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Assiut Costuming & Studio Davina

Happy Holidays! It’s the season when I begin to conduct an end of the year review for my business. This year, I was involved with a whole bunch of new projects and I rediscovered some old loves. The review process takes a couple of weeks, and I generally gather together all of the data, the metrics that help me understand how my business worked over the past 12 months. Then I sift through these numbers and analyze it. What was successful, what didn’t work, what could work if given more time, information, or skill development. This year, in a nutshell, was a whopping success!

Aqua Assiut Swing Dress from Studio Davina

Studio Davina

In 2017, I reopened my sewing business with a new name, rebranding as Studio Davina. A few years back, we moved into a large enough home for me to have a fairly big multipurpose workroom. My vision was to do practically everything in this one large space.  So we installed mirrors along one wall, shelves for my research library on another, and brought in two folding tables. Within minutes, this room can have a cutting table, ironing board, and sewing station, or be reconfigured into a small photo-studio with lights and backdrop paper. The result?  A multi-functional space where I can work on diverse projects from sewing to model photography, teach mini-workshops and shoot product pictures for publication.

Right:  Final Assiut Project of the Year – Finishing up an aqua tone assiut swing dress. 

Assiut Sewing Projects

One of my goals for 2017 was to work on more assiut costuming projects. The bulk of 2016 was spent working on two book projects, Becoming a Belly Dancer: From Student to Stage, and Zills: Music on Your Fingertips.  But what I really wanted to do this year was to make more costumes, designing custom clothing, and working with my favorite textile, assiut. So over the past year, I reached out to my clients and customers and asked if anyone wanted assiut costumes. The resounding answer was yes!  I made several bras, a garden of hair flowers, and a few head-to-toe ensembles like this one worn by Bay Area instructor and event producer Sudeep who brings us the annual event Bay Area Belly.

Dance with Davina

Davina's drop-in troupe - Swirl - trio includes Davina, redvelvet, and Zemira, Dec. 2017

One of the new discoveries in I made in 2017 was so simple it was shocking. I really enjoy teaching dance! Although my space is small by dance studio terms, Studio Davina is big enough for a few friends to dance together. Midway through the year, I started teaching more private lessons. By August, I had a regular weekly class going of my coaching students, and we began performing together in October. Teaching again is an unexpected surprise and so much fun! Of course, it doesn’t hurt that my little troupe loves wearing assiut almost as much as I do!

My drop-in troupe collaborative group is composed of myself and current students and coaching partners. Our name is Swirl and we perform in the greater San Jose/Penninsula area of California.  Here we are on Dec. 2017 as a little trio, including Zemira aka photographer Alisha Westerfeld, and redvelvet. There was much assiut-clad swirling happening!

If you are interested in having a custom costume made or if you’re interested in dancing with me, and are within easy drive of Sunnyvale, CA drop me a line and let’s make plans!

I am looking forward to making a lot of assiut costumes and performing more in 2018!
Dawn Devine ~ Davina
Dec. 12, 2017

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