Posts Tagged ‘machine embroidery’

Urban Entrepreneur – Sew Fun Doll Clothes

Far from the traditional outfits you’d usually find on these pretty dolls, Sew Fun Doll Clothes specializes in making offbeat and fantastical outfits that any one of us would LOVE to have! It seems almost unfair that the dolls get all the fun. The lovely Urban Entrepreneur Cher joins us today to tell us how she made a growing biz out of making one-of-a-kind embroidered outfits.

SEW FUN etsybanner

Bram's Bride lace top hat

I assume the love of dolls and doll clothes came first. What got you into all that?

I’ve been sewing since junior high, but started sewing doll clothes when my daughters got their American Girl dolls as gifts many years ago. I loved the historical outfits and stories those early Pleasant Company dolls came with, but since we couldn’t afford to buy that many doll clothes back then, I started sewing for my daughters’ dolls.

Bram's Bride

My girls are now grown and on their own, but making doll clothes gives me an excuse to still play with dolls!

Cheshire Grin

What then started you into embroidery?

Several years ago I was using a Brother sewing/embroidery machine as a back-up machine, but I had never used the embroidery attachment. On a whim, I decided it was about time to see what it could do … and as anyone who has done machine embroidery knows, it didn’t take long to become completely addicted! It was only a matter of months before I outgrew that little Brother machine and upgraded to a Viking embroidery machine so I could do bigger and better things.

Cogs Butterfly

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

I love sewing, I love making doll clothes, and if I didn’t sell what I make, or want to make, I’d run out of room to store all my creations. I opened my Etsy shop, SewFunDollClothes, in 2008 to fund my addiction! And I am so grateful that people like my doll clothes enough to keep me sewing full time.

Dracula Tee

Where did you first find Urban Threads?

I saw several Etsy sellers using UT designs on baby clothes and thought it would be fun to play with putting some of UT’s designs on my doll clothes. Did a quick Google search, landed on your website. Perfect timing too – it was right when I was starting to prep for Halloween, and there are no better Halloween designs than UT!

My Stitch Witch Halloween outfit did so well, I knew immediately that I would be using Urban Threads designs a lot more from then on.

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

I sew for a wide range of customers. When I first started my shop, it was moms and grandmas buying gifts for their daughters who love all things girly. I still love creating the cute girly outfits for them, as that’s where I got my start. There is also a growing number people looking for doll clothes for boy dolls – moms, grandmas buying for their sons’ boy dolls, and adult doll collectors customizing their American Girl dolls into boys.

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Once I started using UT’s designs, I was able to offer gothic, fantasy, and steampunk doll outfits to teen and adult doll collectors adding to their collections. I love the diversity of my customers, I never get bored with just one style.

Steampunk Christmas

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

Biggest lesson for me was that, while it can often take me longer to get decent photos than sewing the outfit did, getting good photos is extremely important, especially when presenting outfits for doll collectors. I’m still learning which backgrounds and lighting work the best, how to take a decent close-up, and even which doll model shows off the outfit best. With what I know now, I really wish I could go back and re-take photos of some of the outfits I’ve done in the past!

Stitch Witch

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

When I started my shop on Etsy, I never could have anticipated where it would be today. It seems to work best when I let my creative whims lead the way! But I’m pretty sure it will include more steampunk, some adventurous outfits for boy dolls, and some UT designs on leather.

Western Steampunk

I am just in love will all these little outfits. That steampunk dress and the tiny matching top hat? To die for. Seriously, I wonder if we could briber her into turning these out in slightly larger sizes? It’s always so fun to see someone who gets to turn a passionate hobby into a thriving business. There’s nothing better than doing what you love! Thanks, Cher, for sharing your story with us. If you love her stuff, be sure to visit her super cute Etsy store to see even more.

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!

 

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!

July Flickr Roundup

It’s finally time for the July Flickr roundup! I am so impressed at the incredible variety and superb quality of the projects that everyone keeps sharing! Here are some of my favorites this month…

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This amazing monster pillow by The Evil Thread is right in my wheel house. I love the neon colors and furry multicolored monsters.

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Mary Kay Beckley made these one of a kind zombie kitty shoes! They are so summery and spectacular. It just goes to show you can have fun even without an embroidery machine sometimes.

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Here is a cute hand embroidered smart cookie by Rosie. The effect of embroidering on the argyle fabric is brilliant!

Einhorntasche

I love this sweet heart shaped einhorntasche (unicorn) bag by Leah. I want one for my toddler, Olive. Or maybe I just want it all for myself!

Oliver + S Roller Skate Dress with Urban Threads Patterned Feathers

Cory created this dress with a feather border for a sweet little girl. She sewed the whole dress from scratch, but it’s a great example of how adding an embroidered border onto a dress or tunic top can really kick it up a notch in awesomeness!

UT Wolves KiltThis very manly embroidered kilt by Draconyz rules.  The nordic wolves look great in those colors.

My first quilt!

Check out this black and white and red all over quilt by Jibbidibbi. Can you believe it’s her first one? She made great use of the miniature menagerie bug doodles with white on black stitching.

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These are the best potholders for, dare I say, glamping?! Kraizdnurz clearly has some glamorous camping style with these cute s’more and camper potholders.

Messenger Bag

Great Gans und Garn bag with queen bee running stitch design. The limited color palate she chose is so sophisticated!

UTgalery

How can you make steampunk look snuggly? Petlwing did a great job by making a steampunk quilt! I love the applique gears and kitty cameo!

Ship in a bottle

I feel like this ship in a bottle in an embroidery hoop art by Dona has layers of deep meaning. And I like that.

Celtic Rogue

Finally, here is an amazing Celtic hood by Fine Leather Design. This is an incredible piece, and a great photograph. And did you see those the cuffs?! Wowie-zowie!

Everything is looking snazzy up on the UT Flickr group! I hope everyone is enjoying some summer sunshine by day, before they work all night at their embroidery machines cranking out magical sparkly embroidery awesomeness.

Do you want to see your stuff featured in a roundup? Upload it to our flickr pool or e-mail it to blog@urbanthreads.com, and you could see your stuff on StitchPunk

Sharknado Embroidery

I’m not saying we could doSharknado design, but I’m not saying you can’t put this design on top of this design either…

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He’s even got water wings to ensure his safety. Because where Sharknados are concerned, safety first!

Exclusive Tula Pink Collection

Tula Pink x Urban Threads!

Urban Threadsters loved fabric designer Tula Pink when she contributed her first embroidery design to Urban Threads, the beautifully intricate Full Moon Owl. She’s back, with new embroidery designs to coordinate with her two current fabric collections — The Birds and the Bees, and Salt Water — plus a third, Acacia, due out in September!

Click here to get the designs!

 

The fabrics in each collection inspired these richly colored, nature-inspired designs, including quilting designs to stitch through layers of fabric and batting. The possibilities are endless — mix and match embroidery and fabrics to create quilts, wall hangings, pillows, bags, and anything else your creative heart desires!

Tula Pink x Urban Threads - Birds & Bees Collection

The Birds and the Bees is a popular fabric line already in stores. Mix and match these four designs to create all kinds of coordinating projects with Tula Pink fabrics! Here are a couple of ideas…

Tula Pink x Urban Threads - Birds & Bees Collection

Whip up a basic zippered pillow cover, jazzing it up with The Birds and the Bees patchwork and embroidery!

Tula Pink x Urban Threads - Birds & Bees Collection

Add printed fabric to the bottom and lining of a simple tote bag, the better to showcase this chic tree!

Tula Pink x Urban Threads - Birds & Bees Collection

Quilt through layers of fabric and batting with this gem design, mixed with lively prints and embroidery!

Tula Pink x Urban Threads - Acacia Collection

This Acacia collection is a sneak peek of Tula’s upcoming fabric line due in stores in September! Grab these four designs now to plan your upcoming projects with the new collection. Here are a couple of ideas…

Tula Pink x Urban Threads - Acacia Collection

Give your e-reader an update with adorable embroidery on the outside and surprise matching fabric inside! Tula Pink x Urban Threads - Acacia Collection

Embellish an off-the-rack dress with scattered repeats of the same design, and matching fabric along the hem.

Tula Pink x Urban Threads - Acacia Collection

Dress up a drab journal with a cover featuring some patchwork Acacia fabric and an embroidered accent.

Tula Pink x Urban Threads - Salt Water Collection

Salt Water is a popular fabric line already in stores. Mix and match these four designs to create all kinds of coordinating projects with Tula Pink fabrics! Here are a couple of ideas…

Tula Pink x Urban Threads - Salt Water Collection

Stitch up a coin purse, substituting suede for the vinyl and “embossing” with a quilting design.

Tula Pink x Urban Threads - Salt Water Collection

Mix bold Salt Water fabric with a little embroidery accent in this clutch! Follow this tutorial but skip the leather.

Tula Pink x Urban Threads - Salt Water Collection

Surround an artful embroidery design with coordinating fabric, then stretch it on a frame for display!

Want to pick up some of Tula Pink’s famously chic fabrics to go with your new embroidery designs? Check out Tula’s site to see all the prints for The Birds and the BeesSalt Water, and Acacia, then ask at your friendly local quilt shop, see Free Spirit Fabrics’ directory of online and brick-and-mortar shops that carry its products, or shop iheartulapink.com.

In love with the designs? Us too! Best of all they’re all ON SALE through Sunday, July 21 at 11:59 p.m. — just $1.50 for each machine embroidery design, and only $0.50 for the hand embroidery versions. Click here to get shopping!

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!

UT Tutorial – Americana Scarf

Transform a plain white scarf into a rustic Americana inspired accessory.

Now, you may not usually be pulling out your embroidery machine for the fourth of July, but now is a perfect time to get inspired by a hot new fashion trend… Americana! Flag inspired clothes and accessories are all over the fashion world right now, and this easy tutorial shows you how to transform a plain white scarf into a rustic Americana inspired accessory with subtle embroidered stars.

Get the tutorial here!