Posts Tagged ‘steampunk’

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.

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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!

UT Tutorial – Upcycled Sweater Skirt

Sweater skirts, and their DIY tutorial counterparts, are all over the web these days, and it’s easy to see why. They’re just so darn simple to make! Even if your sweater is too big, even if you don’t know much about sewing at all… this tutorial is a breeze! Plus I’ll show you how and where to embroider on your stretchy knit so it comes out looking it’s best.

Get the tutorial here!

Costume Contest Finalists

The costumes are in and the entries are incredible. Looking through this gallery has been so much fun, and SO hard to pick our favorite ten. So many of you went above and beyond with stitches and lace, making these designs your own and really going crazy with them. Well, here for you today are your ten finalists, chosen by the UT gang. Please scroll through them all and enjoy the embroidery eye candy, and then vote for your favorite at the poll at the bottom.

Voting is open now until Sunday 11:59pm central time. You have all weekend to vote, so take your time, look em over, and pick your favorite! I know, I know, it’s not an easy task.

So, without further ado, here are your ten…

A gorgeous steampunk costume from Stitch Couture. She used the western Steampunk Raven on the back, designs in the Clockwork Magic series, and a few Clockwork Natura Feathers on the bodice.

Dress for a costume ball by Anke the Wolff, in Holland. She is, aptly, a werewolf, with a baroque wolf design embroidered on the front, and the lace rose choker design repurposed for the cuffs and around the dress. Love.

Winter Elf costume by the always stunning Liddy from Holland. She reused pieces from the lace snowflake crown design for this Russian kokoshnik (headpiece), as well as the costume’s cuffs. “without it, the winter elf costume would not have this ethereal Russian feel to it,” she writes. Gorgeous!

Dana’s stunning steampunk witch costume made with Simplicity pattern 2207. She used the Steam Motif Butterfly multiple times, the Clockwork Magic Raven on the back, and the Cobweb Choker to round out her witchy steampunk ensemble. I’m totally digging the Ghastlies fabric.

Ivy Frozen made this rad anatomical dress for a Haunted Halloween Carnival Dinner meet up. She used the designs from the Anatomy Design pack all around her skirt, and they are just perfection with those tights. How cute is this dress?

A stunning steampunk costume by Mariah, sewn from the same Simplicity 2207 pattern as our steampunk witch! She stitched her dress in blue crepe back satin with the Regal Mini – Fleur de Lis embroidered on the collar, and the Clockwork Magic – Pocket Watch on home-sewn white spats. Tiny Lace Top Hat features matching trim from the skirt and the same buttons used on the spats. Just gorgeous.

Donna created this costume for her son so he could be Ezio from Assassin’s Creed: Revelations. Lots of embroidery on this carefully crafted costume! She used the Celtic Heart in repetition to amazing effect all over the costume, then mixed in some Celtic Majesty Ravens, and the Celtic Cross on the main piece, and the Celtic Majesty Cross on the red cloak.  This, my friends, is how you prove machine embroidery is boss to teenagers.

Pennie’s husband dressed as Edgar Allan Poe, with the Wordy Bird design on the back of the jacket and the Baroque Skull on the cravat. She went as the Raven to match. Fancy!

An excellent dia de los muertos character from yourky, stitched with the Flowerered Skull Border on the tee. Man, that’s a kid who knows how to be a sugar skull.

Finally, this amazing steampunk Tinkerbell costume by Julie. She utilized the Steampunk Gears all over, from on the pouch to used as freestanding designs on the wings. Then she added a Steam Motifs Compass Rose as a finishing touch. Enchanting!

 

There you have it ladies and gents. Get voting! Remember, you only get to vote ONCE. So choose wisely.

*EDIT – Voting is closed! Thanks for taking part. Our winner is Enzo from Assassin’s Creed!*

 

This Makes Me So Happy

Seriously.

Steampunk Bacon Cat has reached a new level of internet meme. He’s appeared in a webcomic. An awesome webcomic. I am seriously so thrilled right now.

Want more hilarity? Trust me, if you’re one of those folks who “gets” Steampunk Bacon Cat, you’ll love Real Life Comics. Just don’t click that link if you have anything to do for the next hour or so…

P.S. – He’s not that far off on the creation of Steampunk Bacon Cat. I mostly blame the gnomes.

 

The Summer of Steampunk – Two New Steampunk Collections

You got a sneak peek at it before, but now you can finally see it all…

Today we’re launching two brand Steampunk collections! You guys always seem to love anything Steampunk, and we thought it time to bring along another one… or another two. We took inspiration from a lot of places for this series, combining Steampunk with some other traditional art styles and motifs to bring you something totally unique. Plus for a limited time, both these series are on SALE as part of our Summer of Steampunk event! So let’s have a peek at the new collections…

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Mechanica Aquatica

Inspired by underwater motifs and the elegance of Art Nouveau, this delicate but steampunky series is sure to delight gear fans and art lovers alike. We combined out popular scribble outline style with some beautiful shading effects for a look that is a little bit shimmer and a little bit ethereal.  Of course we didn’t leave the steampunk part out, gears and goggles abound, with a delicate Steampunk Art Nouveau motif running in the background throughout.

The name Mechanica Aquatica was actually chosen by our facebook fans, who voted on their favorite name before they even saw the series. We hope it lives up to the awesome title!

You got a peek at her before, but our Steampunk mermaid is worth a second look.

Of course you can’t do Steampunk and underwater without an Octopus, rocking his gear goggles and generally looking cool with his subtle shading effects. He looks especially sweet stitched on the back of a jacket or shawl.

An elegant clockwork seahorse floats effortlessly in a background of delicate Nouveau swirls. Try combining different colors in the body to create truly iridescent like results.

Ok, I admit, after drawing this one, I had “We all live in a Steampunk Submarine…” floating through my head the rest of the day, though designing a mechanical jellyfish does help to distract one.

Finally, float through the seas with this Steampunk fish border, beautifully repeatable for the hem of dresses or tees. All six designs will help you bring your stitches to 20,000 leagues and beyond, while still showcasing your favorite steampunk style.

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Western Steampunk

Looking for Steampunk with a little more attitude? We go from the deepest depths to the wildest Wests with this new Western Steampunk series. Gun toting, top hat wearing skulls are just a taste of the dusty western attitude in store. Whether you’re into cowboy boots or goggles, this new series is sure to find it’s way onto your best western threads.

A perfect piece to rock across the back of blazers or corsets, showcase some gunslinger creds with this awesome skull design.

With borders or small accent designs, these stitches are perfect for apparel decor, along jacket sleeves or hems, or on pockets and tops. Bold black outlines set off the main designs, while western motifs and gears stitch lightly in the background.

These designs are perfect for making a big, bold, steampunky statement, and your western shirts will never be the same.

So whether it’s subtle underwater Art Nouveau elegance, or the bold and bad motifs of the wild west, there’s no reason for you to abandon your favorite Steampunk style.

So start your season off with gears aplenty, and grab these guys ON SALE as part of our Summer of Steampunk celebration!  Click the banner above to visit the sale, but don’t wait too long, because it only lasts now through June 17th!