Photo by Manda Rose

When I began Storied Threads in 2006, it was born out of my love for costume design. I had been working for a couple of renaissance faires as their costumer, and loved that work so much more than my day job that I decided to begin a company to make garb, selling to ren faire goers, reenactors, and other folks along that vein.

Obviously, that vision has changed over the years, and the company today bears little resemblance to the company as it first was. But before that happened, I took out more than a few ads, primarily in Renaissance Magazine, in an attempt to get the word out about the products I was offering.

The ads themselves, while no longer really representative of what I do, are pretty cool looking, and feature some pretty awesome photography. So — today’s Flashback Friday will share a few of those ads!


Photo by Kyle Cassidy

RavenclawMoviePottermore is back, y’all! While I’ve been self-sorted for years, I never got around to doing the official Pottermore sorting. To be honest, I was a bit nervous – what if I’d been wrong about my House all this time? I had no need to fear, though. It was clear to both the sorting hat and to me that I’m a Ravenclaw through and through. And as an added bonus, I now know that my wand is a 10″ sycamore wood want, with a unicorn hair core. Which is very important information to know! With this exciting news, I thought I’d share with you all some of the items we have that are inspired by Harry Potter, starting with our House scarf patches. We make these patches for all four Hogwarts houses – including both movie and book versions for Ravenclaw.

Deathly Hallows 2Next up — the Deathly Hallows choker!  We have a limited number of these chokers available, and once they’re gone, we won’t be carrying them anymore. We make the lace ourselves, using a black and white variegated thread to give a cool swirling effect. Once that’s done, ribbon ties are added, and a Deathly Hallows charm added to dangle at the front. They’re the perfect accessory, whether you’re wearing your Hogwarts robes, or just want to add a little bit of geeky flair to an evening out.

Expecto PatronumOur Expecto Patronum patch uses one of our favorite sneaky materials to give it some extra pop — glow in the dark thread.  At first glance, it looks as though it’s simply done in white on black background. In fact, however, the deer is stitched in thread that glows when the lights go out, to give your Patronus an eerie otherworldliness.

This is just a small selection of the Potterverse inspired items we offer. Check out our website to see them all!

CinderellaGoldFairy tales have been a part of my culture for centuries, since long before the Grimm brothers began collecting them and writing them down. They’ve changed — oftentimes edited by the Grimms themselves — and been re-told and re-imagined so many times it’s difficult to keep track of them all. And yet in each one, there are images and moments that are iconic, and which always stay with us, through all the re-tellings.

In the 1812 Brothers Grimm version of the story, the prince’s party lasts for three nights, and every night he tries to find out where Cinderella lives, but she eludes him. On the third night, Cinderella is gifted with the most gorgeous gown yet, and slippers covered in gold. The prince, not wanting to be thwarted again, coats the stairs of his castle in pitch, so that as Cinderella runs down them, one of her gold slippers becomes stuck, and is left behind.

This design is based on their story, and is available as a patch in our Etsy shop and on our website, and as a sticker on Redbubble.

Click here to buy one!


That’s me on the left, and Tori on the right, rocking some of my garb. Photo by Eric Tetreult.

Way back in 2010, the Connecticut Renaissance Faire decided, for the first time, to do a show in the spring.  It was early days for Storied Threads. We were still selling out of an EZ-Up style tent, and hadn’t yet upgraded to a proper medieval pavillion.  I didn’t yet have an embroidery machine. Kate was not yet my fabulous assistant. And my sister Tori, who’s not really a ren faire kind of person, decided to come up one weekend and be my minion.


Photo by Eric Tetreult.

I was looking for pictures for some Etsy listings the other day, and I came across these photos from that weekend.  They made me smile to see, and since I’d been struggling for a Flashback Friday topic for this week — decided to share them here! I love this second picture because it LOOKS like Tori is being all kind of sexy and posing for the camera…when in fact, she is LITERALLY holding our tent down on the ground. The wind was so bad at this show that it was the one that made me decide the time had come to ditch the EZ-Up and get a real tent. But the circumstances made for a great picture!

I had a great time working with Tori that weekend, depiste the weather trying to tear us down, both literally and metaphorically, and I’m really glad to have stumbled across these pictures.

Tricky Designs….

I’ve written before about how designs can be tricky, and today’s post is another example of this particular conundrum. This week, in fact, gave me two different manners of designs proving difficult.

2016-01-26 13.41.46The first was a bookmark I want to make that displays the first few bars of Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata”.  I’ve had people ask me for a music themed patch before, and this particular piece holds a special place for me as the only piece of piano music I ever came close to mastering back when I played.

However, while the music itself stitched beautifully, you can see that the sharp signs at the beginning look, instead, like little black blobs.  And nothing I have thought to do has been able to fix them. So, for the moment, the idea of a music patch has been shelved, while I think of how to re-design it.

TripodMy other troublesome design is one inspired by H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds.  I drew and digitized a Martian tripod, and I think he looks pretty awesome. But beyond the tripod itself — I’ve found myself stumped. My initial idea was to make him quite large, with some small people running away. You can see my initial sketch here, and rendering it in embroidery did not improve it any. My little people simply looked awful and amateurish, and they lacked any real life.

MartianTripodSo, I let it sit on the back burner for a while, waiting for some other inspiration to come to me. Eventually, I had the idea to play with the notion of the tripods being defeated not by any human ingenuity, but instead by their lack of resistance to the native germs here on Earth. I attemped to make a joke of it, depicting the tripod sneezing.

But, as before, it lacked life. And additionally, it lacked any true storytelling, and I doubted that somebody looking at it would think, “Oh! War of the Worlds, of course!”  So, I showed it to Mike, explained all of my concerns and asked him to give it some thought in case he was inspired.

Mike is awesome. And inspired. And he drew me this sketch which will be refined in the coming week or two to become and actual awesome design.


Don't Panic 1There’s just one rule for successfully travelling through space – Don’t Panic. This messenger bag is made of black cotton canvas and is embroidered in bold red and gold thread.

Our small messenger bags are the perfect size for carrying just what you need — wallet, keys, phone, and even a book. This bag is available on our website.

Click here to buy one!

I Want To BelieveDid you catch the return of The X-Files last night?

Okay, to be fair, we did not. We don’t actually have cable, and so chose to go out for drinks with friends and listen to a little live music instead. But we are looking forward like crazy to watching it on Hulu tonight after we’re done working in the studio!  Here’s hoping that the revival is as good as the early, awesome episodes of the show were.

I want to believe.


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