’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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Knits

A brief review for knits

I will readily admit that sewing knit fabrics is not my strongest skill set.  I understand some fundamentals, I understand the zig zag stitch versus straight stitch.  I know that knits are typically serged when not sewn with zig zag stitch on a standard machine.  I do know that any fiber can be knit, including silk.  And that taps me out. So before I really did anything with knitted fabric (cotton to start, sorry), I reached for Sew Knits with Confidence by Nancy Zieman. Of course, generations of seamstresses grew up watching Sewing with Nancy, but what really brought the book

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New Measurements

New Measurements using this Book!

So it’s been awhile since I posted anything.  Not to say I’ve given up on blogging (no…no such luck. Sorry folks!).  But I did have to figure out where I wanted to go with this blog.  And since it’s a blog attached to a site which sells silk fabric, sewing seemed like a logical step.  And while there are tons of sewing blogs out there, none of them have my voice, just like I don’t have their voice and perspective.  It is unquestionably one of the beautiful things about blogging, that ability to share your unique perspective on a subject. 

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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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Bespoke–not just a word

Bespoke Tailoring...not a synonym for custom.

While wasting time on that favorite time suck, Facebook, an ad popped across my news feed.  The ad promised bespoke pendants for necklaces.  I blinked at the stupid.  I sighed in exasperation and rolled my eyes at the degradation of understanding.  Somewhere, sometime over the years, the word bespoke has come to be seen as synonymous with custom.  It isn’t. Bespoke, specifically, is a TAILORING term, i.e. sewing.  And not just loose flowing gowns, but specifically a tailored, carefully fitted garment.  Usually refers to men’s wear, although the argument could absolutely be made that women’s wear demands it’s fair share

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Saving Screen Settings

Saving Screen Settings

Saving Screen Settings was not intuitively obvious.  The save icon is pretty universal with computers, but Baby Lock decided to create their own, which looks like this: However, when reading in the manual, it shows you exactly what the picture looks like.  Directs you where on the machine to plug in your USB or laptop.  Even tells you what the file folder will be when you open your USB on your laptop (bPocket).  You don’t have to think of any clever names.  I hit the save button twice, and the machine saved to screen shots of my settings screen.  And

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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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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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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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Organza

Silk Organza

Organza, that crispest of crisp fabrics.  Organza is a plain, very light weight, basket weave fabric.  There are no special twists in the yarn, although they are tightly twisted.  What gives Organza the body we all love is the sericin, or silk gum. When the bombyx mori start to spin their cocoons, they don’t just tightly spin the fibroin around themselves.  They also produce sericin, which is the gummy component that allows the fibroin to maintain it’s cocoon shape until the bombyx mori crawls out of it’s cocoon.  Or until the cocoon is harvested for silk filaments.  If you’re a

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