Posts Tagged ‘machine embroidery’

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!

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.

The 20 Best UT Halloween Ideas & Inspiration

October has arrived, and it’s a popular month here at Urban Threads! We’ve loved Halloween since we started and that means there are 5 awesome years of projects, customer inspiration, Lab experiments and chic designs to get you inspired and stitching your spooky heart out. Scroll down for the top 20 BEST Halloween ideas…

Last October kicked off to a glamorous and gothic start with the Evenfall series. A collection of lace pieces that can be put together in endless ways to create magical costume creations. See the whole photoshoot and check out the collection.

Looking for some easier glam? This chic lace chandelier is a cinch to make and looks extra awesome doused in glitter. Hang a bunch to add dark romance to your next spooky gathering! Learn how to make it here.

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One of the most popular Halloween stuffies, these little Day of the Dead pincushions have been a fan fav for ages. Here’s how to make them.

One of our earliest Lab projects teamed some nature noir designs with fashion due KMK Designs for a gothic Steampunk ballgown that’s out of this world. Read about the whole project here.

Steampunk Lace Mask

Steampunk gets better with a few accessories. This mask was stitched from a lace design then brought to the next level with steampunk charms and spraypaint. See how easy it is to make here.

Sometimes the best costume ideas come by using designs in totally unexpected ways! This featured project from UT stitcher Krista turned a regular stitching wing design into a big idea. See how she made them here.

Day of the Dead Unity Candle

Halloween doesn’t just mean ghouls and goblins. Sometimes it comes with a little romance! Stitch your favorite dark design onto organza to spiff up a wedding unity candle just the way you want it. Learn how to make your candles more awesome with this tutorial. 

Lace Witch Hat

Out of time for a costume? All you need is a cool hat. Sometimes, small things can make a big impact, and this adorable lace witch hat is no exception. Stitch it out and dress it up for a custom accent that’s all you. DIY right here!

People aren’t the only ones that can benefit from a little dress up. Check out this feature on Urban Entrepreneur Cher, who runs a whole etsy store willed with dark and magical designs for dolls. Check out her amazing doll outfits and try not to wish too hard they were people sized.

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Speaking of, this one is people sized, but still a bit too darn small for me, which is a shame. Our very first Featured Project was this amazing Steampunk Alice costume. Think you can rock that dress with as much attitude as that little gal? See the whole thing and decide for yourself.

Day of the Dead Lace Mask

Dia de Los Muertos is always fun around Halloween, and it’s such an elegant way to get into the spooky side of things. This two color mask gets an easy updated with a stick and some flowers to whisk you off to masquerade majesty. Make it here.

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Go crazy using the popular steampunk trend and an upcycled a coat with all different designs using a coordinated color scheme. See the full effect on the finished coat.

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Costumes and indoor decor are a popular way to use embroidery, but don’t forget about the outdoors! Craft a spooky welcome using boas and lace to make your own custom wreath. See how easy it is.

Love tattoos but don’t want the commitment? Try them out this Halloween season with this hugely popular tutorial. See how easy it is to make them.

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Think Halloween costumes are just for kids? Get inspired by the late great Marty Gear, and see some of the amazing embroidered costumes he made over the years. You really need to read about this guy.

Monster Lights

Get creative with monster stuffies and turn them into little Halloween lights instead! Get your fright lights on with this easy tutorial.

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Have you heard about our annual costume contest? There are some really amazing entries from last years contest, like this amazing Assassin’s Creed costume. See them all here.

Feel like going all Frankenstein? Go mad and make your own Monster Factory with this set of kooky designs. Want some ideas? See what the UT team made with em!

Want to spook up the house? Craft up a bunch of these pieces and assemble them into this spooky sweet spiderweb doily. See how easy it is to make.

Finally, if in the rare chance you’re not into the mood for stitching, you can always made this adorable printable instead. It’s FREE!

Feeling inspired? Tis the season. No matter what your inclination, costume, decor, accessories and more… there’s room this weekend to try at least ONE of these ideas, right?

There’s always time for Halloween…

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.

WIN An Original Signed Art Piece – Embroidered Bear

*Contest is now closed! Winner will be announced soon*

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This is it people! As part of our last weekend where the new Anima embroidery design collection is on sale, we’re offering one more chance to get your hands on an original embroidered piece of art. Today, the piece you can win is THE BEAR.

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If you missed it before, we stitched up TWO one-of-a-kind GIANT embroidered pieces, using our industrial machines and special thick Burmilana thread, stretched them on frames, and signed the back as original limited edition art pieces! Think of them like a print, but waayy cooler, because these things are big, bold beautiful thread brought to life on canvas. Last weekends giveaway saw someone lucky walk away with the Raven piece.

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Each stretched piece is 16 inches by 20 inches, with the embroidery design measuring nearly 17 inches tall.

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Each piece is signed and dated on the back by the two original artists who collaborated on these designs, illustrator Danielle, and resident evil genius and illustrator Niamh! So, whether you’re a seasoned machine embroiderer, a die-hard hand stitcher, or even just an art lover, this is your chance to win the last limited edition signed piece from the artists of Urban Threads. Here’s how the giveaway works:

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This is the LAST of two giveaways. This week, the original piece is you can win is THE BEAR.

In order to win this piece, you must first be registered on Urban Threads. If you’re not already, it’s easy! Sign up here. If you’re already registered, there’s just one more step.

Leave a comment on this blog post (just say hi, or something nice!) and make sure you leave it under the same email address you’re registered under at Urban Threads. We need to be able to track you down and verify you on the website in order to contact you about your prize!

Leave your comment by this Monday, Aug. 19 at 11:59 a.m. (that’s right before noon!) Central time in order to be entered for this Bear giveaway. That’s it!

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Ready to win a totally unique art piece? COMMENT BELOW! And remember, this is your last chance to grab one!

Speaking of last chances, you can still stitch the designs your own, but the SALE is only on through THIS WEEKEND, ending Sunday Aug. 18. Go see the entire Anima Collection, and get in touch with your animal side before the sale is over!