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1  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Metal Stamping -- HELP!! on: April 29, 2013 03:05:59 PM
I purchased a couple sets of metal stamps, and I intended to make jewelry with them.

I didn't spend a whole lot of time looking for tutorials and resources, but I got myself the following supplies:
-raw brass stamping blanks in various shapes and sizes (thin metal, but brass should be fine.. right?)
-jewelry anvil
-brass hammer
-dampening pad underneath hammer

I just got my stamping blanks, and I tested out a letter from a 5mm alphabet set. the stamp didn't leave a deep impression, and some parts looked thicker/deeper than others; it was just looked wonky. Upon closer inspection of the stamp itself, I noticed that it wasn't a perfectly flat surface from the side view; there were chips and marks along the surface!

The other stamps in the set look fine, but the one I used looks godawful. I got them from an etsy store that makes their own stamps, and they have great reviews.. Is brass not a good metal to stamp with or something? Am I at fault for ruining the stamp? Basically, I want to know:

What can I do to prevent damaging my stamps?
Is it normal for stamps to get uneven/fractured with continual use? I mean that was the first time I used it, and it got messed up pretty badly........
What ruins metal stamps?

I'll upload a pic of the stamp later, but I'm curious if the fault was mine or not. I thought I bought all the right things, is there something crucial missing?
2  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Re: So much lace!! What to do with it all? on: May 27, 2012 11:00:23 PM
since lace is very "in" right now, I'd use it to embellish/hem apparel--I've also hoarded quite a bit of lace in the past few months lol.
look on Pinterest for some DIY inspiration:
etc Smiley
3  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Re: Where can you find awesome swimwear fabric? Is spandex dye/paintable? on: May 19, 2012 07:06:17 PM
I would give your local (large) fabric store a try. Lycra is probably most appropriate for swimwear--I just went to a fabric outlet in the city, and they had a table dedicated to swimwear lycra. you could try dyeing a swatch, but I don't think lycra or spandex would take the pigments very well. other than that, ebay would be best for obscure fabrics.
4  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Re: Making a dress form, but not with tape. on: May 11, 2012 10:24:17 PM
I'm not expert, but I feel like fabric wouldn't make a sturdy dress form--or at least, not enough to preserve its shape on its own. if you don't want to go down the paper tape/duct tape route, you could use paper mache.

I forgot where I found it, but you could try googling it. basically wrap yourself in paris plaster, and when it's sturdy enough cut it in half. then make a TON of paper mache from newspapers and line the inside. wait for it to dry (might take a week), remove from plaster cast, repair any cracks, and voila.
5  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Re: Ideas for a ripped dress? on: May 11, 2012 10:19:13 PM
your friend's idea sounds fun! but if you want to preserve the look of the dress the way it is, you could:

A. just cut up to the slit and hem it, so it's the same maxi skirt except with a knee-high slit.

B. since the skirt has several layers sewn together, you could get a seam ripper and remove the last two tiers, for an automatic knee-length dress (may/may not have to be hemmed).
6  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / DIY Inspiration for a Large Floral Skirt? on: May 11, 2012 10:06:33 PM
I apologize in advance for the poor image quality Tongue. So I found this huuge floral linen skirt at the thrift store for $3:

and I think it has potential to become a cute summer dress. It's hard to tell in the photo, but it has a wide, flared skirt and buttons down the center.

I was thinking I could have the top part fitted, with some buttons open so it has a bit of a V-cutout--BUT I'm a little hesitant to remove/reattach the skirt because I want to preserve the buttons (don't want a zipper). Should I:

A. construct the bust separately and re-attach it to the skirt (which would require a zipper)
B. do the bust separately and DON'T reattach the skirt, just belt it as separates
C. Just fit it as a maxi skirt
D. something else inventive!

Can have any ideas, or maybe some pics for inspiration?
7  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / Re: Local Fabric Stores? on: April 27, 2012 12:40:24 AM
Thanks so much for the suggestions! I've tried a few different places, and so far my favorite has to be Fabric Outlet in SF--just went there this past weekend, and I have to make a return trip lol. Discount Fabrics in Berkeley is pretty great too, but neither are exactly in glamorous parts of town.

I've tried a few local thrift shops, but if they do carry sewing equipment, it's usually old patterns or things of bias tape. I did find some nice scraps of fabric, but like JHall said, they were usually under a yard (found the prettiest navy blue anchor-motif silk, but there was only like 1/4 a yard of it, so sad lol).
8  FIBER ARTS / Dyeing: Discussion and Questions / Preserving Chlorophyll-Based Dyes? (would a mordant work?) on: April 12, 2012 03:39:42 AM
Hello all! I have absolutely no experience with dyeing, but I want to try dyeing with photosensitive natural dyes (i.e. pretty much any fruit or vegetable).

I'd like to try an anthotype on cloth (images created by imprints on photosensitive dye left in the sun). The great thing, and also the drawback, is that photosensitive dyes fade. I scoured the internet but couldn't find any solutions, so I was wondering if a postmordant could prevent further sunlight fading? Or is there anything else that would work?

Any advice, experience, or knowledge would be greatly appreciated Smiley
9  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Re: for a rave dress!!!! on: March 20, 2012 01:47:59 AM
the more costume-y and/or slutty the better lol. usually I see a bunch of bandeau tops and tutus or minis, so anything imaginative is a plus. do you know if she wants something kitschy and fun, or actually cute enough to wear outside of a rave?
10  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Re: Help! Need some inspiration for this LYCRA :) on: March 09, 2012 06:48:45 PM
I'm wondering if it'd be tacky as a bodycon skirt like:

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