Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Cochenille Workshop in Germany

Top row:
Ursula, Susan, Marion, Gabbi, Ute, Sybille, Ulriche, Silvia
Lower row: Ingrid and Carola

On Saturday, October 4th, Ursula Hurth organized the first (but not the last) Cochenille Workshop in Germany. I was delighted to be there, and meet users of my products. Granted, I couldn’t understand them, most of the time, but somehow, when it comes to fiber, we manage to get our information relayed. Eight women from various parts of Germany met in Darmstadt at the home of Ute Greiner. Everyone brought their portable computer, and all were ready to go! Some even brought garments they had made to share with others. For most, this was the first time they had met each other. They have communicated in the German Garment Designer forum which has been active for nearly two years, and this was the first time they congregated. It was an honor to be there.

In the morning, I discussed Patterns and Fit, relative to general patternmaking and specifically to Garment Designer. It was quite interesting. They all told me, they didn’t speak English, so Ursula translated, and translated. I had to speak slow, but I usually do. The phenomena was…. that after lunch, suddenly, Ursula really didn’t need to translator. Miraculously, everyone’s English had improved… imagine that. I must be a good teacher (smile). Actually, most German people can understand English quite well, they are just reluctant to speak it, as they don’t think they speak adequately. I am here to tell you, that they speak it quite well. My German vocabulary has now increased to maybe… a dozen words, but my favorite thus far, is “Genau”…. Which means, “precisely”.

Ute made us a delicious German Kartoffelsuppe (Potato Soup). This was served with fresh pretzels (the big ones!!). After lunch, we discussed the process of copying ready-to-wear clothing, and translating pictures to actual Garment Designer patterns. I can’t wait to see what the ladies do. I gave them their homework… they are to be “pretty women” and go idea shopping in their local boutiques. Watch out world… here they come.

When I come back next, I hope to see lots of wonderful garments, and we are planning a fashion show. The seed has been planted. I look forward to coming back, as I enjoyed my time. However, I must speak more than a dozen words of German. That is my goal.

I am thinking… that we need to plan for a retreat meeting between the U.S. and Germany… hmmm. What do you all think? We could have an exchange… so if any of you American/Canadian sewers/knitters, want to host a German kindred soul, and vice versa, let me know. I’m a good party planner.

Igrid and Sybille, taking a close look at one of my garments.

Sybille, modeling a jacket that she designed and created with Garment Designer