LivingSoft Subscriber Newsletter | Volume 8
By Marj Jensen
What makes a good user group? People who love to sew and who are committed to making DS software do the work of pattern drafting. (Tweaks and hand-drafting are OK, but only if we can't figure out a computer-based way to do the job.)
"Show and tell" is the heart of a good meeting: what works, what looks good or doesn't measure up, what users wouldn't do again, and/or what kind of clothes users need. Some garments are done; others are "works in progress."
No "guru" is required. For fitting, one models and everyone comments (often with pins in hand to show what's needed) and works with tape measures; then we figure out what changes need to be made in DS measurements and/or ease to turn out a better fit on the next garment. Having DS on a computer for the group to see is almost mandatory; it's awfully hard to remember which software change or group of changes will produce a particular result if we haven't seen the program do it.
Nuts and bolts about keeping a group going:
maintain an up-to-date email list
agree on the next meeting's date before anyone leaves the current meeting
send notices a week or so in advance to your local email list, to the Dress Shop discussion on-line, and to any local groups like ASG
ask users to email if they're coming or not coming
prepare in advance directions to the meeting place so they can be emailed easily to people who express interest
offer simple food or ask people to bring what they want
The bottom line? Get together a few "friends I haven't met yet" and talk DS, sewing, fabric, fashion, and whatever interests the people who come.
Marj Jensen is the original organizer and leader of the Greater Philadelphia Dress Shop User Group.