Archive for the ‘Behind the Scenes’ Category

The UT Sketchbook

You all seemed to enjoy the little peek we gave you into our team’s sketchbook last time, we thought we’d share a few more!


These are some of my rough sketches for the Craft or Die Collection. This series all started with the original Craft or Die design, and it became so popular we just had to expand it out as a whole series.


Caitlin created this delightful little Eat Your Greens design that was so bright and colorful even as a rough, I just loved it. Sometimes our artists will add color to a sketch, sometimes they won’t. It depends on how important they think color is to bringing the concept to life in a rough. You can also see they sometimes leave me notes and such on the drawings about corrections or ideas they may have.

Monster Halloweenies

Our little Halloweenies were popular enough that we thought we needed a few more monster friends for them. After all, you can never have too many little monsters, right? Taylor designed these to be the same basic height and dimensions as the others so they would play nice with each other.


This trendy Hipster Sasquatch started out with lots of different looks before he became a popular freebie. Artist Caitlin played around with a lot of variations before we settled on the simplest version, on the right. I still kinda think that the guy on the left looks a bit like a caricature of Woody Allen in a Yeti costume.

No? Is it just me?

Steampunk Raven

Steampunk is always a popular one around here, in fact, we might be cooking up something new for you very soon (Friday, hint hint). This rough from Taylor is when he was working out ideas for the Steampunk Raven design as part of our western themed Steampunk series. Often when a design is symmetrical, an artist will just draw one half of it and finish the rest for the final design.


This rough is an example of how sometimes an artist can take an assignment idea and pull something totally new out of it. All artist Danielle was tasked with doing was making a pretty typographic “Winter” design, but it was her idea to turn it on it’s head with the bottom Winter Ambigram design. When an artist hands you an idea this good, you run with it!


Finally, this is a little sneak peek into an upcoming series I’m designing! I won’t tell you what it’s all about other than to say I think this should be a good one for the fellas and those who really aren’t into the bunnies and tulips.

So that’s just a few of the things that have shown up in our sketchbooks while we work hard to sketch up new ideas for you! We hope you enjoy these little peeks into our process, we’ll probably share a few more as we fill our sketchbooks up with crazy new embroidery designs ;)

A Peek Inside The UT Sketchbook

Though a lot of stock embroidery companies like ours may often use clipart, at Urban Threads we are thrilled to have a team of super talented in house artists that conceptualize and create all our designs from scratch. We thought it would be kind of fun to give you a little peek into the process of what goes into creating our designs, by letting you see some of the concept art that starts the whole thing.

So here today, we’re going to give you a peek into our artists sketchbooks!


This is an early stage rough from our artist Taylor, for what would be the final of the Gunslinger design. You can see he got it pretty spot on even in the early rough.


Our newest artist Danielle was taking a crack at concepting the Kraken/squid design for the Seven Seas Collection. She went through lots of iterations and layouts for what would eventually become this design. It’s a tricky business, you want enough detail to make it interesting, but not so much that it doesn’t work at small hoop sizes!


Sometimes our artists can’t resist adding color to roughs to really bring them to life. The middle design of this drawing by Caitlin became the final version of the Winged Beauty design, but it was a tough call between that one and the one on the right. Sometimes it’s a tough job to choose final designs!

fez monkey

Taylor is a big fan of the cute and the cartoon-y, and he went a little nuts when he was told to draw a “cute fez monkey”. You can see just how many different ways this little monkey came to be! They’re all so darn adorable…


This super popular Dream design came as a totally finished concept on my desk from Danielle. Already beautiful, the addition of a tri-color gradient and embroidery really brought this one to life! Sometimes things really take on a whole new level of amazing once they’re stitched.

primitive gothic

This is a rough of mine from our wacky Primitive Macabre Collection. I so love this style, it’s creepy and cute all at once and so much fun to draw! I could have drawn dozens of these characters.

So, that’s a quick peek into the sketchbooks of Urban Threads artists! What do you think? We’ll be sharing little peeks like this now and then just to share a little about the work and the process we love so much.

270 and counting!

We feel it’s important to let our customers know that we feel safety is a priority in the workplace, and we have had 270 successful robot-uprising-free days of work, despite that one instance of machine #4 talking back last week.

We hardly count that as an uprising. More just a gentle disregard for human authority.

270 and counting! Stay vigilant people.

Halloween At Urban Threads

Greetings ghouls and gals. I hope you’re up for a spooky Halloween tonight! We LOVE halloween around here at Urban Threads, and the gang couldn’t help but get into the spirit a bit….

If you’re going to have meetings on Halloween, they require giant glowing pumpkins filled with candy…

Our newest artist Danni, dressed as a darling witch!

Check out her slick boots and tights.

Meg, one of our newest digitizers getting spooky.

These may or may not be up all year round. Did I mention we love Halloween?

Teenage mutant ninja artist.

A yogi bear! We like our artists to be flexible to workplace demands.

Which is scarier, the beetlejuice jacket or my chipped nails? Eek!

And of course, Craft Bunny is always a little ham for the camera.

Finally, Steampunk Bacon Cat makes an appearance in pumpkin form! It was bound to happen eventually…

Happy Halloween, from all of us at Urban Threads!

Meanwhile, In The Urban Threads Studio…

In our defense, it is Friday.


(That might be our resident crazy digitizer Danielle, and she might have just gotten some old store display props, and she might have brought them into work today. And maybe we’ve all been working a little too hard and this is what happens. But I’m not confirming anything.)

Have a good weekend everyone! I hope you’re not as nuts as we are.

Behind the Scenes Video of the Steampunk Fashion Shoot

Remember the Clockwork Natura Gown?

Well KMK Designs (the designers who made the dress) have posted a fun little behind the scenes video of the fashion shoot, so you can see the dress in action. It’s not super high quality, but you can get a good idea of just how beautifully this thing moved, and see how the shots came together.

P.S. -No making fun of my modeling attempts. In my defense, I totally forgot there was a camera around most of the day.

How Machine Embroidery Designs Are Made

How machine embroidery designs are made

Many of you have asked before about the process that goes into making a designs, well today just felt like the right day to come clean about how the magic happens. Literally. You have no idea how many tiny tacos it takes to stitch out all our designs.

Ok, so I know it’s coming… how many of you really want Steampunk Bacon Cat as a design?

*EDIT* – Ok, your wish is my command. That’s right, your Steampunk Bacon Cat design is here! Get him right here. Just make sure your tiny sewing gremlins are well stocked with tiny tacos.

(Also, I feel it prudent to note that I am the first person on the internet to put the words “steampunk bacon cat” together. It’s true. I googled.)