Posts Tagged ‘wings’

Featured Project – The Blue Fairy

Autumn is really starting to bloom around here, and it’s got me all excited about Halloween! Fall is my favorite season, and the array of amazing costumes it brings isone of my favorite things about it. I thought it would be perfect to kick off the costume season with a favorite costumer we’ve seen before… the amazing Urban Threadster, Azre Greis! You will probably remember her from the epic Steamwork Doll Costume, and she’s back and stitching with a vengeance. She whipped up this amazing water-themed blue fairy costume for a Ren fest she was planning to attend. She went just as crazy this time as she did last time, and the results are impressive! She joins us today to talk a little about what inspired the costume and what it was like to make…

This is an incredible costume! Talk to us a bit about what started it. Was it for an event in particular?

Thank you! Out in Texas there is a large Renaissance festival called TRF (Texas Renaissance Festival) and I really didn’t have anything good to wear out to it as the mish-mash I had worn the prior year was very disappointing. We were going to it with a friend who was renowned for her adorable fairy costume and decided we’d make costumes to go with her. I chose a water fairy because I love the water and the color blue and had blonde hair at the time so they all seemed to fit together well.

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She was very gracious and encouraged the project by asking me what kind of wings I’d like to have and made those for me along with the goggles I have on my head. TRF is typically a cold and rainy faire so the costume was made from many parts and has lots of opportunities for layering for the sake of warmth and weather compliance.

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I wanted to look like I was flowing all the time, perpetually coming up out of the water so all the fabric is very light with a lot of reflective qualities. The cape I’m wearing was actually made for by a friend vendor at another faire called Sherwood Forest who was inspired by my costume and made it just for me, even with holes for my wings to go through!

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How did you go about choosing designs? How many are on there?

I chose light designs with a lot of open space. The costume itself uses salt water animals while the cape is fresh water. Overall the costume includes about 31 embroideries.

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How long did the embroidery take?

Probably about 70 hours. I used a lot of metallic thread which always slows me down.

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How long did the whole thing take you to make? Was the costume designed by you, or was it based on a pattern?

The costume has evolved a bit over the last year or so. All told I think I put about 2 weeks of work into it. I added trims, more pearls, decorative stitching and knickknacks such as the satchel and a vial of perfume with some stones. The idea for the pants came from a genie pattern made by Simplicity, but I drastically exaggerated the drape pieces for it so that I’d get more swish when I walked.

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The top is a common blouse again from Simplicity with the rest of the sleeves cut off and a looser neck. The rest of it is just kind of slapped together from late nights and “brilliant” ideas that didn’t always work out. The two drapes on my arms were originally meant to be tight against my arm the entire way up and then in strips hanging down. I dropped that idea in favor of the loose sort of drape effect it has now for the sake of warmth.

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Did you run into any problems along the way? Any tips for people trying something like this?

Always make sure you’ve got the right stabilizer. I had to do over one of the pieces for the chest because the stabilizer I had was too lightweight and collapsed under the design. The fabric I used had a lot of stretch and needed the additional support the stabilizer granted. I also learned a lot when I did the leg pieces (organza) and used the knowledge from that to do a better job on the cape with a water soluble one side adhesive stabilizer.

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It took a really long time to properly rinse the cape so that it flowed properly, but it was worth it in the end. To anyone else doing such a thing, hang up your large project in a stand up shower, close the shower curtain and use hot water in a downward spray to get all the stabilizer out and keep it from making your ends stiff.

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How did people react to the costume and the embroidery?

The best reaction I ever got was a small boy, around 4 years old, who flew at me when we were at Sherwood. He came to a dead stop in front of me and peered, stating with great confidence, “I remember you…!” And proceeded to tell me a story about how he’d met me in the forest once the year before.

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This was impossible as the costume was new at the time, but it made me feel fantastic to know I had embodied a child’s imaginary experience and brought it to life. I’ve gotten many compliments, been mistaken for cast at two different faires (which I’d love to be one day) and it’s a fun costume to wear. It takes a lot of time to get on but it’s always worth it and it’s very comfortable to go tearing around being silly in.

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You seem to always be cooking up new costume ideas! What’s your next project going to be?

I am currently working on several new things! A Princess Toadstool from Super Mario Land (SNES), Queen Frostine from Candy Land (the board game), and Queen Zurline from The Life and Adventure of Santa Claus (a Rankin-Bass movie) as well as a new sort of barbarian costume that I plan to use a lot of Celtic or Nordic patterns you’ve got up on, I’m having trouble deciding so all the printed out pieces are pinned to the dress in various places. I’ve also done several wedding dresses using designs from Urban Threads that I hope to get some good pictures of soon once the brides have had time to settle in and pick their favourites.

I’m totally addicted to you guys!

As usual, this costume gets my gears going about this year’s Halloween costume. Slightly out of character for me, I haven’t yet decided what I’m going to be, but this certainly gets me inspired to start! What about you stitchers? Have any epic costumes in the works? Well, if it’s anything like the stunning creations from Azre Greis, be sure to drop us a line at blog@urbanthreads.com or upload your Urban Threads stuff to our flickr group so we can see what you’re stitching.

Makeup by Kristie MacLean, wings by Jenna Idaho, cape by Two Spools, and photos by Marcos Melendez. See Azre Greis’ shop here.

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!

UT Tutorial – Winged Drape Cardigan

It’s about that time of year that sleeves are a necessity, but sewing them can be a real pain. My solution? Steal em from something else!

If you want to make your own drape cardigan, but don’t really relish the idea of all that measuring and sleeve fuss, I’ll show you how to upcycle two long sleeve tees into this awesome embroidered drape cardigan. These cardigans are fabulous because they’re stylish and flattering for all types, and they’re the perfect canvas for your favorite designs.

Get the tutorial here, and don’t worry, if you can sew in a straight line, I promise this project is a snap.

UT Tutorial – Celestial PJ’s

Is your bedtime a little hum drum? Do you need more awesome in your life? We’re thinking yes.

Grab some bleach and a bland pair of dark PJ’s, and you and your embroidery machine can make something magical…

Celestial PJ’s! It’s just well placed bleach and some awesome constellation embroidery. Really, you could use any embroidery that suited your space fancy.

The effect is color safe and easy, because it’s just bleach! Your pajamas stay comfy but reach new heights of awesome.

Try out different sizes of the design (the small design here is on the leg, the larger is on the tee) to make a perfect matching set.

Ready to try? Get the tutorial here.

UT Tutorial – Dragon Hoodie


Let your little one take flight with this upgraded dragon hoodie! Transform any old hoodie into something magical, complete with wings, dragon, and squishy spikes. Get the full step by step tutorial here!

P.S.- Works with grown ups too. We’re not judging.

Featured Project – Enchanted Fairy Wings

We love it at Urban Threads when you guys find ways of using our designs that we never even thought of. Your ingenuity always keeps us inspired, and this week’s featured project is just about as enchanting as it is inspiring!

Krista Lueders of MaeFlowers & JuneBugs took our fairy wings design, and upgraded it to full on freestanding awesomeness. Krista explains a little about her project and what went into creating this adorable costume.

I love the use of the fairy wings design! What inspired you to try it out in a new way?

I’ve always loved fairies, but hate the cheap wire and nylon wings that tend to fall apart quickly. I know my daughter has torn up a few pairs of those and wanted to do something that would last a whole day on her back. She’s almost 4, so that’s a big issue. I had found a costume pattern that had instructions on how to make the net and wire wings that velcro onto the back of a bodice. I ran with that idea and combined it with the fairy wing embroidery.

How long did the design take you? What challenges did you run into along the way?

Overall, the whole costume took about 3-4 days. The wings didn’t take long to stitch out, but constructing them is another story! I also had to enlarge the embroidery design a few times to get the right size.

Any tips for other people looking to try it out themselves?

Don’t skimp on your felt or velcro! And just be creative with the colors! Use your felt as another color in the design, since quite a bit of the felt will show through the embroidery. Also be mindful of the color felt used for the back piece, since that will show, too.


What went into making the costume? Did you use a pattern or make it up yourself?

I modified an existing pattern for the crop top and bodice, the tutu is strips of tulle sewn into a ribbon band with elastic and a hook and eye closure. I had to play with the velcro placement on the wings and bodice to make sure that they lined up just right to give the proper look.

How did the little one like it? Any plans for any more costumes?

She loved it!!!

So did everyone who saw her at the Texas Renaissance Festival onHalloween! Plus I loved how at the end of the day, her wings were still ready to take flight!

I have started making and selling these little fairies in my etsy shoppe and I’m currently working on a few Patriotic Fairies, just in time for the 4th of July! I’m also starting a line of “Build-A-Fairy” costumes to be sold both online and (hopefully soon) at Renaissance Festivals.

What an adorable costume, and what fabulous pictures! That’s a little girl who knows how much she rocks at being a fairy. Plus, I can see freestanding wings being a hit with fairies of all ages.

What? I still go to the ren fest. I may or may not have a costume. You can’t prove anything…

If you’re looking for some more enchantment, you can also check out her lovely blog. That’s for sharing Krista! I hope I spot some wings at my local ren fair!