Posts Tagged ‘costume’

Featured Project – The Blue Fairy

Autumn is really starting to bloom around here, and it’s got me all excited about Halloween! Fall is my favorite season, and the array of amazing costumes it brings isone of my favorite things about it. I thought it would be perfect to kick off the costume season with a favorite costumer we’ve seen before… the amazing Urban Threadster, Azre Greis! You will probably remember her from the epic Steamwork Doll Costume, and she’s back and stitching with a vengeance. She whipped up this amazing water-themed blue fairy costume for a Ren fest she was planning to attend. She went just as crazy this time as she did last time, and the results are impressive! She joins us today to talk a little about what inspired the costume and what it was like to make…

This is an incredible costume! Talk to us a bit about what started it. Was it for an event in particular?

Thank you! Out in Texas there is a large Renaissance festival called TRF (Texas Renaissance Festival) and I really didn’t have anything good to wear out to it as the mish-mash I had worn the prior year was very disappointing. We were going to it with a friend who was renowned for her adorable fairy costume and decided we’d make costumes to go with her. I chose a water fairy because I love the water and the color blue and had blonde hair at the time so they all seemed to fit together well.

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She was very gracious and encouraged the project by asking me what kind of wings I’d like to have and made those for me along with the goggles I have on my head. TRF is typically a cold and rainy faire so the costume was made from many parts and has lots of opportunities for layering for the sake of warmth and weather compliance.

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I wanted to look like I was flowing all the time, perpetually coming up out of the water so all the fabric is very light with a lot of reflective qualities. The cape I’m wearing was actually made for by a friend vendor at another faire called Sherwood Forest who was inspired by my costume and made it just for me, even with holes for my wings to go through!

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How did you go about choosing designs? How many are on there?

I chose light designs with a lot of open space. The costume itself uses salt water animals while the cape is fresh water. Overall the costume includes about 31 embroideries.

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How long did the embroidery take?

Probably about 70 hours. I used a lot of metallic thread which always slows me down.

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How long did the whole thing take you to make? Was the costume designed by you, or was it based on a pattern?

The costume has evolved a bit over the last year or so. All told I think I put about 2 weeks of work into it. I added trims, more pearls, decorative stitching and knickknacks such as the satchel and a vial of perfume with some stones. The idea for the pants came from a genie pattern made by Simplicity, but I drastically exaggerated the drape pieces for it so that I’d get more swish when I walked.

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The top is a common blouse again from Simplicity with the rest of the sleeves cut off and a looser neck. The rest of it is just kind of slapped together from late nights and “brilliant” ideas that didn’t always work out. The two drapes on my arms were originally meant to be tight against my arm the entire way up and then in strips hanging down. I dropped that idea in favor of the loose sort of drape effect it has now for the sake of warmth.

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Did you run into any problems along the way? Any tips for people trying something like this?

Always make sure you’ve got the right stabilizer. I had to do over one of the pieces for the chest because the stabilizer I had was too lightweight and collapsed under the design. The fabric I used had a lot of stretch and needed the additional support the stabilizer granted. I also learned a lot when I did the leg pieces (organza) and used the knowledge from that to do a better job on the cape with a water soluble one side adhesive stabilizer.

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It took a really long time to properly rinse the cape so that it flowed properly, but it was worth it in the end. To anyone else doing such a thing, hang up your large project in a stand up shower, close the shower curtain and use hot water in a downward spray to get all the stabilizer out and keep it from making your ends stiff.

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How did people react to the costume and the embroidery?

The best reaction I ever got was a small boy, around 4 years old, who flew at me when we were at Sherwood. He came to a dead stop in front of me and peered, stating with great confidence, “I remember you…!” And proceeded to tell me a story about how he’d met me in the forest once the year before.

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This was impossible as the costume was new at the time, but it made me feel fantastic to know I had embodied a child’s imaginary experience and brought it to life. I’ve gotten many compliments, been mistaken for cast at two different faires (which I’d love to be one day) and it’s a fun costume to wear. It takes a lot of time to get on but it’s always worth it and it’s very comfortable to go tearing around being silly in.

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You seem to always be cooking up new costume ideas! What’s your next project going to be?

I am currently working on several new things! A Princess Toadstool from Super Mario Land (SNES), Queen Frostine from Candy Land (the board game), and Queen Zurline from The Life and Adventure of Santa Claus (a Rankin-Bass movie) as well as a new sort of barbarian costume that I plan to use a lot of Celtic or Nordic patterns you’ve got up on, I’m having trouble deciding so all the printed out pieces are pinned to the dress in various places. I’ve also done several wedding dresses using designs from Urban Threads that I hope to get some good pictures of soon once the brides have had time to settle in and pick their favourites.

I’m totally addicted to you guys!

As usual, this costume gets my gears going about this year’s Halloween costume. Slightly out of character for me, I haven’t yet decided what I’m going to be, but this certainly gets me inspired to start! What about you stitchers? Have any epic costumes in the works? Well, if it’s anything like the stunning creations from Azre Greis, be sure to drop us a line at blog@urbanthreads.com or upload your Urban Threads stuff to our flickr group so we can see what you’re stitching.

Makeup by Kristie MacLean, wings by Jenna Idaho, cape by Two Spools, and photos by Marcos Melendez. See Azre Greis’ shop here.

Featured Project – Medieval Elven Dress

It’s been a spooky and costume filled week here at Urban Threads, with our Halloween in July celebrations going on, and it seemed a great time to share this amazing embroidered costume from Urban Threadster Kaino. Kaino really wanted an excuse to whip a classic “princess dress” like many a little girl dreams of. When the Elven Court series appeared, it seemed like the time to do it!

Kaino joins us today to explain the work that went into this amazing dress from someone who has only recently learned how to sew!

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What started this project? What was the dress for?

I start this project because our association Celtic Hardt organized a Highland games contest and a medieval market, so it was a great excuse to wear a pretty dress while also advertising my work and my little home shop Kaino Art’Couture.

Plus it’s a little girl’s dream to wear a princess dress.

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How did you go about designing your dress?

I used for this dress the McCall’s costumes pattern M6376, because I’d never sewn anything like this before, and it was a big big challenge for me. The only thing I changed on the pattern was the sleeve design because it looked too simple and I wanted to repeat the black and purple colors.

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I chose for this project a purple and a black velvet, because there are my favorites colors and because it s a heavy fabrics, which have a luxurious look, but are hot, very hot in the summer! (Oh well,  it looked great)

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I also used 12 meters of little black lace on the whole dress. A friend gave me the crinoline petticoat from her wedding dress, and it gave me a simple way to have a fuller dress bottom, like a princess!

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Any challenges along the way?

Oh yes! Sewing something like this was tricky since I only started sewing in December of 2011. I made this dress in 10 days, working day and night. My husband and all my friends followed along through the steps of my work (which I posted on facebook for people to see), and that was a great support.

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

I had planned this project before I had any designs for it, and I saw on facebook your post for the Elven Court embroidery pack…. I fell in love and immediately purchased the pack!

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I used 3 differents designs from this pack. The Elven Court tree crest for the chest, which took about 80 mins to embroider.  The Elven Court knotwork corner I used twice in mirror at the bottom of the dress, and just the moon from the Elven Court crescent moon curve for the two handles and also, twice on the back. I used 3 different colors and even silver metallic thread for the moons, tree and knot.

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I spent one entire day embroidering the dress, but before that I tested the designs many times on some test fabrics to make sure I had made good color choices.

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How was the dress and the embroidery received?

Really really really great! Everywhere I went, both dress and embroidery designs people loved it. First on Facebook and then in real life at the medieval event. I even had some little girls saying “Mom, look a princess!”

It was amazing, and see stars in my two daughters eyes …. “Mom you look great! “

Love it :)

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Any plans for other amazing embroidered creations?

I regularly use your designs for my creations! And yes, I’m already thinking about my next big project (an Elven or faery dress), and definitely on my own wedding dress (But I have plenty of time!)

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You look so amazing and absolute thrilled in your new dress, Kaino!  You look like a real princess, and not only that, a princess who can make and embroider her own darn gown! That’s a DIY princess if I’ve ever heard of one.

I can’t wait to see what you whip up next, and what amazing stitchy creations come out of your sewing room come Halloween.

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!

Will The Real Sinbonnet Sue Please Stand Up?

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I’ve been saving this because it was too perfect not to post during our Halloween in July celebration/sale. Awesome Urban Threadster Chelsey dressed up perfectly as our very own Steampunk Sinbonnet Sue for the local awesome nerd convention Convergence this year (previously attended here). Seriously, the costume is dead on. How great is that?

Did we mention we have the best customers ever?

We do.

Thanks for sharing Chelsey! We ♥ you.

Featured Project – A Pair Of Wonderland Wonders

We’ve seen the fabulous work of  Judith and her daughter Freeke before, most notably on our facebook page, but when she sent us these images of two out-of-this-world Alice costumes, we knew they deserved their very own Featured Project post. After all, we’re always suckers for a new Alice project, and this time we got TWO wonderland wonders for the price of one!

Judith & her daughter are from the Netherlands, so her answers are short and sweet, but the amazing photos of these gorgeous embroidered costumes is more than enough to keep your eyes happy! Read on to learn a little about the ideas behind each Wonderland costume and the embroidery she added to them…

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What started this project? What were the costumes for?

I started the project because I saw the Wonderland designs on your page. I started searching for a reason to embroider them on something, because I liked the designs a lot! The costumes were for my daughter who was planning on wear them at am upcoming fantasy fair.

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What’s the blue Alice costume all about? What designs did you use to make it?

There was a group with who were going to do a photo shoot with, and they were discussing an Alice in Wonderland theme. That’s what started the hunt, and when I found the Wonderland embroidery designs the costume followed.

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This blue Alice costume with the rabbit ears on the hat is supposed to have the rabbit “hiding” in it. The rest is a new twist on Alice. My daughter hasn’t gotten a chance to wear it yet at the fantasy fair.

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What kinds of challenges did you face in making this costume? 

I had quite a bit of trouble making the rabbit hat. It was the first time I made a hat and I didn’t really know what materials to use!

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Tell us a little about the other Alice costume… 

The costume from this photoshoot was a ‘Black Alice’ theme because we made it around Halloween, but she wore for this photo shoot last Sunday. It ended up being sort of a wintery scene in the summer, because the Black Alice also had a hooded jacket as part of the outfit.

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What kinds of designs did you end up using on this costume?

On the apron I used a design of a raven and a chain, because it look a little boring without them. I also used the Blackthorn design pack for the Black Alice coat.

I can’t remember how long it took to embroider them, but they were easy to do. Thankfully, there weren’t many threads I needed to cut.

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How are people reacting to the costumes and all the embroidery?

I get a lot of nice replies on the embroidery designs and the costume. People are very enthusiastic about them. 

Any other fun project planned for the future?

I’m currently working on a Steampunk Geesekeeper costume for my daughters. I also would like to do a costume with the Dark Fairytales designs. I don’t know what it would be yet, but I think that they could make a very nice costume. 

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Thank you so much for sharing your amazing sewing skills Judith, and to Freeke for her awesome modeling skills. She makes a perfect Alice! I’m sure these costumes will be a hit the fantasy fair. And I know we’re all just dying to see the next costume you two dream up! I bet Halloween this year will be epic.

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!

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

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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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…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!