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  • Mood DIY: Bulbasaur Dog Halloween Costume

    pokemon bulbasaur dog costume

    It's my favorite time of the year - Halloween! And let's face it: all of October is Halloween. Plus, since Pokemon has recently made a comeback, naturally I needed to dress Swatch up as Bulbasaur.

    Fabrics & Materials Used:


     The pattern for the costume was fairly simple - the main body is an easy vest that closes with velcro up the front. The base was the tile blue neoprene, which was the perfect shade for Bulbasaur. His spots were made with a few inches of the alpine green. For the bulb, I cut 5 panels of the leaf shape you see above. The more narrow side would become the top.

    pokemon bulbasaur dog costume

    The bulb was easily the best part to make! I loved the contrasting black lines created by the foam, so I chose to put my seam allowance on the right side.

    pokemon bulbasaur dog costume

    Each panel was sewn, wrong sides together, from the very bottom until about 2 inches from the top. Before sewing the last panel shut, I threw in a little fiber fill (not too much though, since it'll need to fit under the sewing machine one more time. The rest of the fill will go in through the top of the bulb.

    pokemon bulbasaur dog costume

    Since Bulbasaur's bulb isn't completely shut up top, I kept Swatch's open as well. A small circle of neoprene lies on top of the fiber fill, so none pops out!

    pokemon bulbasaur dog costume

    It attaches to the vest with some more velcro, this way the vest can be easily removed for washing, but it could also be hand sewn into place. Some neoprene scraps and a bit of elastic made his ears - how adorable! What kind of Halloween costumes are you making for your pets this year?

    pokemon bulbasaur dog costume

  • Mood DIY: How to Sew a Clutch Wallet

    swatch mood clutch sewing diy

    Clutches are one of the most helpful fashion accessories; you can never have too many. So rather than buy yet another, I decided I'd throw one together myself! And since National Dog Day is fast approaching, I thought I'd add a little Swatch into the design.

    Items used:

    swatch mood clutch sewing diy

    To get the right shape, I simply enlarged a photo of Swatch from Mood's neoprene print, re-sketched it to fix any proportions that were skewed, and cut out each section: the base for the head, his white spot, two ear shapes, two eyes, and a little highlighting for his right eye. Everything went together fairly easily, although I do need to clean up a little excess glue around the one eye. And a few hand stitched around his nose made the perfect freckles.

    swatch mood clutch sewing diy

    For this clutch, I added in an invisible magnetic snap behind Swatch's head. If you've never inserted one before, don't worry - it's incredibly quick and easy.

    swatch mood clutch sewing diy

    Rather than attach it directly to Swatch, I put it on an extra scrap of vinyl and then glued and stitched it behind Swatch afterwards. The snap comes with two sides, and each side has a small metal support plate. Trace the two lines from the plate onto your fabric and then cut along them. They'll  be exactly where your snap will slip into the fabric, like you see below.

    swatch mood clutch sewing diy

    Place the support plate onto the back of the snap and fold the sides of the snap over to secure it.

    swatch mood clutch sewing diy

    Here's a view from the front. This was then attached to the back of Swatch's head. (The second half of the snap will be attached later.)

    swatch mood clutch sewing diy

    Now for your clutch panels. The outside is made up of two parts - a 10"x15" vinyl rectangle, and a 10"x7" taffeta rectangle. The lining was 10"x22".

    swatch mood clutch sewing diy

    If you're following along and making your own, attach the small taffeta panel to the vinyl, right sides together. This will become the front flap of the clutch.

    swatch mood clutch sewing diy

    Fold the vinyl panel in half, matching right sides, and stitch up the sides. Do the same with the lining; and be sure to fold over a 1/2" along the open edge. They should look like this:

    swatch mood clutch sewing diy

    Pin the right side of your front flap to the lining. Sew just around the 3 sides of the flap and turn right-side out. It'll look a little bit like this mess:

    swatch mood clutch sewing diy

    The remainder of your lining should fit right inside the vinyl pouch, and start looking like a clutch!

    swatch mood clutch sewing diy

    Before top-stitching along the open edge, add in the second half of your magnetic snap. I attached Swatch's head to the front flap first (a little glue and some slip-stitching did the trick), and then folded the front flap down and marked where the back of my snap should be placed for everything to close correctly.


    And in under an hour, I had an adorable new puppy clutch! So tell me in the comments - will you be making your own? Will you add a cute little Swatch to the front, or something different?

    swatch mood clutch sewing diy

  • Mood DIY: Slouchy Swatch Hoodie

    The best part of Mood - aside from all the fabulous fabrics - is definitely Swatch. So pairing him with fabric? Genius. As soon as the Swatch neoprene went online, I knew I had to make something with it. And lo and behold, my coworker wanted a hoodie!


    Items used:


    Slouchy sweatshirts are easy to make, since they can be super comfy and over-sized. All I needed to do was trace an old hoodie, and a pattern was made. I cut one each of the front and back, two sleeves, and 4 hood panels since the hood was the only part I was lining. I also cut about 9" off each of the rib knit trims to make the sleeve cuffs. The two larger pieces of the trim would be used to create the sweatshirt hem.


    Since neoprene is super stretchy, it called for a walking foot. If you've never sewn with one before, they look way scarier than they actually are. In fact, they make sewing knits incredibly simple. Since they work to feed the fabric through evenly on the top and the bottom, no more lettuce seams!


    The beginning of the construction was the easiest. The front and back panels were attached at the shoulders, before the sleeves and sides were pinned and sewn together. Next was the hood.


    Since the inside of the hood would be seen, I lined it with the same Swatch fabric. This meant essentially constructing two hoods and sewing them together at the front. I then flipped it right side out, top-stitched over the front seam, and sewed it around the neckline.


    The rib knit already comes in 7" strips, which made the cuffs super simple to add on. They just needed to be sewn into tubes and folded in half before being added onto each sleeve and around the hem.


    Last, I added on a front pocket, like all good hoodies have. I used a sturdy knit material, so all I needed to do was top-stitch it into place!


    So tell me, is it cute or is it cute? Perfect for the wishy-washy spring weather, where it's 80 degrees one day and 45 the next.


  • Why is Wool Warmer than Other Fabrics

    Why Is Wool Warmer?

     New York City Winter Street Style

    When fighting against the cold winter weather of places like Chicago, Detroit, and of course New York City, staying warm at all times is a must. So what do we do? We go out and buy thick and heavy coats, scarfs, hats and socks; every essential garment needed to survive the brutal cold. But one may ask what is the number one go to protector? WOOL!  But why wool? Why are we naturally drawn to wool? Why is wool warmer?

    For centuries it has been instilled in our subconscious that wool is warm, but why is this particular fiber warmer than others?


    Wool is a textile fiber deriving from primarily sheep. However, it can also come from other animals; cashmere from goats, mohair from goats, qiviut from muskoxen, and angora from rabbits.

    angora rabbit

     Woolly sheep were introduced into Europe from the Near east in the early part of the forth millennium BC. The oldest known European wool textile, ca. 1500 BC, was preserved in a Danish bog. During those ancient times, selective breeding took place and the result were sheep with superior fleeces which required special care. Great to understand where this fabulous wool that we love and appreciate so much comes from, but it still haven't answered the million dollar question, why is wool warmer? Wool has several qualities and characteristics that distinguish it: it is crimped, it is elastic, and it grows in staples.

    crimp wool

    Because of the crimp, wool fabrics have greater bulk than most other textiles and they hold air which causes the fabric to retain heat. When you spin wool fibers into yarn, you get a lofty, resilient yarn that wants to trap films of air and keep it from moving from your skin.

    spun woolWool retains heat, and traps air like instillation for a house, for example; a fabric that's brushed to bring up a nap, like flannel, will keep more still air against your skin than one that is not napped, like muslin. Makes so much sense why punk/street wear enthusiast love wearing flannels during the fall. It's not because of Kurt Cobain like most of us thought, but because it's really warm.  3e927ffe62f7778594de4295d8b428da

    Warmth from a wool also depends on the construction of the yarns. A closely woven fabric of a "cool fiber" can be warmer than a not so closely woven fabric of a "warmer fiber". A textured weave may be more retentive than a plain weave. moodfabrics.comLike a wool crepe may retain more heat than a looser plain weave wool. For the most part, wool garments are constructed with two basic weaves: the plain weave and the twill.


    Woolen yarns are made into fabric using a plain weave which produces a fabric that is somewhat looser in construction and a soft on the surface. Worsted yarns can create fine fabrics with exquisite patterns using a twill weave. The result is a more tightly woven, smooth fabric. Better constructed, worsteds are more durable than woolens and therefore more costly. After weaving, both worsteds and woolens undergo a series of finishing procedures including fully immersing the fabric in water to make the fibers interlock which in turn retains more warm air.


    So when battling the frigid, cold, brisk weather of the winter seasons, bundle up in wool and keeping warm won't be an issue. Use a wool challis as a base layer; it is light weight and it will help with moisture management unlike cotton which stay wet and might actually steal heat from your body.moodfabrics.com

     On top of the wool challis base layer, top it off with a beautiful wool boucle which is looser, fine, but still holds the same characteristics as any other wool which is to hold in the nice warm air. Moodfabrics.com

    Finally, the supreme protector from the viscous cold would be a wool tweed coating which is basically rough and unfinished. moodfabrics.com

     Tweed is a woolen material woven in intricate ways to create plain, twill, herringbone and check patterns. Tightly woven twill characteristics also plays a major part in the warmth of the wool.


    All in all remember what we learned at Mood; when it comes to the number one question, "why is wool warmer", it is because wool flannels are way cooler than cotton flannels! Which is true in some cases, but the real reason is that wool holds more warm air and releases moisture better than any other fiber available.

  • DIY Airstream Pin Cushion

    Does one ever have too many pin cushions? I think not, here is one featured on Flamingo Toes, a creative blog! All of my swatchaholics will be delighted to know that this project can be completed with a few larger swatches and a small assortment of notions.


    Supplies Needed:


    Swatches for side panels

    Swatches for gusset

    Swatch for door/window curtain

    Swatch for window pane

    Swatch for wheel well

    Fiber Fill

    2 buttons (I grabbed mine from a bag o' buttons)

    5" of ric rac or other decorative trim

    5" of bolo cord (optional)

    Coordinating thread

    Coordinating embroidery thread


    Tape Measure


    Cut out side panels, I added 1/4" seam allowance. Cut out side panels, I added 1/4" seam allowance.
    Cut out a gusset of 3" by 16". Stitch swatches together to achieve length. Cut out a gusset of 3" by 16". Stitch swatches together to achieve length.
    Using pattern, cut out windows, wheel wells, and door as well as ric rac for the window shade.
    Using pattern, cut out windows, wheel wells, and door as well as ric rac for the window shade.
    Glue ric rac to window shade and then trim the fabric below. Glue ric rac to window shade and then trim the fabric below.
    Ater adding the curtain to the window, place and embroider all pieces on to the side panels. I added a french knot to the door for a handle, and the window for a drawstring. I also embroidered "Off you sew" to the caravan's side. HINT: Use the pattern to help with placement of pieces. Ater adding the curtain to the window, place and embroider all pieces on to the side panels. I added a french knot to the door for a handle, and the window for a drawstring. I also embroidered "Off you sew" to the caravan's side. HINT: Use the pattern to help with placement of pieces.
    Stich gusset into the round, I added the bolo cord int the seam for a trailer hitch. Stich gusset into the round, I added the bolo cord in the seam for a 'trailer hitch'.
    Set in the gusset and stitch around the edges, 1/4" seam allowance. Set in the gusset and stitch around the edges, 1/4" seam allowance.
    This is what the inside will look like once you add the first gusset. This is what the inside will look like once you add the first gusset.
    Once you have attached both side panels to the gusset (remember to leave an opening to turn), turn and sew the buttons on for the tires. Once you have attached both side panels to the gusset (remember to leave an opening to turn), turn and sew the buttons on for the tires.
    Stuff your pincushion with the fiberfil, the more compact the better as you may even want to insert a piece of card stock at the top to bring stability to the pins. Close seam with a ladder stitch. Stuff your pincushion with the fiberfil, the more compact the better as you may even want to insert a piece of card stock at the top to bring stability to the pins. Close seam with a ladder stitch.

    Now you can sew on-the-go with your travel ready pin cushion! Happy travels!


  • Swatch, Mood Mascot and Tim Gunn Protégé

    Tim Gunn has been tutoring our Swatch in how to be a Project Runway fashion mentor. Check out these images and let us know if you think Swatch could step in for Tim when he goes on vacation.

    Tim Gunn, Project Runway fashion mentor.Swatch, Mood Fabrics' mascot, is training to be the canine Tim Gunn.Tim Gunn, Project Runway fashion mentor.Swatch, Mood Fabrics' mascot, is in training to be the next Tim Gunn.Tim Gunn, Project Runway fashion mentor.

    Swatch, Mood Fabrics' mascot, is in training to be the canine Tim Gunn.

  • Swatch, Mood Fabrics’ Mascot: 25 Things You Don’t Know About Me

    Swatch mug-shot
    1. I live with my dad Eric and mom Marianne in NYC in their apartment. (Some people think I live at Mood 24/7; nope!)
    2. I have a microchip implanted in me just in case.
    3. My favorite toys are squeaky toys because they’re fun to rip to shreds.
    4. Don’t be surprised if you visit Mood on a rainy or snowy day and I’m not there. I hate rain and snow and I call in sick on those days.
    5. In the summertime, I like to float in the pool. Not swim, just float.
    6. I’m always flattered when customers want to take their pictures with me.
    7. I actually don’t mind when the Mood staff dresses me up in ridiculous outfits and makes me pose for photos. Even when they dress me like a girl.
    8. This past June I turned 6.
    9. I like to sleep under the covers.
    10. Filet mignon is my favorite food. I could eat it every day.
    11. Between noon and 3 p.m. I like to hang out in the staff lunchroom. I always volunteer to recycle any lunch leftovers.
    12. But my dad keeps telling the Mood employees to stop feeding me. He says I’m getting fat. I disagree.
    13. Speaking of being called fat, Season 11 Project Runway designers Michelle and Amanda are in the doghouse because they said I was chubby on national TV.
    14. Tim Gunn is my fashion mentor and friend in real life. Also, his face tastes good.
    15. My dream is to have a Project Runway spinoff show all about me.
    16. Hopefully the producers have forgotten that I ate a boom mic in Season 5.
    17. When I was a puppy, I chewed off all the buttons on the bottom shelf at Mood.
    18. My favorite spot to sleep at Mood is on the floor in Aisle 3, next to the silk shantung.
    19. I’m a friendly kind of guy, but if I sense a customer might be afraid of dogs I go sit behind the register.
    20. I can ride the elevator all by myself.
    21. I keep it under control when famous people visit the store and want to meet me. Hey, I understand what it’s like to be a celebrity.
    22. Mood employees fight over who gets to walk me. Aww, guys, I love you all!
    23. New York City’s dog parks are my favorite places to hang.
    24. I’ve lived in NYC since I was a young pup and I love this town. When I need a break from the hustle and bustle, though, I visit my grandparents on Long Island.
    25. North Shore Animal League is my favorite charity.
  • Mood DIY: Double Zip Printed Clutch

    I'm not sure how many dog lovers we have out there, but one of my favorite pooches to see all dressed up is Swatch of Mood Fabrics. His nonchalant and carefree trot between departments always makes me grin when I'm there. A true sport in a land of endless wardrobe possibilities, Swatch made me want to commemorate some of my favorite looks he's rocked. From a funny Valentine to biker Swatch, I'm sure I'm not alone in saying that that dog has captured the hearts of SO MANY Mood customers.  So with some colorful vinyl and snazzy zippers in hand, I created a way to carry him around with me -- without further ado, here's my homage to Swatch :)

    Double Zip Printed Clutch 1 Double Zip Printed Clutch 2 Double Zip Printed Clutch 3 SUPPLIES: vinyl, rotary cutter, mod podge gloss lustre, magna-tac glue, iron, measuring tape, thread, needles, straight pins, scissors, pen, transfer paper for dark shirts, zippers, silk, images you want to transfer, and a wash cloth. Double Zipper Printed Clutch How-To

    How-To: 1. Using the rotary cutter, cut out 2 rectangles from your vinyl/faux leather.  (Note: Mine were 11 x 8 inches -- 1 inch was added to the length of the teeth of the zipper, and height too.  I used purple on the backside and off-white on side where my images would go). 2. Mark out a half inch seam allowance  (Note: You will re-mark this when silk is applied). 3. For silk lining, I marked out a 10 x 8 inch rectangle. 4. For less fraying, make a small snip with scissors to begin with, and then I hand rip out the rectangle. 5. Putting right sides together, add straight pins to hold vinyl together. 6. Across the bottom, hand stitch along one horizontal. (Note: For neatness, sew along the half inch seam allowance line you marked out -- be sure to bring needle back through, last place you inserted it). 7. Cut off excess. 8. Apply Magna-tac glue to the whole back side. 9. Lay silk directly on top of the glued side. 10. Re-mark out half inch seam allowance along sides. 11. Add straight pins to hold sides together. 12. Flip whole thing onto correct side. 13. Apply damp cloth over clutch, and then iron it to flatten it out. 14. For a center point for the double zippers, mark a mid point on the inside of the clutch. 15. Add straight pins to hold zipper in place, and then hand stitch both into position. 16. Lay clutch on top of back side of iron-on transfer with images already printed on it and outline it. (Note: For printing, follow instructions that come with the paper). 17. Cut form out. 18. Peel off images from transfer paper backing, and lay it on to the clutch. 19. Laying something like a t-shirt on top, iron on the transfer paper images. 20. Using a napkin/sponge, apply Mod-Podge to seal it.

     Double Zip Printed Clutch 4 Brandhyze Stanley is the chief voice of 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 The View, The Early Show, The Today Show, InStyle Magazine, Essence Magazine, and MTVStyle. A Wilhelmina Model for nearly a decade, with a Business Degree from Loyola University Chicago, Brandhyze is a Fashion & Style Writer and Video Contributor for Newsday Westchester, and provides DIY content to the popular How-To Site, eHow. Brandhyze is a huge thrifter and a lover of all good deals, follow her on Twitter @MyFrugalnomics and on Facebook at Facebook.com/Frugalnomics.
  • Game of Thrones Swatch

    "Game of Thrones" Swatch. Wearing fox and deerskin from our leather department in the NYC store and doing his best Lord Eddard "Ned" Stark imitation.

  • Swatch Working Hard Selling Pillows

    Swatch Selling Pillows

    Swatch Selling Pillows

    Swatch is working diligently to help the Home Decor Department at Mood Fabrics NYC to sell their current stock of custom made pillows. Pillows are currently only available at our store. Our Home Dec Department also carries a variety of cow hides similar to the one Swatch is napping resting his eyes on.
    If You have any ideas of what you would like to see swatch dressed up as let us know! Leave it in our comments below or email us at Contact@MoodFabrics.com.
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