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About AmyK

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    Laser etching, machine sewing, carving, pattern making

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  1. I cut and engrave with a Glowforge and I also use a Cricut Maker. The Maker can cut very thin garment weight leather. The Glowforge can cut much more- most I’ve done is 5-6oz veg tan but you might get thicker out of it. I’ve done tiny filigree earrings with the Glowforge I use Inkscape to draw patterns or digitize the ones I already have. Inkscape is FREE. Check out Punished Props Academy for a great overview video of digitizing patterns.
  2. AmyK

    Serge Volken flip top lids?

    Can confirm this link still works and the lids work great. And I have an obscene number of lids in my cabinet now.
  3. IKEA has Christmas wrap printed on brown craft paper. Makes great patters SUPER cheap when you buy after the holidays.
  4. How about this? I dont use regular sponges for dishes. I have these sewn up microfiber ones that go in the washer. So I’ve had the same “sponges” for more than 5 yrs. I agree, I can’t wash dishes with something that smells gross, so my dish sponge is changed every few days. Having said that, regular sponges can also go in the clothes washer or dish washer so you don’t have to pitch them in the leather bin.
  5. You think you’re cheap? I don’t even use daubers. I buy a bunch of cheap sponges.... then cut them into fourths! Keep an old soup pot in the shop for sponges, rags, buffing cloths and wash them in the washer when I run low. They’re stained of course but the color doesn’t transfer. My new motto. I will wear it with pride.
  6. My janky airbrush setup from my armor last year.
  7. Wow guys! Thanks for all the great recommendations! I think I’ll look toward using glass in the long term, maybe picking up some puppy/chucks pads in the short term I’ve done projects as big as a breastplate and boy was that a mess. Part of my move away from consumables is that taking the trash out of my workshop is a pain. My murder dungeon/workshop is in the basement so I have to carry trash up the stairs (a precarious maneuver if my recent fall on the stairs is any indication) then through my living room, kitchen, and finally outside. I could pretend it’s environmental concerns but it truly is laziness. It’s easier to just wash my rags and sponges etc than dispose of paper. I’m super clumsy- so thinking of getting some flip top lids for my dye bottles. I’ve also upgraded to the second cheapest harbor frieght gloves after popping the cheap ones and winding up with black hands for a week. Any other tips for keeping in clean or organized is always appreciated!
  8. I’ve had trouble with this, because when my cardboard or brown paper gets wet again the next time I use it, that color is transferred to my new project.
  9. Wondering what you guys use to cover your workbenches when dyeing? I’ve been using brown paper bags but it’s a mess, still have to put down garbage bag below it etc. Is anyone using anything washable? Like a silicone mat? Or are there any surfaces you’d recommend, since I’m going to build my own workbench this summer? There’s some cast off granite countertop coming my way - it’s ugly already and I don’t care if I stain it. Need to find something that either doesn’t absorb the dye, or just doesn’t release it again onto future projects. Honestly, maybe glass? I could certainly set up a separate table with some glass on it for this. What do you think?
  10. I'd like more information please. When you used the deep cut blade on the plastic, how did you get it to gouge the plastic but keep it from actually cutting? On the top photo, do you mean you used the stylus to make the impression on the plastic or the leather directly? If directly on the leather, did you wet it first?
  11. AmyK

    Sewing suede to veg tan

    That very well may be. I’ll keep that in mind too.
  12. AmyK

    Sewing suede to veg tan

    I have a sewing awl but have it up pretty quick. It just seemed to make such ugly stitching. But that was in the very beginning of my learning so I wasn’t prepunching holes. Maybe would be different. I also think it was ugly because I was using very thick thread. Using smaller thread might help. Thank you for the suggestions. Oh, and I’m not worried about stabbing myself with the awl if I poke as I go. I’m worried about dropping it in some unlikely Rube Goldberg kind of way that causes a chain reaction that breaks my leg somehow. REALLY clumsy LOL
  13. AmyK

    Sewing suede to veg tan

    Thank you very much for the replies! It’s so rare that my question hasn’t already been answered here, but when it hasn’t, the members never let me down! Not causing puckering and the back is hidden inside the bag. I know what you mean about using the diamond awl as you go @Dun. I’m WAY too clumsy for that. Though the benefit to doing it that way would be NOT stabbing myself in the freaking joint with a glover’s needle. 0/10. Not fun. Do not recommend. Bled for three days. I have experienced piercing the thread which is a pain. I guess I’ll just try to switch to harness needles and use the diamond awl very carefully so as not to bleed on my project.
  14. I’ve been making some stirrup style dice bags recently which require me to sew chrome tanned garment leather or suede to the veg tan strip in the middle. I’ve been using diamond chisels to make my holes in the veg tan, but it doesn’t work well on the softer leathers so I’ve been saddle stitching them together with glover’s needles. I go through the diamond chiseled hole of the veg tan and use the sharp glover’s point to get through the suede etc. Is there a better or easier way to do this? Sewing machine is not an option. Thanks!
  15. AmyK

    Which sewing machine ?

    Head on over to the sewing machine portion of this forum. This has been discussed in great detail by Wiz and others. I actually have a file on my desktop of some of their tips (mostly Wiz), and I pasted a small sample here. I still highly recommend you go to the source. "First, I will address the machines seen on eBay, sold as Industrial Strength sewing machines. Most are all metal and proudly state that fact. The sellers talk about the "powerful" 1.2 or 1.5 amp motors that are attached. Some even have ribbed drive belts and gear reduction, to eliminate slippage when sewing thick material. No doubt these are strong machines. I have a few myself. I have 2 old iron body Singers and a metal body Kenmore, even an ancient White Rotary machine. Will they sew leather? Yes, two layers of 2 to 4 oz garment leather. Will they sew leather with nylon thread? Yes, but no bigger than #69 nylon. Will they smoothly feed garment leather as it is sewn? Yes, as long as it is fairly small in size and weight and not stitcky on the top grain. If the top is sticky, no way, Jose. Sticky vinyl and leather usually gets dragged back by the top pressor foot and the stitches are either too short, or filigree the material, or skip frequently." ---- "I have watched the take-up levers on cast iron home sewing machines bend or snap off, under the strain of using #138 thread, while trying to sew 5/16" of veg-tan leather. The slightest thread jam in the bobbin throws them totally out of time. Tensions are hard to balance and they don't hold much thread, once you go beyond size 69." --- Best of luck to you. I have a singer 15 in my workshop right now that I'm trying to get up and running just for thin garment weight leather. I've little motivation however, because saddle stitching by hand on the small items I'm usually making looks so nice and is meditative for me. For someone doing large or high volume leather sewing I'm sure its very different!