Lipstick on Silk

Who doesn’t feel utterly glamorous with a silk blouse and the right shade of lipstick?  You know what’s NOT glamorous?  Lipstick on silk.  Which is why I’m going to show you how to remove lipstick, should you get some on your silk fabric. Now, generally speaking you probably won’t be using your blouse as a blotter.  But, should a smudge occur while disrobing, you won’t need to panic all the way to the dry cleaners.  Just put a little Dawn detergent on it and you’re good to go. And voila!  Lipstick gone, thanks to my favorite detergent!  I did use

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Silk Pilling

Silk Pilling

I saw a post on a Facebook group about silk pilling. And the poster did not think you could use Fabric Shavers on silk.  Now, I know you can use Fabric Shavers on silk. I have done so many times.  But I have not done so on camera.  So I did. Before I post the video, let me explain a bit about what causes pilling in Silk. In fibers in general, pilling occurs when short staple fibers work themselves loose from the weave.  In natural fibers like wool and cotton, they eventually break off.  In synthetics like polyester or nylon,

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’70s Retro Skirt

Among the many projects I have ongoing in connection to Damask Raven is a new wardrobe.  Like many people, I tend to have the wardrobe items I favor and wear over and over again, typically for many years, until they either fall apart, or I out grow them. So decided to make a video of my sewing process.  First up was a new skirt.  And in keeping with my own preference for looser clothing with a little flare, I opted to start with Simplicity Pattern 8019. The first choice was which of the many silks available to me did I

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Sewing Machine Sleep Mode

Sleep Mode for Sewing Machines

The Baby Lock Destiny 2 has what they call Eco Mode.  To anyone who has a computer, this is also known as Sleep Mode.  So Eco Mode is a Sewing Machine Sleep Mode.  The Eco Mode has to be set or the machine will just stay on indefinitely, but overall it’s a good function to have.  Activating the Eco Mode allows you to save power if you leave your machine running an embroidery design.  It finishes but you’re working on a different project.  Rather than just staying on indefinitely, after the specified time, the machine goes in to Eco or

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Baby Lock

Baby Lock Destiny 2

While prepping the last video shoots for the Baby Lock Destiny 2, I found something specific in the manual, that made me slap my head. Basically, for the settings screens, screens 1, 2, and 3 are specifically sewing settings.  Yep. I could have made one video showcasing all three of those screens.  Covered more territory, much quicker.  So screen 1 covers presser foot height, pressure, and stitch width.  Screen 2 covers needle position, type of stitch, and multi-function foot controller.  Screen three covers more presser foot functions, automatic functions, and reinforcement priority for stitching. So then screens 4, 5, and

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Dry Clean Only

The Care and Feeding of Silk, Dry Clean Only

How exactly did the dry clean only label come about?  Let’s condense history in to a brief paragraph.  Silk has been around for anywhere from 8500 to 5500 years.  Silk cocoons have been found in a tomb in Henan province China dated to 6500 BCE with a full bolt of cloth located, also in Henan province, dated to 3500 BCE.  Dry cleaning wasn’t invented until 1855 by Jean Baptiste Jolly.  So, from 6500 BCE to 1855 CE, water was used to clean silk.  Water was still used to clean silk until the advent of the washing machine.  How’s that? you

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Tussah…Tussar…Tassar…

Bug of Tussah Silk

There are, generally speaking, two major types of silk.  Up til now, all the weaves I’ve been discussing, have been from cultivated silk.  Cultivated silk is is spun from the cocoons of the Bombyx Mori silk worm.  Tussah silk is spun from the cocoons of undomesticated moths, specifically of the Antheraea family, usually A. paphia, A. mylitta, and A. pernyi, but any moth of the Antheraea family can spin Tussah. Some key differences between the two genus.  Bombyx mori are bred in captivity and represent thousands of years of animal husbandry.  Bombyx mori are raised on a diet exclusively of

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Seam Slippage

Seam Slippage

The un-talked of enemy of those who work with silk.  What is it?  Seam Slippage occurs when the seam is solid, but the threads/fibers to either side of the seam start to pull away, resulting in a gap in the fabric.  This typically occurs when not enough stitches per inch are used during crafting the seam, and are more likely to occur on seams that run parallel to the selvage, along the warp of the fabric. It is also prone to happening with silk.  This is mostly due to the filament nature of the fiber itself.  Silk is slick, and that

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Taffeta–from the Persian

Taffeta

As silk made it’s way along the silk road and down in to Persia, the Persian’s added their own twist.  Literally.  Taffeta is from the Persian word Taftah, meaning “twisted woven,” Taffeta was first woven in the Third Century in Persia (p. 68, Parker).  Taffeta is a smooth, tightly woven, plain weave fabric, created by adding additional twist to the threads during weaving.  This adds strength to the fabric so that this is a very stable weave, with minimal fraying.  It still frays, but not as bad as organza or chiffon would.  Typically, the weft threads are slightly heavier than

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Cartridge Pleating

Cartridge Pleating

No, not *another*  how to on Cartridge Pleating.  There are literally dozen’s of how to’s for this particular technique.  What I wanted to know, was where does it come from?  Wikipedia has it popular during the 15th and 16th Centuries and making a resurgence in popularity during the 1840’s.  Which is all true, as far as that goes.  But not really helpful in explaining this: Images are from the SCA China Facebook page, where an enquiring seamstress wanted to know if her eyes deceived her.  And all of the skilled seamstresses present agreed that that very much appears to be

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