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By on Oct 19 at 2:02 pm
HBO premieres a new documentary series called Schmatta: Rags To Riches To Rags tonight at 9pm. From the synopsis:
A cautionary story of labor and greed, Schmatta: Rags to Riches to Rags follows the decline of the once-robust apparel manufacturing industry in the U.S., while chronicling the industry’s relationship with unions and government. From the “Garmento” to the seamstress, from the designer to the marketing maven, from the small businessman to the financier, Schmatta offers a firsthand account of how the industry helped generations of Americans march out of poverty and right into the golden age of the American middle class. But while Schmatta reminds us of the early days of the garment industry and its heyday, it also probes its troubling decline, which has occurred largely within the last 30 years. In 1965, 95% of American clothing was made in the U.S.A.; by 2009, only 5% is manufactured here.
I wish I could see it but I don’t have HBO. Maybe someone will tell us more about it tomorrow.
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By on Jun 5 at 4:16 pm
I apologize for not posting this sooner coming on the heels of my previous entry because you’ve already missed one class but it can be repeated if there is sufficient interest.
I’ve written quite a bit about technical packages but it never seems to be enough. Luckily, StyleFile is providing free web based classes on how to make a tech pack. You can download the schedule (pdf) for June or make note of the classes as follows (links below are to past F-I entries as a topic refresher):
June 5: 10:00am PST & 2:00pm PST
How to create a pattern card (cutter’s must) with a discussion on style and pattern numbers.
June 9: 10:00am PST & 2:00pm PST
How to use & manage technical drawings to prevent miscommunication
June 11: 10:00am PST & 2:00pm PST
How to create a bill of materials (BOM)
June 15: 10:00am PST & 2:00pm PST
How to create a costing sheet
June 17: 10:00am PST & 2:00pm PST
How to create and manage cut tickets
While all of these topics have been discussed on F-I in sometimes excruciating detail, it will be nice to get a live demonstration. If you’re interested in these free classes, email Gina to sign up.
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By Kathleen Fasanella on Jun 4 at 3:12 pm
[amended] Welcome visitors from Boing Boing! See the back story.
Sounds dramatic doesn’t it? Bye-bye Fashion-Incubator. It was fun while it lasted. Truth be told, I have to change my business model and get into something else. Am I happy? No, not one bit. I’m a bit resentful, nearly 30 years of work in the toilet. The reason for the change is it is likely the Design Piracy Prohibition Act is going to become law. If it does, F-I is history. So whether you believe it yet or not, I won’t be around to say “I told you so” -as though I’d get any pleasure out of it anyway. Consumers and enthusiasts will also be paying the price. Consumers will spend lots more money on clothes and enthusiasts won’t have any patterns since those designs need to be registered too and there won’t be domestic fabric if all the manufacturers go under.
It is apparent people are not taking the matter of the Design Piracy Prohibition Act seriously; the detrimental effects I mentioned before when I started the petition. If this law passes, I have to remove Fashion-Incubator from the internet; there won’t be any need for it and I cannot afford a law suit if my advice enables someone to commit what will be a “crime”. None of this is new, I first brought it to your attention two years ago. If CPSIA was an amputation, the Design Piracy Prohibition Act is a beheading.
Not all large businesses support this law; the largest industry group, the venerable American Apparel and Footwear Association is likewise opposed. They’ve created an automated widget where you can automatically email your legislators. Kevin Burke (CEO of the AAFA) says the bill’s passage is likely because legislators haven’t heard opposition from individual businesses.
First, read Kevin’s memo he sent to AAFA members. It includes the names and phone numbers of the most important people to contact, talking points and what to do. As you should have seen with the CPSIA fiasco, it’s impossible to change a law once it’s passed. It is within your hands to prevent your own pending bankruptcy.
Send emails. Sign the petition. That’s two more things you can do right now. I have over 5,000 daily visitors and I only got 1,300 signatures on my petition? You know, I could see it if this were just about me but it’s not. It’s about saving yourself. I suggest you also hold your suppliers and collaborators accountable. I will have all my site sponsors and advertisers get involved. If we die, they do too. I suggest emailing this to your suppliers with the handy “email to a friend” button at the close of the entry.
[Amended 6/5/09 9:00AM, comment from Heather]
I just spoke to Eric Garduno on the House Judiciary Committee. He seemed interested in talking to me and said it is helpful to have the comments written. His e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org . I told him of our group and the large opposition and he said to please mail in your comments!
If that isn’t enough to convince you, here are some comments from small designers like you:
Elizabeth: Independent designers are everywhere and this is just a reaction by big fashion to undermine their rising popularity
Jana: Protect all of us, not just the elite!
JM: This Act is clearly in favor of multi million dollar brands, please don’t use legislation to try to squash your competition! It’s hard enough for small designers to finance production let alone have a lawyer on retainer.
Jessica: This will kill my small business and put people out of work across the U.S. Is this is a good idea, especially in this economic downturn? The CFDA is an exclusive club of celebrity designers who [produce offshore and] do not care one bit for the average American’s job or family. The president of the CFDA herself, Diane von Furstenberg, has been caught red-handed committing design piracy. This act will do NOTHING to stop a handful of ultra-wealthy celebrity designers from stealing the “little guys” ideas – but it WILL stop us “little guys” from making an honest living for our families.
Leslie: As a custom clothier, this law would not allow my clientele, who cannot find clothing that fits, to have clothing custom made for them! Costs of clothing will be out of reach for everyday people.
Charis: This is insane. How will people afford the major name brand styles? It would be impossible!
Debbie: It would be death to the clothing industry and a field day for lawyers!
Pamela: I’m fortunate, I can sew. But if this law passes, I might have to make my own patterns, too. And if it’s more difficult to get affordable designs (including patterns), even more fabric stores will close –so where will I get fabric to sew with? This is a bad law.
Charli: Once again, Big Business killing the Small.
Esther: If this bill is passed it will only be beneficial to the bootlegging big wigs who proposed it!
Lisa: As an independent knitwear designer, I’ve already had 4 of my designs ‘stolen’ and I have no way to prove it. Also, a number of times, I have seen designs that look just like mine when I KNOW I created something myself and there’s no way someone else could have seen it! The design process is too serendipitous to be ‘quantifiable’ Please don’t pass this bill.
Read Kevin’s memo. Send emails. Sign the petition. If this law passes, I will have to remove this site from the internet. I can’t afford the liability. And just so you know, I detest, loathe, publishing entries like this. My site traffic drops quite a bit because no one wants to read bad news. At this point, I have nothing to lose. So my site traffic drops for a week, that’s better than forever.
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By on Jun 2 at 3:17 pm
I’ve made no secret that I love StyleFile for creating technical packages and managing your production from soup to nuts so I’m very pleased Patternworks is now offering a fully functional 30 day trial of the program. To take advantage of this free offer, select “solutions” from the website or contact Gina to request your fully functional copy of the software. There’s also several videos on site which you can view singly or download for viewing at your leisure. Not mentioned on site is a tremendous resource, the wiki. The wiki is the place to learn how to set up and operate the program.
Increasingly, a PDM/PLM program is a necessity to manage your production, particularly if you outsource work to others or provide services yourself. I’ve written about many PDM/PLM features (and StyleFile specifically) in What is a Bill of Materials (BOM), What is a tech pack and Giving instructions to a pattern grader. PDM software is practically a necessity these days if you’re using a sewing contractor because your technical package complete with sewing specs defines the absolute requirements of your product which in effect becomes the sewing contract. But sewing is only a small part of it. You and/or your pattern service and sewing contractor can use it to manage patterns, textile testing, grading, inventory; all facets of the production process. The neat thing about StyleFile is it’s designed to be used by manufacturers and service providers.
As I’ve also said repeatedly, one of the only positive outcomes of CPSIA is that children’s wear designers will adopt more standard practices to become the definition of professionalism in the industry due to the CPSIA tracking label requirements. The first program to be fully compliant with CPSIA, tracking and labeling is built in as is the issuance of GCC certificates. There’s no cost to try it so check it out. If anything, it will show you how you’ll need to manage your operation more professionally even if you do it manually.
If you buy:
StyleFile is the least expensive software by far. It’s so inexpensive I hesitate to mention the price (@ $2,000) lest you think it’s not as robust as comparable programs ($10,000 minimum). “Suspiciously cheap” comes to mind (I don’t know about you but if something doesn’t cost much, I worry it’s not any good). Implementation is faster and easier too. You won’t have to pay thousands for training or take weeks to learn it and roll it out. In short, you don’t have to settle for a lower functioning product because of price. It is better than the other programs on the market and while originally intended for small to medium sized firms, it scales (really). And no, I don’t make any money if you buy it. In fact, I like the program so much I ran their ads on site for free. Okay not free, I billed them a token $12 because it’d be a tremendous loss if this product had to be abandoned if it didn’t take off. Plus, a lot of you need impetus to streamline and this is the tool to do it.
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By Kathleen Fasanella on May 14 at 1:13 pm
I should have posted this two weeks ago; I’ve been in denial. It seems so surreal; between CPSIA, Proposition 65 and now the Design Piracy Prohibition Act, there seems to be nothing less than a full scale war against the apparel industry. Have you forgotten about the Design Piracy Prohibition Act? Well, it’s been resurrected and presented to Congress (HR 2196). It’s nothing short of a bold power grab to protect wealthy socialite designers at the expense of independent designers, putting over 90% of them out of business. Consider this scenario of what will happen if this bill is passed:
Your name is getting out there, picking up more doors everyday and your accounts love you. Now that your fabric samples have arrived, you’re inspired and happily sketching your new styles. This is sure to be your best collection ever! So then you reach for the phone to schedule a slot to have your patterns and samples made. But on the other end, the pattern maker or sewing contractor refuses to work with you. Your heart sinks through the floor, why? You’ve got an established relationship, you’re a great customer with regular work and steady pay but still, no one will take your contracts. In fact, they’re shutting down themselves.
Why no one will take your work:
Let’s say we help you produce this line, you sell it and make your pile crumbs. Then -thanks to the influence of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA, membership by invitation only) and Congress- somebody can come out of the woodwork and claim it is their design, they own it and now you owe them. If they registered the design and you didn’t know it, this could be perfectly legal. Of course you didn’t copy them but it won’t matter. The fact that society designers have been copying nameless unknown independent designers for years doesn’t even register. Even Diane Von Furstenberg, the leading champion of this bill recently got caught doing it. Because you don’t have any money, this party will sue everyone in your production and retail chain. That means pattern makers, contractors and the stores who bought your stuff. So in the interests of avoiding law suits, any service provider is going to require you prove you own it. It’s even worse for retail buyers who face potential criminal prosecution for dealing in pirated goods. Everybody who helps you or buys from you is going to require you to prove ownership of your concept before they’ll have anything to do with it. If wealthy society designers like Diane Von Furstenberg have their way, this could become an unfortunate reality. Paradoxically, CFDA is telling Congress they’re protecting you.
You think you (or we) won’t be sued in today’s era of lawsuit happy plaintiffs? Have you ever heard of a patent troll? A patent troll is someone who enforces patents they have no intention of manufacturing, against alleged infringers. It’s somebody who makes a living filing legal papers, they don’t actually make anything. In this climate, you think there won’t be fashion copyright design trolls? Right, and the fashion industry is one big family working happily together amid resounding choruses of Kumbaya. Good grief, there are churches tattletaling on other churches to state health departments over competing bake sales! If the morally superior are ratting each out over cup cakes, you think they won’t over caftans? Folks, this is going to get ugly. The CFDA, living in happy-land as they are, deny this will happen saying similar laws haven’t encouraged law suits in France or Japan yet neither of those two nations have culture as law suit happy as the United States.
It’s been two years since I last wrote of this and I couldn’t imagine it’d go anywhere considering how it so obviously favors the wealthy and famous at the expense of designers barely eking out a living but this thing has grown legs; if H.R. 2196 becomes law, it is certain to kill what’s left of the industry except for wealthy socialite fashion designers with in-house legal departments. In one fell swoop, this law will put over 90% of us out of business. Even me. Fashion-Incubator will become an artifact, who will need it? You all will have to speak out. Congress has been misled, they think they are helping you!
The cost of doing business has just gone up astronomically. You’ll have to hire a lawyer, pay for searches through a design database of all existing design registrations. You thought a trademark or logo search was bad? I have no doubt there’s over 10,000 clothing designs out there for every logo. This will cost a fortune. But, you’ll have to do it if you want to stay in business. And those of us left standing will have to have our own lawyers to check up on you and draw up contracts and buy more insurance, our prices will double if not triple. Somehow I don’t think consumers will be happy. Assuming we could afford to shop at Neiman’s and Nordstrom’s, few society designers cut anything larger than a size 12 and I for one am not thrilled at the prospect of mini-skirts, navel grazing tops, tepid/garish colors of whatever constitutes the fashion trends dictated by elite designers.
Even with proof of registration in hand, you will have to produce your registered design exactly as sketched. No design changes or iterations in process are allowed, otherwise you’ll have to start over and re-register a new design. Forget shortening that sleeve, changing the shape of that neckline or tapering the pant leg of that prototype. So what if it ends up looking lame and you have to start all over? That will be the new cost of doing business. Gee, how long will it take to get a line to market?
You know what the worst part is? A law professor specializing in Intellectual property told me that the standard for determining the innovation of a given design is not based on expert opinion. No no, the legal definition is based on the opinion of a non-expert, what the average Joe thinks looks similar. In other words, someone like your significant other who doesn’t even notice you’ve cut or colored your hair or are wearing a new outfit and yet they’re supposed to be the judge of a sleeve design detail? WHAT?! The average person just doesn’t notice that much* and no contractor will stake the viability of their business of what constitutes a copy if the litmus test is determined by John Q Public. So, every designer would need paper. Good luck finding a contractor otherwise.
I ran a poll two years ago when it was known as H.R. 2033, explaining what all of this meant. I’ll rerun it again below. At this writing, over 86% are opposed to this legislation and fewer than 2% of you believe this law will protect you even if it passes.
Vizu polls have closed down. Below is a screen capture of the poll results.
Rather than drone on, I’ve parsed this entry into two parts. In the second portion, you’ll read how the head of CFDA, none other than Diane Von Furstenberg herself and the key proponent of this law was recently caught knocking off an independent designer. In the meantime, sign the petition to register your opposition to this bill that will surely ring the death knell of what’s left of domestic manufacturing. More lurid explanation of how this law will affect your business is here.
*The average person doesn’t notice that much. Test your powers of observation by watching this video. Count the number of times the people wearing white shirts pass the basketball. Do not count the number of passes from people wearing black shirts. I’ll post the answer later on in comments.
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By on Apr 15 at 3:03 pm
Here’s the word:
I’m working with the casting department for Project Runway Season 7 which is casting now and will be shooting this summer (Season 6 is finally slated to air later in the year!), and we’re trying to get the word out to savvy fashion communities like yours. Portfolio submissions are due April 24th (so time is of the essence) and the application can be downloaded here. It’s going to be a great season and we’d love to get your readers involved, this is an amazing opportunity for indie designers to WORK IT OUT!
PROJECT RUNWAY SEASON 7 IS CASTING NOW!!!
Do you have what it takes to be the next hot fashion designer? Always dreamed of showing your work on the runways of New York City’s Fashion Week? This is your opportunity! We are casting now, so contact us immediately before you miss out on the chance of a lifetime.
Must be 21 or older.
Project Runway will be having auditions in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City and Seattle. If you can travel to one of these locations for a scheduled appointment, submit the the application (pdf) and include all of the requested particulars (a personal video is one).
Good luck, maybe one of you will be the next star of Project Runway. Wouldn’t that be fun?
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By on Mar 17 at 10:28 am
A rally has been planned to protest Congressional stonewalling over CPSIA, taking place in Washington DC on April 1st. Your presence is requested. The is the brainchild of Rick Woldenberg who says:
I am pleased to announce that on April 1 there will finally be an opportunity to go to Capitol Hill to tell Congress directly about the terrible impact of the CPSIA on our lives and businesses. Having been repeatedly denied the opportunity to explore the issues created by the CPSIA in public hearings by both the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the House Committee on Small Business since December, we have elected to organize our own rally and open hearings for this purpose. This unprecedented event is a true demonstration of democracy at work – the People will not be denied their say in this vitally important matter. The date – April Fool’s Day – is ironic but the open hearing and rally are quite real and will be held on time with a full slate of speakers and a wide range of participants. This event will include support from numerous trade organizations and is expected to feature remarks by Members of Congress as well as scientists and representatives of various organizations affected by the legislation such as small businesses, libraries, charities and thrift stores. This event will also be open to the media.
Jennifer (Chapter One Organics) will be representing the Fashion-Incubator contingency but she’s going to need help so please contact her by email or phone at 312-860-1186 to volunteer or mention your participation. There are several ways you can signal your intent to join the event. You can leave a comment here, be sure to click “Notify me of followup comments via e-mail” under the comment box to be notified of updates. There’s the Facebook page, CPSIA-Ning and I’ve also created a thread in the forum (open to the public). A central planning site listing all activities and committees in charge of logistics (like accommodations) isn’t live yet but the URL is Amend the CPSIA (bookmark and check back later for content). However it is you sign up to come, be sure to drop Jennifer a mention so we can get a head count of F-I participants. Feel free to road trip and bring the kids to witness democracy in action. This event will be big, and include members of Congress!
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By on Nov 21 at 3:16 pm
In the Wall Street Journal, Rick Woldenberg was quoted as describing February 10, 2009 as National Bankruptcy Day because that’s the day when many of us will go out of business due to the implementation of the CPSIA Regulations. I’m dismayed at how little it’s been discussed online and in the news. I’m shocked that so few manufacturers know about it. Of the ones that do know, most think it either doesn’t apply to them or it will magically disappear or it won’t be enforced so they can ignore it. Come February 10th, a lot of people will be hit hard by reality when their products are returned or their financing is declined.
To recap, this law was passed (424 votes to 1) to protect children from unsafe toys after last year’s widely publicized recalls (by the way, recalls have actually decreased by 46%). What few consumers realize is this legislation affects more than toys. What few clothing manufacturers realize is this also affects them. Of the ones who do know, most of them think it only applies to children’s clothes. Other than apparel the law includes diapers, blankets (housewares), books, videos, computer and electronic products, strollers, cribs, car seats, and anything humans come in contact with in their environment. Our objections are not higher standards for product safety or even the costs involved per se. The problem is Congress wrote the law and forced the CPSC to implement it before the regulations were written. These regulations are not written by people who are familiar with manufacturing and thus, impose unnecessary burdens.
A source I’m not at liberty to quote directly (but you can read it here) for legal advice -although she’s an attorney specializing in these matters AND an environmental engineer says
Another issue is lead paint limit. This limit applies only to painted or similar surface coatings – which would probably mostly be zippers, zipper pulls and perhaps buttons. This standard goes from 600 ppm (now) to 90 ppm. This applies for all painted materials for consumer use – not just kids stuff. I don’t know enough about your industry to know if this coating standard applies to painted on decorations on clothing. But, at the very least, any components of finished garments are going to have to meet this standard.
Three brief points:
- Regarding the phthalate regulations (a lengthy discourse omitted for brevity) testing for phthalates is roughly three times the cost of lead testing. For purposes of comparison, lead testing is expected to be about $30,000 for a ten piece line in three colorways.
- The lack of available labs needed to absorb the dramatic increase of testing required. Assuming everyone had the money and time to do it, it would still be impossible without the facilities and inspectors to do it.
- The requirement of “third party testing”. For our purposes this means you cannot avoid legal liability by relying on testing results supplied to you from your vendors. No no. You have to retest everything yourself. See why it’s problematic that these regulations were not written by those with a background in manufacturing?
Initially, we little guys were feeling a bit put out that these regulations would affect us a lot more than the big guys who have more money. As it turns out, they’ll be hurting in ways we won’t because they are factored. Selling to big box stores is done through loans, so called factoring. On the manufacturing side, loans are extended based on the receivables (invoices) that buyers owe the manufacturer. On the other side, factors lend money to stores to buy the inventory. Factors are a sort of financial middleman. Loans are more than just mere money changing hands; loans are legal contracts. To have a legal contract, the actions described within them must be legal. For example, a contract to hire a hit man is an illegal contract because the act of murder itself is illegal. Thus, loans for inventory and receivables cannot be legally extended unless the goods themselves are legal. Without the CPSIA compliance guaranty certificates, they won’t be.
Since most of the products intended for February delivery are either already made and on the way here or are in the process of being made and few to none of the inputs were tested beforeheand, all of these items will end up in bonded warehouses or landfills because it is illegal to sell them even as seconds. Products made domestically are not immune, they’re in the same boat. A factor is not going to break the law and make an illegal contract so a retailer can buy illegal goods. The end result is there will be a whole lot less product on store shelves. Since there won’t be much to pick from and costs are higher, consumers can expect to pay much higher prices. Prices will be rock bottom on February 9th, but overnight, prices will dramatically increase. The anticipated losses go into the hundreds of millions of dollars. This is not an exaggeration. According to 2002 U.S. Census Data (the last year for which data is available) just considering small U.S. clothing manufacturers, their contribution to the economy is over 900 million dollars annually. Small manufacturers with fewer than 20 employees comprise 68% of total apparel manufacturing in the U.S.. This of course does not include the untold numbers of stores that will go out of business too.
The point is now, what can we do? In the forum we’ve been devising a grassroots plan that we hope to launch tomorrow. One of our members who is familiar with regulatory processes, is drafting a letter you can mail to regulators. You can call your congressman. You can write a letter to the editor of any papers you read, on or offline. You can post about this on your own blog, post comments on blogs you read and talk it up in forums you belong to. You even need to lobby your suppliers too. Ask them what they’re doing about it. They’ll be hurting too if we’re not buying sewing machines or CAD systems. Resolve to post somewhere at least once a day.
The problem we have is that this is a very popular law with consumers and legislators. Because it is so complex, they don’t know what it really means or what its effects will be. In the upper echelons, most of the high level organizations like the AAFA, The Toy Association and the electronics industry are lobbying against it. Their problem is that they are not the grassroots. That’s you. The vast majority of Americans think this is a Great Law, striking back at unethically made low cost imports and thus, legislators are leery of what high level representatives say. That’s why it’s up to you to talk to other consumers like you. We need for consumers to know that this law will put many of us rather than importers out of business at a time when the economy can least absorb it. They need to know that come February, many of the products they expect to find in stores won’t be there. I think consumers will start to get the hint once they start getting tickets for transporting their infants without car seats because they can’t buy them in stores. Considering the consequences, there is little doubt the rules and regulations such as they are, will be rescinded. The only issue is, will they be rescinded before they bury too many of us? This law represents the last nail in the coffin of U.S. manufacturers. Even I’ll be out of a job. Why publish a blog if nearly no one can manufacture?
Related in the forum:
The War Room: CPSIA & Consumer Safety. This is a very active section with nearly 60 different threads and over 1,000 postings. Open to the public.
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By on Sep 19 at 3:48 am
I’m pleased to announce Stuart Friedberg has joined Fashion-Incubator to write equipment and machine related articles. Stuart wrote three earlier guest entries about needle and thread size. Everyone in the forum is well acquainted with Stu and I’m delighted you’ll have the chance to get to know him too. His first entry will be published Monday.
Reminder: I’m going on vacation starting today. Posting will be sporadic. Email is best if you need to reach me.
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By on Sep 16 at 2:04 pm
Now that the site has been all set up and is good to go, I’m going on “vacation”. We’ve scheduled our annual vacation a little late this year and as much as I’ve been pretending this wasn’t happening, my departure date looms. Yes I’m glad to be going but I dislike cold and wet and we’re going to a place known for its four seasons: Rain, Snow, Sleet and Hail. I am such a whiner. Vacation appears in quotes because as you know, any trip I take involves working one way or another and this trip will be no exception. You all get a lot out of my trips. Remember last year when I spent ten days doing research at the Library of Congress? I’d been wanting to do that for years. Anyway, with a fulfillment center and a cat sitter lined up, there’s nothing to hold me back now.
Eric and I are leaving for Brussels on Friday September 19th, to return Wednesday October 8th. We’re making a big circle, traveling to Paris, then Stuttgart, Rothenburg ob der Tauber (a favorite from childhood), then Prague -I’d always wanted to go but it was never a possibility; we never expected the wall to come down!- then up to Berlin, over to Amsterdam and then back to Brussels to fly out again. Eric has never been to The Netherlands, I think he will like it. In Paris, we’ll be attending the most famous fabric show in the world Première Vision and then Texworld which is considered to be for the more budget minded. In Stuttgart, I’m trying to arrange visiting at least two local universities with design programs thanks to Heidi’s help. Of course I want to visit their campus book stores! Heidi mentions the most popular German pattern making book will be translated into English this January and that it will be pricey, over 120 euros. And you think books here are expensive. Business-wise I don’t have anything else lined up (yet -feel free to make suggestions or sing out if you’re on our itinerary) until Amsterdam. There we will meet up with Diva Els. I feel very privileged to be the first of her U.S. fans and friends to be meeting her. We’re planning on doing a bike tour of the city.
2008 has been a banner year for international travel for me. Mexico, Colombia, Belgium, France, Germany, The Czech Republic (I still want to call it Czechoslovakia) and The Netherlands. On next year’s “vacation”, we plan to go to Asia, undetermined whether we go to China or India; whichever, the following year we’ll go to the one we missed.
Oh! Speaking of travel, don’t forget that coming up in 2009, you all are cordially invited to attend ColombiaTex in Medellin Colombia the third week of January. I think we have seven people signed up for that trip so far. I think it’ll be fun going that far as a group, leaving on the same flight and staying in the same hotel. If you’re interested in attending the sourcing show to find sewing contractors, fabrics and trims, sign up is here. Medellin is only a three hour flight from Miami and expenses are moderate. My five night hotel bill with taxes, security fees, room service charges and a cash advance ($40 USD) was less than $500. If you shared a room, it’s very affordable.
Now let me see if I can get up part one of a tutorial on adding a gusset to a pair of slacks…
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