The Steampunk Coat

I’m so excited to finally be able to share with you my super-secret steampunk project! If you follow us on facebook or twitter, you got a sneak peek at this coat last week, and here it is in all its gear covered glory…

The project idea for this was to take our designs and see how well we could incorporate them into a full fashion jacket, and somehow (not surprisingly) that turned into a full-on heavy stitched steampunk project!

The coat itself is handmade, though not by me. I actually picked it up at a clothing swap, so I’m afraid to say I don’t know who made it. Should someone spot their masterpiece do let me know, they did a fabulous job.

Everything from planning the designs to get everything to work well with the make of the coat, to figuring out which designs, where, and what colors took a a few hours of fiddling with templates. Then it was another full 8 hours of industrial machine stitching and a lot of praying that nothing would go wrong. Thankfully, it didn’t, which is kind of a miracle, because I’m known for stitching things to themselves at key moments.

The designs on the coat itself are as follows… I used the Clockwork Magic Keys border 8 times around the bottom hem, and an Airship Captain badge on the flap of each pocket with our large Clockwork Magic Raven on the back. Around the cuffs of the jacket are our Clockwork Romance roses & watch parts, hanging from a “pocket” is our Clockwork Magic Pocket Watch, and finally the Key To My Heart on the left breast. I stuck with the minimal color scheme of off-white and metallic copper, and I couldn’t be happier with how it all came together.

I topped it off with some new copper buttons, my trusty old top hat, and some steampunk-y accessories. I’m going to be marching around in it like a proper nerd at our local geek-fest Convergence this upcoming weekend, which this year happens to be steampunk themed! Here’s hoping I can open up some peoples eyes as to what machine embroidery can do.

If you’re in town, and as big a geek as I am, come say hi!

And trust me, this is just a peek of all the awesome steampunk stuff to come this week! Stay tuned…


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.



Sharing is fun!
  • email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Buzz
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Google Bookmarks

34 Responses to “The Steampunk Coat”

  1. 1
    Rebecca says:

    The stitching and design are really too beautiful for words. A wonderful project, thank you for sharing.

  2. 2
    Krista says:

    Would love to know how you did the edging on the sleeves? Did you have to take apart the sleeves to do it or is there a trick as to how to stitch around a sleeve edge. I just bought a janome memory craft and am IN LOVE with all of your designs.

    • Niamh says:

      Yup, I did have to rip up the sleeves about 10 inches in order to stitch them. You can see in one of the photos actually me attacking the coat with a seam ripper. Rip up the sleeve far enough so you can stretch and hoop it flat, stitch up the design, and sew the sleeve closed again!

      • Anne says:

        Depending on which Janome model you have, there is a freearm hoop that you can usually use on sleeves without opening them…if they are not too tight.

    • Krista says:

      Funny, my mother saw this comment and was wondering why in the world I would be asking about sleeves! We’re both long-time seamstresses! lol

  3. 3
    Diana in Michigan says:

    Love it! Wish I had the industrial machine, but I have two embroidery machines, so I can’t complain! Keep the inspiration coming!

  4. 4
    Squirlli says:


  5. 5
    Mada says:

    BEAUTIFUL! *applause*

  6. 6
    Anne says:

    I love the whole thing from start to finish! I am sure you will draw some awesome comments this weekend. The coat and designs were meant to be together. Make sure to submit it for inclusion in various magazines….

  7. 7
    TimeWrinkler says:

    Wow this is just FABulous! Great find with that coat–it fits you perfectly. You were smart to stick with cream and copper for the colors–it’s very elegant!

    “I’m going to be marching around in it like a proper nerd at our local geek-fest”<--that made me laugh! 😀 GREAT JOB!!

  8. 8
    CndFrnd says:

    I love this! I have a pattern about like that for a long top, and the embroidery is amazing!

  9. 9
    unseeliepixie says:

    It kind of makes me think of a steampunk stewardess! 🙂

  10. 10

    I know that was a big project to tackle. You did it justice! Luckily, you have the industrial machine.

    (Although you could show up in a burlap sack and still be noticed. You are one pretty cookie!)

  11. 11
    Jolene Ehret says:

    Totally Awesome! You are all wonderfully talented…

  12. 12
    Laurie says:

    Lovely…..good job

  13. 13
    Laurie says:

    actually, I wanna be you 30 years ago……

  14. 14
    MaryM says:

    THAT. Is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. I mean it. I envy your talent and creativity =o

  15. 15
    Sara says:

    Oooh, I love it Niamh!

  16. 16
    Janet C says:

    It’s Brilliant!!!!!! This jacket is so cool that Johnny Depp would wear it!

  17. 17
    Judy says:

    What an amazing job you did! Without an industrial machine I can only imagine how long it would take to stitch out. So very elegant! and I ditto Janet C’s comment about Johnny Depp! LOL

  18. 18
    Alice123 says:

    Where can I buy one I would like one for a friend?
    I can tell u size if you need.

  19. 19

    I have been embroidering for many years and I know this brilliant masterpiece of yours was well thought out and accomplished beautifully. I also quilt and incorporate a lot of embroidery in my quilting and I was totally blown away when I saw your work of art. Very well done. You have that creative side that so many people wish they had….keep up the great work.

  20. 20
    Megan says:

    This is outstandingly beautiful!! Your work is always so inspiring!
    I’ve been dreaming about making myself a coat for a while now. I only wish my little Bernette 200 could cope…

    What fabric was the coat made from?

    Thanks, Megan

  21. 21
    Jenna Wright says:

    This is one of the most beautiful coats ever! I love it and I want it!

    • Niamh says:

      You can make it yourself with enough time and patience 🙂 and a well rounded collection of cuss words should things go awry. It was a pretty big project!

  22. 22
    Simone says:

    The coat looks soooo adorable!

    Which pattern is that?

    Liebe Gruesse


  23. 23
    joanna atilana lovato says:

    absolutely gorgeous. thanks for explaining, step by step, how you made it. I am always amazed by the enthusiasm and creativity of all the new, young, seamstresses! I moved back to San Diego recently and saw in the paper that they were having a SteamPunk convention. I called up the organizers to see if Urban Threads had a booth but they said no. Did you? I wanted to go as they were having a fashion show but the old geezer/assisted living place I’m living at didn’t provide transportation to a SteamPunk convention!!! Oh well, next year.

    • Niamh says:

      We have never tried a booth at a convention but I do occasionally show up at them dressed in some of our embroidered finery 😉 I will be attending TeslaCon this year in Madison if you ever happen to be out our way!

  24. 24
    joanna atilana lovato says:

    Thanks for the reply. What is TeslaCon? They just had a ComicCon here that was the biggest ever. From the newspaper articles after the Steampunk convention I gather it was a big success so hope to see you at one. Your embroidered high heeled boots are really nice. I started out as a girl of 8 sewing for Elna and I always liked to work in leather too. I think I would like to try some of your designs on leather and combine the two modes. Your crane woman project is amazing also. I’m hoping to get some of the women here at the assisted living place interested in UT, but most of them are pretty straight-laced (no pun intended)! But I see that a lot of the people I have told about UT are listed as friend now. Keep on going ladies.

  25. 25
    Dawn says:


  26. 26
    Suzanne says:

    This is beautiful!What a great idea!!!

  27. 27
    kyla says:

    I an completely new to this. What type of machine do you have? How costly are they? If you order designs from this site to take to a place to get embroidered what does one recieve? I called around and they told me to order in DST format.

  28. 28
    Mary says:

    Beautiful coat…what type of fabric is the coat made from?

  29. 29

    waouw !
    the crow in white is just stunning ! I love it ! I’m trying it in with right now on a chocolate brown towel.. just to see… I love your ideas ! they are so great and beautyfull !

Leave a Reply