Posts Tagged ‘costume’

New Collection – Elven Court

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Craft up some magical garments with the new Elven Court collection of embroidery designs! Vines and leaves intertwine with dragonflies, gems, knotwork, and enchanting emblems in these gorgeous new designs, on sale through May 19, 2013. These light-stitching designs are sure to inspire some charming new projects!

Wear pretty dragonfly wings on the back of a jacket, shirt, or dress…

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wings

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Combine the versatile shapes to perfectly suit sleeves and other uniquely shaped areas…

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moon

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Mix natural elements with enchanting knotwork…

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Wear antlers as a delicate neckline embellishment…

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collar

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…and combine your choice of designs to create a perfectly magical outfit!

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These new Elven Court designs are on sale only through May 19, 2013 — just $1.33 per machine embroidery design, only $0.50 for each hand embroidery pattern, and an even better deal on the design packs. Grab these gorgeous designs today, and start stitching up your own magical creations!

UT’s Very Own Pirate Crew

I got this brilliant email in my inbox the other day, and it was just too much of a gem not to share.  Nancy sent me these photos and explained:

I am a professional costumer, and just completed a youth theater production of Peter Pan. We used the UT logo all over the place- pirate hats, stage crew do rags ,and costume crew bandanas. Parents of the younger kids especially liked it because it was piratey without being too scary.

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I also wore the vest emblazoned with my “personal motto”, which you so kindly turned into an embroidery design. It gave many opportunities to plug your website. Keep up the great work!

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Check it out… Urban Threads has its very own pirate crew! Well, not exactly, but that’s how I’m going to tell it. All those skulls and crossbones and swarthy looking swashbucklers. Seriously, you helped us take over the world with an army of tiny bunnies, now we have a whole crew of buccaneers to boot! We’ll be unstoppable.

Thanks so much for sharing Nancy, it looks like you guys had a blast!

P.S. We actually already have a pirate captain. I wonder if she’s looking for a new pirate crew?

Featured Project – The Steampunk Clown

Oh steampunk… is there anything you can’t make amazing? Sometimes the best ideas come from one random thought, such as “I wonder what a steampunk circus would look like?”

From that one brilliant idea this amazing steampunk clown costume was born from the talented minds of two ladies, Laura and Chelsey. That one little thought grew into this gorgeous over-the-top clown costume that just blew my mind when it showed up in my inbox. The photos were taken in an opera house in Mantorville MN, just a short drive from my hometown, and the richness of this whole project was just too good to pass up!

I could go on, but really, it’s much better if I just let our lovely ladies tell us a bit about what went into this steampunk creation…

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What started this project?

Laura: I started to buy fabric to design a circus costume after several of us talked about how we hadn’t really seen a steampunk circus done before, and what fun it could be.  I didn’t know the outfit itself would be a clown until I had assembled a pile of brightly colored fabrics and the idea that the skirt might look like a carousel.  When I mentioned it to my husband he said, “Just don’t make a clown.  Clowns are creepy.”  Which meant, of course, that it had to be a clown.  A non-creepy clown.

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How did you go about choosing designs for the project?

Laura: We chose the Parisian Clockwork for the lapels, stripped down to just the clock faces and in a copper thread to mimic the idea of the clown being a clockwork clown, and to bring the copper color of the metal into the embroidery.  Lyra and the Ringmaster got added to the spats after the leather that was purchased for the spats was found to not be thick enough for the original cut-work design that was planned.  The colors were changed in their clothing to better reflect the colors of the fabric.

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The end result of the spats far exceeded our expectations and looked much better than I believe the original idea would have looked.  We did use Carousel Animals embroidery from Embroidery Library because we needed a number of different animals (there is only one repetition in the entire skirt) and at that point Urban Threads did not have a large collection of carousel animals, otherwise you definitely would have been our first choice!

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Chelsey: It was tough to choose between all the different circus characters and steampunk elements. I think Laura and I had a list of a dozen designs before we settled on Parisian Clockwork, Lyra, and the Ringmaster. In the end, Parisian Clockwork was chosen for the simplicity and subtlety it could bring.

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Lyra was picked because we wanted to keep the costume as feminine and pretty as possible. The Ringmaster was chosen because he was playful but still had that hint of creepiness that circuses have.

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Talk us through the embroidery… which designs did you use? How long did it take to embroider it all?

Chelsey: Once we sifted through all the possible designs, the whole thing came together. I used Embird to edit out the background shading and text on Parisian Clockwork and then repeated the design against itself. I stitched it large enough that Laura would be able to fit her lapel pattern inside the stitched area, essentially creating a new fabric for her to use. Lyra and the Ringmaster were embroidered into this amazing pink leather.

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This project was the first time I’d ever embroidered on leather before, and I was a little nervous my placement would be terrible or I’d screw up have to start over, leaving Laura without enough room to cut out the spats. Those three designs were super easy and fast to stitch up. The carousel animals on the skirt were the most time consuming with their million and one thread changes. All told, there is probably a 40 hour work week put into the embroidery, but that’s a rough estimate.

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Any challenges along the way?

Laura: Oh goodness yes.  In regards to the actual construction, the design changed several times. The mechanical pieces in the front actually broke several days prior to the photo shoot and needed to be completely redone.  The shoe design was changed several times and the wheel farthingale that supports the skirt went through several variations before we got it right.  The rigging of the front panel was also done on the fly the morning of the photo shoot.  It worked, though, and the photos were beautiful.

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How was the costume and the embroidery received?

Laura: Everyone thus far has LOVED the costume. Historical and non-historical costumers alike. We were so very fortunate that the setting of the background worked so well with the colors of the costume and we really lucked out in having Jim Jordan shoot the photos. He did an amazing job. The boots were particular favorites of many people, and I know the embroidery was a huge part of that.

Chelsey: It’s been fun to get comments from people who usually don’t like clowns. One of the biggest goals was to keep her a pretty clown, and I think it really worked. The embroidery is one of the really fun aspects of this costume, because every time someone takes another look, they notice something different.

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Any plans for other amazing embroidered costumes?

Laura: I have a plan for Chelsey, but she doesn’t know about it yet. ;)

Chelsey: I have at least two costumes in mind right now. To keep with the steampunk circus theme, I have a bearded lady Lolita in mind. I plan on using a good amount of UT mustaches  The other costume will have a little embroidery, in particular a gear or two, but it is actually going to be a physical interpretation of an Urban Threads embroidery design.

Thank you so much, ladies, for sharing this project with us. The fabrics, the spats, that amazing full skirt, the gears… goodness I could go on. It’s fun to see some designs from our buds at Embroidery Library show up too! Now it makes me think we need to do a line of steampunk carousel animals… what do you think, gang?

Want to see more of this project? It was wonderfully documented on Laura’s blog Rocking the Frock if you’d like to see even more behind-the-scenes action of its construction, and of course you know you want to see more of those final photos over on their facebook album.

Do you want to have your project featured on StitchPunk? Drop us a line at blog@urbanthreads.com or upload your Urban Threads stuff to our flickr group!

Costume Contest Finalists

The costumes are in and the entries are incredible. Looking through this gallery has been so much fun, and SO hard to pick our favorite ten. So many of you went above and beyond with stitches and lace, making these designs your own and really going crazy with them. Well, here for you today are your ten finalists, chosen by the UT gang. Please scroll through them all and enjoy the embroidery eye candy, and then vote for your favorite at the poll at the bottom.

Voting is open now until Sunday 11:59pm central time. You have all weekend to vote, so take your time, look em over, and pick your favorite! I know, I know, it’s not an easy task.

So, without further ado, here are your ten…

A gorgeous steampunk costume from Stitch Couture. She used the western Steampunk Raven on the back, designs in the Clockwork Magic series, and a few Clockwork Natura Feathers on the bodice.

Dress for a costume ball by Anke the Wolff, in Holland. She is, aptly, a werewolf, with a baroque wolf design embroidered on the front, and the lace rose choker design repurposed for the cuffs and around the dress. Love.

Winter Elf costume by the always stunning Liddy from Holland. She reused pieces from the lace snowflake crown design for this Russian kokoshnik (headpiece), as well as the costume’s cuffs. “without it, the winter elf costume would not have this ethereal Russian feel to it,” she writes. Gorgeous!

Dana’s stunning steampunk witch costume made with Simplicity pattern 2207. She used the Steam Motif Butterfly multiple times, the Clockwork Magic Raven on the back, and the Cobweb Choker to round out her witchy steampunk ensemble. I’m totally digging the Ghastlies fabric.

Ivy Frozen made this rad anatomical dress for a Haunted Halloween Carnival Dinner meet up. She used the designs from the Anatomy Design pack all around her skirt, and they are just perfection with those tights. How cute is this dress?

A stunning steampunk costume by Mariah, sewn from the same Simplicity 2207 pattern as our steampunk witch! She stitched her dress in blue crepe back satin with the Regal Mini – Fleur de Lis embroidered on the collar, and the Clockwork Magic – Pocket Watch on home-sewn white spats. Tiny Lace Top Hat features matching trim from the skirt and the same buttons used on the spats. Just gorgeous.

Donna created this costume for her son so he could be Ezio from Assassin’s Creed: Revelations. Lots of embroidery on this carefully crafted costume! She used the Celtic Heart in repetition to amazing effect all over the costume, then mixed in some Celtic Majesty Ravens, and the Celtic Cross on the main piece, and the Celtic Majesty Cross on the red cloak.  This, my friends, is how you prove machine embroidery is boss to teenagers.

Pennie’s husband dressed as Edgar Allan Poe, with the Wordy Bird design on the back of the jacket and the Baroque Skull on the cravat. She went as the Raven to match. Fancy!

An excellent dia de los muertos character from yourky, stitched with the Flowerered Skull Border on the tee. Man, that’s a kid who knows how to be a sugar skull.

Finally, this amazing steampunk Tinkerbell costume by Julie. She utilized the Steampunk Gears all over, from on the pouch to used as freestanding designs on the wings. Then she added a Steam Motifs Compass Rose as a finishing touch. Enchanting!

 

There you have it ladies and gents. Get voting! Remember, you only get to vote ONCE. So choose wisely.

*EDIT – Voting is closed! Thanks for taking part. Our winner is Enzo from Assassin’s Creed!*

 

Urban Threads Costume Contest 2012

It’s that time of year again…

Yup, the embroidery machines are a-whirrin’, and a chill is in the air. It’s time for Urban Threads’ annual Costume Contest!

The contest starts Monday, Oct. 1, and ends Oct. 31, 2012, at 11:59 p.m. Central time. Your costume can be from any time (meaning it doesn’t have to be a Halloween costume), but cannot have been previously entered in last year’s contest.

How do you enter? Just take a photo of your awesome costume that features at least one Urban Threads design. Costumes may be for people or pets! You can then either email your photo to contest@urbanthreads.com or upload it to the Urban Embroidery flickr group with the tag utcostume2012. Remember to get your photo entered before the witching hour on All Hallows’ Eve!

We’ll choose our 10 favorites to be finalists, and post those 10 to voted on BY YOU the weekend after Halloween. So, what goods does the lucky stitcher get?

A $50 UT gift certificate and their very own Craft Bunny!

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Looking to get inspired? Check out the amazing entries from last year.

Good luck and happy stitching! Last year was amazing, and I cannot wait to see what you cook up this time…

Featured Project – The Steampunk Prom Dress

As you’ll see throughout the day, we’re all about steampunk today, and we’re kicking off our geartastic celebrations with an amazing Steampunk Prom Dress project that almost makes me wish for high school again. Almost.

This project is shared with us by Tami, who made this dress for her daughter’s prom. The steampunk dress was her daughter’s idea, and they worked together on designing it to pull it all into this amazing Victorian creation in time for her senior prom! This dress utilizes so many cool pieces, from our bestselling steampunk butterfly to lots of lace pieces used in all kinds of creative ways. I guarantee you no one had a dress like this at my senior prom.

Tami joins us today to talk about the whole process of how it all came together…

How did the idea for a steampunk prom dress come about?

Well … my daughter had wanted a dress that was “really different” than the normal formal gowns. She talked about this last year for the homecoming dance in October, but we decided that her senior prom would be better. That gave us plenty of time to come up with an idea.

Did embroidery inspire the steampunk or did a love of steampunk come before the embroidery?

The embroidery definitely inspired the love of steampunk. Once we started looking through your designs we were so excited. She loved the steampunk designs she was seeing on your site. She knew she wanted to incorporate a corset into the look, but when she saw your Clockwork Natura gown that got her creativity going. Then she started looking more at the steampunk style of clothing.

Talk us through all the embroidery… which designs did you use? How long did it take to embroider it all?

It took us a long time just to decide what designs we wanted. They were all so awesome. We finally decided on the Steampunk Butterfly for the front of the corset. We liked that because it had a feminine look, but still had all the gears. The corset is a gold satin fabric, but then we found this awesome sheer gold/black fabric and we decided to layer that. I embroidered that piece before I stitched the corset together.

We loved that, so decided to make the entire corset like that, but it seemed like it still needed more since it still felt rather plain looking. I decided to embroider the Gears and Cogs border down each side. That definitely added the extra pizzazz we were looking for! That’s where the whole project started — with the corset.

I made the jacket next. The Steampunk Wings design was perfect for the back. A nice large design that really gets your attention. We decided that it also needed a little more, so I again embroidered the Gears and Cogs around the sleeve cuffs.

Once I got the jacket finished, we thought the tails looked a little blah … so yet again I embroidered the Gears and Cogs border on the tails. Perfect! I’m not really sure how long the embroidery took, because I worked on it little by little. But I know I had many hours invested.

Did you design the dress and jacket yourself, or was it based off a pattern? 

My daughter had an idea what she wanted. We found many patterns and she chose one piece from each pattern (jacket from one pattern, corset from another, etc.). She also wanted the skirt to be a little higher in the front so everyone could see her new boots, so I had to alter the skirt for that. The overskirt is made of that awesome sheer fabric that we used on the corset. If you look at it one direction it shines a beautiful metallic gold, and looking at it from another direction it looks black.

The overskirt is a separate piece, so she can make different looks from the same dress pieces. We decided to make the corset from a pattern that had a zipper up the back so it would be easier to get into. But she really liked the idea of the lacing up the back, so I put little loops in the seams so we could lace it up for the look without the hassle. The corset originally was strapless, but we wanted the extra security of straps. It was made for prom, and she would definitely be dancing all evening. We used your FSL Steampunk Choker design. I stitched four of those out and then stitched small eyelets on the corset. We used black sheer ribbon to tie them onto the corset and to tie them together at the shoulders.

When it was all finished, I added some metal gears to the jacket collar and a lock above the tails. I also added a lock to the front top of the corset. I stitched out your FSL Floral Facinator for her hair. I used a gold color for the leaves and a deep red for the flowers. To make that more steampunk we added a chain and some keys hanging down. She wanted a pair of gauntlets to wear on her arms because she knew she would not be wearing the jacket all evening. I made those myself with no pattern. We decided to use velcro inside the arms to make them easier to get on and off. This way the lacing never has to be removed. I spent several weeks putting everything together, just working on it little by little.

Any challenges along the way? What advice would you give someone trying to create something like this?

There were many challenges. The fabric we chose was extremely difficult to work with. It wanted to shift as I was cutting the pieces and stitching it together. Once I had it done, we decided that it needed an underskirt to give it a small amount of volume, so there was another piece to the outfit! But the results were worth all the headaches. My advice to anyone wanting to create something like this is to allow plenty of time. Don’t try to rush through it. I embroidered many designs on extra scraps of the dress fabric and we looked at them for days before we decided which ones we wanted.

If you make one piece at a time and really work at each one until you are happy, the task doesn’t seem so overwhelming. Don’t be afraid to combine patterns or ideas. If you like one piece from a pattern, but something else from another, DO IT!

How did your daughter like it? What were people’s reactions to the dress at the prom? 

My daughter was absolutely thrilled. She couldn’t wait to wear it. Her grandma thought it fit her personality perfectly. We live in a very small rural community. About half the people at the dance thought it was awesome. The other half “just didn’t get it” … lol.

Needless to say, no other girls had a dress that even came close. And the whole idea for me was to make her happy. I didn’t care who else would like it or not. It was the perfect dress for her.

What’s your next project going to be?

I think my next big project will be Halloween costumes for my husband and myself. Not sure yet what we’ll be, but my embroidery machine runs every day. I’ve always got something in the works!

Everything came together so wonderfully! Thank you so much for sharing, Tami – this is such an amazing gift to give your daughter for her big prom night. From the jacket to the corset, to handmade gauntlets and lace fascinators, a custom made steampunk gown is certainly a totally unique way to rock the night away. I bet it made it a night to remember.

I’ll be keeping an eye out around Halloween for more amazing outfits, and I hope you’re a fan of the new steampunk stuff coming your way later today!

Do you want to have your project featured on StitchPunk? Drop us a line at blog@urbanthreads.com or upload your Urban Threads stuff to our flickr group!

Featured Project – Krusher The Steampunk Gentleman

Hi all, and welcome to the first featured project of 2012!

Damn, I still can’t quite get past the 2012 thing, though I’ve had nearly a month now to do it. Do you adapt easily? For some reason whenever I hear or say something about “Twenty Twelve!” my internal monologue almost always adds something something stupid and spacey like “welcome to th’ fuutchaaa!

No? Is that just me? I’ll get over it. Still, they promised us jetpacks by now.

We’re having a slightly steampunky week here at Urban Threads, and whether you think gears and rayguns conjure up visions of the “the futchaa” or gaze longingly at the non-existent, somewhat romanticized steamwork past, this felt like a perfect time to share the most dapper of all dogs with you…

Krusher, the Steampunk Gentleman!

Krusher is the classy pooch of Mariah, who went all-out last Halloween and created what has to be the dandiest dog costume I’ve ever seen. Good thing Krusher is such a good sport and a camera darling. Mariah joins us today to talk a little about this steampunk costume masterpiece and the awesome dog in it.

Krusher The Steampunk Gentleman

This dog is cooler than me on my best day.

This is just too awesome for words. Talk about what inspired this.

Thank you so much. The love of all things Halloween related, I’m quite festive. I find a costume for Krusher every year and when I saw your costume contest, I knew I wanted to do something more involved then his other costumes. I also needed to make something my husband wouldn’t oppose to have Krusher wear. Something more manly then a pumpkin, and what is more manly then a gentleman with a sidearm. He even joined by helping with the painting of the water gun.

Did embroidery inspire the steampunk or did a love of steampunk come before the embroidery?

Your embroidery really inspired this since I wasn’t familiar with steampunk before following your site. First I saw the lace top hat and thought, “That’s the perfect size for Krusher,” and it all went from there. Thinking about what would be on the hat to make it steampunk, what else would he wear with it. I used the Fancy Felix design you have as inspiration for the clothing. I found a pair of kids swim goggles, the water gun, metal gears, and other metal accessories from the craft store.

Krusher The Steampunk Gentleman

Talk us through all the embroidery… which designs did you use? How long did it take to embroider it all?

I chose the free standing lace top hat but wanted to butch it up a bit. So I placed cutout pieces of the brown faux suede like I would for an appliqué. When it embroidered out, the fabric was between the stitches. I had grouped as many of the parts as I could with my digitizing program to save stabilizer and time with minimizing how many times I had to hoop my stabilizer. This was the most time consuming part of the embroidery which took a few hours or so on my machine. 

I also chose the steampunk rayguns to be on the back of the vest to give a little life to it. Instead of using just two threads, I wanted to have the guns different colors, so I watched where the embroidery changed over to the second gun, stopped the machine, changed my thread.

For the holster, I used the Gears ‘n Cogs in a contrasting brown thread to add some flair. That was the quickest embroidery of the project. 

Krusher The Steampunk Gentleman

Did you design the costume yourself? Was it based off a pattern or did you make it up on your own?

I knew what I wanted to do, make the top hat, a button down shirt with a tie, a vest, and a gun holster. So I looked through my patterns I had in my stash (love the 10 patterns for $10 sales) and found a pattern I had used before (the tie) and another one that I had wanted to try. I had to adapt the patterns to fit Krusher’s frame. With his barrel chest, he has a hard time finding clothes that fit him off the rack. I used Simplicity pattern number 2695, Dog Clothes in 3 Sizes from the Go Green Collection. It includes a pattern to adapt a man’s button down to fit a dog. The problem was that it only goes to a size medium, so after much math I figured out the size shirt needed and how much width to add to the pattern. Then I used the same pattern but tweaked it a bit make the vest. 

I also used a pattern for the tie, McCalls M5777 (which is now out of print sadly), but tweaked it by not having the collar attached.

I did make up the holster as I went. To figure out the size and shape of the holster, I traced the painted water gun and added an inch or so on both sides, cut out two pieces in the lighter faux suede, did a rolled edge hem with my serger on the tops of them, pinned the pieces wrong sides together, and then serged the other three sides together. I also serged two very long strips of the fabric with wrong sides together to create the rest of the holster. With some creative use of D-rings I was able to make a custom holster for Krusher.

How did Krusher handle all the costuming? Was he pretty tame about it, or was he just holding still for the photos? He looked amazing, and so dapper!

Thanks, he is quite the elegant hound. He handles costuming well. Krusher is our 70 lb bump on the floor, sleeping about 20 hours a day, so he is calm to begin with which helps. Never fights getting dressed but when I first put any piece of clothing on him, just stands there and has this look on his face like he is saying, “Really. Really Mom.” The longer he is in the costumes, the more comfortable he gets and forgets he’s wearing it. The most movement he did was walked around the living room slowly, so I followed him with the camera. Treats always help in he process of picture taking.

Krusher The Steampunk Gentleman

What were people’s reactions to the costume and to all the embroidery?

Krusher got first place at our Petsmart costume contest. Everyone loved the costume; only one person at the contest knew he was a steampunk gentleman. The rest thought he was a cowboy =^_^= All of the people I met we impressed by the embroidery and were surprised someone can do this at home. 

Any challenges along the way? What advice would you give someone trying to steampunk out their pets? ;)

The challenges would be adapting the patterns to fit Krusher. Even with my calculations, I had to put a panel in both sides on the shirt, but then I took that measurement to create the vest. 

For steampunking pets, have fun with it. Think of new ways to interpret the steampunk character types, but do fittings along the way to make sure your pet is comfortable with the outfit. Mainly be able to walk =^_^=

Another tip, do a trial run with the costume before you take them out in public. Krusher shook his whole body and the gun came flying out. I had to add a tab to secure the gun to the holster so that didn’t happen at Petsmart.

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Please tell me you showed him off a little. Did you get take him out on Halloween night, or to any events?

Oh yes, he got seen by the public at Petsmart, dressed up for greeting the trick-or-treaters, and also got his picture taken by a local photographer.  

I notice both your and your husband’s costumes are also embroidered! How awesome. I’m also really digging the Cowboy and Indian thing.

Thanks you! Since I bought my machine I have been an embroidering fool. We were all dressed up for Halloween, I’m festive so my husband and dog need to be too.

What’s your next project going to be?

I always have another project going on. Right now I’m working on another baby quilt using the Jacob’s Ladder block with pink and a pattern fabric. After the baby is born, I’ll embroider the baby’s whole name, time of birth, date of birth, weight, and length then finish putting it all together. It’s my fourth or fifth pieced quilt. I’m also making a matching hippo and will embroider the monogram on its side. I’m also making several other stuffed animals for friends’ babies.

Thank you, Mariah, for sharing this awesome creation with us, and thank you Krusher for being such a good sport about it. I can’t wait to see what she has in store for you next year!

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