My other Love

My Other Love

So, if you open your mind beyond Facebooklandia, it turns out you really can learn something new every day.  While I have been All Things Silk for about two years now, my other love is Raqs Sharqi.  And since I like to blend my passions to cut down on confusion, I thought I’d see when silk first hit Egypt. Now, there are references to it in travel literature, that dancers wore Silks, mostly plain woven, but with accent pieces of satin or crepe (Fraser, 197…a most excellent read).  So definitely by the 19th century, silk was in Egypt.  But silk was

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On Failure

On Failure

Yesterday, I wrote about Success.  But what about failure?  Statistically, any business or venture is more likely to fail than to succeed.  But really, it depends on your definition of failure.  If you take the dictionary definition: an act or instance of failing or proving unsuccessful.  All told, that’s a pretty nebulous definition, given that success means different things to different people.  For one, success may mean being able to cut your day job to part time.  In which case, enough sales to supplement your day job would count as a success.  For another, being fully self-sustaining so you can

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On Success

On Success

You’ve done it!  You’ve fed the muses and kept them happy.  They in turn are feeding you inspiration.  And all that hard work is starting to pay off.  Maybe it starts with a bang, you launch your business, and it’s an overnight success story.  Or maybe it’s a slower burn.  A post like here, a sale there…it’s more gradual, but ever upward.  It’s slow, but you know you’re on the right path. As wonderful as success is, it also comes with a side dish of bitterness.  See, success will show you who’s really in your corner.  You’re true friends will

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On Inspiration

Inspiration

Yesterday, it was all about the muses.  Feed the muses and they will feed you inspiration.  But what do you do when inspiration is in short supply?  How do you get out of the rut if you’ve ignored the muses and they seem to have abandoned you? Well, it ain’t glamorous.  Hollywood would throw up a montage and when it’s all over, inspiration is restored, the big idea has hit you, and you’re off to make millions…or art…or kick some guys ass…whatever you were wishing for when the montage began, suddenly it’s there.  But the point of the montage is to

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Feed the Muses

feed the muses

I am a fly by the seat of your pants, roll with the punches sort of gal.  Living in the moment helps me to adapt on the fly when things don’t go according to plan.  Mostly, this works for me.  But having a plan and, more importantly, sticking with it, is ALSO a good skill set to have. Among the many things I have learned are that those slutty muses WILL give away your ideas if you don’t act on them.  Now, don’t panic.  Just because you have an idea does not mean you MUST act on it RIGHT THIS

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Doupioni–friend or foe?

Doupioni

Doupioni.  Dupioni, Douppioni, Douppione, Doppione.  All the variations of spelling mean the same thing–Double.  Doupioni Silk threads are spun from silk cocoons that were spun too close together.  This filament is usually from cultivated silk due to overcrowding.  In the wild, silk worms have lots of room to spread out, so double cocoons rarely happen.  When the filaments are un-spun from the cocoons, there are thicker slubs where the cocoons crossed over.  That’s the technical portion of the filaments.  On to the technical portion of the fabric. The slubs are structurally weaker than the other silk filaments.  For this reason,

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Crepe de Chine

crepe de chine

We already discussed Crepe, but how is Crepe de Chine difference from Crepe?  Obviously there is a difference, words matter, and they each carry a unique name.  Surprisingly, Julie Parker was not as helpful as usual, listing the major difference between the two as Crepe de Chine is French for Crepe from China.  But good old Fairchild was supremely helpful (p. 157): “A fine, lightweight, plain weave silk fabric woven with a silk warp and a crepe-twist silk filling alternating 2s-2z…more ends than picks per inch.” Translation:  There are more warp threads, which hold the tension on the loom, than there

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Vending 2017

Vending 2017, to vend

Where oh where will you find Damask Raven this year?  Word of mouth is hugely important for any business, but people can’t talk about you if they don’t know you exist.  So to that end, we are vending.  We are vending A LOT this year.  While you can always shop Damask Raven online, if you want to see what we sell in person, here’s where you can find us in 2017. Hot Raqs, April 22-23, 2017 in Clovis, CA.  What is Hot Raqs?  Only the newest and hottest Bellydance competition!  Hosted by Andalee, winner of Project Bellydance and herself an extraordinary dancer,

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Make Your Own Dress Patterns

Make Dress Patterns Review

So this is a brief review of Make Your Own Dress Patterns by Adele P. Margolis.  I honestly don’t even remember how this book came on to my radar to begin with.  It’s not new. It was published with copyrights in 1985.  Even so it is solidly written.  It covers basic geometric shapes, darting, shaping, slopers, and style techniques. And one might look at this book and assume it is dated, but the pattern blocks are solid and the instructions are clearly written and detailed.  And the designs don’t LOOK dated.  They look timeless and elegant, with design details that

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To Make a Pattern

to make a pattern

Ok, this is not as horribly bad as I thought it would be.  I mean, it’s not easy.  Or maybe it would be if I had majored in fashion design.  I’m basically using my 30 years sewing experience in sewing to make a pattern. And then I have to expand that pattern in to multiple sizes.  Again, something one would not think was difficult.  But judging by several pattern companies I have tried to work with before, where in the patterns did NOT size up well, this is the part that scares me.  Not to the point I’m unwilling to

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