Welcome to the Constabulary

Get it? Damask Raven…nod to a Constabulary of Ravens . I suppose it could be the Unkindness, but really, I love everyone at all sewing levels, so I try very hard to never be unkind in commentary. This is an updated intro to my blog, for the new website, which I love far better than the old website, so much so I am gradually moving all old content to here. So here it goes.

I run my own company, Damask Raven obviously, which sells silk fabric. When one sells fabulous costuming supplies, one tends to do a lot of sewing.  Why wouldn’t you?  You have a ready supply of what you need to create fabulous-ness, and in doing so you also create instant advertising for your company.

Look what we have!  You too can purchase this and make your very own…. Whatever.

So the next logical step, when faced with at least a year of hard sewing, is to start blogging about it.  But I'm a little leery of blogging about sewing and sewing projects on Damask Raven, because that is not what Damask Raven is about.  Damask Raven is about the silk.  History of silk, how it came to the west, how it came to be, legends, silk road, pitfalls and pleasures of working with silk.  I don't want to just tack on another sewing blog when there are already hundreds of excellent sewing blogs. Now, I do have a video series I am working on which walks us through early 20th century tailoring techniques. And I am adding a video series on a basic garment cut using geometric patterns, and all the myriad ways this can be used to create different looks (more on that next week). But generally, the blog should be focused on specific projects.

My main concern with blogging/sewing is that the primary focus of Damask Raven is silks, which has strong historical ties throughout the world as one of the oldest known textiles. So I am worried if I blog about sewing here, I will get bogged down in historical projects only.  And that narrows my customer base.  Silk isn’t just for the historical costumer!  It can also be for Cosplay.  So not just the historical stuff, but the Con-stuff, the Anime and the Super Heroes stuff, the stuff that would make me step outside my comfort zone.  And not just sewing!  I want to blog about everything it takes to become a cosplayer, in whatever genre lights your candle.  Love the middle ages?  I can SCA with the best of them.  The Bard is your Bitch?  I've done my time in the Ren Faire Trenches.  Twi'lek...well, that took some work.  But I'm willing to learn…and did!

So I cataloged my strengths and weaknesses and figured out what I need to do to become at least moderately accomplished as a cosplayer.  While I totally understand and admire the raw courage it takes to put on a costume and go out in public, I also believe anything worth doing is worth doing right.  And if you’re going to do something… Balls to the wall baby.

So, strengths for cosplay.

  1. I can sew.  I mean, expert level, couture quality sewing…when I take my time.  If it’s rushed, I am not ashamed to use pinking shears to finish my raw edges.  But my hand sewing creates invisible seams, nearly machine perfect stitching.

  2. Completely shameless.  I haven’t gone out dressed like Wonder Woman only because I lack the proper costume.  I am not shy and have no qualms about public displays.


  1. Need to lose weight.  I love the body positivity movement, but seriously, for my health, I need to lose about 40 pounds.

  2. Makeup.  I have it.  I wear it daily.  It’s basically functional.  I see YouTube videos of makeup artists turning themselves in to dopplegangers of Angelina Jolie and then Keith Richards and am pretty convinced that these people are the source of legends about shape shifters and glamour spells and that in Snow White, when the evil queen transformed herself…It wasn’t a spell, it was her MAC makeup kit.  Seriously.  I am NOT one of those people.  I need to be.

  3. Hair.

  4. WIGS!  I will probably get around my complete inability to control my hair with copious amounts of wigs.  Not sure where I’m going to put them, but I’ll burn that bridge when I cross it.

  5. Leather.  I can sew any medium that is fabric, including vinyl and latex.  Leather is not fabric.  I either need to get real friendly with a leather smith, or learn to sew leather.

  6. Body paint.  Not like makeup, but like air brushed body paint…so many applications…so much to learn…

Lot of weaknesses to work on.  Little bit at a time, and by the time Reno Pop Culture Con rolls around in November, I should be at least a little ready.  Here’s to the new year, and a year of new cosplay!