Moore's Sewing, Vacuum and FanMoore's Sewing, Vacuum and Fan

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Monthly Archives: August 2015

  • Tip! Don't Dye Your Sewing Machine!

    August 31, 2015

    Aren't these vintage sewing machine colors great?! We love pink!

    Vintage Pink

    But if you don't want your nice white machine bed turned here's something that can prevent it. Sometimes prewashing our fabric doesn't guarantee there will be no crocking or bleeding when you begin sewing. Unfortunately once it rubs onto your machine bed it's difficult, if not impossible, to fully remove. Deep red/pink, sometimes black or deep blue can discolor your machine.

    Before working with the fabric, or at the very first hint of color on the machine bed, wrap your machine bed - free arm, attached accessory tray, matching extension table - with Glad Press 'n Seal. Its gentle adhesive keeps the white surface protected and doesn't slip and slide. It's easily removed with no residue. You can cut out an opening for the needle plate so it's still easy to see markings and change bobbins.

  • Teacher Feature -- Laurel Hewitt

    August 24, 2015

    Laurel Hewitt

    Laurel Hewitt - Moore's Mission Viejo

    Laurel is an icon in education at Moore's.  She's been teaching here for - nearly 25 years!   She teaches machine guide classes for Pfaff and Janome machines and all sergers, and Pfaff 6D and Brother software, but has led clubs and teaches specialty classes in quilting, machine embroidery, garment making, and more.  It's hard to find something sewing she doesn't know (a lot) about!

    Like many, she began sewing when young, focusing on clothing construction.  Quilting followed in the 70's, and she began designing and selling her quilts.   We're fortunate that her passion for sewing and love for teaching led her to Moore's!   When we asked what she enjoys sewing the most, quilting still comes through as an important component of her sewing pleasure - noting landscape and art quilts as styles she enjoys.  But she's also participated in some quilt challenges - 30 days to get it done!

    Here's her quilt from the Cherrywood Fabric challenge "I get by with a little help from my friends" - you just can't help but sing along!

    Laurel Hewitt - Friendship-With A Little Help Quilt

    (Is it any coincidence she says she likes all music - but rock and roll reigns in her house?)

    In the last couple years though, she's circled back to garment making -- and  garments are among the sewing projects she's most proud of .  To explore tailoring she jumped right in by making a jacket -- for her husband! "It was a compendium of many things learned over the years."  It fit, and looks great!

    Laurel Hewitt Men's Jacket

     (We're still waiting for the REAL pic Laurel!)

    When she's not sewing for him, she's hanging out with him in her off time - going to movies, checking out new restaurants, and traveling.  But she gets in a lot of reading too!

    A dress made from a challenging Vogue pattern in her earlier sewing days gets recognition as another project that she's proud of.  She noted some tricky corner piece inserts - we bet she could show you how to do those off the top of her head now!  But the one sewing item she notes she can't live without is still - a seam ripper.

    And finally - the Stitcher's Garden Quilt. This piece is one of special pride. Not only is it a beautiful quilt,  Laurel teaches this class at Mission Viejo - it's a new block with new techniques each month for 12 months.   And it's a source of pride because of the satisfaction she gets watching people over a yearlong period, some starting as novices, accomplishing so much when they get their 12 blocks done.  Who's more proud, Laurel or her students?

    Laurel teaches the Stitcher's Garden Quilt class at Moore's Mission Viejo Laurel teaches the Stitcher's Garden Quilt class at Moore's Mission Viejo

    Check out the class!

    What  does she consider a challenge?  Interpreting other writers' instructions, persevering and finding creativity in new projects - not just following instructions and putting together seams - but finding your own approach to the project.

    Does she still love teaching?  Yes!  Because there are always new ideas, new machines that can do new things to teach, but Laurel also points out that she always learns something new from people in her class.  Laurel originally joined Moore's because she wanted to learn more about sewing, checked into opportunities for teaching sewing and software, and the rest is history.  She again emphasizes how much she has learned from teaching and the people she's taught.

    We can all probably remember an "aha!" moment when we realized something that helped or changed our sewing for the better - for good.  Laurel's came about while working for Moore's -- "This was something I learned by working at Moore's.  I never tested stitches or how a needle/thread combo might work on my fabric prior to starting a project.  It resulted in many projects not coming out well or having to rip and re-stitch.  Learning to stop and test before starting a project made my sewing sooo much better!"  (...a good lesson for us all!)

    Laurel's seen a lot of changes over the many years, in sewing techniques, interests, products and technology.   She's enjoyed watching how George has taken the company from two to six retail stores plus an outlet center,  but along with such growth has stayed customer oriented.

    We welcome those new or returning to sewing to our stores, classes and events, and strive to make their experience a good one, their sewing results successful (or to at least learn from the "so many little disasters" Laurel noted when we asked if there was a particular big one that stands out in her mind!)   Since she's taught countless new and veteran sewers, we asked what she recommends for turning someone new to sewing into a sewing enthusiast:

    1)  Start with something simple in an area that 's of interest - then take a class;

    2)  Get into a hands on in person class - where they have the flexibility to ask questions on the spot, show the instructor what they've done, and get immediate feedback;

    3)  Make sure they have a reliable, good working sewing machine and encourage them by showing interest, accompanying them to the fabric store, etc.

    We can all mentor someone new with these simple tips!

    Thank you Laurel, for all your years of teaching and wisdom!

  • Tip! Start/Stop Button and Free Motion

    August 19, 2015

    Does your sewing machine have an option to sew with a Start/Stop button instead of the foot pedal?  Most do these days (if yours doesn't - you need to come see us!), with speed control as well.  This feature can be invaluable in free motion work!

    The quality of your free motion stitching depends on the combination of how fast or slow you're moving your fabric along with how fast or slow you're "driving" the machine pressing the foot pedal.  Use the speed control to set a comfortable speed, press "Start",  and you just eliminated one of the two variable affecting stitch quality and consistency!  Your speed is now constant and you can focus on simply keeping your fabric moving consistently!  Some models in the Pfaff line even let you keep your foot pedal connected, and you can use it as a break so your hands are on your work at all times!

    Start Stop Button Frame

  • Tip! Machine Needle Threaders

    August 17, 2015

    Does your machine have a needle threader? Was that one of the things you loved when you first looked at it?   They can be one of your favorite features or sometimes a bit frustrating when learning to use it!

    To better understand how it works, think of a car with a stick shift... you have to adjust how much you release the accelerator while depressing the clutch to prevent stalling. With the needle threader you must release your hold on the thread with your right hand just enough -  so you can let the lever raise with the left hand and pull the thread through the small hook in the needle's eye. Too tight nothing happens. Too loose and your thread just drops! Be patient and you may find you're soon doing it just by feel (because if you could see what you were doing you wouldn't need the threader!!).  A visual may help --

    Needle Threader




  • Project: Easy Casserole/Treat Carrier

    August 7, 2015


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    This versatile carrier is easy to make, fun to use to take your favorite foods to share, and keeps things warm or cool!  Versatile for many different size pans, but you can easily change up the measurements to custom fit other sizes.  A great gift, both the carrier and whatever good things you put inside of it!  We made ours using a Baby Lock serger with a Wave stitch for added detail.  Not sure what the Wave stitch is?  We'll show you in the pictures but would love it if you come on in to take a look for yourself!

    Supplies:  (Items with * can be purchased direct from Moore's online blog store, just click the link below product photos throughout post!)

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    Fabric: (for contrast Outer and Inner sections)                                           Outer fabric and tabs - 1-3/8 yd. 45" wide, woven fabric                         Inner fabric - 3/4 yd. 45" wide woven fabric                                                 One 1 yd. Package of Insul-Bright*                                                              Spray Adhesive - KK2000* or 505*                                                               Floriani Embroidery Perfection Tape*                                                          Cutting Mat*                                                                                                            Ruler/Grid*                                                                                                               Rotary Cutter*                                                                                                   Fray Block* (Note, this is not the same product as Fray Check)                 Set of purse handles (instructions are for handles approx. 6" at bottom - if you select different length, adjust length of tab fabric accordingly)         Velcro  (1/4 yd.,  you may want more - see options in instructions       Regular sewing thread (available in Moore's stores)                       Decorative thread for serger -- Mettler Quilting Thread, YLI Jeans Stitch, YLI Pearl Crown etc., for both upper and lower loopers, and one cone of regular serger thread (available in Moore's stores)                                           Serger and Sewing Machine (available in Moore's stores)


    1.            Cut the following:               

                    Outer fabric:  2 pieces each 40" long x 19-1/2" wide

                    Inner fabric:   2 pieces each 42" long x 12-1/2" wide

                    Tabs for handles:  2 pieces 12-1/2"long x 3-3/4" wide

                    Insul-Bright: 1 piece 41-3/4" long x 12-1/4" wide

    A rotary cutter, cutting mat, and ruler are invaluable in cutting nice straight pieces.  You'll find many uses for these tools!  We used a large (24"x36") mat and large (6-1/2"x24-1/2") ruler with 45mm rotary cutter.


    Creative Grid 6.5 x 24.5 

            Buy ruler!  

    Olfa Mat 24 x 36

         Buy Cutting Mat!



                Buy Rotary Cutter!

    NOTE:   Insul-Bright has a "reflective" side that goes against the item to be kept warm or cool. It is the slightly shinier side of the product.  We recommend sticking a label on that side so you always know which it is! We've used Floriani Embroidery Perfection Tape (which we'll often refer to as "pink tape") to mark ours.

     Insul BrightCC 17

    Get Insul-Bright!

    Floriani Embroidery Perfection Tape 1

    Buy Tape Now!

      2.            Place Insul-Bright between the two pieces of inner fabric - use spray adhesive to hold in place - we recommend  505 or KK2000 to baste the layers together.   


    505 Spray Large 

                            Get 505!                     

    Sulky KK2000

                                       Get KK2000!                            

    Right side of each piece of fabric should face out.   Your Insul-Bright was cut just a bit smaller than these fabric pieces to prevent its "fuzziness" from poking through your serged edges, so it should be approximately 1/8" smaller than each side of the outer fabric.   It's VERY IMPORTANT to mark the fabric as to which is covering the reflective side of the Insul-Bright -- we've moved our pink tape label into position for this purpose.  You will need to know which side this is when you join it to the outer section to be sure your food is kept warm/cool.

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     3.            Thread your serger according to manufacturer's instructions .  We have used the Wave stitch -- this great decorative stitch is found on Baby Lock Ovation, Evolution or Enlighten sergers (if you don't have one of these, come on into your local Moore's store - we can help!).  You can use a regular 3 thread wide serging/overlock stitch.  Use the serger cone thread for the needle, and decorative thread in upper and lower loopers.  We shortened the stitch length to just "a click" above 1.0.   We recommend layering some scraps as above as test pieces to adjust your stitch the way you want it.  

     CC 11

    Serge all four sides of the inner section together.  Isn't that Wave pretty?!  We serged off the edge on each side, then used Fray Block to secure the stitches.  It dries soft and clear!  We put wax paper under our work to protect surfaces from spills.  KEEP that "Reflective Side" marker in place!

     Fray Block

    Add to my cart!

     4.            Attach the Velcro closure strips - this is how your inner section closes and keeps your food warm/cool.  Place one 9" strip approximately 1" in from edge of the Reflective Side of your inner section.  Place the other piece of the Velcro approximately 1" in from OPPOSITE END of the OPPOSITE SIDE of inner section -- this allows the pieces to fold over and fasten shut.  We've used pink tape to baste the Velcro. 

    CC 10

    Hint:  Even if you purchased self stick Velcro, we recommend sewing it down to avoid lifting.                                                                                                                                          Hint:  We used an edge joining foot - also called a narrow edge foot or stitch in the ditch foot - to easily sew it on.  Abut the center guide to edge of Velcro, move needle over a few clicks, sew

    !Narrow edge/stitch in the ditch/edge joining foot

    Hint:   You may wish to apply additional strips to adjust for wrapping different size pans.

    Your inner section is done!

    5.            Tabs - Fold each tab lengthwise, right sides together.   Sew with 1/4" seam, press.  Turn right side out so finished seam is on outside.  Position this seam in center of tab, press.  Press one raw edge up 1/2".

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    6.            If you'd like to add some embroidery, applique, or other embellishment to the outside, add these embellishments now.   Place outer fabric pieces WRONG sides together and baste with spray adhesive.  

                    Note -- we used a quilting cotton so our carrier is very soft.  A more firm fabric will give your carrier a more "crisp" result.  You may wish to add add interfacing or a stabilizing material between your outer pieces - it's all personal preference!    

    7.            Center one tab at each short end of the outer fabric set, seam side up, and pin or baste in place (do NOT serge over pins!).  This is the piece that will be the outermost part of carrier and is the "public" side - so if you preferred one side of your fabric, your tabs should be attached to that side, and you will serge with that side up!

    8.            Serge  all four sides, as in step #3.  Your tab end will look like this --

     CC 14

     9.            Press each tab up away from outer fabric, but leave serger stitching flat beneath it.  Press raw edges of tab under 1/2".

     CC 13

     10.          Turn outer section over.  One at a time, lay handle as near edge of stitching as possible (see photo - it will be easier with a straighter handle!).  Fold tab over handle so the raw edge you pressed under is now concealed.  We used pink tape to hold in place.  Edge stitch along each tab edge to attach handles.

    CC 9CC 8

     Your outer section is done!

     11.          Lay outer section flat so the tab edges you just sewed are facing up.   Place the inner section crosswise, centered, on top of the outer section as shown and pin or tape to secure.  REFLECTIVE SIDE SHOULD BE FACING UP.   Stitch inner section to outer section approximately 1" in from outer edge, as shown.  We've used pink tape to secure and mark stitching placement. 

    CC 7CC 6

     (Yes, that is carpet you're seeing!  Even with this large cutting mat you can run out of room or table space.  That's why you NEED a cutting table!)

    Your carrier is done!   You're all ready to take your culinary creation to share!   Here's how to close the inner section for insulation (that's mom's vintage pan peaking out, it's still going strong creating delicious meals after decades!)

    CC 5

    Now just pull the outside up with handles and you're good to go!

    Variation: If you'd like, you can add Velcro tabs at each end of the corners of your outer section.

    Variation:  For additional embellishment, some interesting buttons can be placed at corners to enhance and fasten your carrier.                                                                                                        

    Bon Appetit! 






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