Posts Tagged ‘steampunk’

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!*

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.

Steampunk Vamp

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…

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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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 – 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 – 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!

Free Steampunk Mustache Wallpaper for March

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We thought we would offer another FREE wallpaper design to celebrate March and our latest Steampunk Alphabet collection. This design was made by our talented artist Danielle! She helped design the Steampunk Alphabet and decided it was too much fun not to create a snarky poster out of it (and other crazy things like THIS).

So without further ado, we present the Urban Threads School of Mustaches free downloadable poster! Because knowing your steampunk mustaches from one another is an important life skill ;)

As a special treat, we have it available as a letter size poster print that you can print out and stick on your wall too! Click the image below to get that poster print.

Print

click image to download!

Also available in the usual formats for your computer desktop, iPad, iPhone 4, iPhone 5, or Android phone, just click the buttons below to download and load onto your device. Don’t fret if you have a different kind of phone or device, one of these is sure to work :)

~Enjoy!

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Loving that alphabet and all things Steampunk? Don’t forget they’re all ON sale now through Sunday, March 24 at 11:59 p.m., Central time.

Featured Project – The Steampunk Clown

Oh steampunk… is there anything you can’t make amazing? Sometimes the best ideas come from one random thought, such as “I wonder what a steampunk circus would look like?”

From that one brilliant idea this amazing steampunk clown costume was born from the talented minds of two ladies, Laura and Chelsey. That one little thought grew into this gorgeous over-the-top clown costume that just blew my mind when it showed up in my inbox. The photos were taken in an opera house in Mantorville MN, just a short drive from my hometown, and the richness of this whole project was just too good to pass up!

I could go on, but really, it’s much better if I just let our lovely ladies tell us a bit about what went into this steampunk creation…

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What started this project?

Laura: I started to buy fabric to design a circus costume after several of us talked about how we hadn’t really seen a steampunk circus done before, and what fun it could be.  I didn’t know the outfit itself would be a clown until I had assembled a pile of brightly colored fabrics and the idea that the skirt might look like a carousel.  When I mentioned it to my husband he said, “Just don’t make a clown.  Clowns are creepy.”  Which meant, of course, that it had to be a clown.  A non-creepy clown.

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How did you go about choosing designs for the project?

Laura: We chose the Parisian Clockwork for the lapels, stripped down to just the clock faces and in a copper thread to mimic the idea of the clown being a clockwork clown, and to bring the copper color of the metal into the embroidery.  Lyra and the Ringmaster got added to the spats after the leather that was purchased for the spats was found to not be thick enough for the original cut-work design that was planned.  The colors were changed in their clothing to better reflect the colors of the fabric.

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The end result of the spats far exceeded our expectations and looked much better than I believe the original idea would have looked.  We did use Carousel Animals embroidery from Embroidery Library because we needed a number of different animals (there is only one repetition in the entire skirt) and at that point Urban Threads did not have a large collection of carousel animals, otherwise you definitely would have been our first choice!

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Chelsey: It was tough to choose between all the different circus characters and steampunk elements. I think Laura and I had a list of a dozen designs before we settled on Parisian Clockwork, Lyra, and the Ringmaster. In the end, Parisian Clockwork was chosen for the simplicity and subtlety it could bring.

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Lyra was picked because we wanted to keep the costume as feminine and pretty as possible. The Ringmaster was chosen because he was playful but still had that hint of creepiness that circuses have.

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Talk us through the embroidery… which designs did you use? How long did it take to embroider it all?

Chelsey: Once we sifted through all the possible designs, the whole thing came together. I used Embird to edit out the background shading and text on Parisian Clockwork and then repeated the design against itself. I stitched it large enough that Laura would be able to fit her lapel pattern inside the stitched area, essentially creating a new fabric for her to use. Lyra and the Ringmaster were embroidered into this amazing pink leather.

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This project was the first time I’d ever embroidered on leather before, and I was a little nervous my placement would be terrible or I’d screw up have to start over, leaving Laura without enough room to cut out the spats. Those three designs were super easy and fast to stitch up. The carousel animals on the skirt were the most time consuming with their million and one thread changes. All told, there is probably a 40 hour work week put into the embroidery, but that’s a rough estimate.

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Any challenges along the way?

Laura: Oh goodness yes.  In regards to the actual construction, the design changed several times. The mechanical pieces in the front actually broke several days prior to the photo shoot and needed to be completely redone.  The shoe design was changed several times and the wheel farthingale that supports the skirt went through several variations before we got it right.  The rigging of the front panel was also done on the fly the morning of the photo shoot.  It worked, though, and the photos were beautiful.

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How was the costume and the embroidery received?

Laura: Everyone thus far has LOVED the costume. Historical and non-historical costumers alike. We were so very fortunate that the setting of the background worked so well with the colors of the costume and we really lucked out in having Jim Jordan shoot the photos. He did an amazing job. The boots were particular favorites of many people, and I know the embroidery was a huge part of that.

Chelsey: It’s been fun to get comments from people who usually don’t like clowns. One of the biggest goals was to keep her a pretty clown, and I think it really worked. The embroidery is one of the really fun aspects of this costume, because every time someone takes another look, they notice something different.

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Any plans for other amazing embroidered costumes?

Laura: I have a plan for Chelsey, but she doesn’t know about it yet. ;)

Chelsey: I have at least two costumes in mind right now. To keep with the steampunk circus theme, I have a bearded lady Lolita in mind. I plan on using a good amount of UT mustaches  The other costume will have a little embroidery, in particular a gear or two, but it is actually going to be a physical interpretation of an Urban Threads embroidery design.

Thank you so much, ladies, for sharing this project with us. The fabrics, the spats, that amazing full skirt, the gears… goodness I could go on. It’s fun to see some designs from our buds at Embroidery Library show up too! Now it makes me think we need to do a line of steampunk carousel animals… what do you think, gang?

Want to see more of this project? It was wonderfully documented on Laura’s blog Rocking the Frock if you’d like to see even more behind-the-scenes action of its construction, and of course you know you want to see more of those final photos over on their facebook album.

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!