Archive for the ‘News & Updates’ Category

January Lookbook

Get ideas to inspire your winter stitching and see all you might have missed by flipping through the January Lookbook!click to flip through!

Loved browsing our previous Lookbook for ideas and inspiration?

Well now you can get fresh new ideas more often! Introducing our monthly lookbook catalogs, released at the end of each month. Catch up on all the designs, tutorials and inspiration you might have missed, all while browsing through gorgeous photos and easily accessible links. These catalogs will always be available, so you can look back as the year progresses and never miss the opportunity for fresh inspiration.

The first one is available now through Issuu now!


Happy Holidays!


Happy Holidays everyone! We’ll be back to our usual shenanigans on Friday, but first we’re off to eat too many gingerbread cookies and drink too much Bailey’s. In the mean time, you can keep yourself occupied by browsing around some fun sweater ideas on sale and plot some projects for the new year, now that the holiday madness is finally tapering off.

C’mon, you know you totally want to make your own custom dinosaur-unicorn-robot sweater. Who wouldn’t?

Costume Contest 2014 – We Have a Winner!

And the winner of the Urban Threads 2014 Costume Contest, as voted on by you, is …

…this dazzling Sim Sin’karaleth (or the Hedgehog) gown by Angemessen! It was made as a LARP costume for ConQuest of Mythodea, and it was showcased to stunning effect. Embroidery was combined with beading on the bodice to give it that royal, metallic edge.

Sim Sin'karaleth_Angemessen

Thanks to everyone who shared your amazing embroidered creations! There were SO MANY stunning entries this year, and we wish we could give prizes to all of you. Keep rockin’ on with your crafty selves … we can’t wait to see the costumes yet to come!

2014 Costume Contest Finalists

UPDATE: Voting has closed! Congrats to winner Angemessen!

The night has passed, and what a night it was! Right up ’til the last moment I’m sure some machines were a-whirring, but the entries are in, and we have our top 10 finalists. As usual, we got SO many amazing entries this year it was hard to choose just ten, and it seems like every year people are going bigger and better than before. So, luckily, choosing the final winner isn’t on us… it’s on you! You have ’til Monday, Nov. 10 at noon Central time to vote on your favorite. Please just vote only once, and choose carefully! There’a lot of talent in this lineup…

Take a look at these 10 finalists below, and then cast your vote at the bottom of the post. And congrats to the top 10 finalists!

La Belle et La Bete by Wendy - One of the amazing 10 finalists in Urban Threads 2014 embroidered costume contest

1) This La Belle et la Bete gown is by Wendy (that’s French for Beauty and the Beast). I love how she stitched all the different designs in one color to pull them all together.

Little Broken Doll by Fondie - One of the amazing 10 finalists in Urban Threads 2014 embroidered costume contest

2) This Little Broken Doll costume is by Fondie. It’s got a great use of embroidery all around the costume, and is even topped off by a UT lace top hat! Cute and a little bit creepy all at once.

Cersei Lannister by Nancy - One of the amazing 10 finalists in Urban Threads 2014 embroidered costume contest

3) This Cersei Lannister costume is by Nancy, replicating her famous red gown in the series Game of Thrones. She’s got the evil attitude to match!

Frida Kahlo by Christina- One of the amazing 10 finalists in Urban Threads 2014 embroidered costume contest

4) This adorable little Frida Kahlo was stitched up by Cristina in Mexico. So colorful and fun, and just perfect with those little eyebrows. I love the hair too!

Sim Sin'karaleth by Angemessen- One of the amazing 10 finalists in Urban Threads 2014 embroidered costume contest

5) This stunning piece is Sim Sin’karaleth (or the Hedgehog) by Angemessen. It was made as a LARP costume for ConQuest of Mythodea, and it was showcased to stunning effect. Embroidery was combined with beading on the bodice to give it that royal, metallic edge.

Demon Couple by Pennie - One of the amazing 10 finalists in Urban Threads 2014 embroidered costume contest

6) This demon couple is by Pennie. She stitched all kinds of wicked designs on their costumes but used a coordinating color theme to pull it all together. I’m seriously loving those horns too!

The ninjabread men by Tam - One of the amazing 10 finalists in Urban Threads 2014 embroidered costume contest

7) These Ninjabread Men are Ben, Drew, and Jack and it was all stitched up by Tam. It’s a great example of taking a single idea from a UT design (like the ninjabread man) and making a whole costume out of it! Heck, even the dog got a costume.

Emerald Butterfly Dress by Liddy - One of the amazing 10 finalists in Urban Threads 2014 embroidered costume contest

8) This Butterfly Gown is by Liddy. She stitched up a couple of different gowns, but this one really drew our eye, on everything from the gorgeous embroidery down the front to the clever use of the lace butterflies on her shoes and crown. Man, I really wish we would get an invite to all these amazing balls she keeps going to!

Steampunk Cat by Jessamy - One of the amazing 10 finalists in Urban Threads 2014 embroidered costume contest

9) In another great example of using a UT design as inspiration we have this Steampunk Cat by Jessamy. What do you get when you combine steampunk and cats? This of course. A cute kitten on the front and lots of stitched gears all around. The furry kitten mittens and ears go great with the steampunk goggles. What a creative way to pull ideas together!

Venetian Carnivale by Mariah - One of the amazing 10 finalists in Urban Threads 2014 embroidered costume contest

10) This Venetian Carnivale dress is by Mariah, who actually went to Venice to try it out! It’s got a gorgeous use of embroidery on the front, and even a little touch of lace in the hat. So elegant.

So, these are your 10 finalists. Vote below for your favorite only once, and we’ll announce the winner of the $50 Urban Threads gift certificate next week!

UPDATE: Voting has closed! Congrats to winner Angemessen!

Urban Threads Runway Fashions

A chill is full in the air and fashion showcases are going on up and down runways around the world. We’re celebrating fall fashions all this week as part of our Fall Sale, and we thought we’d do a quick roundup of Urban Threads fashions that really have walked the runway, from a number of very talented fashion designers who use machine embroidery as one of their tools of the trade.

These stunning fashion images are courtesy of Jenny Jeshko for the Mercedes-Benz Prague Fashion Weekend, Tim+Thom for the Red Dress Collection, Alt.Kilt for NY Fashion Week, Ivy Frozen for the Japan Expo 2014 and Scoundrelle’s Keep for the fall Pomme de Sang show.

1146490_917524738277079_7463509129282722046_nJenny Jeshko

10704045_10152430008379331_6494326720639323099_nScoundrelle’s Keep

15149883282_f62829fd29_kAlt Kilt

14937236887_b109b7326c_k Ivy Frozen

10402958_734653543254695_3552120096132717103_nScoundrelle’s Keep

10599337_907737995922420_1121501470123213926_nJenny Jeshko

10696257_10152430005494331_392701432966304297_nScoundrelle’s Keep

15123864255_297b6f4abc_kIvy Frozen


10450444_734658589920857_2858584041458089260_nScoundrelle’s Keep

10665742_911900255506194_6712562818831105523_nJenny Jeshko

From home machines to runway ready, machine embroidery is finding a new place and new audiences all over the world. We love seeing what these superstars of fashion do with Urban Threads designs.

If you want a piece of fall fashion to yourself, craft it up at home with the Fall Fashion Sale, going on now through the weekend. We may not all get a piece of the runway, but we can look like we do!

Fridays At The Office


When our head digitizer Dee needs to get some work done without being bothered, she shuts her cube door. We added this sign one day when she wasn’t looking. It helps that we have really awesome photos to work with and mad photoshop skills.

Want more sneak peeks, office life, and behind the scenes? Follow us on Instagram at urbanthreadsemb

Corvus Cloak – Behind the Scenes

Last Friday, UT artist Dani enthralled us all with her UT Lab Corvus Cloak creation. As promised, this week, she’s back to share the realities of making a project like this, with behind-the-scenes photos and some basic instructions on how she made it. While it’s fun to see the chic finished photos, it’s a good reminder of how much work goes into big projects like these!


In last week’s post, I shared the finished photos and talked a bit about my inspiration when creating the glamorous yet comfy Corvus Cloak. This week I’m here with the less-pretty (but certainly interesting) details of actually making it.


I started with a sketch of the cloak. This sketch is from when it was originally envisioned with only the Ghost Baroque designs. Like most projects, it was modified as the ideas developed. While sketching, I had to keep in mind how I would be physically modifying the pattern I found, and where and how to place embroidery designs on the cloak. First I started with my fabric choices. I wanted to give the cloak some texture within the vast void of all black fabric, so I decided on a heavy linen for the exterior. The cloak’s hood is lined with a faux grizzly fur fabric, and the lining of the rest of the cloak is made of a velvety polyester fabric.


This cloak is based mostly off this Burdastyle pattern, but with some heavy modifications, which I’ll explain as I go along. After purchasing the pattern, I started by bringing the pattern file into Adobe Illustrator to modify it before printing it off. I then cut out the pattern and tetris’d the pieces together on my folded fabric. I also had to consider where I was putting the embroidery during this step so I could leave enough room to hoop the fabric.


Here you can see how I modified the back pieces. (These are the pieces for the lining, without extra room for hooping.) The original pattern ends where those two very faint lines are, and the extra points are my addition. I extended the interior seams of each piece by about 18 inches and shaped the new line to meet up with the original cut line. I also extended the front cape and hood pieces to make the double-breasted closing I wanted.


I then had to pick the colors I was going to use for the embroidery. I originally wanted the cloak to be all black with charcoal or black embroidery, but the bird skull buttons I found were a shiny gold brass, so I ended up rethinking my original color scheme to include a gradual shift to metallic gold thread… except I wasn’t actually sure if I could get a good transition from black to metallic gold. I dug around in our less used thread and found…ta daa! A black thread wrapped in gold! (The second one in from left in the picture.) After a few test sew outs to see if it would even work, I finally decided on the threads I was going to use. (Since many of you have asked, I originally purchased those nifty bird skull buttons from this Etsy store, but at the time of posting the store was not currently open.)


After cutting out the pieces and embroidering the front Briar Rose Buttonholes and the back Ghost Baroque Bird Skull, I stitched the three modified back pieces together so I could start the long and arduous task of embroidering the toile pattern.


I started by printing off lots and lots of Toile Noir Raven templates and lining them up on the fabric using a yardstick and ruler. This tutorial explains how to line up designs in this manner. Instead of using a fabric marker, I just taped the templates on because I was using black fabric, and I wanted to be able to move my designs around to correct for errors in stitching it out so many times.


I used one large piece of medium weight cutaway stabilizer with this. It was very large, and I got stuck to it when trying to adhere it to the fabric. These things happen.


It took me three days and 33 sewouts to do all of the toile pattern on the back. This machine apparently loves me because there were very few thread breaks and I didn’t sew any of the fabric together. It was a Halloween miracle.



After all the embroidery was done, I cut off the excess stabilizer and fabric. I had already sewn together the back lining pieces, so I pinned the finished embroidered back and the lining together at the bottom hem with the wrong sides facing out. I then sewed the bottom hem together, sewing right through the embroidery. I did the back hem in this manner so I could easily hide the edge of the embroidery pattern and so I could get the clean, sharp trails I wanted. I cut off the excess embroidery, flipped the hem right side out, and ironed the trails flat.


Then I started to piece the rest of the cloak together. While the BurdaStyle pattern I used was perfect for my modifications, the instructions were a little trickier to understand. I ended up pinning the entire hood about five times before I figured out how it was meant to go together.


Another problem I ran into was that the hood ended up being really square with the stiffer furry lining I was using. I took the top edges of the hood in by about an inch and rounded them off to make the hood shape smoother.


I hand-sewed the interior of the hood to the interior of the cloak. There was a neck piece from the original pattern that I ended up not using because it didn’t fit with my modifications.


I began finishing the edges of the cloak, but while I was working on it I realized that the bottom hem was billowing out because of how I sewed it together. (Also, you get a great peek here at the state of the studio while I was working on this. Don’t pretend your studio looks any different in the middle of a project…)


My solution to this billowing was to use a large piece of iron-on adhesive on the inside of the outer cloak and the lining. It was tricky to get the giant piece of adhesive in there once I had most of the edges done, but once I had it set and ironed in place, it fixed my billowing hem problem perfectly.


My last steps were to finish the edges and hand sew the snaps and buttons on to the closing. I used snaps on the inside of the double-breasted closing along with the bird skull buttons. And finally, I was done!


So that, ladies and gents, is how I made the Corvus Cloak. Be sure to check out the original post for more gorgeous photos of the finished project. It was just the thing to frolic in the woods on a crisp fall day!