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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 / 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?
3  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
4  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Help! Need some inspiration for this LYCRA :) on: March 09, 2012 06:05:20 PM
I went to a discount fabric supply store and saw some lycra fabric on sale for .99/yard. I chose 2 yards of a pale pink fabric with a cherry blossom motif--pretty, but not something I would have chosen if it wasn't on sale:

I'm hitting a wall as to what I can do with it--I've never worked with lycra or stretchy materials before. I'm young and have my own sense of style, so I probably won't make a calf-length A-line skirt. I just don't know what else to do with this fabric, and was wondering if you might have some inspiration or ideas?

If not I'll probably use it to play around with. my mediocre sewing skills can be replaced by my grandma's otherworldly talent, so any level of difficulty is fine. Thanks!
5  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / Local Fabric Stores? on: October 19, 2011 07:36:30 PM
I live in the Bay Area (CA) and am just getting my feet wet with sewing. I'm not that impressed with the fabrics at Joann's, and was wondering if there were any alternatives. I'd prefer physical stores, not websites. I'm looking for either cheap fabrics that I could experiment with (can be used, thrifted, etc--just something wearable and not shabby), or more interesting/unique fabrics that aren't so much 'cute animals on fleece'. Thanks in advance!

As a more general question.. Do thrift stores sell fabrics? Would chain thrift stores like Goodwill sell any?
6  California / California: North / Fabrics in the Bay Area? on: October 19, 2011 07:22:02 PM
I'm new to sewing--not even new so much as I haven't really started yet. The only place I can think of for fabrics and supplies is Joann's. I'm not that impressed with their fabric selection, and was wondering if there were any other shops you could recommend. I'm looking for either:

A. dirt cheap (could be vintage, used, anything as long as it's not hideous and stained) fabric to experiment with
B. interesting, unique textiles--as long as it's not too expensive (i.e. nothing over like $20 a yard)

7  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / How do I make an Obi belt? on: May 10, 2009 07:42:40 PM
I was inspired by the 09 runways (i.e. Balenciaga) and thought an obi belt would be a nice addition to my wardrobe.
I have absolutely no experience in sewing, although I do have an old sewing machine that survived through communist-era Russia. What sort of material would be best? i.e. soft and silky, or thick and stiff? I would like something more modern as opposed to fantastical/cosplay. If there are any patterns/instructions online, could someone send me a link?
btw, http://www.style.com/fashionshows/complete/F2009RTW-ETAHARI was my inspiration for this. From what it seems like, an obi belt is usually made of two different pieces--would fabric stiffness be more important in one as opposed to the other? For something like http://www.style.com/slideshows/fashionshows/F2009RTW/ETAHARI/RUNWAY/00060m.jpg would I need to made it with the same process that one would make a corset?
Thanks so much for your input!

p.s. also... http://www.style.com/slideshows/fashionshows/F2009RTW/ETAHARI/RUNWAY/00230m.jpg would it be possible to make a belt like this? I'm assuming the fabric must be super stiff or attached to something stiff, but I wouldn't know.

(I dooonnn'tt really mean something like http://pippijoe.blogspot.com/2008/08/obi-one-tutorial.html)
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