Though our featured projects traditionally focus on embroidery, this non-stitchy feature was just too much fun not to share! Crafter Jennifer of Boogaloo Studios is a talented hand embroiderer, and has made adorable stitched versions of many UT designs. However, when she decided to try the craft of needle felting, she turned to some of her favorite previously stitched designs for inspiration and made these adorable 3D felt versions of each!
Jennifer talked to us a little about the crafty process and how she got into making some of these felted creations…
As this is not an embroidery technique, a lot of folks might be curious about needle felting. Can you explain a little about what it is and how you got into it?
Needle felting is the process of interlocking wool fibers by stabbing it with a barbed needle. The barbs catch the scales on the fiber and cause them to tangle and bind together. I started needle felting at the beginning of this year. I have sort of made an annual “resolution” to learn a new craft. This year it was needle felting, last year was painting and the year before was, of course, hand embroidery.
Any challenges you’ve faced, or advice for someone who wants to try for the first time?
Oh, of course. There were many challenges I’ve faced and I’m sure there’s many more to come. For those of you who are interested in needle felting, you should definitely give it a go. You can find wool roving in so many different colors on Etsy.
There’s absolutely no limit to what you can create with needle felting. There’s a lot of needle felting tutorials out there and books that teach you step by step. The best advice I can give is it just “Go with it.” Don’t get discouraged if your felting is not looking like what it’s supposed to. Either add more roving to fix it or just create an entirely new felting
Any other designs you have in the works, or you’d like to try next?
I have some designs in the works. I’ve started these things called “Pop-Bouquets.” So far I have a star bouquet and a cupcake bouquet. Recently, I started felting characters for video games. So far I’ve felted few from the Super Mario Bros. Also, these are all available in my Etsy store.
Thanks so much Jennifer for sharing these amazing needle felted creations! It’s always such fun to see how different people bring Urban Threads designs to life, whether it be in stitches or something totally new. Every new craft is a source of inspiration!
Do you want to have your project featured on StitchPunk, stitchy or otherwise? Drop us a line at email@example.com or upload your Urban Threads stuff to our flickr group!
It seems such a short time ago we were embarking on a journey into 2012, and now here it’s all flown by. This past year was a big one for Urban Threads for lots of reasons, from new series and a new website to Lab projects and awards.
We thought it would be a good time, before 2012 leaves us for good, to look back on some of our favorite moments of the past year. Click each image to learn more about each of our favorite events…
2012 kicked off with what was only our second Lab project at the time, the Baroque Punk Blazer. We were so thrilled with our Lab project from 2011, that we just had to jump into more, and this collaboration with local fashion designer Laura Fulk was just as fun as we hoped it would be.
This past year also brought a fun new collaboration with some good friends in the embroidery world, with our monthly series called Gear Threads over on Mr X Stitch. It has been such fun highlighting the amazing stuff going on in the world of mechanized embroidery these days, and the talented artists who are using it.
We also launched the Urban Threads Lookbook, so stitchers can browse through some of our favorite projects, collections, and designs and get ideas to inspire their threads in an easy-to-browse magazine format.
We have updated the lookbook three times since its launch and hope to keep it a growing resource of inspiration!
Of course, you can’t talk about the last year without talking about all the fun new special collections that came out. Designs this year ranged from the light stitches of the Parisian Love Letter collection to the sculptural satin stitches of Baroque Punk, and stitchers had fun experimenting with new kinds of wearable lace and turned their machines into mini monster making factories.
We had a blast designing each and every special collection, and have so many delicious schemes for next year. You can see all of them from this year and more in our Design Packs section.
Our Urban Entrepreneurs series carried on with gusto, showcasing the amazing stitchy talents of folks who use UT designs in their everyday crafty biz.
This year featured entrepreneurs were given the chance to get on a special collaborative resource that lists folks who are happy to do custom work for people who aren’t lucky enough to get their hands on an embroidery machine of their own.
And of course, when April Fools’ Day came around…
Well, we couldn’t resist having a little fun. You crazy Urban Threadsters proved just how awesome you can be though when you actually demanded that Steampunk Bacon Cat become a real design, and when you ask, we deliver.
Steampunk Bacon Cat even reached mini meme status when he was featured in a webcomic, which cemented his fame and highlighted just how weird we are to the rest of the internet. We’re so proud of our furry, savory, dapper little kitty.
This year also brought an abundance of fun new tutorials to whittle your afternoons away on. Crafters learned how to make everything from elegant stitched fashions to tiny 3D robots, and it’s probably only here would those two kinds of things be found in the same place. You can learn even more weird and wonderful skills than that by checking out our full tutorials section.
They’re all free, and we promise, they’re all totally easy, even if you’re totally new to crafting or machine embroidery.
Not to be outdone in projects, you guys shined bight and bold with your own amazing creations that we highlight in our featured projects section.
When you guys go above and beyond in your amazing crafty skills, it’s only right for us to pay proper respect to these amazing creations.
Seriously, it’s hard to keep up with you guys sometimes…
We love our jobs here at UT, so it’s no surprise the crew also occasionally got up to totally random shenanigans, whether it was rocking some new fashions in the studio to show off 13 design trends to make your embroidery more awesome, or doing whatever this is, we always have fun with what we’re doing.
Also, we’re not afraid to show off just how bonkers we are sometimes, because as far as we can tell, you’re just as nuts as we are.
After our Baroque Punk Lab project earlier in the year, we had to keep experimenting with all the awesome potential of embroidery, in another Lab Project.
Of course, one of the biggest new developments of 2012 was our brand shiny new website that went up this past summer!
We stripped it down and gave it a total refresh, with bigger, bolder pictures, easier to navigate designs, a new tutorial section, and lots lots more. It was a labor of love we developed ourselves and it has gotten a great response from all of you!
We’re of course always looking to add more improvements and fixes, of which we’re sure you’ll see more of in 2013.
More more and more Lab projects! We just had such fun with these collaborations in 2012 that we asked our good friend Mr X Stitch to help us out with one.We teamed up with punk rock kilt outfitter Alt Kilt to make a custom embroidered kilt to show the more guy friendly side of embroidery that’s emerging in the world.
Mr X posed like a champ, and more importantly, talked with us about what it’s like as a dude working in this traditionally feminine craft. These days dudes can not only rock embroidered looks, but take the craft on themselves with mad skills. It’s a changing world out there, and we’re only happy to see guys take part!
Urban Threads got some fun press this year, with features in print magazines like Gothic Beauty and Stitches, and online in craft blogs like Whip Up, Designs in Machine Embroidery and Design Sponge. I even got a chance to share my actual voice with folks in a radio interview! You can see it all and more over on our new press page.
Stitches especially has a special spot in our hearts this year, because in addition to some lovely features, we were delighted to be the recipients of three Golden Needle Awards: Design of the Year, Artistic/Fashion, Design of the Year, Technical/Fashion and Editors’ Pick!
We were even more delighted in December to be once again named on their list of 75 Most Powerful People in the Industry, even bumping up three spots from last year. It’s a great honor for our little alternative embroidery company to be recognized among the greats of the industry.
Near the end of the year, we took on one of our most ambitious Lab projects ever, with the experimental Evenfall Lace series. We wanted to see just what kinds of crazy creations and effects you could get out of just your embroidery machine, no crafty collaborations required.
With the new designs, we crafted up lace jewelry, a set of full size lace wings, and even a pair of lace shoes! Then to top it off we decided to make our first ever feature video so crafters of all kinds could get a look at the magic embroidery machines can create. We loved making the video so much that we hope to experiment more with it in 2013!
Finally, we closed out the year with a little Lab project that grew into something much, much bigger than we ever thought possible…
Early in the last month of 2012, we shared our Giving Bunny project with you and asked you to take part in the collaboration. Only a few short weeks in, and the project has already expanded to hundreds of bunnies, 6 continents, five additional language tags and lots of happy new bunny owners.
At your request, we also introduced a special tag and info when you asked if the bunnies could go out on a special mission in wake of the devastating tragedy in Connecticut. With the collective efforts of all of you, one tiny little bunny design has turned into a simple but powerful way to spread some handmade joy to total strangers, and we intend to keep the project running long into 2013, so everyone has a chance to take part. It has been inspiring to watch you all take on this project with such a giving heart. I think collaborating with all of you has been our favorite collaboration to date!
So farewell 2012, you were a standout year. We had such fun with new projects, people, and crafts, and we can’t WAIT to share with you some of our schemes for next year. Until then, happy new year everyone, and thanks for spending 2012 crafting with us!
Designer Sarah Dickins is trying to do away with what she sees as a waste of clothes and bring back the ‘Make Do and Mend’ mentality with a sleek, easy to use new sewing machine. Designed to be beautiful and intuitive, Sarah hopes this will encourage a new audience to try sewing and mending their clothes.
As the designer explains, “By increasing the appeal and accessibility of sewing, Alto encourages users to ‘make do and mend,’ inspiring them to recycle, customize, and repair clothes which would otherwise end up in the bin.”
I have to say, with it’s beautiful curves, warm wood and gorgeous wrapped leather cover, it’s certainly a machine that wouldn’t get tucked away in my house. Read more about this contender for the 2012 James Dyson Award and see more pretty pics at ecouterre.
Who has their fingers crossed for a machine embroidery version?
It seems I can’t quite get over my obsession with embroidered footwear. Perhaps it’s because it’s the one thing I haven’t quite figured out how to hoop?
Under close inspection, these shoes look like the designs were perhaps embroidered on a think piece of cork/fabric which was then wrapped around the shoe base. Hmm… seems plausible. I just need a good pair of pumps I can pry apart…
If you’re not feeling brave enough to stick one of these babies under your machine, you can get them at a fairly reasonable price over on Amazon. I really dig the tattoo motifs.
Eileen of Designs in Machine Embroidery has posted a list of 12 Household Tools for the Machine Embroiderer. There are some great hacks and ideas here for crafting tools you might already be using, plus common household objects that can help make your crafting experience easier and the resulting projects awesome. I’m a big fan of using plastic hair claw thingies for the binder clip trick…