Posts Tagged ‘costume’

UT Tutorial – Tattoo Tights

Halloween is starting to creep up on us, and it’s a perfect time to try out a whole new look, and whip up a fast costume. Don’t know what to be this year? How ’bout something with a tattooed rockabilly style? No ink commitment required! All we need is a pair of tights and a cool design.

There’s also no embroidery machine required, so everyone can give it a try.

Check out the tutorial here.

Embroidered Steampunk Lace up Spats

First of all, with those four words “Embroidered Steampunk Lace-up Spats” all in one posting, you can’t possibly go wrong.

My latest retail love.

I love them for many reasons… the super cute machine embroidery (not our design btw, but steampunktastic none the less) the peekaboo lace back, the fairly reasonable price tag ($16!) and the fact that they also look totally DIY-able.

What do you think? Just spring for the under $20 price tag? Or take em’ on yourself just in time for Halloween?

Get em’ over on FanPlusFriend.


Flickr Roundup

As usual, you might be forgiven of late for being distracted by all the adorable pups, horses and kitties that took over the flickr pool for awhile, but there are some things that really ought not be missed.

Let’s see just a few of what’s popped up of late…

Steamed at Dragoncon

You can never go wrong with kicking things off with a little steampunk style, right? And flourishes got it just right.


Looking to add a little cool to your wardrobe? Yes indeed. Julieann20 did just that by splitting the seam and adding some embroidered coolness. Where have we seen something like this before?

Oh yeah, when we got all glammed up in Stitches Magazine, thought I’m pretty sure Julie Ann did it first. I’m now thinking I have a lot of very boring pairs of jeans. Thanks for the inspiration, Julie Ann!

my cherrie apron

OMG, could you just die of cuteness?

I don’t cook, but I would try my darndest if I had this little number, just to have a viable excuse to wear it around. Creations by Dawn decided to redo her whole kitchen in a cherry theme, and this is the little apron to match. Oh, the red lace is killing me! I love it.

sit hand pillow

Huzzah, Stitchfork has joined us on flickr! I follow her blog pretty regularly, and she has the prettiest photos of her embroidery on there.  It was such a treat to see one show up in the flickr pool.

And this? Too adorable. Way to be commanding, snarky and cute all in one go. Not easy to pull off in one pillow.

Happy Monster Pillows...

Happy Monster pillows are happy!

As was scandinaviangrrl when she bought a new IKEA chair for sewing. I think these little monsters are just the thing to liven it up.

Taylor's got a brand new bag.

Noordermeer1 has accomplished what many have tried and failed at before… stitching for a teenage guy! She has pulled it off masterfully. Taylor looks pretty slick with his new bag.

Tin Girl

More steampunk! And what steampunk it is… dj_ghostuk is at it again, this time making an amazing stitched gear bodice for this seriously sweet Tin Girl costume.

I’m starting to think I should just have a whole section for amazing embroidered steampunk costumes. Please tell me you’re entering this into our costume contest, right dj_ghostuk?

Fearghus not happy about wearing another hat

Speaking of adorable costumes…

Ok, so little Fearghus doesn’t look super thrilled to be modeling that slick top hat, but I think he looks fabulous. That blue that Lemon Tree Tales picked out really brings out his uh… eyes, don’t you think?

As usual, to check out all the stitchy goodness, head on over to our flickr group for and eyeful, and a healthy dose of inspiration!

Do you want to see your stuff featured in a roundup? Upload it to our flickr pool or e-mail it to!

Urban Threads Costume Contest

There’s a crispness in the air, and September has begun…

Crafty minds everywhere begin to envision fantastical costumes and spooky nights, which means there’s no better time to have a costume contest!

It’s no secret that we love Halloween, but judging by all the cool, creepy and crafty costumes that often appear in our flickr pool, you do too! That’s why we thought it would be a great idea to celebrate your costume skills with a very special contest.

Now through Nov. 1, enter a costume you’ve made featuring an Urban Threads design, and you’ll be automatically entered to win a very special prize…

A totally custom design created by us, for whatever theme or wish you’ve always desired!

That’s right… have you been asking for costumed ferrets or steampunk bees for months, but we haven’t delivered yet? Got an idea you always wanted to try, but seemed too crazy to request? Now is YOUR chance.

If you win the contest, we’ll personally work with you and your ideas to made that one kick-butt design you’ve always wanted (and hopefully that everyone’s really wanted) that we just haven’t gotten around to yet. We’ll make sure it fits all hoop sizes and it’s for all formats, so no matter what, it will suit your stitching needs.  We’ll even dedicate it to you in the design description so you and your idea will live on the site forever!

Just a quick few caveats about the prize design:

-While it is a custom design for you, this is hopefully something everyone else has been dying to see too. So we’re not designing something with a personal name, your kid’s little league mascot, or a company logo. The design will be available on the site for everyone after it’s yours, so try and think of something worth sharing!

-We will not design anything copyrighted (no, we’re not drawing you a zombie Disney princess, as cool as that might be) offensive, or otherwise inappropriate for our audience. Let’s keep it safe viewing for the kiddios.

So, now that you know the prize, what and how can you enter?

First, you’ll need a picture of a costume that features at least one Urban Threads design. It doesn’t matter if it’s something brand new stitched for this spooky season, or if it’s something you’ve stitched up before. It doesn’t even matter if it’s been featured already. As long as it’s a cool costume featuring some Urban Threads sweetness, it’s eligible to be entered!

Once you have your costume picture ready, upload it to the Urban Threads flickr pool and tag it utcostumecontest or e-mail it in to (pssst…already have a costume added to the flickr pool? All you  need to do is tag it!) You can enter more than one costume to increase your chances!

Important! While it’s fine for you to upload/e-mail lots of pictures of your costume to share, please just pick ONE image to tag as your entry. As we said before, you can enter multiple costumes, but you should only tag each costume once.

Get your pictures in by Nov 1st @ 11:59pm Central time to be entered. (We understand, sometimes you’re hot gluing those last pieces on right before you head out trick-or-treating, so you have till the day after to get your images in.) We’ll choose a winner at random, and get to work on that custom design!

Ready to get stitching? We totally are. Halloween is right around the corner…

What awesomeness will you stitch up this year?


Featured Project – The Indelible Mr. Gear

When people outside of this industry come across machine embroidery, they might be forgiven for making some assumptions about the kinds of crafters that participate. If you’ve come across the industry as a whole, you might believe it is populated by nothing but 71-year-old midwestern ladies who really really like paisley. And bears. And paisley bears. Perhaps ones wearing bows.

Or, on the other side, one might make the mistaken assumption that all Urban Threads customers are all thirtysomething urban mums with names like Brittney who cook vegan and whittle their own knitting needles from reclaimed sustainable barn wood. You might be right on both counts.  The truth is we have midwestern grannies and hipster parents. And hipster midwestern grannies. Yup, this is the embroidery your grandmother stitches. Your  grandmother is just that cool.

What you may not realize is all the people in between.  The guys, the teens, the young, the old, the hip, the crafty, the vampires.

Wait, what?

Yup, our crafty customers are as varied as your fabric stash, and if Brittney is your all-natural hand-dyed hemp-cotton-blend, then THIS guy is your black velvet embossed skull brocade. Possibly with sparkles.

And his name is Marty Gear.

I am so digging those glasses.

Marty is here with us this Friday to help us celebrate Halloween in July, and as a special treat he’s going to share some of his amazing embroidered costumes he’s made over the years! His most recent creation, above, is the long-awaited combination of fangs and gears … a steampunk vampire!

Marty explains how this creation came together…

For the last ten years I have been playing various vampire characters at a haunted attraction in western Pennsylvania called Castle Blood. When Master Tuxedos went out of business I went to their warehouse sale looking for “oddball” tux coats that I could use and found the one in the picture (without all the Urban Threads designs of course). I hung it in my sewing room and stared at it for several months, then replaced the black cloth buttons with pewter skull buttons.  That started the theme.  Since I do vampires, I had to have a bat and did the pocket flaps using the bat from Embroidery Library’s “Damask Bat” (sorry about that but I keep telling you that you don’t do enough bats) but then everything else was from Urban Threads.

Sorry about that, Marty. We do promise we’ll keep up on the bats from now on…

The Cameo Mori was next, and now the coat was starting to come together, but it needed something else to shine and that’s when I got the idea of using your Damask Skull on black velvet sleeve cuffs. (OK, it took me six tries to get it right. The velvet kept “eating” the pattern until I got bright enough to use soluble topping.)

I was now happy with the coat, but it needed something red around the top, and since I wasn’t willing to tear apart the lapels, embroidering the Skulls Nouveau in metallic threads on red finished the outfit.

Though this appears to be Marty’s first foray into the steampunk-vampire combination, he’s no stranger to either. You might have seen these photos of him before floating around our flickr group, showing off his gear-tastic (har har) style with some of our favorite steampunk designs.

And here he is in his full vampire makeup, scaring the bejeezus out of everyone who dares enter Castle Blood.

Marty is a longtime costumer and embroiderer, as well as a longtime customer of Urban Threads, for the three years or so we’ve been around. His favorite pastimes, it seems, are making awesome costumes and berating us for not having enough bat designs.

He’s also an enterprising digitizer himself, and faced with a dire shortage of bat designs, set about creating his own for the costume above. The right was his first attempt, and the left, his second after he lost the original file.

Pictured: what we don't do enough of.

Though he has recently been dabbling in the dark arts of digitizing, he has been costuming with embroidery for many years, long before Urban Threads came around. This costume, for example, was originally designed in 1984, but was up-cycled by Marty years later into this incarnation of a character from a book called “The Dragon Rises.”

You don't mess with a man with a sewing machine.

This wizard costume has been, as he describes it, “embroidered to within an inch of its life,” with impressive results. These designs are not ours, but awesome all the same.

The first thing my brain thought when it saw this was: Dumbledore! You're allivvee!

Being a wizard with the sewing machine means he’s certainly got more than one outfit. Here’s another fantastic example of one of his wizard costumes, complete, of course, with more embroidery.

It just goes to show you that a love of costumes can go hand in hand with a love of embroidery, and that any time of year is a great time to stitch up something fantastic. Personally, if I could I’d go around in costume all the time, I love dressing up so much. As far as Mr. Gear is concerned, he looks so at home in those outfits I picture him going around in his day-to-day activities with at least an eye patch or a pair of goggles at all times. Possibly with some embroidery about his person.

I’m so inspired by Marty’s work and creativity on all these costumes, it certainly raises the bar for what I hope to cook up for this Halloween. I hope it inspires you to try a little embroidery on your costume this year… you’ve got 3 months to try and top this.

Think you can take on the indelible Mr. Gear?


Well, it was a heck of a weekend, but Convergence has come and gone.

It was my very first year at this geektastic event, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. There were rooms where a dalek served you tea, a zombie den, a masquerade, steampunk galore and lots… I mean LOTS… of nerds.

Exhibit A

Yup, that’s me, dressed to the nines like the nerd I am in our fabulously stitchy Steampunk Coat. My hope was to show just how awesomely geek machine embroidery can be, or at the very least, introduce the geek world to the fact that it exists.

Truth be told, this is really the easiest way to explain what machine embroidery is. At parties when someone asks me what I do, I always struggle to find a clear answer. Saying I’m the Evil Genius of an online alternative machine embroidery company doesn’t usually get me many coherent responses, just usually a lot of blinks and then slow, backward steps. I might as well say I’m the inventor of LOLcats for all the good it does me.

(Though that would be the world’s coolest business card)

So, unless I have some cool stitchy stuff nearby to point to, I’m usually lost. I sometimes do have other stitchy stuff around to reference, but pointing to an embroidered tractor on a trucker hat doesn’t really get me any father into explaining what I do.

See That? That hat? That’s what I do, except absolutely nothing like that at all. Oh blast.

See? It doesn’t help. So, armed with my steampunk-y stitched coat, and a bunch of business cards tucked amongst the goggles on my top hat, I waded into the crowd to try my best. And what a crowd…

Normal everyday office hours around Urban Threads. That's right, we have Iron Man.

The costumes were fantastic. Nerds are so darn crafty, I just love them. You can’t tell in the photo really, but that Iron Man is homemade. Homemade! The crafty skills were endless.

And why pray tell are all my photos in black and white? Well, it could be that we went back in time to the steampunky age and they don’t have color back then.

They have rayguns, but they don’t have color photos. Right.

Or it could be that all I had on me was my iphone camera and they’re really better off this way. Could be that.

As it turns out, actually, nerds are even craftier than you think. SO crafty, that they’ve already heard of Urban Threads! I met these two fantastic ladies while wandering around looking at steampunk goods for sale. They recognized me! I feel so famous. Or it was the coat… either one.

Don’t they look fabulous? We chatted a little and I gave them a card. And then I got a peek of their fabulous stitchery too!

Check it! Urban Threads was representin’ without me even being there. I actually spotted a couple of Urban Threads designs here and there. This was definitely our kinda crowd.

Steampunk Alice in Wonderland. My kinda people.

Plenty of people indeed inquired about the coat and the embroidery. A lot of people assumed I must have bought it. Most had never really heard of machine embroidery, so it was fun to introduce them to it in such a steampunky way. I gave away all the business cards in my hat by the end of the night!

A few people said they had even seen to coat online already, either through Craftster or various blog sharing. It really was great fun to walk around in it and show the world a little of what we do, despite the fact that it was like a billion degrees in the coat. Sometimes, you have to suffer for your art.

Other than enlightening the world a little about the world of embroidery, I had a grand time at places like the house of toast (toast with any three toppings you want… from bacon to sprinkles) getting drinks in a steampunk airship, watching an evil presidential debate between Dr. Doom, the Master, and Mr. Burns, visiting the Willy Wonka Candy Land, running into Voldemort (almost literally), waltzing at the Steampunk Ball, and dancing with a Stormtrooper (who commented here yesterday… hi Mr. Stormtrooper!) Mr. T, and a Jedi.

What, you thought I was kidding abour Mr. T? He's a darn good waltzer.

I’m wondering if stitching up a costume could be a tradition for me every year, it was so much fun! Plus it’s a great exercise to pull out all the stops and see what I can do with our designs.

If so, do say hi to me next year. I’ll be the embroidery covered lass eating bacon-sprinkles-hummus toast in the corner, next to Batman.