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  • The Ultimate List of Sewing Supplies by Mood Fabrics

    sewing supplies guide

    With school (dare I say it) just around the corner, it's probably that point in the summer where students are looking at their supply list and wondering which tools they still need, which ones essential, and which would just be incredibly helpful to have in their bag. Not to worry - in today's post, we're going to outline each handy sewing gadget that we love to use from design to finish!

    1. Design

    sewing supplies guide

    Every project should have a design stage; a time when you can find inspiration and sketch ideas. Sure, you'll find a sketchpad and some fashion sites helpful, but the internet isn't the only place you have to turn to for ideas.

    1. The Mood Guide to Fabric and Fashion
      • If you ever wanted some in depth insight to the history of Mood and how it all began, this book is a must. However, it won't stop there. The Mood Guide will also give you the tools to learn all about the different types of fabrics, fibers, prints and patterns, identifying specific characteristics of each. So you'll already be on your way to becoming a pro when you show up for class this semester.
    2. 9 Heads - A Guide to Drawing Fashion
      • This book, essential for any student studying fashion, is what Mood uses in all of their illustrations classes. In addition to covering techniques for drawing fashion figures, 9 Heads is also a comprehensive guide to drawing all kinds of modern fashion garments, silhouettes and constructional/design details. This edition even includes a new chapter on Composition and Fashion Shorthand (a guide to composing groups of garments for professional standard portfolios) and a complete set of tutorials on how best to utilize Photoshop for fashion illustrations. 9 Heads leaves no future designer with anything less than all of the basic tools in formatting fashion illustrations on a professional level.
    3. Fashionary
      • Do you love designing clothes, but have a hard time putting your ideas on paper? If so, a Fashionary might just be the perfect fit for you. These pads are the perfect blend of fashion resource, templates, and sketchpad, making it the tool for brainstorming, fast sketching and quick referencing for students, designers and home sewers alike.
    4. Sketchpads
      • If templates just distract you, basic sketch books and pads are always a great option. Mood has several for pencils, pens, or markers.
    5. Pens, Pencils, and Markers
      • Not every writing instrument is the same. If you're finalizing your sketches with pens and markers like you should be, there are a slew of tools that can help you make sure your idea on the page is exactly what you're designing in your head. Prismacolor's marker set is terrific, as is their marker blender, and Fashionary's color collection (made exclusively for Mood) contains a full and effective range of contemporary fashion colors for extensive design applications!

    2. Drape

    sewing supplies guide

    If you like to make your own patterns, draping is almost always a necessary extra step, which means a few more supplies. In the end though, your designs will flourish for it.

    1. Dress Form
      • Dress forms are one of the most helpful tools a fashion designer can have. Not only can you fit semi-finished garments on it, you can also drape muslin or other fabric to create your own brand new garment or pattern.
    2. Muslin
    3. Pins
    4. Draping Tape
      • Draping tape, much like painter's tape, is often thin and flexible, making it ideal for mapping out seams and curves on a dress form or muslin.
    5. Pattern Paper
      • Draw out your own patterns or save yourself some money by tracing ready-made patterns in different sizes - either way, pattern paper can be incredibly helpful! Plus, it typically has a built in 1" grid system for easy measurements.

    3. Measure

    sewing supplies guide

    Measuring tools have evolved fantastically from a basic straight ruler. These awesome gadgets can make sure every garment you make is tailored to perfection.

    1. Yard Stick
    2. French Curve
      • This easy to use gauge is terrific for measuring and drawing curved lines like arm holes and necklines.
    3. T-Square
      • You'll definitely want one of these if you do a lot of quilting or geometric work.
    4. Hem Gauge
      • This curved gauge makes pressing new hems incredibly simple - just wrap your hem around the curve and iron! It can also be used for pockets, pattern alterations, and belts or waistbands.
    5. Hip Curve
      • If you're looking to create long, graceful curves in your designs, this 2 foot ruler needs to be in your supply stash.
    6. L-Square
      • This is a straight edge and t-square all in one, terrific for right angles and borders!
    7. Measuring Tape
      • We all have at least 3 of these right?? Tape measures are terrific for taking measurements on non-flat surfaces, which is a necessity when you need to measure your model.
    8. Sliding Gauge
      • If you don't want to spend the money on all of these right away, you can try them out with a nifty little sliding gauge. This pocket-sized gadget features a buttonhole spacer and sizer, a seam allowance gauge, a circle compass, a hem gauge, and a T-square - all in miniature!

    4. Mark

    sewing supplies guide

    1. Tracing Wheel
      • A tracing wheel is a great marking option  for soft fabrics. It leaves a small dotted indent that disappears after pressing. For leather or vinyl, it can also be used to evenly space and mark where to hand stitch.
    2. Tailor's Chalk
      • This chalk is best if you need a nice, solid line. However, be sure to remove markings before pressing your garment, as the heat could set the color slightly.
    3. Marking Pencil
      • Marking pencil's are much like tailor's chalk, but they tend to be a bit lighter. They come in three shades, so they can work with most fabric colors, and there are even water soluble options that can be removed with a damp cloth!
    4. Awl
      • An awl is a tool used to punch holes in leather, vinyl, plastic, and fleece, to hold and ease fabric under a needle while sewing, to start holes for small wood screws, and to mark dart holes in both fabric and preliminary patterns. Essentially, it can be used for a lot of things - such as marking stitchs on leather by hand instead of using a tracing wheel, or fully puncturing the markings initially made by a tracing wheel.
    5. Tracing Paper
      • Once you have all your markings and measurements, you may want to recreate them on pattern paper or muslin, or even your fina fabric. Tracing paper can be a great assistant when it comes to this step.

    5. Cut

    sewing supplies guide

    1. Buttonhole Cutter
      • Similar to a chisel, you can insert the tip of this buttonhole cutter in the center of the button hole and rock it back and forth until you cut through to the other side. Be sure to place a piece of cardboard or other protective material behind the fabric when cutting.
    2. Seam Ripper
      • Many beginner kits and machines come with a seam ripper, but if you're unfamiliar with them, they can be used to open seams, to cut and remove stitches and to cut buttonholes open.
    3. Edge Trimmer
      • These applique scissors are designed to make applique work and rug making a breeze as the paddle-shaped blade pushes away the bottom layer of fabric for flawless, controlled cuts close to stitching.
    4. Cutting Mat
      • These mats are self-healing, meaning they won't be easily destroyed by knife or rotary cutter marks.
    5. Thread Snipper
      • Thread snippers are designed to trim thread, floss, yarn or other light materials with accuracy and comfort. Fine-point tips offer access and control when trimming stringing materials in tight places while the precision-ground stainless steel blades make clean cuts. Spring-action handle with finger loop makes handling both easy and comfortable!
    6. Rotary Cutter
      • Rotary cutters are especially terrific for long, straight lines - like those you'd be cutting if you're a quilter.

    6. Sew

    sewing supplies guide

    1. Mood Sewing Machine
      • This could maybe be considered a shameless plug, but Mood's newly launched sewing machine is a must-have! I can't say it better than Mood itself:
        • "These electronic sewing machines come with a LCD screen, an all purpose foot, a zipper foot, a buttonhole foot, an overcasting foot, a blind hem foot, a satin stitch foot, a button sewing foot, three bobbins (with one already filled), an edge quilting guide, a large and small spool holder, spool pin felt, three needles, a brush, a seam ripper, screw drivers, a soft cover and more. Proving a diverse array of over 400 basic, novelty and embroidery stitches/patterns, this machine is perfect for both the skillful and novice sewers. Complete with a manual providing detailed instruction not only on every aspect of this machine, but with instruction on how to complete basic sewing tasks as well. Features enhancements such as warning messages when your bobbin is low or when the upper thread is broken. Can be used to sew leather, heavy wool, cotton, knits, etc. "
    2. Thread
      • Elastic, invisible, fusible, heavy duty -- every wonder about all the different types of thread? I recently outlined all my favorites right over here!
    3. Machine Needles
    4. Hand Needles
    5. Needle Threader
      • Maybe this one isn't a necessity, but I am in love with needle threaders. They can be used with both hand and machine needles, and they completely elliminate the frustration of fighting with the eye of a needle and fraying thread.
    6. Thimble
      • These come in a few different sizes, to protect your finger while hand sewing. Plus, if you find the metal ones uncomfortable, there are also leather ones!
    7. Bobbins
      • These, of course, typically come with your machine, but it's always a good idea to have a few extra. Some will always get lost, and others are just great to have so you don't always need to waste thread by juggling the same two. Just be sure you choose ones that fit your machine!

    7. Craft

    sewing supplies guide

    1. Seam Creaser
      • This is a must-have for any sewist. The narrow end helpfully turns points on shirt collars, lapels, pockets and more, while the rounded end creases seams open (or shut!) for a tailored look every time.
    2. Loop Turner
      • A necessity when making narrow spaghetti-straps, button loops or frog closures. Latch-hook end catches fabric to pull it through bias tubing!
    3. Fabric Glue
      • Sometimes, you just have to use glue. When adhering fabric though, be sure to use glue meant specifically for fabric. Others can stain or eat through certain fibers, and others simply won't do the job as well.
    4. Hem Tape
      • Intimidated by hemming? Hem tape can take that fear away! There are several different kinds, although most are iron-on. Some are permanent, which others wash away and act more like temporary iron-on pins. This can also be used for appliques!
    So what sewing tools are your favorites? Did we leave any out in our ultimate list?
  • Mood DIY: All About Zippers

    Zipper infographics-01

    With so many different types of zippers out there, it can be tricky figuring out which will work best for your project. But not to worry, you'll be an expert in no time! Read on to learn everything you'll need to know about zippers -- from choosing the right material and length, to altering and inserting them into garments! Types of Zippers: Coil
    • Lightweight
    • Heat-resistant
    • Rust-proof
    • Nylon or polyester
    • Aluminum, nickel, or brass
    • Commonly found on jeans, purses, and pockets
    • Cheaper alternative to metal zippers
    • Often seen on parkas and kids' clothing
    • Similar to coil zippers
    • Typically found on dresses and skirts
      Inserting a Non-Invisible Zipper: zipper 1 1. Lay the right edge of your zipper tape against the left raw edge of your fabric with right sides together. Straight-stitch. 2. Repeat with the opposite side. 3. Flip your fabric right-side up and iron. zippers 2 4. Use a zipper foot to top-stitch about a 1/4" from the zipper teeth, like you see on the right side above. Without this top-stitching, the fabric can pull and rip. Shortening a Zipper zippers 3 Zippers come in all sorts of lengths and widths, but there will be times when you need to alter a zipper's length. This is way less intimidating than it sounds! The metal bar that keeps a zipper pull from going further down the tape is called a 'stop.' So if you're making a zipper shorter, all you need to do it create your own stop by stitching around the teeth several times. Cut the tape about an inch below your new stop -- any regular scissors should do the trick! Oftentimes, having zipper tape against your skin can be pretty irritating. To remedy this, sew a couple inches of scrap fabric to the end of your zipper before adding it to your garment! Inserting an Invisible Zipper   zippers 4   1. Locate your machines invisible zipper foot and attach it per your machine's instructions. 2. Open your zipper and lie it face-down on the right side of your fabric, with the top stop about 3/4" from the raw edge of your garment. 3. With the coil along the seam line, stitch close to the teeth until you reach the zipper pull, making sure to keep the coil within the groove of your zipper foot. 4. Repeat with opposite side of zipper. 5. Move the zipper pull upwards and out of the way to finish stitching toward the bottom of your invisible zipper. 6. Switch to a regular sewing foot, and finish seam. Sew less than an inch of tape at the bottom of your zipper into the seam.
  • Mood Newsletter: 20% off Coupon Code for Notions

    Mood Fabrics December 6, 2011 NEWSLETTER
    3 day 20% off Notion Sale Coupon Code: Notions2011
    Come celebrate the beginning of the Holiday Season by enjoying 20% off our Notions Department from Tuesday, December 6, 2011 to Thursday, December 8, 2011 on MoodFabrics.com by using Coupon Code Notions2011 (*some restrictions apply). Resupply yourself for those Holiday craft projects with Scissors, Fabric Paint, Hand & Machine Needles, Rulers and much more. These Notions also make the perfect gift or stocking stuffer for the fashionista in your life. Use Coupon Code Notions2011 at check-out to receive your discount. Shop Notions Now!
    *Coupon Code Conditions: Coupon Code is only valid December 6, 2011 to December 8, 2011 • Coupon Code must be entered at time of check-out • Dress Forms and Mood Gift Boxes are not eligible for discount • coupon code can not be combine with another coupon code • This is an online promotion only •


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    Ultimate Mood Fan Gift Box Super Sewing Starter Set Gift Box

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    225w 37th Street 3rd Floor New York, NY 10018 (212) 730-5003

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    6151 West Pico Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90035 (323) 653-6663