One thing that has been on my list since moving to Doha has been going shopping for fabric and having a “custom” garment made. I have now checked that off my list – but it will likely happen many times again.
I am so grateful for Timika because she shared her knowledge and time to help me navigate the fabric and tailoring world. We ventured into the souq area and expected it to be crazy packed as it always is. We lucked because it was relatively mild and we were able to enjoy ourselves. She took me to her favorite fabric shop and explained that you find something you kind of like and they bring you similar things until you find the one you want. Then the challenge is negotiating the price. I went in with the thought that I would get fabric for a Christmas or New Years Eve dress, and fabric for a few pairs of pants and a shirt. I started looking in the first section and was put off by the patterns – which were loud and made me want to vomit a little in my mouth (floral with animal print on the same fabric). There was one fabric that might have worked for the dress, but was not just right. Timika came in with her experience and asked the man working near us to start pulling similar fabrics. I save a few that were great, and I think I picked one that will work with the design I wanted… I will find out in a week when I pick it up. After getting the fabric for the dress I started looking for pants. We hit the jackpot and I found 3 fabrics I wanted to get made into pants! I don’t own a single pair of work pants that fit, so this is a big step. I was ok stopping there, but I still kind of wanted to get fabric for a shirt. As I was looking for shirt fabric I decided instead to have a salwar kameez made. This is a traditional Indian outfit that pairs different patterns and colors together in a way that just works. I ended up picking a more subtle combination, but still a little more color and pattern than I am used to – but I think I will love it. At that point I had to stop buying fabric. While the prices are good, it still adds up when you buy enough from 7 garments.
After shopping we walked around a little bit and ended up at the “new old souq” and sat outside and had some amazing ice cream. This is the first time I have been to that souq where it is calm and not packed. The weather was even a little chilly (70s) and it was amazing to just sit relax and talk. I lucked out this year because Timika is an amazing person to have as the other female RHD. We work well together; and even better, we get along as friends.
The next day I took on the task of going to the tailor to have the items made. Timika recommended two, but since I really wanted the dress in time to fly home, she said one might be able to do it in a week. She warned me that the assistant who sometimes takes measurements has a tendency to linger when measuring your chest area, but said if you just tell him to stop or make a point to laugh about it he will move on. I went in and he was the only one there. I explained what I wanted. This was a challenge, and I am still not sure he knows what exactly I was looking for. I really hope it turns out right, but if it doesn’t, then I will just have it altered into a different style. After explaining everything I asked him if he could also alter a pair of pants I already owned that were too big. He said no problem and asked me to change into them so he could take measurements and pin.
At this point take a minute to recall a very specific Friends episode – to help you I have included the dialogue…
Chandler: Joey's tailor...took advantage of me.
Joey: No way! I've been going to the guy for 12 years.
Chandler: Oh come on! He said he was going to do my inseam, and he ran his hand up my leg, and then, there was definite...
Joey: That's how they do pants! Ross, will you tell him? Isn't that how they measure pants?
Ross: Yes, yes it is. In prison!
Yeah – I wish that is what it was like. Yes he lingered a little long when measuring my chest, but the shock came when he put his hand inside my pants to measure my inseam and pin the pants. Just incase you are wondering, that is not how it is done, and you defiantly do not have his hand where his was. I pulled his hand out once, and he had the nerve to do it again twice. By that point I was just ready to get the measurements taken and leave. I will not be going back – I will go to Timika’s other tailor. The measurements were finally done and I went to see if things could be done in time. The dress will be done on the 17th! The rest will not be done until I get back L but that is ok, it will give me something to look forward to!
All said, I am so glad I got to go fabric shopping and can not wiat to see the final process!!!!