TEMPLATE HERE

     

    Neck Tie Instructions:

    Fabrics & materials needed: 1. For this tie, you'll have 4 pattern pieces: the main section, the tail, and two lining panels. Each template piece should be placed on the bias and already includes a 1/2" seam allowance.

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    2. Sew the main tie to the tail, right sides together.

    3. Attach your linings on either end, turn right-side out and press. (Raw edges of your lining can be finished with a pinked edge or a serger.)

    4. Fold the sides of your tie in 1/2" and press. (Be sure to check the care instructions for your fabric. Many silks will require a low setting, or even a protective pressing cloth.)

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    5. Fold the sides of your tie inward again, this time bringing them into the middle. They should overlap just slightly, but be sure the angles at the bottom are even. Press into place.

    6. Many ties simply have a bar tack toward the bottom, but I chose to slip stitch the length of the tie to keep everything laying smoothly.

    7. Add a loop and/or tag about 8" from the bottom of your tie for your tail to slip through after it's tied.

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    Bow Tie Instructions:

    Fabrics & materials used:

    1. Cut 2 bow tie pieces on the fold from your main fabric. 2. Optional: cut 1 bow tie piece from your interfacing and fuse it to one of your main fabric panels. (If you have a stiff fabric, such as a brocade or jacquard, this step may not be necessary.) 3. Sew your two panels, right-sides together. Leave a 1"-2" opening toward the center of the tie to turn your fabric right-side out. Press. 4. Slip-stitch the opening to finish your new bow tie!
  • Quick and Easy Button Crafts

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    So; let’s talk buttons! Here’s a question for all of you casual button-enthusiasts out there: where do you most often use buttons? On a shirt? Pants? Usually closures, right? Maybe a pillow? Have you ever considered decorating with buttons? There are plenty of big and small projects that can be improved with just a few buttons! Working with buttons is a great and refreshing way to shift your mind and design in a different perspective! Sometimes it might help to think outside the box, but it might be better for others to think inside the box! You can focus on the big or the small details—buttons can go either way, and both methods produce different results!

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    Getting interested? Then you might want to consider trying out a Bag o' Buttons to get you started! These bags always provide an amazing assortment of button types, colors, and shapes. I was so impressed when I opened up a bag and saw how many different types poured out! These are available in both small and large sizes, so you can get the amount that suits your needs! So grab yourself a bag, check out some ideas below, and get ready to button up!  

    Button Brooch

    This is a cute idea that just involves stacking a few buttons on top of each other and sewing them together with a bit of complimentary embroidery thread! These come out best when using different sized buttons, and you can play with the color combinations all you want! Attach with a safety pin or brooch pin! DSC_1133

    Holiday Wreath Button Embellishment

    Embellishments on holiday wreaths look beautiful in any season! Since buttons come in all colors and designs, it’s easy to find buttons for every occasion and holiday. Add some buttons for a pop of color or to finish off seasonal motifs!

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    Button Pendent

    This is similar to the Button Brooch, but worn in a different spot! Buttons that are ornate and stand out proud on their own can take a center stage over a shirt pocket or dress hem!

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    Button Napkin Tie

    Another idea that’s simple, tying some buttons together with a little more embroidery thread can make for an adorable and colorful napkin tie! Use them for dinner parties and other special occasions you need a fresh dinner set for!

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    Button Flower Bouquet

    Button flower bouquets are beautiful and elegant pieces that can be wonderful setting pieces for the coming fall season! Use colors and flower designs reminiscent of mums, sunflowers, and harvest-time flora and set them in a decorative cornucopia to liven up a dining room or coffee table!

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    Button Bookmark

    Button bookmarks are vintage little clips that are safe on your wallet and your books! Take a paper clip, attach a button to each side on the end, and you’re done! You can use them for your favorite novel, marking important pages in textbooks, or for organizing your planner!

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    Button Pushpins

    Bored of your corkboard’s push pins? Don’t want to spend money on those pretty ones from the store? Decorate them yourself! Use some hot glue to spruce up any bland pins you have. These will give a cute and quirky touch to your corkboard!

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      These are just a handful of button DIY ideas, but it’s something to get you started! Have you done a button project that wasn’t listed here? Or maybe you thought of another project idea from looking at these? Share your comments and photos with us—we’d love to see more ways to use buttons!
  • Velvet Pumpkin DIY

    Velvet Pumpkins DIY

    Velvet pumpkins are a Halloween craft I recently fell in love with, and while I’m tempted to buy them at stores every time I see them, I wanted to see if I could make them myself. I was pleasantly surprised to find that they’re very easy to make! So if you're looking for a quick and easy way to spruce up your home for fall, consider making some to decorate with!

    Here’s a list of what I used:

    Velvet pumpkins are made with fabric. Velvet is usually the optimal choice, because when it’s gathered it has the same look as the ridges on pumpkins, and the sheen from the fabric’s nap helps define the gathered fabric. You could use other types of fabrics, too, though—the design is very versatile. So long as the fabric type you’re using gathers together nicely, it’ll probably work! As for the stems, people often suggest using real stems that you can break off of an actual pumpkin. This is a great option if you can get your hands on a couple of real stems, but I wanted to make an all-fabric velvet pumpkin, so I ended up making more decorative stems with felt fabric in a contrasting color! Adding some ribbon to the bottom of the stem gives the impression of vines sprouting from the stem, too.
    Pattern Pieces Pattern Pieces
    Start off by cutting out a circle of your velvet fabric. Make sure that you don’t make a size smaller than 6 inches in diameter, or the pumpkin might turn out too small! I went with 10” and 16” diameter. The last one might sound big, but remember that the pumpkin will only be about a quarter wide of whatever diameter you use! If you want a bigger pumpkin, use a wider piece of fabric! I added a 6" diameter in the picture for comparison.
    Pattern Layout Pattern Layout
    After you’ve cut your fabric, get your hand sewing needle and thread.  It’s okay if you’re not a great hand-sewer—this step is simple: sew a basting stitch along the edge of your circle of fabric, about half an inch away from the edge. Make sure to start your stitch through the wrong side of the fabric; this will keep the knot from showing on the outside of the fabric! If you’re not sure what a basting stitch looks like, it’s basically a line of big stitches used to keep layers of fabric together, like this,
    Basting Stitch Basting Stitch
    (I used contrasting thread to help show the example better; you should be using your like-colored thread!) After you’ve run the stitch all the way around, gently push the fabric together so that it gathers. DO NOT tie the thread or cut the excess thread yet! You need to fill your pumpkin with Poly-fil now! You can stuff it just a little or a lot depending on how firm you want it to be. On a scale of 1 to 10, I filled both of mine at about a 4.
    Closing the Pumpkin Closing the Pumpkin
    After you stuff the pumpkin, make sure any loose fiber is stuffed back in and then take your thread and needle in hand again. Gather the velvet close again so that it has the pumpkin shape, and then tie a knot so the thread doesn’t go slack again. Don’t make the opening to the inside of the pumpkin too small—leave enough room so that you can insert your pumpkin stem later! From here, you also need to stick the needle all the way down through the center of the bottom of the pumpkin and then back through to the top. Pull it very gently (be careful your thread doesn’t snap) so that the bottom of the pumpkin pulls up a little to get the generic shape for the bottom of a pumpkin, like this,
    Bottom of Pumpkin Bottom of Pumpkin
    Bottom of Pumpkin (Side) Bottom of Pumpkin (Side)
    Run the thread through the bottom a couple of times to secure it. After you’ve tied and knotted the thread well, cut the excess thread.
    Stem Fabric Square Stem Fabric Square
    Leave your pumpkin and needle to the side and get your felt. You don’t need a whole lot of felt per pumpkin, depending on the size your making. For mine, I used 5”x6” pieces.
    Start at one corner... Start at one corner...
    Roll at an angle... Roll at an angle...
    And there's your shape! And there's your shape!
    You can make your stems with the felt in different ways, from cutting the edge with decorative scissors to rolling the swatch pieces in different ways. Make the top of the roll or the base flared, use scissors to cut shapes into the edges, anything really! This project is really easy to customize and make unique, so don’t be afraid to experiment! Use your glue of choice to secure the shape you decide on, or you could sew it to help secure it! I did that for my stems. After you know what shape you want the stem to be, get your pumpkin base. Take another line of thread for your needle and use it to sew your stem to the pumpkin! Make sure to start under the velvet fabric so the knot doesn’t show. Work in a circle, sewing from underneath, to sew the stem into the opening in your pumpkin. Sew it secure and tight so that the velvet fabric closes completely around the stem without any openings (otherwise the Poly-fil might fall out!).
    Stems Attached Stems Attached
    As a finishing touch, add some ribbon around the base of your stem! And then you’re done!
    Ribbons! Ribbons!
    These pumpkins are the cutest thing, and they’re so fun to play with and customize. You could add a short thick tree stick for the stem and make a felt flower to embellish the base of it, or use burlap for a big bow! The possibilities are actually endless. What kind of velvet pumpkin designs do you want to make?
  • Mood DIY: Skinny Leather Belt with Chicago Screw Closure

    I grabbed some leather from Mood Fabrics and wanted to try it, when I saw a belt from J. Crew in tan a few years ago that actually inspired this DIY. I totally think that it's a belt that can be dressed up or down and can be fastened in a number of ways (as is, tucked on one side, tied in a knot, etc). Are there any ways I haven't thought of? Let me know below.Leather Grommet Belt1 Leather Grommet Belt2SUPPLIES: Harness leather (around 8-12 oz), rotary cutter, 3 chicago screws, edge kote, glue, hole punch, q-tip, awl, and blade. Leather Grommet Belt3HOW TO: 1. Cut out a strip of leather that is 1/2 inch wide (mine was 38 inches long). Then take your awl and make an indentation for the holes every 3/4 inch (I made 9 holes in total, 1.5 inches from the edge). 2. Take the hole punch and punch each hole that you marked. 3. To make sure I lined up where my knobs should, I put one end of the belt on top of the other to mark where my previously punched holes were. Go ahead and punch those holes. 4. Then screw on each Chicago Screw (Note: I add a dab of glue under the screw cap for added security). Leather Grommet Belt4 HOW TO CONT'D:  5. Now, you want your chicago screw head "knob" to be able to fit through the hole...but it may need a little help, so you'll need to take your blade and cut a straight slit on bottom of each hole (cut a little less than 1/4 in). 6. Lastly, take your q-tip and edge kote all sides of the belt. Let it dry about 30-40 mins. (Note: I usually do 2 coats). Leather Grommet Belt5"Brandhyze Stanley is the chief voice of the award winning blog, Frugal-nomics.com; a platform designed to share with women how to live and look fabulous on a dime. A DIY girl at heart—Brandhyze has been featured on Dr. Oz, The View, The Today Show, InStyle Magazine, Essence Magazine, and MTVStyle. A Wilhelmina Model for over a decade, with a Business Degree from Loyola University Chicago, Brandhyze provides DIY content to the popular How-To Site, eHow; and has been a contributor for the Huffington Post, Yahoo Finance, Super Money, Good Housekeeping, and Newsday Westchester, to name a few. Brandhyze is a huge thrifter and a lover of all good deals, follow her on Twitter @MyFrugalnomics and on Facebook at Facebook.com/Frugalnomics

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