Posts Tagged ‘dress’

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Happy Halloween in July everyone. Forget the norm. Make it Halloween every day!

Gothic Loli Dress – Dark Elegance for the Spooky Season

Today is another very special addition to our long line of Lab projects designed to push the boundaries of embroidery and the imagination of our team. This lab project is pretty special for our newest member Danielle, because everything from the embroidery to the dress to the modeling is done by Dani herself! 

Starting from the ground up with the designs, UT artist Dani took on a new project perfect for capturing not only the darker sentiments of the season but the inspirations from whole new subculture. She is the illustrator behind the darkly glam new Gothic Gala embroidery designs, and created this amazing project to show just what can be done with them. Similar to a previous October Lab where we explored the subculture of steampunk (a style has been explored often by UT stitchers) it seemed time this October to try something a little more classically gothic to suit the season. Dani is here to show off her amazing creation she designed and embroidered, and to tell us all about the Victorian-influenced style of Gothic Lolita

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“I’ve always been fascinated by the vibrant street fashion that comes out of the Harajuku district of Tokyo. It’s a fashion culture that is brimming with creativity and a certain kind of fearlessness that allows one to don giant Pikachu pajamas in public or to apply grotesque amounts of makeup or to wear the most frilly, lacy, doll-like dress you can find. There are many different subcultures that have roots in the streets of Harajuku, but the one I wish to bring to you today is Gothic Lolita.

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Gothic Lolita, sometimes abbreviated as GothLoli, is a style of the more widely recognizable Japanese fashion subculture Lolita. The original Lolita fashion is based on Victorian-era clothing, aiming for frilly blouses, cupcake-shaped petticoats, more lace than is humanly acceptable, and an air of innocence. There are many styles of Lolita, each of which have their own distinct look and take on the modern Victorian-inspired fashion. The Lolita spectrum can range from sweet pastels and stuffed animals to classic, true-to-form Victorian elegance to black upon black and dark frills that mimic the look of a nineteenth century doll.

I decided upon going the Gothic Lolita route because I felt it had the most consistency in style that would lend itself to a series of elegant gothic embroidery designs. And, with Halloween approaching, I figured I could make a kickin’ costume at the same time.

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I started with a sketch of the dress, designing some of the embroidery I knew I wanted to have featured into the sketch. It was really nice being able to design the Gothic Gala series and the dress simultaneously, as I could draw pieces to fit together in ways that I knew would be functional for this type of project.

For the Gothic Gala embroidery designs, I envisioned it with an overall gothic feel rather than an exclusively GothLoli feel that would limit the reach of the designs. Rather than drawing in the lacy, frilly elements of the dress, I kept the series more versatile without losing some of the beautiful elegance I drew from the Victorian styling of the Gothic Lolita style. I had a lot of fun piecing different parts of the series together and making them work in conjunction to one another, so that the shapes of different designs work seamlessly with one another, making the series flexible for all kinds of creations. This way, the Gothic Gala series can be used far past the realms of this subculture, perfect for any Halloween project or for that gothic project you’ve always secretly wanted.

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While incorporating the designs into the dress, I wanted the skirt to feature the cathedral and gates designs most prominently in the outer layer of the dress, forming a sort of gothic scene along the bottom as they lined up. Originally I had thought of doing an inverted bat centerpiece in the back of the dress, but then I laughed at myself and decided that I didn’t want to torment myself that much. I did end up designing the swoop of roses to line up with either side of the bat design, so the shape constructed by the two pieces complemented the shape of the dress as it opens up in the back.

Then I started the grueling process of actually making the Lolita dress. It had been several years since I had sewn anything, so I did a trial run to make sure I hadn’t forgotten how to do it. Evidently, sewing is like riding a bike, as you don’t quite forget, but you’re pretty much freaking out the whole time and you’re so very exhausted afterwards.

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There was still a lot of ripping seams and re-sewing , and I did manage to stitch several pieces of fabric together that were certainly not supposed to be stitched together. Although, the biggest hindrance to making this dress was that my cat wanted to help.

Overall, I’m really excited with how this project came out, and I’m so ready to greet Halloween in proper Gothic Lolita style!” -D

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Doesn’t this make you want to just frolic in the forest like a crafty and dark fairytale princess?

Experiments such as this help push our team of artists and designers to make better designs by remembering that these embroidery collections are meant to create projects larger than themselves. There’s nothing better to help inspire a series then by knowing it has to be something flexible and usable on a real sewing project, and these new Gothic Gala designs are sure to take you from frightful October festivities to gothic glam occasions and beyond. For some (especially those in love with offbeat subcultures), October isn’t the only time to add some bats and swirls to your life.

Still, the bright and bold autumn leaves do make a fantastic backdrop to the darker styles, and now is the perfect time of year to experiment with some darker inspirations you may not feel bold enough to try the rest of the year. As always, if you do grab the new Gothic Gala collection, be sure to share with us your dark and beautiful creations. There’s no better time to get stitching!

 
This project is part of The Lab, a UT initiative to experiment, collaborate and innovate to see just what can be done with the art of embroidery.
 
Check out our other projects by searching for the UT Lab tag.

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!