Posts Tagged ‘interview’

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!

Urban Entrepreneurs – Susitaika

I love that we have so many international stitchers among Urban Threadsters, and it seems like a lot of them have a very entrepreneurial spirit. This week’s Urban Entrepreneurs feature comes all the way from Finland, with the awesome and punktastic stitching of Laura Lipponen from the online store Susitaika. We’ve seen Laura’s work before, when she took the amazing plunge into digitizing her own work. She’s since taken on her own business, both on Etsy and on her own website.

Today Laura joins us to talk a little about her online store, and shares some of her self-modeled embroidered wares…

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What started you into embroidery?

My path to embroidery starts with my love of making my own clothes. When I was a kid, I made some curtains into cool tops. Got teased at school, OF COURSE. But still kept my individual voice like a boss.

I wanted to make clothes, but my mom’s Singer and I – we did NOT get along. So I begged for my mom to buy me a new machine. (Actually, the Singer DID have some sort of a fault that even a repair guy couldn’t do anything about it – they would’ve needed a new part, but since the machine was so old and that particular part had the tendency to break, nothing could be done.)

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When we went to the store to buy a new machine for me, they were getting rid of every Husqvarna Viking machine, they stopped carrying that label. I wanted a cool looking Bernina, but there was one sewing machine with an embroidery head (Husqvarna Viking Platinum Plus) that was on such a ridiculous sale price that my mom made me try it. And I fell in love! That’s when I was introduced to embroidery.

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Where did you first find Urban Threads?

I found UT on Craftster! Niamh had posted the fantabulous tute of the wood burning leaf image. To this day that is still my FAVOURITE wood burning project – such a beautiful picture. Not surprisingly I’ve embroidered that picture of the leaves a hundred times…

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What made you take the plunge into starting your own store?

My parents have had a business of their own since forever and I have many friends who have their own companies as well. It’s very common here in Finland to start your own business. So I did. Some of my friends told me they’d order stuff from me if they could deduct it in their taxes, and for that I needed the VAT number.

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What kinds of folks are your customers? Who do you hope to cater to?

Gothic chic and geeky types. I look for people with a sense of humor and a touch of the dark in their souls. People who understand writers such as Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams. The kinds of people who I automatically feel are my friends.

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What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned since you began?

Errrms… I’m sure I just learned a lesson this week… Ohh, it might be scheduling things. It’s VERY important to have a strict schedule, so you can keep up with seasonal sales, the markets you’re going to go to sell at and all that. The more structure you have in your life the better. I love TO-DO lists and even painted a black board on my door so I can wipe things off when I’m done.

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Where would you like to see your shop in one year? Any fun stuff planned for the future?

I’m hoping that in a year I will be mostly done with school and can actually start providing myself with my business. At the moment I’ve had this problem of doing definitely too many things at once, so it has taken its toll. I’ve had two jobs on top of my own business and now I’ve had one job, business and school! It’s definitely been hard. But this summer anything has started to seem possible again. For a year I wasn’t so sure. But now I am! The thing that I’m looking forward most is that I’ve been talking about some cooperative things to do with some local artists. Kinda like your UT Labs.

I love the dark and punk attitude that Laura puts into all her wares, and the big possibilities for the future. With the guts to not only try digitizing, but jump into her own business, I’m sure the future projects and collaborations Laura takes on will be just amazing! If you want to grab some of your own gothic stitchy wares, check out her Etsy store or Susitaika.com.

Do you use Urban Threads designs to create one of a kind products? Want to see your story or your store featured here and join our gang of Urban Entrepreneurs? Send us an e-mail at blog@urbanthreads.com with a link to your store/website or attach sample photos, and you could be featured!

Urban Entrepreneurs – MTCoffinz

I have long been waiting to do a feature on the fabulous MTCoffinz, since I started ogling her slick punk/club aesthetic first featuring arm warmers and then fabulous tutus and beyond. Her collection has expanded to an etsy store and her own website, and it only seems to be growing. I love how boldly she uses her embroidery motifs, and the wicked sense of alternative style she brings to all her pieces.

Starting as just a little home project, MTCoffinz quickly expanded into a business that keeps owner Jinx plenty busy. She joins us today to talk a little about her punky embroidered creations…

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What started you into embroidery?

I’d always been mesmerized by the fancy embroidery machines at the craft stores, and I have a tendency to have to try every craft I can. I wanted one of those machines — no, I “needed” one. I finally convinced my husband that we needed one, and we bought a little Brother machine, thinking we’d never need anything bigger than this. Yeah, that only lasted a few weeks. We quickly decided that it was far too slow for us workaholics and we got our first Baby Lock 6 needle machine. A few years later and we now have several 6- and 10-needle machines.

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Where did you first find Urban Threads?

I was searching Google for designs that were my style, and UT was the only site that really fit.

What made you take the plunge into starting your own business?

MTC started when I had my son, 17 years ago. I gave up teaching dance and started doing little sewing jobs for friends, I’d always sewn the costumes for my dance teams. I didn’t go online with a shop until 1996, and then it was just going to be a hobby to keep me busy while my son was in school and my husband was at work. Before we knew it he was quitting his restaurant consulting job to stay home and work with me.

It wasn’t because he missed me ;)

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Tell us a bit about your shop.

What do you specialize in? As I mentioned, I’m a workaholic so I don’t just do one thing, or one shop. My main focus has always been alternative clothing. I do a lot of stuff for performers of all kinds, club wear and just people who want things they can’t find at the mall. But I like to mix it up and throw in some home decor, accessories and I even have a vegan mineral makeup line.

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What kind of customer do you cater to?

Humans mostly. When I started making funky clothing I thought it was just for dancers and club kids. But I quickly learned that my audience was much wider than that. I get a lot of orders for marathon runners, famous pop singers, bachelorette parties, broadway shows, photoshoots, weddings and special events, geeky conventions, etc. I really enjoy hearing what people are using my designs for because it’s different every day.

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What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned since you began?

Working for yourself is the best thing ever, next to coffee.

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Where would you like to see your shop in one year? Any fun stuff planned for the future?

I don’t really plan it out like that. I’m more of a one day at a time kinda girl, so I don’t have many plans other than adding another embroidery machine. We’re looking at a 15-needle one this time, to add to the collection!

Thanks, Jinx, for joining us and sharing your amazing alternative creations. It just goes to show you never know what a hobby or a great love of crafting can lead to if you try!

Do you use Urban Threads designs to create one of a kind products? Want to see your story or your store featured here and join our gang of Urban Entrepreneurs? Send us an e-mail at blog@urbanthreads.com with a link to your store/website or attach sample photos, and you could be featured!

Urban Threads & Mastering The Art Of Embroidery

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We’re featured in a book!

Yup, it’s been a long while in the making, but I’m excited to finally be able to share with you the news that Urban Threads is featured in Sophie Long’s Mastering The Art of Embroidery. We’re so honored to be included, and especially to be part of digitized embroidery becoming recognized as a legitimate contributor to modern day embroidery techniques and artistry.

The book itself is a complete and wonderful library filled with stitch tutorials and inspirational examples of all kinds of embroidery techniques. A must have for a die hard embroidery enthusiast!

Thanks to Sophie for inviting us to contribute and for putting together such a wonderful book. Pick it up at Amazon or at many major bookstores.

Urban Entrepreneurs – Bound For You

I hope everyone had a great holiday break! We”re back today with the last Urban Entrepreneurs post of 2012, and it”s a great way to cap off the year.

I always find the best creative discoveries are when you combine two unexpected things. This formula seems to have worked out brilliantly for our newest Urban Entrepreneur Tara, the owner of etsy store Bound For You. Tara combined her new love of machine embroidery with a long held love of books and a new found talent for making them.

She joins us today to show us some of her creations and talk about her journey into this new crossroads of embroidery and bookmaking…

What started you into embroidery?

My mum bought the embroidery machine, and after having it sit in her closet for several years I decided it was time to give it a spin. I was so completely enthralled by its almost magical ability to turn thread into such amazing pieces of art that I became hooked.

Which came first, the bookmaking or the embroidery?

I’ve always been in love with books. The day I discovered I could actually make them, was a very happy day for me. It was actually around the same time that I started learning about embroidery, and I can remember thinking- wouldn’t it be amazing if I could fuse the very traditional art of Book binding, with the modern technology of embroidery and create something incredibly unique.

Where did you first find Urban Threads?

I came across is quite by accident, I’d googled embroidery design files, and was looking through the various websites, trying to find something that spoke to me/would jump out at me. Then I came across Urban Threads – and what a wonderful surprise that was.

Such fresh, beautiful, and sometimes creepy designs, a little left of center, it was just so perfect for me.

What made you take the plunge into starting your own business?

I started thinking, if I love these books so much, maybe there are other people who will love them too. I wanted to create something that was just as precious and long lasting, as the memories people make with them.

Tell us a bit about your shop Bound For You

I sell handmade Journals, Albums, Memory Books and Guest Books. Everything is handmade in my studio, from the hand cut paper, to the individually waxed threads that I sew each book with. I embellish some of my books with handmade monogrammed pendants, made from copper and silver, those I fire in my own kiln and the embroidery is done on my little machine, one spool at a time.

What makes my shop unique is that I combine several different arts together to create something individual and special for each person. My embroidery and metal craft allows me to really personalize my items.

What’s the biggest lesson you”ve learned since you began?

ORGANIZATION!!!

I’ve got two small girls, 10 months and 3 years, who keep me on my toes! In order to function competently (or at all really), I need to have excellent time management and organizational skills! I’m still mastering those, but I’ve learned that they are incredibly important. I also have an amazingly supportive husband and family, who keep me positive and motivated, and without which I couldn’t have gotten this far.

Where would you like to see your shop in one year? Any fun stuff planned for the future?

My main goal for the next year is to become a bit better known, really get my name out there and show people what I can do. I’ll be attending local boutique markets throughout the next 12 months, to showcase my work and give people an opportunity to see what I create up close.

More specifically, I want to create some wedding/engagement guest books and photo albums. The amazing theme’s that couples choose for their special day, opens up a whole world of artistic possibility’s, and to me, that’s really exciting.

Thank you so much Tara for sharing your creativity with us! This is a totally new way of using our designs and that”s always my favorite kind. If you want to check out Tara”s shop, visit Bound For You on etsy, or become a fan on facebook!

Do you use Urban Threads designs to create one of a kind products? Want to see your story or your store featured here and join our gang of Urban Entrepreneurs? Send us an e-mail at blog@urbanthreads.com with a link to your store/website or attach sample photos, and you could be featured!

Interviews, Expos & Awards – The Latest Urban Threads Shenanigans

I wanted to check in real quick with some exciting goings on around Urban Threads of late. First up, I’m super excited to announce that Urban Threads has won three Golden Needle awards from the celebrated industry magazine Stitches. Our Baroque Punk designs won Design of the Year Technical Fashion, Design of the Year Artistic Fashion & Editor’s Pick!

We want to extend a very special thanks to Laura Fulk who collaborated with us on the amazing Baroque Punk Blazer featured in the article. You can see the whole thing online here.

Want to see more of that jacket? Read all about the original project here.

Second, in case you missed it, I was a guest speaker on the American Patchwork & Quilting Radio show last week discussing skulls and embroidery with the lovely Pat. You can listen to the archived show by going here and clicking on the 10-22-12 show from the archive.

Finally, if any of you are attending the Sewing & Stitchery Expo in February this year, come and say hi! I’m going to be chatting a bit about Urban Threads and social media as part of the Schmetz Bloggers Conference, as well as demonstrating how awesome machine embroidery can be. It’s a BIG sewing event and I would just love to meet some of you in person.

I hope to see you there!

Guest Speaker on the American Patchwork & Quilting Radio Show

Fun news! I’m going to be one of the guests on the American Patchwork & Quilting radio show this coming Monday the 22nd. I’m guessing I’m going to be their first guest ever to talk about steampunk and skulls. Listen in Monday at 4pm eastern time or catch the radio show after the fact by listening to their archive.

Psst… Whenever I read someone’s blog or website for ages and then finally hear them speak, I always think they sound funny, because they don’t sound like they did in my head. So you’ve been forewarned. Also, despite the name, I don’t have an Irish accent. I know, I’m sad too.