Archive for the ‘Featured Project’ Category

Featured Project – Steampunk Airship Pirate


Steampunk is undoubtedly a huge deal these days, and even though it’s mainstream enough now that you can start picking up steampunk-y things in shops, the best stuff is always handmade. Take, for example, Exhibit A above.

You’re not going to find a sweet outfit like that in stores. Nope, that could only be the work of of a stitchy Urban Threadster, like Wickedstepmother1969.

What inspired this project, and what was it for?

We help run a youth “safe trick-or-treat” event with our county 4-H clubs. Everyone dresses up, and Annie wanted to be something unique this year.

We had recently started listening to Abney Park and The Cog is Dead, so decided to go with an Airship pirate theme. I approved heartily of any costume that had nothing to do with Lady Gaga, or in general nakedness unbecoming to a barely teenager. My girls know I am a soft touch for anything new and interesting, so the Steampunk Halloween was conceived!


What made you choose the designs you did?

Annie has adored Da Vinci since she was about 6 yrs. old (she is 13 now) and she is a self- admitted science nerd, so that would explain the design on the back. We both love your skull designs and a captain has to have their wings- so the queen of the air was perfect on the sleeve. Had to add the compass design to the skirt pickup bands, because an airship captain needs a compass, right?

How long did the coat take you? Any interesting challenges along the way?

I probably spent about 4 full days on the outfit, but I sew very fast. My biggest challenge is usually getting the designs on my memory card with my new computer (sewing machine hates Windows 7 so I have to operate in the Windows XP mode to get them to load.)

The minky fur was a challenge- being so stretchy it had to be basted onto a stabilizer before we could put the collar together. Picking the little final details was fun too — the chain epaulets hung better when pinned on while on my dressmaker form.

How did your steampunk captain pirate like it?

She loved it- won most original at the costume contest she entered.

…of course they thought she was Amelia Earhart. She was disgruntled no one had a “Jules Verne” bent like she does. She also loved getting to wear my hunting boots with it. She did say it was warm (but Halloween was unseasonably warm this year).

Any advice for people looking to tackle a similar project?

Sew your designs out before you put the outfit together! I used a McCalls’s pattern 5759 for the jacket base; the fabric was from my stash of stuff I keep for making Victorian clothing.

I am lucky my Pfaff 2134 has a basting stitch function that will let you hoop a nice heavy stabilizer and then baste the pre-cut pattern piece onto it, otherwise I might want to sew the design before I cut it out, to keep from stretching it out of shape. Also, on the back of the jacket, the center seam was sewn and pressed out first before it was prepared for the embroidery.

Awesomely steampunky stuff, madame. I think the best part of all this is that you threasters took to steampunk like a duck to water, and if you want to be extra hipster about it, you can say… I was embroidering steampunk before it was cool. I’m sure our stitchers will keep leading the pack in new and innovate ways to show off alternative embroidery.

Do you want to be a featured project on StitchPunk? Drop us a line at or upload your Urban Threads stuff to our flickr group!

Featured Project – Enchanted Fairy Wings

We love it at Urban Threads when you guys find ways of using our designs that we never even thought of. Your ingenuity always keeps us inspired, and this week’s featured project is just about as enchanting as it is inspiring!

Krista Lueders of MaeFlowers & JuneBugs took our fairy wings design, and upgraded it to full on freestanding awesomeness. Krista explains a little about her project and what went into creating this adorable costume.

I love the use of the fairy wings design! What inspired you to try it out in a new way?

I’ve always loved fairies, but hate the cheap wire and nylon wings that tend to fall apart quickly. I know my daughter has torn up a few pairs of those and wanted to do something that would last a whole day on her back. She’s almost 4, so that’s a big issue. I had found a costume pattern that had instructions on how to make the net and wire wings that velcro onto the back of a bodice. I ran with that idea and combined it with the fairy wing embroidery.

How long did the design take you? What challenges did you run into along the way?

Overall, the whole costume took about 3-4 days. The wings didn’t take long to stitch out, but constructing them is another story! I also had to enlarge the embroidery design a few times to get the right size.

Any tips for other people looking to try it out themselves?

Don’t skimp on your felt or velcro! And just be creative with the colors! Use your felt as another color in the design, since quite a bit of the felt will show through the embroidery. Also be mindful of the color felt used for the back piece, since that will show, too.

What went into making the costume? Did you use a pattern or make it up yourself?

I modified an existing pattern for the crop top and bodice, the tutu is strips of tulle sewn into a ribbon band with elastic and a hook and eye closure. I had to play with the velcro placement on the wings and bodice to make sure that they lined up just right to give the proper look.

How did the little one like it? Any plans for any more costumes?

She loved it!!!

So did everyone who saw her at the Texas Renaissance Festival onHalloween! Plus I loved how at the end of the day, her wings were still ready to take flight!

I have started making and selling these little fairies in my etsy shoppe and I’m currently working on a few Patriotic Fairies, just in time for the 4th of July! I’m also starting a line of “Build-A-Fairy” costumes to be sold both online and (hopefully soon) at Renaissance Festivals.

What an adorable costume, and what fabulous pictures! That’s a little girl who knows how much she rocks at being a fairy. Plus, I can see freestanding wings being a hit with fairies of all ages.

What? I still go to the ren fest. I may or may not have a costume. You can’t prove anything…

If you’re looking for some more enchantment, you can also check out her lovely blog. That’s for sharing Krista! I hope I spot some wings at my local ren fair!


Featured Project – Day of the Dead Skull

Today, in honor of Cinco de Mayo, I thought we’d celebrate with some seriously epic Mexican sugar skull-ness for our featured project! This amazing feat of hand stitchery is from the wizard fingers of Lisa, who took on one of our bestselling designs with gusto. And get this, she made this impressive project as a gift. A gift!

Lucky swine…

Dia De Los Muertos - hand stitched

Whoa ... is all I can think to say.

This looks like an intensive project! What made you choose the design and take on such an ambitious stitching job?

I loved the skull design the moment I saw it on Urban Threads. You guys are what got me back into embroidery, because I saw the opportunity to do work that was not the usual fluffy stuff! I saw that skull and went, “Ooh, the satin stitch I could do on that bad boy!”

What inspired the project?

I did it as a present for my boss whose husband and family are from Mexico. (She adores her skull and her hubby Guillermo loves it even more!) I also wanted to start and finish a big project.

Close-up, top of skull

...I take that back... whoa, and... OMG the satin stitches!!

How long did the design take you?

I started it at Christmas and finished it in late April. I had to put it down several times for other projects and because I needed a break from the **** roses!

Back of piece

Check it out! The back's almost as nifty as the front...

What challenges did you run into along the way? Any special tips or tricks you’d share with someone trying a similar project?

The biggest challenge was that I decided to do the roses in four colors for each bloom…and lemme tell you that was endless, mind-numbing work!

I also goofed and did the white metallic fill-in last…which was not easy when you’re trying not to cover areas already done. Don’t do that part last.


I know more about working with metallic threads now and I suggest that someone using them for the first time do it on a SMALL project first…

Middle view of skull

What were some of your favorite stitches to use?

Satin stitch is my favorite, because you get such a smooth, shiny, almost machine-made look to larger areas.

What’s the next project you think you’ll take on?

Since the DDLM skull, I have done a huge heart in Brazilian embroidery on a shirt, a smaller heart on a straw bag and several tote bags, bibs and tea towels. I have also made your boots and cape.

Currently, I’m doing another jean jacket, I have a pool banner in the planning stages and I am about to start teaching a hand embroidery class at a local embroidery machine sales and service center. You’d drool over their machines!

Framed and ready to gift!

Fantastic work, and a great inspiration for any of you who feel like taking on the sugar skull. It may be a little involved, but just check out the results! Kudos, Lisa.

Do you want to be a featured project on StitchPunk? Drop us a line at or upload your Urban Threads stuff to our flickr group!

Featured Project – Steampunk Alice

We’re so happy to introduce our very first Featured Project here on StitchPunk, something we plan to make a regular feature. You guys do such amazing things with Urban Threads stuff that we just have to showcase some in greater detail, and tell you all about them.

And what better way than to start with some stunning steampunkness!


I bet you weren't this cool when you were little...

Today’s featured project comes in the form of this custom dress and this adorable little steampunk Alice.

I love the attitude, darling.

This amazing dress was stitched up by Mami Girl Boutique, and I don’t mind saying I wouldn’t mind one of those in a different size. So, let’s go behind the scenes and find out a little about what went in to this project, from Mami Girl Boutique herself!

What inspired this project?

Steampunk is so cool, how could you not be inspired??

I participated in an amazing fashion design challenge with the theme being steampunk. I am part of an amazing group of ladies who design children’s clothing. Monthly we do “launches” with a theme and we list everything a child would need, painted shoes, jewelry, hair accessories, and clothing that coordinate to mix and match. It is great fun and we have built lasting friendships and also built our businesses cooperatively! 🙂 I love black and white and stripes, it really fit the Victorian theme!  The sketchy Alice designs on Urban Threads were perfect for my vision … and they stitch out really nicely, too!


It looks amazing! How long did it take, and what challenges did you run into while you were working on it?

The appliques took approximately 25-35 minutes per embroidery design. This outfit had a total of 4 on the skirt, although my later version of this design had all of them! I think that the biggest challenge to this outfit is the bustle in the back of the skirt … to figure it out without a pattern took a lot of sketching and trial and error.


What made you choose your designs?

The sketchy look of these appliques were very Tim Burton, very steampunk, the Victorian look, slightly creepy without being scary, whimsical and fantastic. The artist who made these is amazing and I feel has the real eye for the steampunk aesthetic.

Many have asked, and I’m one of them … are you ever going to make designs like this for adults?

I will not say no to an order…

… BUT, I adore designing for children, you can be so whimsical and over the top creative that anything goes for kids design wise and color wise. I find that most adult clothing is very limiting. Also, children are much easier to design for proportionally. I have made shirred back halters for adults like the one I made for my Blythe doll outfit and it did well because of the shirring.


You’ve got some beautiful photos on your etsy page! What’s the story behind the photography?

THANK YOU! The majority of my photos I take myself with my own kids. That said, this steampunk outfit was photographed by an amazing photographer named Robin who lives in Texas! Her little model, who is just gorgeous, rocked this set! I have several steampunk sets she has modeled and she does a great job with locations and she also does an amazing job with photo treatments that take hours … layers of textures, etc.

Amazing job, madame! I’m sure I’m not alone in saying I’ll be sure to keep an eye on your etsy store, and I can’t wait to see what you do next!

Do you want to be a featured project on StitchPunk? Drop us a line at or upload your Urban Threads stuff to our flickr group!