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Frixion Pens–Not quite invisible ink

Frixion pens...They Rock!

Almost a year ago, my mom gave me a pack of Frixion pens.  And she was very excited because if you mark fabric with the Frixion pens, then iron over the mark, the mark disappears.  This is SO COOL!  No more tracing paper!  No more wheels leaving pin pricks in your fabric!  No more uneven lines from the combination of wheel and paper!  I loved my Frixion pens instantly.

I love you Frixion pens
Seriously…it was that good

So I used my Frixion pens pretty heavily on all my projects.  In May I taught my Care and Feeding of Silk Class at West Kingdom’s Golden Beltane.  And one of the kind ladies told me of a rumor that if the fabric got cold…like, for example, during a long flight…the ink would come back.  Having not heard that I was immediately horrified.  I used these pens on EVERYTHING!  And the marks were gone!  Could it be true?

I don't love you -- Frixion pens
Yes….It was EXACTLY like that…

Fast forward a few months.  I did not mention the Frixion pens at Costume College because I needed to know the truth of the allegation before recommending their further use.  And I finally bit the metaphorical bullet and did my Frixion pen test.  And sadly, yes, the marks did come back.

Head desk...head desk...head desk...
Head desk…head desk…head desk…

But, as per usual at Damask Raven, I did not stop there!  The challenge then became, are the marks truly permanent?  No!  No they are not.  A minimal amount of effort and a little Dawn pulled the rest of the stain right out.  Why Dawn?  Well they are wax pens.  I figured if anything would cut through the fat base in wax it would be Dawn.  And I was right.

So yes!  Use Frixion pens.  They truly do make it easy.  Or don’t. Using even something as easily removable can be very nerve wracking and if your comfort level says tailor’s tacks, then use tailor’s tacks.  In the end, it’s all personal choice.

Thank you for reading, I hope this was useful.  Til next time…

Life is short.  Buy the fabric.

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Indigo Dyed

While at Golden Beltane last week, I met many fabulous people and had a generally grand time.  Among the fabulous people was the wonderful and lovely Eirny Thorvaldsdottir of The Treasury.  Eirny was offering to dye fabric or garments indigo in the vat she had on site and available.  Having just cut off a 2 yard piece of white Habotai to make an impromptu veil, I decided, sure!  Let’s see what indigo does to silk.  Indigo does this to silk:

Snow Light Silk Habotai BEFORE and Indigo bath...

Snow Light Silk Habotai BEFORE and Indigo bath…

Indigo Dyed formerly white Silk Habotai
Indigo Dyed formerly white Silk Habotai

The results were beautiful and I now have a lovely piece of cloudy blue silk veiling.  When she dropped it off, Eirny commented that she wished we had video of that since it was fun to watch the color change (Yes!  It changes before your very eyes!)  I said “I KNOW WHAT WE CAN DYE NEXT!!!!”

See, I designed this fabulous byzantine pattern and had a sample of it in white.

Byzantine design in white
Byzantine design in white

Now, this small piece of sample came off a larger sample piece, which I had tucked in to a box to prevent it from getting all dirty in the camp conditions.  So now we had almost a full yard of white Byzantine damask to dye.  And thanks to Eirny, here was the result:

You literally watch the color change from white, to greeny/yellow, to a beautiful robin’s egg blue in less than two minutes.  And after a second dip in the dye, the finished Indigo Dyed Silk Damask looks like this.

Byzantine in Blue

Byzantine in Blue

So yeah, the plan is to carry the Byzantine design in the originally scheduled purple with a smaller yardage available in white, for those who wish to try their hand at dying silk themselves.  Thank you Eirny, for bringing the Indigo and letting us record the process!

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Twi’lek

One of those weeks.  Last week’s blog was – well, a bit scattered.  This is what happens when one blogs after a very long weekend of vending.  Lesson being to pre-write the blog so that it at least makes sense once posted.  And then the blogs I thought I was going to write this week were topics already written about by others.  And so here I am, left with nothing to blog about.

Instead, I spent a productive week preparing the sewing area for my next big costuming push: Golden Beltane.  Then I spent Sunday making a cloak for said Beltane.  Then I started playing Star Wars online and got extremely distracted with planning my Twi’lek cosplay.  All very worthy endeavors, but are they blog worthy?

The cosplay is, yes.  After all, it is sewing related.  I think everyone knows how to make a basic circle cloak, and there is nothing special about the one I made for my boyfriend.  But an all silk Twi’lek Sith Lord cosplay?  There’s something to ponder.  Most people think Sith Lord or Jedi Knight, and they immediately go for wools and linens.  Which of course makes sense.  If you refer back to the original costuming from the movies, and these are the fibers used to create the costumes worn by Obi Wan Kenobi and Darth Maul.

On the flip side, people will make their cosplays using vinyl or leather or even pleather, because this is what they see in their minds eye when creating their costumes.  All of which makes perfect sense.  You have a look you create and see yourself in, and when you feel good about what you’ve created, you look good wearing it.

But as someone who has lived and breathed silk for the last year and eight months, I see silk.  I see flowing robes, and silky sirwal.  I see sassy boots (not silk) and lekku adorned in silk.  And as someone who is rather enjoying the expanded universe created by Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWOTR), I see no reason I can’t create what my minds eye sees in silk.  And we know silk certainly was used in costume creations in the Star Wars films, at least as far as Princess Leia and Queen Amidala were concerned.  So why not for a Sith Lord?  Wouldn’t the bad guys adorn themselves in the uncommon?  Set themselves apart from the so called good guys?  That is my intention.

So this is my statement of intent for the future.  For now, I must complete my costuming for Golden Beltane, where I will be vending.  But as soon as that is over, I learn body painting.  I learn to attach my lekku firmly to my head, and I create my flowing robes.  That is a journey I will gladly share as I progress upon it.