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1  Clockwork Natura Embroidered Gown in Machine Embroidery: Completed Projects by Urban Threads on: October 27, 2011 09:52:04 AM
This is a collaboration project long in the making, and I thought it high time to share it here! I'll say up front I did NOT make this dress, this fabulous thing was a creation of KMKostumes, Etsy sellers extraordinaire. I contacted them about collaborating on a costume because I wanted to design an embroidery series exclusively for a dress like this.

So, we got together, sketched out dress designs, and then I went home and drew embroidery ideas and they hit their sewing machines. It was an amazing team effort and I am so happy with how the dress and the embroidery turned out! Here's the final result.

The whole dress includes 9 embroidery designs. One on the bodice, two on the gauntlets, one on the front chest and one on the back, and four designs on the overlay skirt. Each piece was designed to fit the theme and flow of the dress.

A good shot of the wings on the back. I love the floating effect of the embroidery on the organza.

A closeup of the designs on the front. I think the gauntlet designs are my favorite, but I love the piece on the bodice too.

KMKostumes did such a fabulous job making this! I saw some of the construction of the dress and they are so crazy fast. I just love the fullness of the silhouette.

I'm thrilled with how this all turned out. I also need to give a big shoutout to our photographer FairShadow Photography,who did a masterful job. I also had a lot of help with hair and makeup by my good friend Sara Capers. I will say this will probably be my first and last foray into modelling anything, but boy was it fun to get all dressed up! I had such a blast with this project, and it was so much fun to see what we could really make embroidery do.

I can't wait to do another collaboration project!
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2  Antiqued Embroidered Books w/ mini tute! in Machine Embroidery: Completed Projects by Urban Threads on: August 26, 2011 01:49:39 PM
Is your bookshelf looking a bit drab these days? Shiny pink printed book jackets just not giving your library the ambiance youre after? Well, it might be true that they dont make them like they used to, but that doesnt mean YOU cant.

A little embroidery on linen, a little tea, and you can make it look light your bookshelf is filled with antique and worldly classics instead of say, Twilight. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

So, here's a quick little tutorial on how to dress em up!


To make your antique embroidered book, youll need:

A hardcover book (decide now if its just for decoration, or if you want to be able to read it after were done)

-Vintage looking fabric (I love linens)
-A container for hot water
-Some tea
-Mod Podge
-Brush and/or sponge applicator


Whip up a little fairytale embroidery suitable to antique covers, and cut your fabric to size, leaving at least two inches all the way around.

Soak it in some tea and let it dry...

Lay out your book and cut up some flaps for the spine. Fold and glue these in, since they won't be wrapping inside the cover like the rest of the fabric.

[img width=300 height=212]http://www.urbanthreads.com/images/project_images/UT_PR172_14.jpg

And grab your mod podge! Cover the book first, then lay on your fabric. Give the cover a good coating, smoothing it with your fingers (I know, it  gets messy) out towards the edges. When you get to the edges, tightly wrap the fabric around the cover and give it more coatings of glue. Just mod podge the heck out of it.


When it dries it should pretty much look like this.


Add a little more glue to the cover and cut a piece of decorative paper to cover up the ugly edges.


Distress it with a little more tea...


And you have yourself a brand spankin new yet totally old looking cover of awesome.
Ta da! Your bookshelf is going to look so swank...

you know, in a worldly way.
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3  Ombre Drape Vest in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by Urban Threads on: July 15, 2011 12:03:46 PM
Usually, making a piece of clothing from scratch kinda scares me. But this thing was seriously so easy!

Sewn from super soft drape knit I got on sale, I then dip dyed it ombe and machine embroidered the back! The dye did something a little unexpected... it was supposed to just be brown, but a pink color started working its way out of the top layer of tie. That just ended up being a happy accident.

The back design even kinda has an "ombre" look.

I'm adoring the look of it with big chunky belts too. It's very flattering on those days I'm not feeling so swanky.

I love it! I'm going to make a couple more and wear them all summer long! Maybe in fall I'll look at sewing one with long sleeves.
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4  Embroidered Steampunk Jacket in Machine Embroidery: Completed Projects by Urban Threads on: June 27, 2011 08:09:24 PM
Occasionally, I like trying a work related project that's just for pushing the boundaries of what I think stock designs can do. I wanted to see how well I could incorporate all kinds of different steampunk designs and make them work seamlessly with the design of a jacket. I had been debating a long while on what kind of jacket I would use, when this fell into my lap at a clothing swap! It was perfect. After a lot of planning, I set to stitching, and here's the result!

I decided to keep the embroidery more tone on tone to keep it elegant and understated as much as possible. I kinda liked the white of the coat, and though it wasn't a very typical steampunk color, I thought I'd use it...

Here's the coat in all it's stitchy glory. All in all, on a large industrial machine, it was still 8 solid hours of nerve wracking stitching

A good detail shot of the stitching. You can really see a lot of fun detail up close

On the back I added our large steampunk raven. I was excited because I'd always thought of him as a jacket back piece when I designed him, so it was great to use it just like I imagined...

Finally, on the front I added a little stitched key heart. I like that you almost can't notice it until you're up closer.

I'm so happy with how it turned out! I had only one coat, and one shot at everything, and I'm known for stitching things to themselves at key moments...

Im 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.

Heres hoping I can open up some peoples eyes as to what machine embroidery can do!
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5  The new Keyboard Cat... (w/ mini tute!) in Needlework: Completed Projects by Urban Threads on: March 11, 2011 10:23:46 AM
Have you looked at your desk latley and said.... this clearly doesn't accuratley reflect my sheer nerddom? Well, let your desk reach new nerd heights. Presenting... the unholy fusion of longcat and keyboard cat, with a little extra nerd thrown in for good measure. And it keeps your wrists comfy!

Hand embroidered and made out of a tea towel. Longkeyboardcat is loooooooooonnnnggg.
(No idea what I'm talking about? Know your meme...)

This guy was actually a birthday present for my geeky husband, so he's sitting on his desk now. I already miss him...


Keyboard cat is pretty easy to make. All you need is a tea towel, some rice, and some mad embroidery skillz...

Here's the basic idea of him. Just measure the length of your keyboard, and add around 4 inches for width. Then draw out a slightly blocky little lump for keyboard cats head, and some roundy little arms and legs. Don't forget his tail!

Kitteh embroidereh!

Cut out his head, make him some dorky ears, and stitch that kitty together. Don't forget to leave  a gap! Then fill your kitty head with rice (you don't hear that every day) and stitch him shut. Seriously, is that not the dorkiest kitty head you've ever seen in your life? Even his ears look dorky.

Stitch and turn that kitty some legs and a little tail, and the fill them up with just a little bit of rice each. Stitch them shut at the open end.

Give that kitty some legs! Place your two body pieces right sides together, with the legs and tail at either end facing in. Sew a seam around him, leaving a small gap at the top of one edge.

Turn that kitty right side out, fill him nice and plump with rice, and stitch that edge shut. Finally, take that kitty head and stitch it on!


Congratulations. You're a Nerd.
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6  Handmade Victorian Fall Wedding! *pic heavy!!* in Weddings and Bridal Showers by Urban Threads on: October 20, 2010 06:50:46 PM
Well, I don't have the professional photos back, but I have oodles of stuff from friends and family, enough to finally show all the things that went into our wedding! A lot of stuff I made, but as I came from art school and have lots of crafty friends, I also have a ton of cool stuff made by friends of ours for our special day! I also trolled etsy, craigslist, and ebay for most of my items.

The dress!

Designed by me! Not made by me...made, in the end, but a whole bunch of people! You can see my whole experience on it in in this post, along with my concept sketch.

Two weeks before the wedding, it was far from done. Luckily, I bought the bodice online, my wonderful mum tacked the lace around the top, and a very lovely lady fixed my skirt for me! I added a hoop skirt a couple days before, and we were there! Considering how much of a headache this thing was, I was very happy with it on the day.

The grooms coat

We were aiming for a Mr. Darcy type coat. This was also sort of designed by me, mostly just using photos of Mr. Darcy and guessing at the rest. We really wanted that tall stand-up type collar. My lady, who was doing my dress (at first) was also making this jacket, and didn't seem to know how to tailor it. Basically, we spent one nine hour marathon a few weeks before the wedding where I pinned and tailored most of it. I think it came out ok in the end!

The Invitations

Made by me, inspired by another spinning wheel invite I'd seen online. I made the whole thing in photoshop, and then me and some girlfriends of mine went to a local paper place and die-cut all the circles! We then pounded them together with small rivets and a hammer, one at a time. Yikes! After all that, I added little touches of real copper leaf by hand to some of the leaves on each tree. These were also a whole lot of work, but worth it in the end! We got so many lovely complements about them.

The centerpieces

Oh my goodness, these were probably my biggest DIY project. I bought the pumpkins last fall on deep discount right before Halloween. They're those kind of fake foam carvable ones. I spent a few weeks ruining my hand carving 15 pumpkins, then sprayed them all copper. I bought the wreaths from craft stores, and then found 134 feet of purple roses online for $30!! No joke! I love ebay. I wrapped the roses around each wreath, added some real baby's breath, and hot glued it all together. I put tissue paper inside the pumpkins to hide the led candles we used to light them up.

The Bridesmaids Shawls & Pins

The bridesmaid dresses originally had these horrible fake roses on them to add this pretty sash. I didn't like them, so we ripped them off each dress, and then I made each of my girls a copper leaf pin to go in it's place. I ordered the leaves online, sprayed them copper, and hot glued the draping chains to them. I added a small purple charm to the bottom of each. We also made the girls shawls, I spent ages hunting fabric stores for copper fabric!! We cut them up and hemmed them each. I think they all looked very pretty on the day!

The Ring Box

Made cause I just didn't fancy one of those pillow things. My guy and I ran around antique stores a few times before the wedding, and we picked up this vintage box. I added some floral foam to the bottom wrapped in the same fabric we used to make the guys cravats, and cut small slits for the rings. They were nice and secure on the day!

Thank You Cards

Made by me before the wedding, using a photo from another wedding we attended! I designed the cards and then had them printed on pearly paper. I sent a few of these out early but now they're sitting there taunting me...

The Stone Ceremony Box

Also another find while out in strange little stores, a box that looked like a book! It was perfect for our stone ceremony that we had planned, but I didn't like the cover. I scanned the top, added our initials and changed the colors a bit, reprinted it, and ta da! New box cover.

The Barn

We found this amazing location down by my parents place in southern Minnesota. It was an old stone barn that they were just starting to use as an event center. That meant we had to bring in all our own tables, chairs, decorations, bathrooms, even heat! Still, it was an amazing place and it didn't take much to bring it alive. We bought fake trees off craigslist, hung jar candles from them, put more large metal lanterns (also off craigslist!) in each archway, and draped ribbons and purple lanterns above the dance floor. That was all it needed!

The head table!

This was pretty much a day-of creation with stuff I'd picked up on craigslist and didn't know what to do with! I had a lot of those purple roses and baby's breath left over from the pumpkins, and I had picked up these old log stumps and moss wrapped candles from another couple off craigslist. On the day, I kinda left them by the table as I was setting up, and I come back to find my cousin has arranged it all beautifully on the table! We had one real purple and white flower centerpiece in the middle, the only fresh flowers in the wedding besides my bouquet. Fresh ones are expensive!

The (Monster!) cake topper

Made by hand by a friend of mine, who looks like Johnny Depp and draws like Tim Burton, appropriately.  They're little monsters, the story of which can be found in another craftster posting here. I drew him a little sketch and he made these magical little beasties! The little grooms one is holding a coffee mug (my hubs is nuts about his coffee) and mine has my little monster slippers on. They were such a great gift!

Glass votive name tags

I got this idea from another craftster user (sorry! I don't remember who! Give me a shout out if you can). I printed each of the guests names on vellum, along with a little symbol that designated their meal, and wrapped them around glass votives. The vellum meant they still glowed beautifully, and we had them set up so each guest would find their candle, light it, and by candlelight find their seat!

Seriously the most EPIC guestbook evar..

Can you believe that? I have a friend who's an artist and loves making handmade books. I asked her ages ago if she would make us a simple handmade guestbook. She gave me this about a month before the wedding. I just about died. All handmade, our initials on the side, hand bound with copper riveted to the cover! I told her we were having a purple and copper Victorian wedding. I also mentioned I love steampunk.  She really went to town! Plus, it held awesome photos from our photobooth!

The Photobooth

I made this little sign and put it out with our victorian props for the photobooth. Seriously, best money we ever spent. We got such great photos of everyone. Even his 97 year old grandmother went in!

The day was seriously the most magical, wonderful day of my life. A lot of work and planning went into it, but I spent the whole day in a fairytale with the man of my dreams! I couldn't thank all my friends and family more, who helped me plan and put together all the crafty endeavors that went into the day!

Full link to my flickr set of photos can be found here! Come say hi and look at more pretty pictures!

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7  Custom made Victorian Wedding Dress! *and the trials that ensued* in Weddings and Bridal Showers by Urban Threads on: October 06, 2010 10:41:47 PM
Goodness! I've been waiting ages to post this here. First of all, I'll say that by the time the wedding came around, I was thrilled with my dress...

Allll the months before that, not so much. So here's the story: My husband and I had a rustic fall victorian wedding. I wanted our outfits to look victorian, but we had a really hard time finding just what we wanted, so we decided to have them made. I started with this sketch for my dress:

We started working with a lady who had done a friends wedding dress. I *thought* she knew how to make my dress...well, it turns out, not quite..

It started well enough...

but then it went to this:

Oh dear. She seems to think the way to get that flowy open bit was to simply make an overskirt and hack out a curve. Yikes. Still, I held my breath...


Weeks later, we were pretty much in the same place. This had been taking slow, agonizing months. I realized that the heavy shiny satin we had picked was just not what I needed. We started again with the overskirt...


Saaaamme problem. Yikes. This just wasn't working. I had a minor meltdown and a friend of mine came over to try and learn how to re-drape it...


Progress! Finally. We were kinda getting there. This was not so much due to the dressmaker as to my friend and I figuring out how fabric drapes. Still, there wasn't much going on down one side. I still held out hope...aannnd then she hemmed it. And it all went wrong.


Yikes. Instead of getting married I looked a bit like I was going to a costume party. Or maybe the ren fest. And not in an awesome ren-fest wedding kinda way.

The bodice was coming apart at the seams. You could see the seam line at each panel, and it got worse each time we tried it on. She tried tacking the stitches in but it just meant all the fabric tugged at the edges. The hem of the dress was crooked and puckered. There were seams on the dress that were waaay crooked, and the sleeves fell town too far.

This was about a month and a half before the wedding. I finally freaked. I kindly pulled the dress from her, had a minor internal mental breakdown, and then called every seamstress in town I knew. Luckily, a very nice lady named Brenda picked up one of my phonecalls.

She completely ripped up the gathers on the skirt and re-pinned it, but there was a lot of work left to be done. We had to take a large chunk of fabric out of one of the seams to sew it straight, using only the skirt we had already cut and hemmed because I didn't have the money for new fabric. Everything was still wrinkled and puckered, the new bodice I had rush ordered online was pretty, but too plain, and the skirt still wasn't filling out..


The next week, my mum hand stitched some lace around the top of the bodice,  my seamstress had completley ripped apart the skirt and re-pinning everything (again!) and after adding a hoop skirt, two weeks before the wedding, we finally had this!

Can I get a hallelujah!!! That woman is a miracle worker!! I couldn't believe the transformation. And so, on my wedding day, I felt like a Victorian beauty!

Getting into the dress..

Walking down the isle

The dress from the side, during our hand blessing

And dancing the night away in it!!

Everyone told me what a stunning dress I had, and I was so happy to hear it, but they were even more shocked to learn that it pretty much didn't exist until about two weeks before the wedding! They had no idea the struggle I went through to get this dress made. So, there you have it. I've heard from plenty of people about the wonders of custom dresses. I have here a slightly different perspective. Designing a custom wedding dress is amazing and fun... getting there is a little more difficult. All I can say is, if you're going to do it... make darn well sure the person knows how to make it!!!
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8  Fabric Covered Bulletin Board in Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General by Urban Threads on: June 11, 2010 11:24:13 AM
My memo board needs to be a little less clutter and a little more "Namaste". I should be able to look at it and find a little peace, don't you think?

I took some foam core and a little cotton batting, and covered it with some fabric I embroidered. A nice little frame and some ribbon and I had a much prettier memo board!
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9  Chamed Steampunk Ruffle Cuff in Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General by Urban Threads on: June 04, 2010 11:26:05 AM
Do you magically find yourself sometimes with an excess of awesome fabrics? Do these things sometimes happen after you receive 50% off coupons in the mail? Don't worry, it happens to the best of us. Well, I decided to do something with all that leftover fabric!

I made a steampunk ruffle cuff, complete with charms! I'm kinda obsessed with ruffles now, and I'm sorta thinking this might be awesome to wear with my wedding dress.

Maybe. Maybe it's not formal enough. It looks pretty awesome with jeans and a tee either way. Yay ruffles!
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10  DIY Spinning Wheel Invites! *Pic heavy* in Weddings and Bridal Showers by Urban Threads on: May 31, 2010 10:31:58 AM
Yay I finally finished them!

Well, when I say finished them, I mean I have enough of everything done to assemble one complete invite to show you what it looks like. And here it is!

I got the idea of a spinning invite off Design*Sponge, but I designed, printed, die-cut, leafed, and assembled these myself! I'm really happy with how they turned out. The two layers spin, so you can see through the little window all the info on location, time, website, etc. Here's a shot of the envelope...

The address label folds around the back, where I have a little copper leaf stamp, and the magic inside!

My mum helped me punch out all those little copper leaf confetti pieces...

The invite consists of the spinning wheel part, and then a menu with an RSVP card printed on the back.

Here's a shot of the other side of the menu card, the rsvp card! I'm actually hoping people RSVP online, but they were fun to make. I was going for a whole dark, whimsical fall feel. I hope I got there!
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