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1  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Getting and using bones from animals on: July 06, 2009 09:26:56 PM
Hey all,

I want to use bones in my jewellery. I have a large dessicated dead fruitbat here and I'm not sure about the best way to get the bones and skull - will boiling make the bones brittle? I'm told from zoologists that you can bury the animal to let the flesh get stripped off but I'm not sure if that will rot the bone, or take a long time, or both.

Anyone got any experience with getting and/or using bones off animals, especially smaller ones? Any tips on procuring bones from farmed carcasses? (I don't eat much meat and I'd rather use waste.) Thanks!

2  FIBER ARTS / Dyeing: Discussion and Questions / Procion MX or Drimarene K? on: June 18, 2009 09:17:28 PM
I'm dyeing cotton and some wool and silk, and don't have much cash flow plus in consideration of environment and health. Considering a fibre reactive primary red, yellow and blue, and fibre reactive black and protein fibre black. Anyone know which of the two is less healthy for me and/or planet? Which uses more water (Procion MX I think needs much more rinsing)? Which exhausts better? Or - which can be left for a few days and additional things left in the exhaust to dye? More reliable results? Thanks if anyone knows what I'm talking about!
3  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Corset-like black/purple pvc fetish top <---- pic heavy on: December 30, 2006 11:38:09 PM
Hi, I just made a fetish-y top and I took photos as I went so I could share the process of making it.  You can click on the photos for a closer look via Flickr (and then if you're really interested in the hi-res version, you can click on 'All sizes').

the fetish top i've been making:


lining panels being sewn together, pattern pieces shown:


panels for lining (cotton drill) and fashion fabric (heavyweight garment pvc) now assembled:


i've just sewn the lining and fashion fabric layers down the seams, a little to one side - no stitch in the ditch for me:


detail of zip just having been set in centre back:


i've just sewn the boning channels; cable-tie bone shown also with rounded edge:


i'm in the process of sewing the pvc edge binding to the top of the bodice:


detail of sewing the edge binding at top (had to baste the corner into place but I now have a better method, turn the binding over so the right sides are together and stitch it square, then flip the binding back):


detail of marking end of boning, for figuring out where to put the edge binding at the bottom:


detail of finished edge binding at centre back zip:


the finished bodice part:


adding the harness (i had to do this in a hurry and didn't take more photos):


The pattern was a real slow pain to make, it was the first time I'd made anything skin-tight, especially as I have an asymmetrical back (a big scoliosis hump).  I drafted a close-fitting bodice block to my measurements, removed all the ease, doubled the bust dart, added front and back princess seam lines, and fooled around a lot to make lift-and-push-together boobage (what boobage I do have).  It took me 3 or 4 mock-up toiles with boning inserted before I was kinda happy with it.  Of course, more bones, more seams, more lining = better bust support.

I bought a walking foot halfway through making the top, and let me tell you, they ROCK.  Well worth it, I got mine from ebay! Leaves my teflon foot for dead when working with vinyl.  And so much less shifty shifting around of the layers, when the foot has a top-feed-dog as well as a bottom one in the machine!

As for the hardware, I used leatherworking tools and supplies. I lined all the straps with drill, and then punched very small holes for the rivets to push through.  This was to prevent the straps stretching and pulling the rivets out.

If anyone is interested, I can try to take a pic of myself wearing the thing.  And if anyone's got any questions, feel free to ask, it's a bit hard to know what to explain. x
4  CITY GUIDES FOR CRAFTSTERS / AUSTRALIA / local corset making supplies on: October 24, 2006 01:16:35 AM
hi, i'm just getting into making corsets, anyone else from australia who's making them?

well in terms of professional supplies, i've just tracked down
http://www.metrofabrics.com.au/corsetry.html who have a shopfront in sydney and do online orders.  no minimum orders but they don't have a pricelist, you have to give them a list of exactly what you need and they'll quote you.  so i haven't done that quite yet as i want to use cheaper materials ar this stage.

i've gotten cotton duck (canvas) from spotlight which is a cheaper substitute for coutil, it was about $5/metre.

i've been picking up street sweeper blades off the street to use for (shorter, underbust) bones as they are spring steel.  all over the inner city of melbourne and probably in other cities.

now, i'm looking for a few things:
* plasti-dip - the stuff you dip bone ends in to cover the ends in plastic
* really sturdy cable ties to use as plastic bones, the sort that are really long and thick, from a shopfront so i can go and flex them (well, http://www.cableties.com.au/ has them with a $50 min order).
* heavyweight vinyl, matt or gloss, suitable for wear. not spotlight's stuff, it's got weird creases in it that don't look good for clothing in my opinion.

anyone got any tips/hints to contribute?
5  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Screen Printing: Discussion and Questions / Screen hinges & mesh->print surface distance? What works for you? on: October 16, 2006 05:28:16 AM
Hello, these questions are as a result of headscratching from getting down the nitty-gritty.  All these variables & tricks we have to think of!  I'm sure there are others who are wondering too, as quite a lot of tutes don't even mention these things.

Hinges - do you use them to lift your screen up between prints and hold the screen still?  Hinge clamps, or hinges with removable pins? If so, what about when there's a whole lot of fabric that would be squashed up against the hinge? How to avoid this?  Is there another way without hinges?  What about professional-type t-shirt presses with arms, does anyone know a way to rig one up diy?

The distance between the mesh and the printing surface - how much do you find you need to leave?  For fabric?  How is the distance maintained?  Do you ever need to vary the distance?

Thanks!  Cheesy  (happy that after a couple of weeks floundering with trying to expose a decent screen, I can finally get onto printing issues... don't give up hope if you've been having emulsion probs too!)
6  CLOTHING / Shoes: Discussion and Questions / Attaching p/leather to soles - ideas? on: October 13, 2006 10:19:13 PM
Hi - I am really wanting to make some shoes from scratch.  Does anyone know some techniques to attach the top material to the sole?  There's this place near me that sells soles and leather and all sorts of shoe-making stuff (leffler's leather, melbournites)... they're not that friendly and they sell mostly to professionals so I don't want to bug them with questions.

I'm sure I can figure out most of the stuff by myself, like patterns as I make fabric patterns already, but sole attaching is one thing I'd really like to figure out a robust way of doing and without super fancy equipment.  Can you get a glue that's strong enough or do you always have to stitch it?

Oh yeah, and bonus question, moulding the p/leather over the toes??  I guess that's necessary to avoid too many seams.  Thanks!
7  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Screen Printing: Discussion and Questions / probs with peeling emulsion on: September 30, 2006 03:52:21 AM
Hi there,

So i've started using photoemulsion. Could anyone please give me pointers on what the following problem might be caused by?

I've got this issue where the design doesn't want to wash out even though it looks pale and pulpy, and if I blast enough (a few minutes with coldish water, hardish spray), the whole damn emulsion starts peeling off in big plasticky bits. Am using speedball emulsion.  That problem or the design washes off easily and the emulsion follows right after which I assume is underexposure.

Is this overexposure even if the exposed emulsion comes out when rinsed?  Is it that cos I'm trying so long to get the design out that the exposed emulsion follows after?  My setup is 500W halogen, 2ft away, 43T white mono mesh @ 17-22min - I think is overexposure from what others say.

I'm having (newbie I hope) problems getting an even coating on the mesh with the scoop coater, when I hold the screen up to the light I can see the thickness varies.  Could my diazo emulsion be too thick?  Not drying properly? (damn I've tried to give it hours and hours with a warm fan in the vicinity) but I read some comment saying oh diazo it takes a couple of *days*.  Humidity ~60%, temp ~20C.  Also, I find most of the emulsion, sometimes about all of it, ends up on the bottom print side.  I coat the bottom, then the top, then dry it bottom side down (like people say to do), and it ends up through to the bottom side most of the time.

Could it be um, undercutting going on?  Or inadequately opaque stencils?  Glass bigger than the screen, and I've had to layer and staple two transparencies together to get more opacity.

I use sugar soap to degrease, and then I scrub and rinse it heaps, but could this be the wrong thing to use?

I want to step test (only done it with yellow mesh so far and underexposed even the max), but I want to work out why this is happening before I waste more emulsion and time in case it's something other than overexposure going on.

Thanks!!  Cheesy
8  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / Help! Sewing machine not catching the thread round the bobbin any more! on: September 23, 2006 04:51:15 AM
Hello, I got a 1940's singer sewing machine from a friend recently. I wanted it to sew really thick things like leather and corsets.  It's been serviced and oiled and the motor runs like a dream, but after I took it home and fiddled around with getting a jammed thread out, the machine now no longer catches the top thread that goes round the bobbin (well, it does occasionally...).  Hence it doesn't interlock when it sews.  The tension spring with the hook that spins round the bobbin is going around fine, it just doesn't draw the needle thread around the bobbin thread.

Can anyone put me on the right track as to what might be going on?  Could it be the 'timing'?  I am really povvo so I'd rather not take it in for a fix unless I can possibly help it, so any pointers as to what I could do myself, or how finicky it could be would be really amazingly appreciated.  Also, if I know what's wrong and I have to take it in to get it fixed, I can call around for quotes rather than getting the expensive run-around.  Thankyou!!  Smiley
9  CLOTHING / Clothing for Curvaceous Craftsters: Discussion and Questions / Flattering pants patterns for curvy zaftig women? on: September 15, 2006 02:58:40 AM
Does anyone have some good tips on making flattering pants for zaftig women?  You know, that fit well over the rear, and fall nicely from the belly?

I make patterns and have difficulty extending the principles nicely beyond size 16.  Anyone here make patterns or adapt them, for curvily contoured women?
10  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Screen Printing: Discussion and Questions / Help needed - solvent that transfers photocopies to fabric? (not screen but diy) on: September 15, 2006 02:08:58 AM
Sorry this ain't screenprinting but I couldn't find another forum that quite fit, so I thought there might be a cross-over, and also that people here might find the technique particularly diy & interesting.

There's a solvent you can get from hardware shops that when you add to a photocopy, the photocopy ink transfers to the fabric and apparently it's washfast too...  can anyone help?

Nice tips for screenprinting... am buying all the paraphernalia and scoping out a corner of the laundry... glad a hose-friendly tap's just been installed in the trough..
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