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1  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / How to search for this ring blank? on: January 14, 2008 02:18:12 PM
I don't know much about jewelry findings so it's been difficult for me to try to find what I want because I'm not sure of the terms for it. What I'm looking for is the kind of ring blanks used in Amy Burhoe's rings:



The item description says it's made out of sterling silver and it's adjustable by a gap in the back, not by those sliding pieces in cheap ring findings like these

The closest thing that I've been able to find online are on Etsy:



Any pointers that you might have would be welcome! Just the name or how I should search for them would be great, or maybe is it that these are only sold in wholesale catalogs by mail?

The full story is that I met Amy Burhoe at the South End Open Market in Boston a couple months ago and LOVED her rings, but had already run out of cash by that point. Sigh. Anyway, she agreed to sell me a couple of her extra ring blanks, which she gets wholesale, since I assured her it would only be for personal use. The thing is, my school's got an arts fair coming up this semester and I'd like to try my hand at selling some stuff, and if that goes well, maybe trying to start selling on Etsy. I wouldn't be make fused glass cabochons at all, nothing like Amy's gorgeous stuff. Mine would be much more low-tech Grin Anyway, I don't want to impinge on her own source, so I'd like to find my own. Thanks in advance for any help!
2  NEEDLEWORK / Sublime Stitching Embroidery / Faulty hoop in Stitch-It kit? on: December 28, 2007 01:10:23 PM
Here's the problem: the screw on the hoop that I got in my Stitch-It Kit, recently purchased from Borders in the post-Christmas gift card spending frenzy (OMGz I have never seen the mall that crowded, ever!), slides on and off without any turning--which means that I can't tighten the hoop over the tea towel!  Cry

Has anyone else encountered this problem? Maybe I was just unlucky and got a faulty hoop? Any suggestions for how to fix this? Sigh, I was so excited to get started too!
3  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / Material and method for making handkerchiefs? on: July 13, 2007 08:06:42 PM
I used to always be a little grossed out by the idea of handkerchiefs to blow your nose. Still not sure how comfortable I am with that, but I'm trying to be more sustainable and I hate how the little packets of tissues always get messed up, and a quick browse of the internets shows that there are many pretty possibilities for handkerchiefs!

So, how exactly does one go about making a handkerchief? What material do you use? I have this thing of excessive sweating on my nose (it's inherited from my grandmother and kind of bizarre, haha Cheesy) so that's probably what I would mostly use it for. I currently dab at my nose with a cloth napkin I got in a tablecloth set from the thrift, but it's really rough and not particularly absorbent! And then, I don't have a serger, but the edges need to be finished somehow...and how do people crochet those pretty lace edgings onto the sides of fabric? I have very little experience with crochet, just enough to get by occasionally in knitting.
4  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Internships in crafty businesses on: March 29, 2007 11:55:47 PM
Hey everyone! I'm not sure if this is the right forum to post this but it's the closest I could find, so here goes!

I've got this wonderful, amazing opportunity this summer to do an internship wherever and in whatever I want (well, as long as I can justify its importance to my future career, etc.) So I thought, wouldn't it be fantastic to work at an indie craft business? I've been "cold contacting" various businesses with varying degrees of responses, but my proposal for what I'll be doing this summer is due to my school soon and I could use some help in figuring out who else I should contact. So, if you either know of or might be able to offer me an internship, please PM me and we can discuss it. Thanks!
5  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Discussion and Questions / Hanging paper lanterns from dorm ceiling? on: March 09, 2007 02:06:45 AM
Hey all! I've searched and searched and while Google pointed me to various articles with handy dorm decorating tips which included paper lanterns, these articles never included directions on how you would actually hang the things. Am I missing something really obvious here? I don't think that they all already have hanging lights in their rooms...if that's the case, I'm jealous, why aren't my dorm rooms cool like that  Tongue

Anyway, a few people suggested 3M hooks, but has anyone had experience with those? I just want to hang the paper lantern + wire frame that stretches it out, for some 3D interest in the room rather than just posters on the wall and such. The ceiling in this room is that uneven jagged stuff that crumbles a bit if you rub your fingers on it. I've currently got is hanging from a pin, but it's fallen out before and I'm not sure how safe that really is.

So anyway, if anyone's got some more enlightened ideas, I would really appreciate it, thanks!  Cheesy
6  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Raising ultra low rise jeans? on: August 31, 2006 10:58:03 PM
Hey all,

I hope this question hasn't already been posted and answered somewhere else, but I wasn't quite sure what to search for and the ones I did didn't show me what I'm looking for.

Anyway, I like a modest amount of low rise on my jeans, but the ones I've been seeing in stores this fall are ridiculous! My favorite pair of jeans are from American Eagle, their "Favorite Fit" (haha.) which they now only sell online, boohiss! So I went in and tried on some other pairs, and actually I quite liked the wide-leg ones, those were pretty flattering, except the rise is something like 3 inches. No joke.

 Huh Huh Huh

My butt crack is my own business, thanks.

Anyway, any ideas on how to deal with that? Perhaps someday I will be good enough at sewing to make my own jeans, but for now it might be a lot easier to just buy them and attempt to alter them somehow, although I can't think of some way of adding material to the waistband without it looking rather silly. Somewhere in the internet I once saw an obi-type belt that someone had made to "cover" (haha! I'm so funny...) the issue, but I think that'd be a little bit too flashy for me.

One idea: stick velcro on the inside of the waistband of those jeans and make a couple of fabric attachments, to have a bit of colored material above the jeans that will give me more coverage. Sort of like a belt and interchangeable, just not through the belt loops. Does anyone think that would work/not look too bad?
7  CLOTHING / Clothing for Curvaceous Craftsters: Discussion and Questions / How to make a smock top nightdress flattering? on: August 13, 2006 07:43:33 PM
Hey all!

I've recently fallen in the love with the idea of making myself a smock top nightdress, like the one Amy_UK made for her mom. They look like they would be so comfortable to wear! But, I suspect that something's that's rather tent-like as that is (just the one band at the top to give any shape to it) probably isn't all that flattering for anyone with any curve to them, right?

So, any ideas for how I might be able to adapt the basic idea of the smock top nightdress? I was thinking that although sash around the middle would create a waist, it's probably a bit restricting/uncomfortable/too easily untied for sleep. Maybe if I put in an empire waist into the top? Or...cutting the bottom part into something that's shaped and not just a rectangle? If so, what shape? hourglass-y for a waist? A-line?

I think that the empire waist might work out best, but there's probably a more brilliant solution than that out there.
8  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Hawaiian flower print purse on: August 11, 2006 10:12:49 PM
I decided that I should stop starting so many project posts with "first ______!" But yes, this is my first purse. I was trying to follow jenhook's skipping bag tutorial because I love the pink stripes and skipping girl silhouette on hers so very much. I was also trying to sort of recreate this brown Gap purse that I have which is a perfect purse for me (sturdy zipper, single handle, looks small but is surprisingly roomy). Neither of those direction worked out all that well, mostly because I got the outer fabric from a thrifted skirt (cannibalized because it looked much bettern on me at the thrift store). In the end, it was essentially another jordy bag but less convenient because I didn't cut out squares at each corner and with the separate handles sewn together at the end as in the skipping bag.


The lining fabric is a cream colored flower print I got as a fat quarter a long time ago, pre-learning how to use a sewing machine. I didn't have any other fabric on hand that would work as well, so although it's probably a design faux pas or something to mix a stark b&w with a cream, I rather like it.


I initially meant for the outer fabric to also be on the outer edge of the handles, but I placed them in that which was eventually turned inside out incorrectly, so oh well. Another design element, yeah!


It's not all that sturdy because I didn't put any interfacing in, but it doesn't quite sag/slouch in the way that my Gap purse does. I'm not sure why that is just yet. It's probably something to due with construction of the sides and the lack of a zipper and the weight of the fabric. S'ok, I'll figure it out later.


When it's empty, the gaping is not too bad. However, with stuff...


Ick! The solution I would've preferred would probably have been a magnetic snap, but then I'd have to take the lining apart and all so, eh. I didn't quite know what I was going to do so that there wouldn't be insightly stitching shown on the lining, until I saw a recent post where someone made a little loop on one side of the bag to close it with a button attached to the other side (sorry, can't find it now  Embarrassed) I bought some steam-a-seam and attached a little loop in the lining fabric to the outside in order to echo the "design element" that is the placement of fabrics in the handle.


And one more closeup on the button/loop closure combo:


I didn't get it on very neatly, but it's good enough.
9  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Black and gray and white sundress (my first!) on: August 11, 2006 09:05:20 PM
Hey everyone! I'm so proud of finishing this dress, which I (mostly) made from McCall's 5094 and a thrifted sheet. Hence, sharing it with craftsters.

First, a picture:
Of the many photos I got my boyfriend to take of me in this dress, I liked this one the best, so it's going on first even though that orange belt/scarf isn't officially part of the dress (incidentally, that was also a thrifted item, I believe...)

Here is a picture of the back, sash still on:
So here's where I tell you that yes, when compared to the McCall's 5094 pattern, it seems that my dress is missing something--the entire middle section, in fact! Well, what happened was that I made a muslin of the top part and found out that: 1) the size I chose was way too small; 2) the straps in the pattern were really much too triangular; and 3) the top part would cut off about 3/4 way down my boobs instead of going underneath for an empire waist-type top.

I fixed 1 by going up a few sizes (newbie sewer, first time using a real pattern! so I didn't know about the different sizings at first, but several very helpful craftster topics fixed that) and then 2 and 3 by redrafting (what a fancy word for moving the lines a bit on the wax paper I used to trace the pattern and cut out for later use with rotary cutting out the pieces).

Anyway, then I made a 2nd muslin to test out the changes I'd made, which worked out pretty well. I traced out the shorter skirt section of view F in the hopes that it'd make the dress knee-length, but that was a bit too short. And then I decided that I didn't like having the middle section on me because it emphasized I'd rather not have emphasized  Tongue

So for the real dress, I just removed the middle section and cut out full-length skirt pieces, which worked out very well! The dress is just about knee-length, probably could be about an inch shorter, but that's all right. For the bust section, you have to gather the middle a bit, which helped me fit the bust pieces to the skirt pieces...I had a little bit leftover but it wasn't too bad. I ended up having about an extra 2" on each side as well, so I had to cut that down before fitting in the invisible zipper (first zipper installation, too!).

Photo of just dress, without sash:

Now, for the little things: I put in the zipper a little bit too low (overestimated the suggested 3/4", I suppose) so I had to put in TWO sets of hooks/eyes up top in the back. You can sort of see this in the below photo:
There's a bit of a gap between the two sets but it's not that noticeable from a normal distance.

Also, the straps are a bit loose and feel like they will slip off easily, but actually when I wore it the other day, they didn't fall down at all! And then there's just that the bust area puckers a bit sometimes, perhaps because it's still a little bit too big, but you can't see it that much because of the busy pattern of the fabric.

Anyway, on the whole I am ECSTATIC to have accomplished so many firsts with this dress! I did a lot of the work a few months ago during finals period (finals period = good for almost everything except studying...) but only finished it up a couple days ago. Let me know what you think!
10  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Modern Quilts' "Plain Spoken" (just top, so far...first quilt!) on: May 08, 2006 12:15:27 PM
Instead of studying for finals this week, I have a put a lot of time into assembling the pieces for my Plain Spoken!


Sorry that the photo is a bit blurry and cut off, my camera and computer were being weird today. Tongue

A few things about this project...

- My "Big Idea" was sort of a field of sunflowers. I made pink curtains for my dorm room (I made a post about that while back) and I thought, ok, pink and green go well together, but I also love sunshine and the color orange, so I made the top contain a darker green and a lighter green, as well as a few shades of yellow/orange.

- The back will be a hot pink to match the curtain. I thought it might be fun to have a bit of that shock of color if the comforter is flipped up a bit, as I don't intend to put on a border because...

- This is going to be the top to a duvet cover. I plan to stick a very plain backing to it with strips of steam-a-seam lite, so the seams don't come apart and I don't have random little threads all over the comforter if I need to take off the cover to wash it. I only have a small sewing machine and even less time, so I don't think I will go through the whole quilting thing. Sorry  Embarrassed Anyway, if anyone has any advice about this step of my plan, please let me know! I haven't ever used anything like steam-a-seam before, but other posts in the forums suggest that it's pretty much what I'm looking for. I hope it works!

- A little piece of (perhaps obvious) advice for others: I cut out all the rectangles before I really understood anything at all about straight grains on fabrics and all that jazz. I still don't know much, but if you want to make this, I would advise 1) trying to cut the rectangles very square with lines of the thread in the fabric so you don't have threads falling out all the time because you pull on one but it pulls out others since it's on a diagonal...if that makes any sense, and 2) cut the rectangles so that it can stretch in width. That will help you align the blocks when it comes time to sewing the rows together. I have a few wonky corners, but they don't bother me enough to go back and fix them.

Thanks for looking!
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