Posts Tagged ‘stuff you made’

A Very Stitchy Halloween – Final Entries Into The UT Costume Contest!

We’ve come to the close of our second ever Halloween costume contest, and boy, did you guys knock this one out of the park. The entries this year are just mind blowing, so much work into all these costumes! You all, seriously, ROCK!

We will be announcing our ten finalists tomorrow and you will be able to vote on the winner over the weekend, but first take a moment to see ALL the amazing work that went into this years Halloween with the slideshow above. It was a very stitchy Halloween indeed, I hope it was a good one!

(If the slideshow does not appear at first try reloading the page)

All About The Attitude

We’ve had an absolutely fantastic response to our new Freebie and contest, all about rocking out with the attitude you have at any age! It seems there are a LOT of you out there who will not be told to “act your age”, and are perfectly content to march to your own beat, whether you’re 6 or 60.

Dear Urban Threadsters: have I told you lately how much I love you? Seriously, we have the best customers in the world. You guys are all so cool it hurts. 

Here are a couple of the entries we’ve had so far, from folks giving attitude in all kinds of ways an in all different ages. We even have some of our furried friends telling folks age ain’t nothin’ but a number. Check em out…


Sharon – 55

“I updated an old tie dye shirt. At 55, I have quite a few things that need updating. I also was able to impress the 30-somethings on May 25 with my ‘Don’t Panic’ towel. Love your designs and your web site!”

Chris – Youngin’ 

showin’ off some embroidered attitude, stitched by Marie.

Kim- 52 

“I have two grandkids that live here at our home, so I’m really busy. I have four other grandkids that live in Italy (military). Sewing has become my passion again. Actually one of my coworkers got me hooked on machine embroidery. I could kiss her for that because I never would have found UT, if she didn’t. I absolutely LOVE your stuff. Keep up the wonderful work. We are all crazy about ya’ll, right ladies????”


Kona’s Mom – 30 something   Kona – Who knows in dog years

“Kona is modeling a great bandanna I made. This saying from Urban Threads totally ROCKS as I’m a 30 something and feeling that age thing creaping up! So, I’m stitching away to stay young!!” 🙂

Jackie -59

Jackie made a Quilt Ninja vest! “I cross my arms and whip out the ruler with one hand and the rotary cutter with the other and shout ‘Quilt Ninja!’. I’m a legend in Virginia Beach.”

Kätlin -43

“I turned 43 in May and I’m still punk.” On a side note, is that a BaroquePunk jacket we see, too? Awesome.

Gina -48     Sadie-Loo – 10

“When the ‘Attitude’ design was announced I immediately thought of my beautiful yet slobbery Sadie-Loo. She is a Newfoundland with unending drool, and she’ll be rockin’ her new bib in a couple weeks to receive her Living Legend award (to celebrate her 10th birthday which was May 28th).”

Tina – Young at Heart

Tina was trying to figure out how she could bring a bit of personal flair to her graduation, when she came across this design. “Not only did I stand out with my Honors and my merit but my true personality was able to come out with your designs.”

Want to see more? Check out all the entries in the Urban Threads flickr pool, and be sure to check out the contest, grab the freebie, and enter your own! Did we mention you can win a $25 UT gift certificate for entering? The contest is open now until June 19th at 11:59pm.

Get stitching! And never forget, you’re never too old (or young) to rock some awesome embroidery.

UT Designs Come to Life

Here’s a first … a doll inspired by an Urban Threads design!

UT stitcher Elizabeth colored in the hand embroidery pattern of the “Such a Doll” design just how she liked it, then created a doll from scratch to look just like her using the new Monster Factory designs.  She’s got hand-crocheted hair and her very own big spool of thread.  Incredible!

Flickr Roundup

Hello! If you haven’t noticed, there has been a monster take over of the UT flickr pool! I braved past the scary monsters and snuggled with the adorable ones to uncover some other great embroidery projects!

Cover 1

Ahoy! Gaitri Sparkles created this Kindle cover, giving it a special book-like feel. The piping detail around the embroidery really adds to the finished piece.

This baby ninja bib and mustachio is extra fabuloso! By Crystal of Morning Tempest.

Urban Threads Winged Heart

An elegant use of the Baroque Punk Heart Locket by Quirky Kim! The white thread on black looks stunning!

My favorite kind of dreams have rainbows, ice cream and ponies! I would love to drift off into this magical dreamland illustrated by One Sweet Stitch.

Ruby Shines Momma must have created this nifty little clip purse with me in mind! I love it! Hopefully all those colorful zippers will transform into many more exciting embroidery projects!

voodoo doll pincushions

Voodoo doll pincushions are pretty self explanatory. And wonderful. This matching set was made by snifferooski, for herself and her mom.

This classy garment was stitched by Bridget. She was looking for some more elegant creative office wear. I find the neck line particularly posh. How many basics in your closet could use a steam punk embroidery make-over?

A great reminder, beautifully stitched by knottygal.

Follow Your Heart Bag  <3

This adorable bag by Time Wrinkler is sized to fit a Kindle fire, bringing our Flickr Roundup full circle. I am happy to know you Urban Threadsters are keeping up on your reading between stitching incredible projects!

Check out the flickr pool to find more great project inspiration. Also take a peek at all the Monster Bash entries that have been popping up. The creativity is oozing out of every monstrous submission!

Do you want to see your stuff featured in a roundup? Upload it to our flickr pool or e-mail it to!

Giant Cirque Scrabble


Kind of the coolest thing ever.

Needlesgalore made a giant scrabble set for her granddaughter using the 2″ Cirque Alphabet, and the little one is currently teaching her 3 yr old brother how to use it. Embroidery and crafty education unite!

Fanged Bunnies Everywhere

I add crazy bunnies to a lot of things. Designs, tutorials, even future nefarious schemes to take over the world (shh).

Too many things probably, or so I tell myself. My only redeeming quality, it seemed, was that I withheld from adding fangs to all of them. Sometimes they’re just nice, normal bunnies. It’s a struggle, but I try. I try not to inflict my craziness onto the world.

I swear.

It just leaks out sometimes.

Well, craftster user mominashoe created this  design hack by combining our sneezy bunny tissue holder with our sneezy monster tissue holder in order to give the bunny fangs.

I love it when you guys are right along with me in crazy land. It’s one of the many reasons I love you all.

I’m pretty sure most of you are as nutso as I am.

Featured Project – Illsabelline the Steamwork Doll

Happy Halloween, stitchers! Are you all geared up for a weekend of tricks and treats? Well, one of my favorite parts of Halloween is seeing all the fantastic costumes that come out this time of year, and I have a really great one to share with you today.

Lately it’s been so much fun to bust out of the world of traditional stitches, and today’s featured project just cranks this up on more notch. Ladies and gents, get your game face on and your machines at the ready, because you’re not going to believe the work of this next Urban Threadster, Azre Greis.

She’s created this absolutely stunning Steamwork Doll costume called Illsabelline, and she created this as a basic machine embroidery newbie! This thing is not only dripping with embroidery, but all kinds of amazing steampunk details you just have to see to believe.  Azre joins us today to talk a little about her amazing project, and the crazy amounts of hours of work that went into bringing this doll to life.

First off, this is no small project…what inspired this? Was it for a particular con or event? Or just for the heck of it?

I’ve always had an interest in Steampunk and its style, but never felt like I understood it enough or had enough of a reason to do anything relating to it. Unbeknownst to me, two of my dear friends were part of an ‘airship crew,’ the Sky D.O.G.s (Delirium of Grandeur) and were doing a convention in the summer called A-kon in Dallas, TX.

They encouraged me to make a costume to go with their group and hang out together. They hand held me through concept, design, back story and even character name to make my transition into this brassy new world a gentle one.

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

I had originally planned a fairly plain skirt/top combo with a small box on the back for a key to come out of and didn’t even actually own an embroidery machine at the time the costume was started.

The machine came in May as a belated birthday present from my fiancé and my best friend (it was a plot) and she showed me Urban Threads, specifically the gothic and steampunk areas. I was in love. I immediately began coming up with places to put the designs I found and began testing the waters of making my own.

Talk us through all the embroidery… how many designs are on here? How long did it take to embroider it all?

The skirt is 15 feet of hem and took 2 weeks to do using a grouped cog design that I married together into a bigger group so I wouldn’t have to re-hoop as often. All of the cog sets are unique as I used no colour set and changed them out on the mood of the moment as I worked through it. There is a seal on the front left side of the skirt bearing the character’s name, Illsabelline, and her make/model information as well as steampunk butterfly. 

The shirt has a collar and sleeve trim lined in cog borders with the neck piece being overlapped and the sleeve are just pairs with spaces so it didn’t get too busy. The arm cuffs have the same cog border on the top and the bottom, but only the front, as the back is tied in a bow. The socks have the cog border, but only on the front as they are also tied in a bow in the back.

Then there’s the box itself. The doll box has cog border corners turned at different angles on the sides and the front, while the top has the steampunk compass and the right speaker holes are covered up a steampunk globe. The final piece was a large keyhole embroidered to nest with the metal key, the actual hole of the keyhole is cut out on the top for the key to go in and out of, as well as spin when turned.

Total embroideries are 7 on the doll box, 16 sets of cogs (two groups each) and the 1 seal on the skirt, 2 (1 per) on the socks, 8 border sets on the shirt, and 4 for the arm cuffs, so 38 total. I only did about 27 of those between May and June, when the convention was, and then did the rest over the course of a few days later in the year to ‘finish’ the costume.

Did you design the costume yourself? Was it based off a pattern or did you make it up on your own?

I sketch out all of my costumes before I get started on them to make sure I’m not getting in over my head before all the fabric is in a heap in front of me. I designed the costume along with my friends’ suggestions about Steampunk, but I did use some patterns from Simplicity for some basics like general shirt and skirt shapes then exaggerated them. The socks and cuffs are just out of the ether, and the box was 100% made up by myself and my friend.

What were people’s reactions to the costume and to all the embroidery?

Everyone asked where I bought it and were shocked when I said I made it. Many people got confused and thought embroidery was done by hand only, so I explained that I have a magical machine that makes it all happen for me provided I give it a proper sacrifice of compressed air, oil and Robison Anton threads. Several people asked me how long it took and were aghast at how much time was spent on the skirt alone.

There were lots of pictures and a lot of people played with the key on the box and spun it around. I’d pretend to get wound up or down depending on what was happening around us. I’m extremely camera shy so it was very surprising to me to have so many people coming up with shutters in hand asking to touch it and take close ups. The embroidery makes the outfit, it wouldn’t be anything of note without all of it.

Any challenges along the way? What advice would you give someone trying an ambitious costume like this themselves?

These are all things that smacked me square in the face along the way working on the doll. I can’t stress this part enough, plan ahead, don’t try to rush embroidery or you’ll wind up making mistakes or trying to take shortcuts that will only increase the time you spend and lead to frustration.

Make sure you have all the colours of thread you need before you get started and if you know you’ll be using a particular colour a lot, buy 2 spools. Make sure you research how much space you’re working with and therefore what size hoops you need and if you need to resize your designs. Don’t be dead set on one kind of design or idea, let the outfit and the embroidery take you in other directions. I was originally very set on everything on the outfit being all butterflies, but there were so many interesting aspects to the world Illsabelline lives in I couldn’t imagine all she’d adorn herself with to be just butterflies and branched out after surfing and tinkering for 30 minutes here and there.

Know your fabrics, some designs are too heavy for things like organza and other sheers to handle, while some fabrics are too thick to really show delicate details appropriately, and if you’re not sure, find someone and ask for advice. Be ready to take breaks, most machines get tired running nonstop and will get very hot, sometimes even causing more frequent thread breaks (this happened on my original machine all the time).

AVOID METALLIC THREADS IF YOU CAN! They are so beautiful but they are full of grief and will snap even under the most perfect of circumstances. 

What’s your next project going to be?

My next steampunk project is an evening gown for Illsabelline based loosely off of Koi fish and I have my eyes set on the fantastic steampunk Koi in Urban Threads steampunk area to inspire me.

For Halloween I’m working on Morticia Addams, which wound up being a lot less embroidery than I had tried to will it to be. When something is all black, not much shows up. But I just finished a Mrs. Lovett that I managed to sneak some in on, so all was not lost this October!

A little to my chagrin, I’m actually being a stitchpunk windup doll for Halloween, and I am very much thinking I should have just saved that one for next year. How do you top this? Well, I don’t, but I for one couldn’t be more pleased. I just love seeing what creative minds can do with the right designs.

So, did you get your stitch on for this Halloween? If nothing else, I bet this will inspire you to give it a go next year — after all, this thing was made by an embroidery newbie! I cannot wait to see more creations from Azre Greis.

Hair by Jamie Lee Laratta, makeup by Julie Edwards, and CCI photos as marked by Stephen Hertenberger

Do you want to be a featured project on StitchPunk? Drop us a line at or upload your Urban Threads stuff to our flickr group!