Gaby Book 15 ~ Friends ~ Chapter *4* Sponsorship

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*Chapter 4*


Wednesday was my first make up class, which, on top of my period and some cold blowey weather, hardly put me in a good mood. So of course Thursday it rained to add to my woes, I got drowned waiting for the train home, at least riding I’d ’ve been out in it less. The good thing was, that riding was another week closer.
“How’d your Mum get on with the costumes?” Brid asked Pia Friday lunchtime.
“Not great, they didn’t have anything in our price range at all, she did get some patterns and material so we can make them.”
“Make them?” Nena yipped.
“I can’t sew to save myself,” I offered.
“Where’s Anna when you need her?” Con asked no one in particular.
“I can give her a call,” Steff suggested.
Anna of course was our chief costumer but since she left Silverberg and started college we see much less of her, it would be great if she could help out.
“I might know someone who may be able to help,” I cryptically put in.
“Who?” Steff asked.
“Let me sound them out first.”

“You coming on the Express?” I asked Con as we headed towards the bike store.
“Guess I can keep you company,” she agreed.
Of course I’m still on foot and in skirts, just because I’m a de facto girl doesn’t mean I have to like wearing the things all the time, especially as the weather is cold now.
“Where we going, Bond?” Con enquired a few minutes later as I led the way towards the town centre.
“You’ll see, hopefully we’ll sort the costume issue out.”
“If you say so,” she huffed.
It’s not a big place and the walk to the centre from the Gymnasium doesn’t take long so we stopped outside our destination barely ten minutes later.
“You’re kidding?”
“Nothing ventured,” I proposed.
“Whatever,” she sighed before parking up her bashed up Batavus.
I waited for her to set the lock then pushed the door open and stepped through. The bell over the door jangled to itself before the interior returned to a hushed silence.
“Won’t be a moment,” a familiar voice called from the back room.
We are hardly typical patrons of this place but well, you have to look don’t you.
“How much?” Con whispered when she looked at a pair of fancy Wolford hose.
“Nice though.”

“Sorry, just had to sort out an order, ah, I thought I recognised the voice.”
“Er hi,” I allowed.
“So what brings you here? Bit early for New Year, your frock hasn’t arrived yet.”
“Er frock? New Year?”
“Of course, you need something special for Harburg of course.”
How the heck does she know about New Year? At least she doesn’t know about York!
“Er okay, no it’s not that.”
“Well are you going to tell me?”
“Erm, you know the Weihnachtsmarkt? We are doing a stall for the Kinderhaus again.”
“Of course, you were the Weihnachts Fee, you looked delightful. So you are collecting money yes?”
“Actually no, we need some different help, more hands on,” I told her.
“Well spit it out, gel,” Gerta suggested.
“We, that is I, wondered if you could help us with the costumes.”
“This isn’t a costume shop.”
“I know that of course,” I placated, “we are doing a Mittelalter theme this year but we can’t find any costumes so we need to make them and we aren’t exactly seamstresses.”
“I can do buttons,” Con supplied.
“We’ve got material and patterns,” I added.
“So you want us to make your costumes?” Gerta clarified.
“If you could, it is for charity.”
“How many are we talking?”
“Eleven? Seven dresses and four lads.”
“Hmm, wait here.”
She headed into the rear again leaving us alone in the showroom of Eloise Couture.

“That went well,” Con stated.
“I thought so.”
“You think they’ll go for it?”
“Fingers crossed.”

Gerta returned to the shop, “I’m not saying yes, be here at nine tomorrow with the patterns and material and we’ll see.”
“Thank you, that’ll be brill!” I enthused.
“I didn’t say yes.”

“You think they’ll go for it?”
“They haven’t said no,” I pointed out.
“You are a cheeky moo, Gaby Bond,” Con stated as she propelled us towards the train stop, me sat sidesaddle on the rear rack.
“She who dares!”

“I can’t believe this,” Pia opined as the three of us reached the door of Eloise Couture a few minutes before nine. Con wasn’t here – she was working this morning at the bakery but Anna was enthusiastic about being involved so joined our delegation.
“Nothing ventured,” I mentioned.
Of course the shop wasn’t actually open at nine, they open at ten like most sensible stores in these parts, so I knocked on the door’s glass. Gerta arrived to open it so quickly she must’ve been watching our arrival.
“Ah, von Strechau!” she greeted as she relocked the door.
“And these are?”
“Oh right, er Piasena Sebenschuh and Anna Pilsen.”
“You’ve brought the patterns?”
“Here,” Pia tapped her shoulder bag.
“Let’s get you through to Dot in the workroom.”

We followed Gerta past the fitting room into a room full of stuff but feeling quite spacious at the same time.
“They’re here, Dot.”
“Ah good,” said Dotty mentioned joining us from a hidden corner.
“I have stuff to do out front, I’ll leave you ladies with Dot,” Gerta told us before departing.
“Find seats, coffee?”
“Er please,” Anna replied, well anything to calm the nerves.
It must’ve been already brewing as we were quickly nursing the caffeine.
“So, Gerta says you need seven dresses and four men's Mittelalter costumes, yes?”
“Eight dresses,” Anna corrected – well she’d need one too.
Pia got the packets out, two dress designs and a third for the lad’s outfits. Dotty took them and started to examine what she had to work with. To be honest I’m more a facilitator here so my attention drifted off around the room, the walls lined with rails, some with completed orders, others half finished jobs. I’m guessing the filing cabinet had their own patterns or something and we were, of course sat at the worktable.
Dot spent ten minutes going over the patterns before doing the same with the material Eva bought for us.
“And you need them in two weeks?”
“Two weeks yesterday,” I told her.
“Hmm,” she consulted a notebook, well it might‘ve been a diary, “hmmm, I need to talk to Gerta, won’t be long.”

“She doesn’t seem very keen.” Anna opined.
“She can be a woman of few words,” I noted in the hope of keeping everyone’s hopes up.
“She tutted at the material,” Pia observed.
“Yeah,” I agreed, my earlier confidence severely dented.

It was close on ten minutes before Dotty, with Gerta in tow, returned to the workroom.
“Okay, ladies, we can do the dresses but you’ll have to sort the men’s outfits yourselves,” Gerta advised.
“I should be able to do those,” Anna stated.
“Thanks, ladies, we’ll put up a board on the kaffee Haus, something like ‘sponsored by Eloise Couture’,” I volunteered.
Greta actually smiled at my suggestion, well it was actually Dad’s but whatever, she smiled which has to be good.
“What we need from you is some help with cutting and everyone’s measurements – we have yours of course, Gabrielle.”
“Er yeah,” I agreed.
“No problem,” Pia told our benefactors, “I’ll bring Steff down after school Monday.”

It was close on two before we joined the others in the commandeered bakery coffee shop.
“Well?” Con asked.
“Looks like you’ll need to practice your skills, Steff,” Pia noted.
“They can do the frocks but we, or rather Anna will have to do the lads stuff,” I advised.
“You are just so jammy, Gab,” Nena proposed.
“Just thinking big,” I allowed.
“We need everyone’s measurements,” Anna prompted.
“Except Gabs,” Pia put in, “they have hers on file!”
“You need ours too?” Ralf asked.
“Dur!” Anna started, “how am I supposed to make them fit otherwise?”
“I’ll get a tape,” Con volunteered.

Maddy Bell 30.01.16

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