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wool

  • 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?

    merino-sheep

    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.

    Moodfabrics.com

    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.

    moodfabrics.com

    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.

    Moodfabrics.com

    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.

  • Mood DIY: Multi- Colored Scarf Wrap

    I recently came across this simple yet stylish wrap from Zara that I thought would serve as a great solution for this in between weather we've been having (I mean it's November, and it's supposed to be 60 degrees tomorrow), and I was immediately intrigued. So, I grabbed a cool wool in a fun print from Mood Fabrics, and got to work -- the possibilities are definitely endless.Multi-Colored Scarf Wrap 1 Multi-Colored Scarf Wrap 2SUPPLIES: Wool blend, straight pins, rotary cutter, and straight edge Multi-Colored Scarf Wrap 3HOW-TO: 1. First....lay out your fabric, and then double it up -- making sure to match up the pattern. 2. Using your straight edge and rotary cutter, cut out the rectangle for your scarf wrap. 3. Next, double up your fabric on the ends to secure a twice-folded hem. 4. Lastly, place your fabric on the machine and secure it....and you're all set. Multi-Colored Scarf Wrap 4 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 The View, The Early Show, 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.

  • Mood Style: Perfect Little Herringbone Dress

    I happen to be absolutely in love with perfectly fitting dresses and no one does them better than Victoria Beckham. I kinda scratch my head at the fact that I'm head over heels for a Spice Girl, well not her exactly but you get my point.  Her dresses are AMAZING—the fit, the fabric and the simple lines are pretty much perfection at the highest level. But this is where the love ends.... The average price of one of her beautiful dresses is a cool $2,500. Yes, you heard me, $2,500 for just one?!?! Ummmm I don't think so. Into my life walks this fabulous herringbone fabric from MoodFabrics.com. Now this is fabric perfection! This 2-way stretch wool that cuts and sews perfectly allows you to create a great fit without a lot of work.  I lined the dress with this silk georgette from MoodFabrics.com, which is a perfect compliment to the wool. Editor's note: The current product listing does not indicate Lycra in the content; we are in the process of updating the descriptive copy.
     
     
     
     
    The dress was made with the bodice of this McCall's M5927 pattern and a self-drafted skirt with the following alterations: -Added 1.5" to the front and back of the neck for a higher neck -Cut the back and front bodice pieces 5.5" from the top to create two additional pattern pieces and seam lines -Faced the back and front bodice pieces -Reduced the diameter of the arm opening to create a slimmer sleeve -Cut the sleeve at 11.5" from the top to create a seam -Add a 2" seam cuff -Drafted a skirt to attach to the bodice -measure from the bottom of the bodice to determine the length you want the skirt. Measure your hips at the widest point and cut two pieces of fabric with those dimensions.  Fold the back piece of the fabric lenghtwise and cut it in half. Using a 5/8" seam allowance sew the back pieces together baste stitching from the top down 9" for the zipper then sew the side seams. Matching the bodice side and back seams to the skirt side and back seams, pin together. Working from both side seams, gradually decrease the waist so the skirt matches up to the bodice, this will require you to create new side seams. Once the skirt and bodice matches up and the seams are matching, sew the skirt and bodice together making sure you baste across the zipper seam. Attach a 22"zipper, try the dress on inside out. To create your perfect fit, pin the skirt where needed and mark with chalk. Remove the dress and make the appropriate fit adjustments then trim the excess seam allowance. -Add a 2" seam band at the bottom of the dress
     
     
  • Mood DIY Houndstooth Shift Dress

    On a recent trip to Target (one of my favorite stores), I passed through the dress department to quickly browse what was new while on my way to the register, and came across this super cute red and gray Shift Dress -- I immediately wanted one! With the holidays just behind us, it was the perfect time for red (not to mention it matches my new lippy in Cherry Pie), so I went to Mood Fabrics NYC for just the right houndstooth fabric to suit my fancy. I'm super pleased with how it turned out....my 2nd shift dress, my first attempt at sewing one -- super proud of myself. What new sewing ventures on your fashion horizon for the new year? Tell me below. Happy New Year all!

    Mood Fabrics DIY Houndstooth Shift Dress Mood Fabrics DIY Houndstooth Shift Dress Houndstooth Shift Dress 3 SUPPLIES: a dress you already own to create a pattern from, 1.5 yards of houndstooth fabric, tracing or tissue paper, a pencil, straight pins, scissors, and a straight edge. Houndstooth Shift Dress 4 HOW-TO: 1. Double up a portion of your fabric the size of 1/2 of your dress (I placed a piece of paper in between layers so you could see what I mean). Then, turn your dress inside out with the sleeves inward, and lay it on top of your doubled up fabric (Note: the fold is on the left side of the picture). 2. Cut out the outline of your dress (Note: I cut this one pretty close to the exact size of this dress rather than leaving room for a seam allowance because my previous dress was a little big). Hold tight on the neck in this step....you'll see a closer illustration in Step #3. 3. Here I've already cut out both the back and the front of the dress, taking into consideration the lower sloping neckline in the front (Note: Take into account that the dress down not meet at the top directly at the shoulder, so my back panel is slightly longer at the shoulder than my front panel). 4. Using your tracing/tissue paper, trace the sleeve of your original dress to create a pattern for your sleeve. 5. I folded my fabric in half TWICE, leaving the folds across the top and down the left sides of the picture.  Now, pin the half of your sleeve pattern that you just created to your double folded fabric. 6. Cut out your pattern, in doing so you will now have two full sleeves (both front and back). 7. I love pockets....and a quick way to create them in my opinion is to pin generously around your hand for a general shape. I used the remnants of my twice doubled fabric. (Note: Be sure to leave an extra inch on both sides of your wrist so you can get your hand in and out with ease). 8. Cut this shape out you just created and you'll have front and backs for your two pockets. Houndstooth Shift Dress 5 HOW-TO CONT'D: 9. Match up the armholes, and pin the front and back panels together at the side seams of your dress. 10. Now it's time to pin the dress together at the shoulders...remember it doesn't meet perfectly on the shoulder bone, but rather slightly in the front -- take this into account when pinning. 11. Take a front and back pocket piece and put right sides facing together.  Now, open up your side seams that you pinned where you want your pockets (mine were 9 inches from the hem). You want to pin each half to the inner side of your dress. Repeat for the other side. 12. With about a 1/4 inch seam allowance, sew along the pin lines you just created to pin your pockets in place. 13. It all starts to come together in this step! Here I illustrated me sewing the two shoulder portions together that you pinned in Step #10 (with the pattern, it may be a little tricky to see).  I then sewed together both side seams of the dress (Note: leave an inch or two at the arm hole that you'll go back and finish up once you've attached the sleeves). 14. Pin the hem to your dress (Note: when creating this hem, be sure to keep an eye on your pattern so it matches up). 15. Create a neat edge to your neckline with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. 16. Pin your sleeves in place, and then sew them together. 17. Now it's time to finish it all up....sew your neckline, arm holes, hemline...then you are all set!

    Mood Fabrics DIY Houndstooth Shift Dress 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 The View, The Early Show, 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 Yahoo Finance, Manilla, Good Housekeeping, and Newsday Westchester. Brandhyze is a huge thrifter and a lover of all good deals, follow her on Twitter @MyFrugalnomics and on Facebook at Facebook.com/Frugalnomics.

  • Mood Style: Wool Coat with Leather Arm Warmers

    Editor's note: We are very pleased to welcome our new Mood Style blogger, the fabulous Nikki of Beaute J'Adore. She'll be posting frequently for the Mood Sewciety blog, sharing her unique way of sewing and styling her own clothes so she always looks like she stepped off the pages of a fashion magazine. Follow her here!
    I'm one of those people who adores 3/4 sleeve coats. They look awesome but unfortunately are not built for frigid temperatures.  The perfect solution to combat cold and transition your fall coats is the addition of the coat with corresponding arm warmers.  When I saw this beautiful Italian wool fabric online at MoodFabrics.com,  I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it.  This fabric is much more special in person, it has a drape which makes it perfect for this loose-fitting coat.  It's tightly woven, irons well and sews perfectly.
    Coat made with Mood Fabrics' Italian wool and paired with leather arm warmers.
    I used a downloaded Burdastyle pattern 12/2010 #101.
    Coat made with Mood Fabrics' Italian wool and paired with leather arm warmers.
    This fabric drapes beautifully and is semi-soft so I added a flexible interfacing in the front facing for a bit more structure.
    Coat made with Mood Fabrics' Italian wool and paired with leather arm warmers.
    I removed 4" from the bottom of the pattern to make it a bit shorter.
     
    Coat made with Mood Fabrics' Italian wool and paired with leather arm warmers.
    I decided to make the sleeves 3/4 length, which makes this a perfect transition piece.
     
    Coat made with Mood Fabrics' Italian wool and paired with leather arm warmers.
    I added leather and corresponding wool arm warmers, which you can find the tutorial here, with some leftover leather I had hanging around. I think I'm kinda in love with this look. Coat made with Mood Fabrics' Italian wool and paired with leather arm warmers.
  • Mood DIY: Varsity Letter Sweatshirt

    We've seen celebs like Rihanna and Jessica Alba rocking the look....and if you're like me, you probably have your own somewhere in a dusty box in your parents garage? What am I talking about? The whole varsity craze.  Varsity jackets are hugely popular right now and cropping up everywhere, so I decided to make something a little more accessible—a Varsity Letter Sweatshirt.  The key to the whole look is the boxed lettering, so once I had that down pat, rather than using chenille (which requires a special machine...I thought I'd try some boucle fabric, but it wasn't quite what I was going for), I used a little faux leather and wool that I found at Mood Fabrics NYC to complete just as cool of a look.  Tell me...do you still have your varsity paraphernalia hidden away somewhere?; comment below.   Varsity letter made with wool and faux leather from Mood Fabrics. Varsity letter made with wool and faux leather from Mood Fabrics. Varsity letter made with wool and faux leather from Mood Fabrics.SUPPLIES: old sweathshirt (I got mine at a thrift store for like .75 cents, or you can make your own), Varsity Font on your computer (which you can download here), white wool, faux leather, a pen, scissors, e6000 glue, and a plastic butter knife (optional) for spreading. Varsity letter made with wool and faux leather from Mood Fabrics.

    HOW-TO: 1. Pick your desired letter using the font provided here, print it on about a quarter of a piece of page, and cut it out. 2. Once you've done this, flip your white wool and your letter over, and trace your now backwards letter to the back of the wool (that way when you cut it out in the next step, your letter is facing the correct way on the wool). 3. Go ahead and cut out the letter you traced. 4. The cool thing about the font I found, was that it comes with a few different outlines, so you'll now want to cut away the first (black) outline. 5. Repeat Step #2 with your now smaller letter -- this time you'll use your faux leather. 6. Cut out this new letter. 7. Add a little glue to the back of your letter (Note: I had a new bottle and it was a little messy, so feel free to use a butter knife, and don't forget to use the glue in a well ventilated area). 8. Place your faux leather letter on top of the wool one, then place both in your desired area on your sweatshirt, and allow it all to dry for a few hours. You're all set! Varsity letter made with wool and faux leather from Mood Fabrics.

    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 The View, The Early Show, 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 was a Fashion & Style Writer and Video Contributor for Newsday Westchester. Brandhyze is a huge thrifter and a lover of all good deals, follow her on Twitter @MyFrugalnomics and on Facebook at Facebook.com/Frugalnomics.

  • Fall/Winter Fabrics Trend Report by Mood: The New Blues

    fall winter 2013 fabric trends blue

    Rich, luscious shades of blue dominated the Fall/Winter 2013 runways. Royal blue, azure, cornflower, teal and other blue hues turned up in leather tops, oversized coats, demure dresses and more. Take a cue from designer Reed Krakoff and go head-to-toe blue. Mood has every shade of blue fabric in the spectrum. Below, we've gathered some of our favorite blues for you:
  • Fall/Winter Fabric Trend Report By Mood: Menswear Fabrics

    Menswear fabric trends

    Mood Trend Report #2: This fall, borrow from the boys and include menswear fabrics in your wardrobe. Not only are wool and wool-blend suitings, tweeds and crepes among the most classic of fabrics, they also can be easy to sew and work with. Think about making a fitted dress in a subtle glen plaid, or a skirt and jacket from a nubby tweed. We've chosen some menswear fabrics from MoodFabrics.com for your consideration:
  • Imagining the Possibilities: Wool for Spring

    Come January and February, home sewers can get a hankering for spring. If you can't quite bring yourself to break out the gauzy, flowy warm-weather fabric, how about sewing up some transitional pieces? What better place to start than wool? Jackets, work-ready skirts and even a sassy cape could see a wardrobe through spring and be prime for use again in the fall.

    We are still wild about designers' pre-fall collections, so we've asked the wool department for a little help. They've pulled some swatches of hot fabrics from our New York store. With a little bit of inspiration from runways, retail and pattern companies, we think we're well on our way to a chic 2013.

    SWATCHWOOL

    From left to right, we have swatches one through five: bouclés and coatings and abstract patterns that defy seasons.

    Chanel Fall 2012 Chanel Fall 2012

    Swatch #1: We'd love to see this elegant, gray-and-black wool bouclé paired with a classic designer jacket pattern. Who does a more recognizable bouclé than Chanel? Not only is this a coat, but the bouclé acts as trim on the collar and hem of a sequined cocktail dress. Color us inspired. Can't make it to the store? This charcoal wool bouclé is absolutely heavenly and this Oscar de la Renta lightweight wool blend is elegance itself.

    Lanvin, Pre-Fall 2013 Lanvin Pre-Fall 2013

    Swatch #2: A beautiful rich red with flecks of soft blue, this wool would be perfect for a transitional item. Let's think outside the box and try a bold, belted coat dress, like this one from Lanvin. In love with the color, but want a coat for the cold? Online, we have this brick-colored wool coating flecked with tiny bits of marigold and violet and an absolutely scrumptious cashmere-blend coating that would also fit the bill.

    St. John Pre-Fall 2013 St. John Pre-Fall 2013

    Swatch #3: We think this bold black-and-white wool calls for a design with simple lines and infinite grace. What better than a light coat? Brass buttons and light black trim balance a bolder pattern. For online alternatives, try this stunning Italian wool with its chic irregular plaid design or go for full-on luxury with this cashmere houndstooth suiting.

    Style Arc Clover Cape Style Arc Clover Cape

    Swatch #4: This wine-and-black wool is guaranteed to turn heads. Pairing it with a strong design will make it sing. The Style Arc Clover Cape would make for an especially lovely combination. Swap out the deep red for a perfect purple with this plaid tweed or use this Oscar de la Renta double-face wool.

    Kate Spade Judy Skirt, via katespade.com Kate Spade Judy Skirt, via katespade.com

    Swatch #5: Colorful and fun, this Missoni wool would be a stunning, g0-with-anything pencil skirt. We were inspired by this Kate Spade skirt's clean silhouette but funky color scheme. From our online store, this blue tweed would make an excellent alternative. Care to take this style to next level with coating? Marc Jacobs brings us this gorgeous pink-and-green wool coating that would be smashing.

    Questions about any of the fabrics we've shown here? Send an email info2@moodfabrics.com, and we'll be sure to help!

  • Feather Skirt DIY

    The use of feathers has been used to add drama, style and glamour to what would otherwise be a normal or boring ensemble. In Project Runway season 6, Carol Hannah won the Bob Mackie/Christina Aguilera challenge. Her use of feathers helped to transform an ordinary black sequin dress into a cutting edge design that won the judges votes. Carol Hannah feather dress Roberto Cavalli Fall 2009 As we all know, the use of feathers is not something new. Most of us have seen it on the runway for the past few seasons from designers such as Roberto Cavalli or are beginning to see them in mass retailers such as H&M and TopShop. However, most of the feather skirts and dresses that take over the runway come with a hefty price and the one’s that are a reasonable price just end up looking like cheap knock-off’s. The best option is to do it yourself. Working with feathers is easy and by creating a do it yourself piece you can customize it any way you like to make it your own. To make a feather skirt is simple. The materials you will need are a pattern for a tulip skirt, 1-2 yards of a wool or polyester, 5-6 yards of feather attached to bias tape, approximately 1 yard of 2” wide elastic. Mood Fabrics elastic trim Mood Fabrics feather trim First start with a basic tulip shape skirt in a wool or polyester for structure. Save the waist band until last since you will need to cover the bias on the feathers. Once you have the body of the skirt constructed begin to attach the feathers to the skirt, 1 row at a time, starting from the bottom. You should leave 1.5”-2” between each row. Once you are finished attaching the feathers, sew the elastic band to the top of the skirt covering the bias of the feathers. It is an easy and affordable way to add a touch of glam into your wardrobe.

    Mood fabrics diy skirt

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