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1  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Re: Sheet Metal Jewelry- Please Help! on: August 24, 2011 04:11:25 PM
Wow! Thank you for taking the time to write all of this down!

I did think of the jeweler's saw but wanted to know what a more experienced person had to say. I guess I should just get one now then. Where do you recommend I could get a nice affordable saw and what types of blades should I have?

As for drilling, I use a Dremel with a bit made for steel. I learned this from when I drilled beach stones and glass, I actually use light pressure and press down every so often, very much like how you said, the pulsing motion. Perhaps I need to use more oil, I already do, but I think in my impatience to get the hole drilled, I don't really stop to apply more and maybe I should. I'll do that. And I do use a scrap board to do the drilling on. Perhaps next time I'll just use duct tape or masking tape and tape it down to bypass ever holding it. Thank you for the tip on that tool, I'll look around and see if I can find it. If you can think of its proper name, that'd be wonderful.

My anvil is really a bench block but I like to use the term interchangeably. You're right, there are scratches on it and I believe that's why my surfaces are all dinged as well. I doubt I can polish the block well enough to remove all the scratches, could I use a piece of leather over it. The texture I get from the leather may be cool, I'll give that a try, but if you have any other advice on that, it'd be great.

My metal is a very thin aluminum sheet metal I got from the hardware store. Its actually in pretty good shape, no scratches or marks on it. I did read in various places, that other artists also get their metals from hardware stores so I didn't think it was wrong.

What is a bench pin? Clearly, by asking, no I'm not using one. I've heard of it but don't really understand why its so important. It looks like a piece of wood with a notch in it?

And yes, safety goggles. I'm also going to go get a mask just to prevent breathing in any dust! They are truly a must, the goggles.

Thank you and I hope to hear more!
2  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Re: Sheet Metal Jewelry- Please Help! on: August 23, 2011 08:43:19 AM
Can anyone please help? I really need advice. Thank you!
3  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Re: What is the difference between an Artisan and a Craftsman? on: August 22, 2011 06:22:28 AM
For me, I consider an artisan someone who creatively produces an item. They put imagination into it. A craftsman, on the other hand, focuses much more on technique and the purity of the item. Both the artisan and craftsman create beautiful, original items. And it doesn't mean that the artisan doesn't create a well-designed product like the craftsman does, it's just a matter of where the focus is for the creator.
4  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Sheet Metal Jewelry- Please Help! on: August 21, 2011 05:44:00 PM
I've been a jewelry designer for a while but worked mainly with vintage jewelry. Now, I'm slowly getting hooked onto making pieces out of sheet metal and have made a few already. However, I feel like I may be doing it wrong, here's why:

I use a tin snip (shears) to cut my pieces out. This ends up giving me raggedy lines that take way too long for me to file down. I use a round needle file, and a flat file, then I finish it off with a fine grit sandpaper. The edges still look wonky and amateurish to me. Plus, my hands are usually in agony when I'm done cutting.

I use a dremel drill to make my holes. The whole process is very nerve-wracking. The metal gets extremely hot, and then since it gets so hot, I use a piece of fabric to hold it without burning my hand, the piece ends up flying and spinning around once I get the drill through. The hole itself looks a bit rough and when I file, I end up scratching the surface around it a lot.

I love the look of the hammered metal, so I use a ball-peen hammer to give my pieces the texture. However, I keep finding all these nicks, dings, and scratches on the front surface (I hammer it on the back with the piece atop an anvil.) I finish all my pieces with a polishing tip on my dremel and a polish compound. It doesn't make the scratches go away.

What could I be doing wrong? It's nearly impossible for me to find any tutorials online. Most are for soda pop can aluminum and that's something I don't want to do, I'm pretty sure that my metal is just a little bit thicker than that since plain old scissors were recommended to cut soda pop cans. I can't remember exactly what gauge my metal is, it is either a 20 or 22.

Please help, I'm overwhelmed and very under-informed but oh-so-eager to try this new method!
5  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / Thread Dye Question, Please Help! on: July 03, 2011 07:43:39 AM
Excuse me if I placed this in the wrong forum, let me know where I can go if that's the case.

I really need some help. I've spent two days searching for answers on the internet and for once, my savvy search engine talent has failed me. I'm planning on dying a linen dress I have in a tea bath, but first, I need to make changes which means I need to sew it. To make a long story short, considering the construction of the dress and such and such, I simply have to sew it before I can dye it in a tea bath.

I know polyester thread doesn't take on dyes very well, so I searched around and found this thread that was marked 100% glaced cotton. Some research into this taught me that glaced cotton thread is cotton that's been treated with a wax. That's all I know though.

My big, important, burning question is will this glaced cotton thread take on the tea bath dye along with the fabric?

Please help me, discuss, educate me. I'm dying (pun intended) to get this dress done and I will send you all happy wishes and thoughts if I can get an answer!
6  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Re: some slightly over-the-top recons (img. hvy.) on: November 04, 2009 09:00:16 PM
I think I know what's up with all the elastic drop-waist dresses. They're maternity dresses.

My mother has two dresses, one bright yellow and another black and white striped, with elastic drop-waists. One day, I said to her, "Mom, you have fantastic taste, what is up with these dresses!?" She said, "You, when I carried you for nine excruciating months." Gotcha, Mom, haha.

There you go. Cheesy
7  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Re: Sealing in swarvoski crystals on: September 10, 2009 09:05:54 PM
I don't know about you, but if I paid $150 for a necklace, I'd be pretty pissed that it's falling apart... It sounds like it might be defective. Is there any way you can contact whoever you bought it from and see if they'll do an exchange?

Other than that, I have a friend who makes necklaces and covers it in lacquer. It's really shiny and it forms a smooth coating. I don't know if that might be something you would like.

Good luck!
8  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Re: Alternative to Serger - Any Ideas!?! on: September 09, 2009 09:28:13 PM
A flat lock is kind of like a serge. It is used on t-shirt hems and such. It has the two parallel lines. You can mimic this with a double needle, which does stretch. You might try playing around with a double needle. Try to find styles similar to what you want to make and see how they are constructed.

I know exactly what you're talking about! I've only heard it referred to as a coverlock. Thank you!
9  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Re: Alternative to Serger - Any Ideas!?! on: September 09, 2009 09:08:31 PM
Thanks to everyone who responded.

Thesingingllamas - I get where you're coming from. But I do already have a pretty successful business selling jewelry so I know the risks and money it takes to start an endeavor. I appreciate the tip about CA! I've been thinking about moving to CA soon and now I may have to reconsider it, haha. Oh, by the way, what is flatlocked?

CraftyMcCrafterson - That cute little tag idea might be a good idea just for when I'm getting started out. Thanks!

Other than that, I may consider testing out the french seam. It just doesn't seem very viable for the neckline because it needs a little bit of give. For the side seams though, it could work.

I'm also considering doing an exposed seam on the neckline. It's a love/hate thing but for the style of dresses I'm doing, it might work. Any opinions?

If anyone has any other ideas or recommendations, I'd love to hear it.
10  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Alternative to Serger - Any Ideas!?! on: September 09, 2009 10:53:29 AM
I'm starting up a small line of clothing to sell along with my jewelry. I know I'll be working with jersey fabric, mainly a rayon and spandex blend. I'm trying to figure out ways to finish my seams. Usually, you would use a serger- it's quick and easy and looks neat and professional. However, I don't have one and can't buy one just yet.

Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions on how to professionally finish seams? I know you can leave a raw edge and it won't unravel (one of the wonders of knits,) but does this really look professional? Can anyone tell me if they ever saw a raw seam and it still looked okay? Someone suggested a french seam, but I think it'll take too much work and I don't want to have to jack up the prices of my clothing just because I spent extra time finishing.

Please, please, please just throw ideas out there, advice, suggestions, anything! I've been researching for days and have been pretty unsuccessful.

Thank you!  Cheesy
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