Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Win an Online Course in Goldwork Hand Embroidery!

UPDATE: Congratulations to commenter #51, Jennifer Somerset, winner of the free goldwork course! Wish we could’ve given a class to each and every one of you who entered — so many awesome goldwork dreams out there. Know we say it a lot, but you guys are THE BEST.

Didn’t win, but still interested in the class? Use the code URBAN20 to take 20% off any Mastered textile class through April 24, 2014. Thanks so much to Mastered for sharing this prize!

Machine embroidered version of the Gilded Heraldry Eagle design.

Hey, hand embroiderers! Loving the new Gilded Heraldry designs? Want to learn how to make ’em really shine?

Over on Mastered, the amazing stitchers of London hand embroidery company Hand & Lock (embroiderers to the royal family, military, celebrities, and top fashion designers) are teaching an online course in goldwork embroidery. And we’re sending one of you to stitching school! Watch the trailer for a glimpse into the course (or see the hi res version here):

In addition to the detailed video instruction, this course lets you upload images of your work to get feedback from industry experts. If you want to learn goldwork from the very best, short of visiting Hand & Lock, this is probably the awesomest way to do it. Read more about the online goldwork course here!

To enter, comment on this post before Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. Central time and tell us: what project would you cover in gorgeous hand-stitched goldwork?

One commenter will be chosen at random, and we’ll put you in touch with Mastered to claim your prize. We’ll contact you at the (hidden) email address you provide with your comment, so make sure to use a good one.

Hand embroidered goldwork showcases a variety of materials and techniques.

Not the lucky winner, but still want in? Use the code URBAN20 to get 20% off any course or school with Mastered. In addition to goldwork, they offer classes in the business of embroidery, tambour beading, and creative embroidery, plus lots of other fashion-oriented topics. This code expires Thursday, April 24 at 11:59 p.m., Central time. Enjoy!

Thanks so much to Mastered for providing this prize! Best of luck!

Grand Prize Winners of the UT Coloring Contest!

Ho boy! This one was down to the wire, but we officially have the results of the UT coloring contest. I just want to say a big THANK YOU to all the stitchers that participated and for everyone who voted. But what are we waiting for? Here are the results…

The winner of the machine embroidery category for this years coloring contest is that yummy coffee colored creation by Juliane!

Congrats Juliane!



This one was a TIGHT race folks. Separated by just a few votes from the amazing brightly colored design by inartwork. Everyone did such an amazing job, I know it was a hard choice! And what about the hand embroidery contestants?

The winner of the hand embroidery category for this years coloring contest is that gorgeous colorful watercolored creation by Brandy!

Congrats Brandy!



This one was also a pretty tight race, with April’s crayon tinted design not far behind. It was just so hard to CHOOSE, wasn’t it? The 8 other finalists all win a $10 UT gift certificate for making it into the final round and for working so hard on their entries. These pieces were all so wonderfully stitched and the colors just stunning. So much work went into these beautiful pieces!

Congrats again to Juliane and Brandy, each our grand prize winners of a $100 gift certificate to Urban Threads!

A special thanks to everyone who helped celebrate the big 5 with us all through the month of May. We can’t wait to celebrate the big 6 with you next year!

Featured Project – Needle Felted UT Critters

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…


free_compareTo a Good Home original design

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.


nom_compareMr. Nomster original design

What inspired you to pick certain designs?

Well, I’ve been hand embroidering Urban Threads designs for a good while now. (I just love them!) It’s pretty easy how I pick them. As of now, if I stitched it, I’ll felt it. 🙂


bunny_compareHippity Hop original design

Do you like stitching the design first? Or felting it?
That’s a hard question to answer. I love doing both. But it I had to choose, I think I would stitch the design first!

What’s been your favorite piece so far?
Cupcakes are my absolute fave to felt but my favorite Urban Threads design I have felted would have to be the “Do not feed monster”. 🙂


cupcake_compareOm Nom Nom original design

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.


panda_compareCutie Patootie Panda original design

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 🙂


cow_compareOver the Moon original design

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 or upload your Urban Threads stuff to our flickr group!

A Look Back At 2012

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.

That meant we went big and bold with this machine embroidered upholstered chair that showcased the new Mendhika collection. We were tickled pink when it got featured up on a favorite blog of ours, Design*Sponge.

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!

Making ‘Make Do and Mend’ Fashionable

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?

thanks to Shannon for the tip!

Tattoo Wedges

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.

Tools for the Machine Embroiderer


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…