Archive for the ‘Tutorials’ Category

The 20 Best UT Halloween Ideas & Inspiration

October has arrived, and it’s a popular month here at Urban Threads! We’ve loved Halloween since we started and that means there are 5 awesome years of projects, customer inspiration, Lab experiments and chic designs to get you inspired and stitching your spooky heart out. Scroll down for the top 20 BEST Halloween ideas…

Last October kicked off to a glamorous and gothic start with the Evenfall series. A collection of lace pieces that can be put together in endless ways to create magical costume creations. See the whole photoshoot and check out the collection.

Looking for some easier glam? This chic lace chandelier is a cinch to make and looks extra awesome doused in glitter. Hang a bunch to add dark romance to your next spooky gathering! Learn how to make it here.

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One of the most popular Halloween stuffies, these little Day of the Dead pincushions have been a fan fav for ages. Here’s how to make them.

One of our earliest Lab projects teamed some nature noir designs with fashion due KMK Designs for a gothic Steampunk ballgown that’s out of this world. Read about the whole project here.

Steampunk Lace Mask

Steampunk gets better with a few accessories. This mask was stitched from a lace design then brought to the next level with steampunk charms and spraypaint. See how easy it is to make here.

Sometimes the best costume ideas come by using designs in totally unexpected ways! This featured project from UT stitcher Krista turned a regular stitching wing design into a big idea. See how she made them here.

Day of the Dead Unity Candle

Halloween doesn’t just mean ghouls and goblins. Sometimes it comes with a little romance! Stitch your favorite dark design onto organza to spiff up a wedding unity candle just the way you want it. Learn how to make your candles more awesome with this tutorial. 

Lace Witch Hat

Out of time for a costume? All you need is a cool hat. Sometimes, small things can make a big impact, and this adorable lace witch hat is no exception. Stitch it out and dress it up for a custom accent that’s all you. DIY right here!

People aren’t the only ones that can benefit from a little dress up. Check out this feature on Urban Entrepreneur Cher, who runs a whole etsy store willed with dark and magical designs for dolls. Check out her amazing doll outfits and try not to wish too hard they were people sized.

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Speaking of, this one is people sized, but still a bit too darn small for me, which is a shame. Our very first Featured Project was this amazing Steampunk Alice costume. Think you can rock that dress with as much attitude as that little gal? See the whole thing and decide for yourself.

Day of the Dead Lace Mask

Dia de Los Muertos is always fun around Halloween, and it’s such an elegant way to get into the spooky side of things. This two color mask gets an easy updated with a stick and some flowers to whisk you off to masquerade majesty. Make it here.

Steamcoat detail

Go crazy using the popular steampunk trend and an upcycled a coat with all different designs using a coordinated color scheme. See the full effect on the finished coat.

EEK!

Costumes and indoor decor are a popular way to use embroidery, but don’t forget about the outdoors! Craft a spooky welcome using boas and lace to make your own custom wreath. See how easy it is.

Love tattoos but don’t want the commitment? Try them out this Halloween season with this hugely popular tutorial. See how easy it is to make them.

Steampunk Vamp

Think Halloween costumes are just for kids? Get inspired by the late great Marty Gear, and see some of the amazing embroidered costumes he made over the years. You really need to read about this guy.

Monster Lights

Get creative with monster stuffies and turn them into little Halloween lights instead! Get your fright lights on with this easy tutorial.

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Have you heard about our annual costume contest? There are some really amazing entries from last years contest, like this amazing Assassin’s Creed costume. See them all here.

Feel like going all Frankenstein? Go mad and make your own Monster Factory with this set of kooky designs. Want some ideas? See what the UT team made with em!

Want to spook up the house? Craft up a bunch of these pieces and assemble them into this spooky sweet spiderweb doily. See how easy it is to make.

Finally, if in the rare chance you’re not into the mood for stitching, you can always made this adorable printable instead. It’s FREE!

Feeling inspired? Tis the season. No matter what your inclination, costume, decor, accessories and more… there’s room this weekend to try at least ONE of these ideas, right?

There’s always time for Halloween…

Ingenious Way Of Transferring Embroidery Designs

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The clever Molly over at Wild Olive has the BEST way of transferring hand embroidery designs I’ve seen to date! Light fabrics, dark fabrics, it doesn’t matter. So simple and clean, we’ll wonder why none of us thought of it before. See how she does it over on her blog.

UT Tutorial – Americana Scarf

Transform a plain white scarf into a rustic Americana inspired accessory.

Now, you may not usually be pulling out your embroidery machine for the fourth of July, but now is a perfect time to get inspired by a hot new fashion trend… Americana! Flag inspired clothes and accessories are all over the fashion world right now, and this easy tutorial shows you how to transform a plain white scarf into a rustic Americana inspired accessory with subtle embroidered stars.

Get the tutorial here!

Tutorial – DIY Embroidered Headphones

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Super sweet tutorial over on Etsy’s How-Tuesday… embroidered headphones! Sweet. We can pair them with our DIY embroidered sunglasses and rock our embroidery obsession all summer long.

Get the tutorial details here.

5 Must-See Tutorials For Getting Started In Machine Embroidery

Machine embroidery is pretty neat.

I’m not just saying that. Really. This stuff is awesome, and there are lots of folks out there who think so. However, there are lots of misconceptions out there about what it is, what it’s for, and how you do it.

One, it is NOT just for your Great Aunt Bitty to embroider pictures of cats on things. Sure, she can do that too. Cats are all the rage these days, just ask the internet. Also, it’s not dark arts wizardry, thought you might be forgiven for thinking that the first time you tried to get something to stitch out correctly. Embroidery machines are neat little gizmos of technology that sometimes take on a personality of their own when embroidering your favorite designs, and ESPECIALLY when embroidering on your favorite shirt. If you just grab one out of the box and hope for the best, you and your machine may have issues. Plus those suckers can be complicated beasts to set up sometimes.

So for your ease and enjoyment, here are 5 easy tutorials if you’re just starting out that should make your journey a bit more pleasant, and stop you from throwing that magic technology out a window the third time it eats a design.

5 Must-See Tutorials For Getting Started In Machine Embroidery

First up, we go old school UT! Yup, this is one of the first tutorials I ever did (and that’s our old studio… so pink!) and it’s all about how to set up an embroidery machine. All embroidery machines are different, but it covers some basics of what it’s like getting that shiny new toy out of the box, and the first steps to setting it up. It breezes over some of the embroidery basics, so for that, I’d really recommend…

5 Must-See Tutorials For Getting Started In Machine Embroidery

This tutorial on machine embroidery basics. Once you’ve gotten a little more familiar with your machine, you need to understand some very important things like proper stabilizers, hooping techniques, and proper fabric choice to really get solid results out of this cool technology. This is an absolute must read for anybody just starting out.

5 Must-See Tutorials For Getting Started In Machine Embroidery

Next is for those moments you feel like defenestrating your machine. (That means throw it out a window… word of the day!)

Gotten your machine all set up, followed all the instructions, and you’re still getting terrible results? Well, this tutorial all about preventing shifting and gapping in designs should help. I hope for you sake your stitch outs aren’t looking quite as bad as that example above, but if you’re getting wrinkled fabrics and edges that don’t line up, try out these tips for getting great looking embroidery every time.

5 Must-See Tutorials For Getting Started In Machine Embroidery

For a little extra finesse, try using templates to perfectly line up your designs! This tutorial teaches you how and where to get your templates, and then easy steps for using them to get perfectly aligned designs. We use templates quite a bit in our tutorials, so it’s pretty handy to know to print and use them when the time comes.

5 Must-See Tutorials For Getting Started In Machine Embroidery

Finally, if you’ve learned to set up your machine, know a bit about stabilizers and hooping, figured out how to get a template, AND you haven’t thrown your machine out a window yet, congrats! You’re well on your way to becoming a seasoned embroiderer. Now comes the fun part… experimentation! Check out this tutorial for design hack ideas, basically super easy ways you can change up designs to get totally unique results and make them your own. It’s everything from changing up colors to specialized threads. The design is just the beginning… what you do with it is a whole different thing!

Got all that? Great! Welcome to the world of machine embroidery. If you’re looking for more ways to get started, there’s a whole section dedicated to it in our tutorials. They go beyond the basics and start talking about specialized tips like for stitching perfect freestanding lace to using applique designs.

Good luck! Your machine will thank you for it. No matter how cool a word you think defenestrate is.

Nature’s Curiosities Quilt – Free Pattern

It’s about that time again, don’t you think? Time for what, you ask?

For another crazy Lab project dreamed up by the UT team! This quilted creation is once again the product of artist Caitlin’s crafty fingers and a design collection created by me, your resident Evil Genius. This new project features the lovely and light-stitching Miniature Menagerie machine embroidery designs. These pieces were created in the popular style first debuted in the Parisian Love Letter series (which you can buy here) but in this case were inspired by nature’s tiny wonders and the world of entomology. Butterflies, moths, dragonflies, and more enchanting insects were framed with light-stitching accents and elegant baroque style borders to bring the beauty of nature to life.

Once the designs were completed, Caitlin took them into her capable hands and crafted a pretty, naturally inspired quilt perfect for a picnic in the great outdoors, or just a splash of summery home decor. Below Caitlin talks a little bit about the process of creating the quilt, and then shares a very special bonus…

A new project from the Urban Threads lab, featuring a gorgeous quilt with new Entomology inspired embroidery designs. Includes a FREE pdf pattern to make your own.

I had been wanting to make another quilt using our fabulous embroidery designs for a while, ever since I created the Celestial Quilt at the beginning of the year. Recently I stumbled across a beautiful 1950s vintage baby quilt, featuring little applique flowers, and it inspired me to start a whole new project with the new entomology-inspired designs.

I loved how the nine-piece blocks framed the applique designs on the vintage quilt, so I designed my own larger quilt pattern to feature the new Miniature Menagerie series in a similar fashion. I imagined a big bright quilt that you would want to lay out for a summery picnic!

A new project from the Urban Threads lab, featuring a gorgeous quilt with new Entomology inspired embroidery designs. Includes a FREE pdf pattern to make your own.

I liked the idea of creating a soft place to spend time eating savory snacks and enjoying good company.  In this world, beautiful insects lived only as gorgeous embroidery on the quilt (and not as uninvited picnic guests), and there was always a sweet smell of flowers in the air. I wanted a quilt that evoked the warm days of summer!

A new project from the Urban Threads lab, featuring a gorgeous quilt with new Entomology inspired embroidery designs. Includes a FREE pdf pattern to make your own.

I tried to keep these summery feelings in mind while I worked on the project. I got a few helpful pointers from my quilter-extraordinaire mom about how I could accomplish the effect I wanted with the quilt blocks and embroidery, then I went to it!

A new project from the Urban Threads lab, featuring a gorgeous quilt with new Entomology inspired embroidery designs. Includes a FREE pdf pattern to make your own.

I took inspiration from everywhere while researching the quilt, but I especially liked this entomology illustration as color inspiration for when I went fabric shopping. I loved the weird greens and purples together with the cream and tans, but I wanted to keep the colors as soft and muted as possible so the embroidery designs could really pop.

I really like bright and bold color, so I put as much in as possible!

A new project from the Urban Threads lab, featuring a gorgeous quilt with new Entomology inspired embroidery designs. Includes a FREE pdf pattern to make your own.

What I love most about this pattern is its versatility. You can go through your fabric stash and easily start cutting squares out of your favorite colors to create the quilt blocks. If you want more structured, geometric color design, you can just as easily do that too!

The quilt fits the versatility of the embroidery designs themselves. They can be layered and grouped and sewn in so many different arrangements. For instance, in the photo above, the butterfly design is layered on top of the baroque corner, to make a larger, more delicate and detailed design. I really love the effect of the moon corners under the insect features. I was also really excited that I could extend the baroque corners using the baroque features, making a big and beautiful extra large embroidered corner. It’s so fun to create such embroidery effects through the magic of layering.

A new project from the Urban Threads lab, featuring a gorgeous quilt with new Entomology inspired embroidery designs. Includes a FREE pdf pattern to make your own.

Of course, no project like this is without its challenges. I ran into some trouble with my triangles and setting the quilt blocks on point. There are some more practical quilting techniques that I learned after I had already pieced my side triangle blocks together. Mainly that you should cut triangles using a particular math formula, so you have the appropriate 1/4 seam allowance on the diagonal. Quilting is very mathematical. We’re always learning new things with these projects! Sometimes the best way to create is just to dive in and experiment. It all turns out in the end.

All the same, next time I’ll be sure to do a little more research before I cut a million wonky triangles…

A new project from the Urban Threads lab, featuring a gorgeous quilt with new Entomology inspired embroidery designs. Includes a FREE pdf pattern to make your own.

Experimental crafting and quilting is always so much easier with a little help. I wouldn’t have been able to put this all together without the skills of my mom. My home is filled with amazing quilts she has made, and being able to call her and ask random quilting questions was a real lifesaver. She’s even working on her own version of this quilt pattern! It’s always great to pull a personal history of crafting into new projects like this.

A new project from the Urban Threads lab, featuring a gorgeous quilt with new Entomology inspired embroidery designs. Includes a FREE pdf pattern to make your own.

I am really excited about how this project turned out. It’s exactly the warm and summery kind of quilt I was hoping for, and really helps bring the Miniature Menagerie designs to life. Don’t be afraid to dive into a big project like an embroidered quilt. It’s not as hard as it looks, and the results are so rewarding!

Thanks so much for sharing your experience, Caitlin! Feeling inspired? Well, now for the best news. You may remember the last time Caitlin took to quilting, SO many of you requested a pattern of the quilt she created, and we thought there might be mutiny if we didn’t do it this time around. So today for the very first time, we’re offering a FREE downloadable pattern of a Lab project for you recreate in your own home.

To get your very own downloadable instructions to make your own summery quilt, click here, and of course, don’t forget your new Miniature Menagerie embroidery designs. Have fun, crafters, and as always if you make one of your own, be sure to share it with us!

 
This project is part of The Lab, a UT initiative to experiment, collaborate and innovate to see just what can be done with the art of embroidery.
 
Check out our other projects by searching for the UT Lab tag.

UT Tutorial – No Sew Workout Tee

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Got 30 minutes? You’ve got time to make yourself a new workout tee! Some bold embroidery and a few snips and ties are all that’s needed to transform an oversized plain tee into a chic embellished workout top. Get the tutorial here!