Posts Tagged ‘steampunk’

Featured Project – The Steampunk Prom Dress

As you’ll see throughout the day, we’re all about steampunk today, and we’re kicking off our geartastic celebrations with an amazing Steampunk Prom Dress project that almost makes me wish for high school again. Almost.

This project is shared with us by Tami, who made this dress for her daughter’s prom. The steampunk dress was her daughter’s idea, and they worked together on designing it to pull it all into this amazing Victorian creation in time for her senior prom! This dress utilizes so many cool pieces, from our bestselling steampunk butterfly to lots of lace pieces used in all kinds of creative ways. I guarantee you no one had a dress like this at my senior prom.

Tami joins us today to talk about the whole process of how it all came together…

How did the idea for a steampunk prom dress come about?

Well … my daughter had wanted a dress that was “really different” than the normal formal gowns. She talked about this last year for the homecoming dance in October, but we decided that her senior prom would be better. That gave us plenty of time to come up with an idea.

Did embroidery inspire the steampunk or did a love of steampunk come before the embroidery?

The embroidery definitely inspired the love of steampunk. Once we started looking through your designs we were so excited. She loved the steampunk designs she was seeing on your site. She knew she wanted to incorporate a corset into the look, but when she saw your Clockwork Natura gown that got her creativity going. Then she started looking more at the steampunk style of clothing.

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

It took us a long time just to decide what designs we wanted. They were all so awesome. We finally decided on the Steampunk Butterfly for the front of the corset. We liked that because it had a feminine look, but still had all the gears. The corset is a gold satin fabric, but then we found this awesome sheer gold/black fabric and we decided to layer that. I embroidered that piece before I stitched the corset together.

We loved that, so decided to make the entire corset like that, but it seemed like it still needed more since it still felt rather plain looking. I decided to embroider the Gears and Cogs border down each side. That definitely added the extra pizzazz we were looking for! That’s where the whole project started — with the corset.

I made the jacket next. The Steampunk Wings design was perfect for the back. A nice large design that really gets your attention. We decided that it also needed a little more, so I again embroidered the Gears and Cogs around the sleeve cuffs.

Once I got the jacket finished, we thought the tails looked a little blah … so yet again I embroidered the Gears and Cogs border on the tails. Perfect! I’m not really sure how long the embroidery took, because I worked on it little by little. But I know I had many hours invested.

Did you design the dress and jacket yourself, or was it based off a pattern? 

My daughter had an idea what she wanted. We found many patterns and she chose one piece from each pattern (jacket from one pattern, corset from another, etc.). She also wanted the skirt to be a little higher in the front so everyone could see her new boots, so I had to alter the skirt for that. The overskirt is made of that awesome sheer fabric that we used on the corset. If you look at it one direction it shines a beautiful metallic gold, and looking at it from another direction it looks black.

The overskirt is a separate piece, so she can make different looks from the same dress pieces. We decided to make the corset from a pattern that had a zipper up the back so it would be easier to get into. But she really liked the idea of the lacing up the back, so I put little loops in the seams so we could lace it up for the look without the hassle. The corset originally was strapless, but we wanted the extra security of straps. It was made for prom, and she would definitely be dancing all evening. We used your FSL Steampunk Choker design. I stitched four of those out and then stitched small eyelets on the corset. We used black sheer ribbon to tie them onto the corset and to tie them together at the shoulders.

When it was all finished, I added some metal gears to the jacket collar and a lock above the tails. I also added a lock to the front top of the corset. I stitched out your FSL Floral Facinator for her hair. I used a gold color for the leaves and a deep red for the flowers. To make that more steampunk we added a chain and some keys hanging down. She wanted a pair of gauntlets to wear on her arms because she knew she would not be wearing the jacket all evening. I made those myself with no pattern. We decided to use velcro inside the arms to make them easier to get on and off. This way the lacing never has to be removed. I spent several weeks putting everything together, just working on it little by little.

Any challenges along the way? What advice would you give someone trying to create something like this?

There were many challenges. The fabric we chose was extremely difficult to work with. It wanted to shift as I was cutting the pieces and stitching it together. Once I had it done, we decided that it needed an underskirt to give it a small amount of volume, so there was another piece to the outfit! But the results were worth all the headaches. My advice to anyone wanting to create something like this is to allow plenty of time. Don’t try to rush through it. I embroidered many designs on extra scraps of the dress fabric and we looked at them for days before we decided which ones we wanted.

If you make one piece at a time and really work at each one until you are happy, the task doesn’t seem so overwhelming. Don’t be afraid to combine patterns or ideas. If you like one piece from a pattern, but something else from another, DO IT!

How did your daughter like it? What were people’s reactions to the dress at the prom? 

My daughter was absolutely thrilled. She couldn’t wait to wear it. Her grandma thought it fit her personality perfectly. We live in a very small rural community. About half the people at the dance thought it was awesome. The other half “just didn’t get it” … lol.

Needless to say, no other girls had a dress that even came close. And the whole idea for me was to make her happy. I didn’t care who else would like it or not. It was the perfect dress for her.

What’s your next project going to be?

I think my next big project will be Halloween costumes for my husband and myself. Not sure yet what we’ll be, but my embroidery machine runs every day. I’ve always got something in the works!

Everything came together so wonderfully! Thank you so much for sharing, Tami – this is such an amazing gift to give your daughter for her big prom night. From the jacket to the corset, to handmade gauntlets and lace fascinators, a custom made steampunk gown is certainly a totally unique way to rock the night away. I bet it made it a night to remember.

I’ll be keeping an eye out around Halloween for more amazing outfits, and I hope you’re a fan of the new steampunk stuff coming your way later today!

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!

Sneak Peek – Mechanica Aquatica

Sneak peek at our new Underwater Art Nouveau Steampunk series, Mechanica Aquatica.

A whole bunch of Steampunk goodness coming your way next week, including another steampunk series we haven’t shared yet. It will be epic. I promise.

Exclusive Poster Giveaway – How Machine Embroidery Designs Are Made

*UPDATE – Commenting is now closed. Thanks to everyone who took part! Winners coming soon*

When this little number showed up all about how machine embroidery designs are made, many of you asked for it in poster form, and we had to agree that would be pretty awesome.

Well this is the day you’ve been waiting for, because in today’s contest we’re giving away four professionally printed full color posters of “How Machine Embroidery Designs Are Made”, an exclusive you won’t find anywhere else!

All you have to do to enter is to leave a comment on this post telling us what part of the machine embroidery process from the poster you think is the most important (gnomes? monkeys? diet coke and sprinkles? I bet it’s the tiny tacos…) and you’ll be entered to win one.

Then sit back and start planning where you might put this big and beautiful 48 inch poster in your crafting room, and then start planning for all the weird looks everyone’s going to give you for it. Don’t worry about it. They’re just jealous they don’t have a Steampunk Bacon Cat.

Today’s contest is open from 10 am to 10pm US central time. What are you waiting for? Get commenting!

Behind the Scenes Video of the Steampunk Fashion Shoot

Remember the Clockwork Natura Gown?

Well KMK Designs (the designers who made the dress) have posted a fun little behind the scenes video of the fashion shoot, so you can see the dress in action. It’s not super high quality, but you can get a good idea of just how beautifully this thing moved, and see how the shots came together.

P.S. -No making fun of my modeling attempts. In my defense, I totally forgot there was a camera around most of the day.

How Machine Embroidery Designs Are Made

How machine embroidery designs are made

Many of you have asked before about the process that goes into making a designs, well today just felt like the right day to come clean about how the magic happens. Literally. You have no idea how many tiny tacos it takes to stitch out all our designs.

Ok, so I know it’s coming… how many of you really want Steampunk Bacon Cat as a design?

*EDIT* – Ok, your wish is my command. That’s right, your Steampunk Bacon Cat design is here! Get him right here. Just make sure your tiny sewing gremlins are well stocked with tiny tacos.

(Also, I feel it prudent to note that I am the first person on the internet to put the words “steampunk bacon cat” together. It’s true. I googled.)

UT Tutorial – Steampunk Wind Chime

Spring has sprung and Steampunk is in the air! Check out this tutorial for how to make your very own Steampunk wind chime out of embroidery supplies and found trinkets.

Non embroiderers, If you’re feeling curious, you don’t need an embroidery machine to give this one a try, just substitute real keys in place of the lace ones, and leave the hoop blank.

It won’t be quite as awesome, but really, nothing is without the magic of embroidery. Sadly, it’s a fate some suffer in life.

Also noted – this tutorial manages to combine freestanding lace, embroidery supplies, vintage trinkets, and gears. If only we could involve a bird somehow it would be a trend compilation masterpiece.

Heard enough already? Check out the tutorial to find out how to make your own.

Urban Entrepreneurs – Custom Wears by Claudia

Back again for another edition of Urban Entrepreneurs.

Urban Entrepreneurs is where we feature sellers of any kind who have decided to take the plunge (with the help of some UT designs) and start their own small biz.  Today’s feature takes us onto a delicious twist into the wilder side of the west, with Custom Wears by Claudia. Claudia specializes in vintage inspired gear with a decidedly modern twist, and she has me wishing for warmer weather and a good pair of cowboy boots.

Claudia joins us today to talk about the fateful PBR event that pushed her into the happy happenstance of modern western ware, and the cool customers she designs for…

How did you get into designing clothes?

My pink nylon quilted robe was the show stopper in the 9th grade fashion show, and when I was 14, I won the local, state and regional Singer Sewing Contests.  For the past nine years, I worked at Hancock Fabrics in Overland Park, Kansas, teaching sewing classes and garment construction, and also demonstrating sewing machines and techniques.

What started you into embroidery?

I started out just wanting to embroider things for my children, when they were small.  They are grown now and I still love embroidering their clothes!

Where did you first find Urban Threads?  

I did a google search looking for skull designs.

Ha! Yeah, that would certainly be a surefire way of finding us. So, what made you take the plunge into starting your own business?

I didn’t so much plunge as I was pushed!  

Custom Wears by Claudia launched in 2009 when my husband wore a shirt that I had used an Urban Threads design on and it was seen by the Pabst Blue Ribbon rep.  She asked if I could make a shirt for an event PBR was hosting and 42 shirts later I was in business!

Tell us a bit about your shop, Custom Wears by Claudia. What kind of stuff do you do?

I work out of my home doing mostly one of a kind, custom ordered and fit pieces.  I make the garments from scratch, so each piece is decorated for the individual customer and fit to them.

Folks are always asking me to bring my work and show it at their shop or their event but I don’t have any inventory; each garment is made just for that one customer! 

What kind of customer do you cater to?

I do a lot of work for folks in bands.  I digitize their artwork and put it on a custom made shirt, dress, etc. I do my best to make sure my work fits properly, is comfortable, and is a reflection of the person wearing it. 

I love how tickled folks are when they try on a finished piece and they love that the vintage-inspired garments offer a modern spin. Folks like that the designs look vintage but aren’t rotten under the arms and hard to care for.

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

To trust myself in my ability to bring a customers idea to realization on their garment. I love the challenge of making difficult items. I want to learn something new each time I make a new piece.

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

I just bought a 15 needle single head embroidery machine so that is a huge step up from my home embroidery machine.  It provides a giant leap not only in the size of design but in the time and quality of the stitch outs.  

I am learning so much about it and the new software that I also purchased so I guess the old adage of ‘bigger and better’ holds very true for me!

Aren’t you just dying to get a hold of a western steampunk raygun duster? If you weren’t before I bet you are now.

You can find more examples of Claudia’s work on her awesome website, and see just what she can cook you up with her shiny new machine. Just make sure you bring the attitude to match, because with clothes as awesome as these, you better have the swagger to back em’ up.

Hats off to you Claudia, for creating such an awesome blend of old and new, western and punk. Can’t wait to see what you whip up next.

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!