Posts Tagged ‘fashion’

New Collection – Snow Queen

With Christmas over, it’s easy to think the glamour of the season has passed. But winter has an icy beauty all its own, and the glittering edges of icicles and sparkle of snowflakes offer a cold beauty unlike any other time. Become the queen of the season and declare mastery over the cold with the new Snow Queen collection, perfect for adding that glamorous edge to winter gear.

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Stitch on jackets, hoodies, gloves and capes. Light stitching designs go easily on to all kinds of fabrics, and there’s even a sparkle of silver metallic to bring a bit of that icy light to the designs.

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For a limited time, get these lovely designs ON SALE through Jan. 19, 2014– just $1.49 for each machine embroidery design, and only $0.50 for the hand embroidery versions. Save even more when you order them all in a design pack; each size of the machine embroidery pack is on sale for $15, and the hand embroidery pack is only $4!

Visit the sale page to grab these new designs before the deal is gone.

Urban Threads Tackles Cutwork

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Cutwork is a classic embroidery technique where portions of fabric are cut out and filled with a lace-like embroidery. Versions of it have been around before, but never in the classic Urban Threads style… until now! In this new Dark Heart design, pretty lace covers a cut-out shape in your fabric, surrounded by one-color roses digitized with incredible dimension.

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We fell in love with this style once we found out how easy it is to get a dramatic effect. You’ll be amazed how simple this process is… check out the tutorial to see how!

Get The Look – Constellation Cardigan

Get inspired by that trendy Constellation cardigan from Anthropologie and then see how easy it is to DIY an even better one!

This trendy Kites and Constellations Cardigan was $118 at Anthropologie, but even at that price it seems to have sold out. That didn’t stop this sweater from inspiring a lot of DIY versions though. The simplicity of the cardigan makes it an excellent place to pull inspiration from. However, I think with the right designs and the right cardigan, we can make something even more simple and chic than the original.

Get inspired by that trendy Constellation cardigan from Anthropologie and then see how easy it is to DIY an even better one!

It can start rather simply with a blue cardigan. Any cardigan can work. You can do the classic boyfriend style that Anthropologie went with, but I spotted this drape style cardigan off ebay for only $13 and liked it even better. It doesn’t matter what style you pick, as long as it can hold up to some light embroidery.

That embroidery of course is going to be all the little star designs available from the Ecliptic Constellations design pack. These come in lots of different sizes and are individually stitched, with means it’s easy to place them anywhere you need to create constellations. Want to see how to hoop teeny star designs? We did it on this scarf pretty easily.

Get inspired by that trendy Constellation cardigan from Anthropologie and then see how easy it is to DIY an even better one!

Mark on your cardigan where you need all your starts to be, and stitch and hoop them one by one. It may sound a little daunting, but actually these designs stitch so fast you’ll be done before you know it. After all, we’ve stitched dozens of stars like this on a project before. For now, don’t fret about the constellation lines. Those come next. Also, I think it’s kind of fun to sprinkle a few random stars about the place, to give the whole sweater a heavenly feel. That’s optional though, you could just stick with the constellations.

Psstt… you know what else would look chic on this sweater? One of those pretty constellation designs right on the back! Choose your sign to make this cardigan truly your own.

Get inspired by that trendy Constellation cardigan from Anthropologie and then see how easy it is to DIY an even better one!

Now, here’s the point that can be done two ways. If you want the chunky, retro style stitching like the original sweater, you best bet is to go old school with your embroidery. Yup… grab some white floss and get stitching by hand! It’s a very very simple stitch, you just need to connect the lines of your stars with a few big stitches.

Don’t feel like embroidering by hand? You can stitch a line by machine. Try using cotton thread for a thicker effect, and stitch over your line a few times to make sure it shows up. Take care on stretchy sweaters not to bunch it up.

Get inspired by that trendy Constellation cardigan from Anthropologie and then see how easy it is to DIY an even better one!

So, there you have it. It’s a slightly updated look, but if you like the retro appeal of the original sweater, you can always find a cardigan like that. In fact, I bet thrift stores are full of them! Just sprinkle on a few stars, stitch in some embroidery thread, and you have a sweater inspired by the heavens. It’s a lot less than if you could have bought it even when it was available, and this way, you get to pick your own sweater, your own constellations. Wrap up against the chilly winter sky with a starry sky of your own!

The 2013 Hand & Lock Prize for Embroidery

If you’ve never seen it before, celebrated embroidery studio Hand & Lock holds a contest every year to find the best and brightest in new embroidery designers for fashion. The contest used to be just for students but in recent years has grown to include open entries, and the results are always stunning. They’ve announced the top prize winners for 2013, pictured below, but really all the entries are worth a look…

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First Prize in the Open Category was  Beata Kania, with this fierce black dress.

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First Prize in the Student Category was Claire Morris, with this amazing metallic top piece that almost looks like futuristic armor.

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All the other entries are really stunning too. The detail that goes into these creations is incredible…

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Visit Hand & Locks website for even more images of entries and shots from the award show itself. I can’t wait to see what next year brings.

2013 Costume Contest Finalists

Well, the leaves have fallen and once again Halloween has come and gone, but boy oh boy, you guys did not disappoint this year! We’ve been hosting Urban Threads’ annual Halloween costume contest for three years now, and we are always so blown away by the level of creativity shown by everyone. You guys really know how to go all out!

After much fussing and back and forth in the office, the UT team has picked our top 10 favorite costumes. Now it’s up to YOU to vote on your favorite and choose the lucky stitcher worthy of the $50 gift certificate. Of course EVERYONE did an amazing job, but the voting must go on. So, have a glance through this year’s top ten, and then vote for your favorite costume at the bottom of the post!

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There’s this amazing Steampunk Alchemist gown from Wendy! She used lots of apothecary designs as well as a mix of the Anatomy design pack on the dress. She even stitched her own steampunk parasol. Elegant and dark and perfect for the season.

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This costume was a creative twist on one little girl’s amazing idea, which went down a bit like this, according to mom Rachel:

“Mama,” she said “I want to be awesome for Halloween!” “Yes, baby, it will be. What do you want to be?” I asked again. “Awesome!” she said again. “Yes dear, I heard you. What would you like to dress up as? Can you tell me what it looks like?” “It’s looks awesome! You can do that, right, mama?” 

That’s right, this little one went as AWESOME for Halloween. And her mom really did her proud. The Because I’m Awesome design was just too perfect.

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This little fairy is adorable! The costume beautifully utilizes the Elven Court series all over the costume with a bright and cheerful pink. Krista even stitched large versions of the wings and made them freestanding! A super creative use of all the designs, and it seems to make for one happy little fairy.

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In a fun twist, this costume also utilizes the Elven Court series, but it’s a fantastic example of how different a series can look depending on color and usage! This Green Witch costume from Beth uses the same designs but in a beautiful natural color scheme, plus a creative use of the lace witch hat. A fun reinvention of the classic witch for Halloween.

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Liddy from Holland went all out this year, making a bunch of amazing dresses. However, nothing quite captured our attention like this Gothic Halloween Gown. It utilized so many of our favorite gothic designs, including many from the new Gothic Gala series, but also including a great appearance by the Gothic Glam skull, the Clockwork Natura Bird Skull and even the Evenfall choker. I bet she looked amazing at the Halloween Ball she attended it in.

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Lace, lace and more lace! This amazing Poison Ivy costume from Laura shows just what you can do with a single lace design and a lot of determination. She stitched the Lively Leaf lace design over and over in different greens to create this leafy dress. She then added the Floral Fascinator as an extra flourish. She makes a really excellent Poison Ivy.

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How could we not include this adorable Little Red Riding Hood costume, complete with the “Big Bad Wolf” dressed up as grandma? Mariah and Krusher are back again, using simple and sweet flower accents, and of course the Little Red Riding Hood design. I have to say, Krusher’s little grandma bonnet is just killing me.

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Deanna stitched this Odin costume for her husband — featuring Elder Futhark runes and many other Nordic designs. That is one Viking I wouldn’t mess with! What a great cloak, don’t you think?

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This Wolf Mage costume by ayneSt is truly epic! Fuzzy and fierce, it features some Nordic Wolves and of course a dimensional Dark Wolf stitched on the back of the cloak. Plus it looks nice and cozy for roaming around those dark, chilly nights.

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Finally, showing another great use of the new Gothic Gala designs, Tiffanie stitched up this glam Dark Little Miss Muffet costume. Showcasing the spider as a centerpiece, she also added some elegant spiderweb draped designs from the same series, and a little spider hiding at the back! A dark twist on a traditional favorite… just our style!

Wow! It was really so hard choosing just ten. I mean take a look at the whole gallery of this year’s costumes! Everyone did an amazing job as usual this year, and you guys continue to make Halloween one of our favorite holidays. Are you ready to vote? Use the poll below (if you don’t see it, try reloading your page or disabling pop-up blockers!) and vote JUST ONCE for your favorite. Voting is open now until Sunday, Nov 10 at 11:59 p.m.! The results will be posted after the weekend.

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Good luck to the final contestants, and congrats to everyone! I hope you all had a happy and crafty Halloween.

*CONTEST IS CLOSED! – Congrats to Rachel for that AWESOME costume!*

Get The Look – Dolce & Gabbana Baroque Embroidered Lapel Jacket

You have to admit, this Dolce & Gabbana piece is a pretty snazzy looking jacket, but for an eye watering $3,152 it’s not a look a lot of us are going to get to rock this fall. Still, this men’s embroidered blazer is a great jumping off point for inspiration, for lads and ladies alike. In fact, I imagine it’s the ladies that are more likely to go for a look like this, so let’s see how we could re-create this style for either gender easily, and on a budget!

It’s pretty simple really. All you need is a snazzy grey blazer with lapels large enough to embroider. A quick search on ebay brings up dozens for under 20 bucks, for men and women alike. This example is a lady’s jacket, because I could totally see myself trying this look out. After the jacket, all you need is Gather Ye Rosebuds design, and some metallic or coppery colored thread. Depending on the size of your blazer, I’d recommend the 5×7 size of the design.

Fold your lapels away from your jacket, secure them onto your stabilizer, hoop, and stitch away! You’ll want to mirror your rose design for the other collar. Un-hoop, trim away the excess stabilizer so it’s hidden by the collar, and shazam! A brilliant new blazer for about $3130 less. That’s a pretty good deal right there, no?

Lapels on jackets are always a cool place to add some embroidery bling. A classy dimensional one-color piece will keep your accent subtle and still let it make a real wow statement when you wear it out. So, guys or gals, you looking for a hot new look this fall? Up-cycle a thrift store blazer into something extra chic.

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.