Category Archives: sewing

Scheming Colors, Part 1

…Or color schemes. Tomayto tomahto.

One of my greatest frustrations with planning to knit a project or trying to correctly use my knitted projects as accessories is color matching. How do I know what items complement each other?

There are many different angles to consider. One is the color wheel, which I’ll discuss in this post, and the others include: seasonal colors, colors for your skin tone, your body shape, whether it’s casual or formal, and more. These other concepts I’ll discuss in a future post.

First: the color wheel. I tried looking for various apps that would help you use the color wheel, but couldn’t find one that did what I wanted it to do. :-/ So here’s an explanation.

basic color wheel

basic color wheel, (c) Takeshi Ugajin

Take a basic color wheel, like the one pictured here. Select your main or dominant color—that is, the color of the principal item in your outfit. Let’s say, for example, that I’m going to wear a blue shirt. To find out what colors complement the main color, you can either select colors that are:

1. Analogous: Directly next to the main color

2. Complementary: Directly across from the main color

3. Triad: Equally spaced from the main color on the color wheel
















Right Angle 2

Right Angle 2

Right Angle 1

Right Angle 1

4. At a right angle to the main color

5. At a T to the main color

6. At an X to the main color









Neutral colors that generally go with everything include beige, ivory, taupe, black, gray, and white, and sometimes brown.

Also consider hue, tone, tint, and shade, which can all affect whether your outfit really goes together.

hue tone tint shade

(c) Takeshi Ugajin

Hue is the pure color.

Tone (a.k.a. complement tint) is hue plus either gray or the opposite color, which will mute or “tone” down the color.

Tint is hue plus white, which will lighten the color.

Finally, shade is hue plus black, which will darken the color.

Consider also the possibility of contrast or of monochromatic colors. In the case of contrast, you can use different shades or tints to select colors you might not otherwise have considered—that is, you can combine light and dark colors. For example, to continue with the example of a blue shirt, I might wear a dark blue shirt with khaki pants or a light blue shirt with dark or black pants. Furthermore, there is the possibility of selecting a monochromatic outfit—that is, all the items in your outfit are the same color but different patterns (i.e., some solid and some patterned), different textures, and different shades, tones, or tints. Continuing with the blue shirt example, I could wear a dark blue, patterned, chiffon skirt; a light blue, solid, cotton shirt; a medium blue solid headscarf; a brown belt; and turquoise jewelry.

Okay, that’s it for now. Tune in next week to get the second half of the color scheming lesson!




Bent Needles :-(

For the items coming to my Etsy shop March 1, here’s the hint of the week: They’re kawaii!! (Google that!)

A friend’s mother once told me, “Shakespeare wrote two kinds of plays: comedies and tragedies. In a comedy, everybody gets hitched. In a tragedy, everybody dies. But up until the end, you can’t tell the difference.” On that vein, here’s the story of the week…

My sewing machine is a Janome Memory Craft 9000. I sewed along quite happily until, sometime late last year, the thread began tangling in the bobbin case so badly that I would have to cut my needle out. I tried changing thread and changing the bobbin, to no avail. Finally, my husband (!!!) suggested I change the needle, so I did.

Oh, happy day! Sewing again!

And then this week it started tangling again. This being a hand-me-down machine, I only had three needles to start with, so I quickly tested all three and had the same experience with all three. I did lots of research online, but I guess people who sew (I initially typed “sewers,” lol, but then thought people might not appreciate being compared to a receptacle for human waste) are relatively low-tech because the resources were pretty awful. Basically, it took forever for me to find that the most likely cause of the tangling is, in fact, a bent needle, as I had previously suspected.

So I tried to find out what needles are recommended for the Janome MC 9000 and could find no such information. However, I know that the type of needles I inherited along with the sewing machine were Janome brand needles, and the user manual says I should use ball point size 75/11 needles for the type of fabric I’m sewing with, so I tried to find Janome ball point 75/11. Unfortunately, they can only be purchased in Britain. O.O

So I called my handy Willets Sew & Vac store here in McKinney. I suppose you could say I’m posting a shameless plug, but they were very helpful. They explained that sewing machine needles are pretty generic, that you don’t have to buy Janome brand needles for a Janome brand sewing machine, and that all I have to do is make sure I’m buying the right size.

All of that to say that the onesies and pants are on hold for now. Again. 😦


Jaa, matane!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day! (belated)


Update on the onesies: I’ve nearly completed another, but got delayed in my attempts to sew an appliqué onto the onesie. I learned the hard way that I was doing it wrong. I asked myself: why do I always have to do everything the hard way?


So here’s a short blog post regarding how to sew on an appliqué. There are two basic methods. The first involves a fusible web, with which you essentially glue the appliqué to the fabric. Here is a helpful blog posts I found describing that process:


The second version involves plain old interfacing.

1) Cut out the appliqué

2) Pin the appliqué to the right side of the garment and the interfacing to the wrong side of the garment (the interfacing must be larger than the appliqué—this is where I initially went wrong)

3) Straight-stitch around the appliqué as close to the edge as possible to stick it in place, and remove the pins

4) Zig-zag stitch around the edge of the appliqué

5) Cut any excess interfacing, being careful not to cut any stitches or the fabric

And you’re done! Here’s one blog post I found to explain this process:


The gaucho pants and overalls are on hold for now.


Since I didn’t post last week, I’m giving two hints on the items to be added to the Etsy shop:

They will come with adoption cards.

There will be a series of maps for these items soon (hopefully by August).



Jaa, matane!

Onesies and Gauchos and Etsy and…

Update on the onesies: I salvaged one of the onesies I created by adding runners to the sides. I’ve also finished drawing the pattern for the onesies, but have yet to write the instructions for the pattern. I started testing the pattern, discovered some problems, fixed those problems, and started testing again. I have not finished the second test attempt.

Update on the gaucho pants and overalls: Still trying to finish these.

New hint on the Etsy shop items: I’m doing a surprising amount of research for these. (Not a very helpful hint, I know.)


Jaa, matane!

Work, Work, Work… (and another hint)

No new news, really, except that I’ve begun working on testing the gaucho pants and salvaging the onesies while simultaneously studying for my last semester of nursing school and working on the new mystery items to be added to the (coming) Etsy store beginning March 1. Speaking of which, here’s the next hint:

These items also have birthdays. (Which, of course, implies that they are living. Or, rather, are imitations of something living.)


Jaa, matane!

Onesie Problems (and another hint)

My daughter, who is almost 5 months old, just grew out of the 9 month size and into the 12 month size, so I decided to sew a couple for her. Unable to find a free 12 month onesie pattern online, I used one of her 12 month onesies to create a pattern, from which I sewed two onesies. After trying them on her and discovering that they come nowhere close to fitting (in spite of being the exact same size as the ***jersey knit*** onesies that do fit her), I realized it will be a while before I can post a free 12 month onesie pattern for your use. I’m also working on 12 month size gaucho pants and gaucho overalls and hope to have them posted next week. *crosses fingers*

Also, it’s been a week (rather, 10 days) since my initial post, so it’s (past) time for another hint regarding the items to be added to the (soon-to-come) Etsy shop. So here’s the hint:

They each have a personal name.

Also, for the first month (March 1-31), they will be 50% off!

Remember to Like us on Facebook!


Ja matane!


Welcome to my new website! Changes are a-comin’ to Schaabling Shire Shoppe–namely, that we will be adding an Etsy shop and, to that, new creations. They should be available beginning in March, but here’s a hint: they’re cute and tiny and collectible!

Not a very specific hint, huh? But I’ll give a new hint every week until Opening Day March 1, 2014. Watch for them!