Saturday, October 4, 2014

Preaching to the Choir

I decided that I would go out today and buy a new suit. I have exactly ONE solid color suit for interviews. It's blue (not navy) and I'm not really a blue wearing girl. I don't know why, I'm just not.

So, I walk into JCPenney (cheap is highly desired right now or else I'd be shopping at Dillards or Nordstroms or a few others) and was overwhelmed in a good way by all the styles and colors. I saw A MILLION dresses I would wear in a heartbeat. And another MILLION tops. Prints and fabric combos I could never find to sew. And they were all already made up. No muslins, no pattern alterations. Hence Ready. To. Wear.Which made me seriously consider giving up sewing, since my stash is so depleted and I'm going to have to spend $$ to clothe myself one way or the other.

So, I start looking for suits. First of all, finding a suit (or separates) with a matching SKIRT is near impossible. I don't want a pantsuit. Not for interviewing. Not really even for not interviewing.

Second, RTW jackets don't fit me. Not unless they're Petites. Apparently, I have T-rex arms. Any RTW jacket sleeve is at least 2 inches too long. I would hem them, no problem, if there wasn't a vent/button thing going on that would interfere. I don't even want to try to learn how to deal with shortening those.

Third, what the HELL size am I? My already-owned blue suit is a RTW 18P, modified. The jacket fits mostly great, just a leeeeetle wide in the shoulders but, really, only I can tell that. The skirt was way too big when I lost all that weight so I did take it in and shortened it as well as taking in the sideseams of the jacket to give it more curves to match mine. The suit still fits fine. The pencil skirt is a little snugger now since I'm still juggling a 20-ish lb. weight gain over the last couple of years, but it's not too tight.

So, did ANY 16 or 18 fit me? Yeah, you know the answer: Not. Even. Close. Arghhhh. Even though I have other 16s and 18s that I wear regularly. And until the 20-lb gain, even 14s.

I tried on every jacket in Penneys. I went to Lane Bryant and tried on the ONE black jacket they had. Huge. I went to Macy's and tried on a bunch more there. Some of the jackets would've been passable (and significantly more expensive) but the skirts were a no-go. Either too tight or too short. (Can you believe I was considering buying TWO skirts to take apart to refashion into one? Yeah, me either. And why can't separates include one or two NON-pencil shapes? I love me a me-made pencil but my butt doesn't love RTW pencil skirts. What do the booty girls who don't sew DO?) I even ventured to Macy's "Womens" (plus) department. Which was on the third floor, waaaaaaaaay in the back corner in a completely separate room-type area past some ugly clearance section, like they didn't even want to admit they HAD a plus department. Which, apparently, they didn't, because OMG the hideousness.

After two hours of torture, it was clear that I wasn't buying a new suit today. So, I regrouped and decided to buy a new top to match my blue suit. I've kinda not had anything specific to wear with the suit (see above comment about me and no blue) and have been making do with a b/w top as contrast and to tie in wearing black shoes or my plain ivory SBCC Mimosa. The blue of the suit is a kinda hard-to-match shade of blue. Figures. I bought the suit ONLY because it actually fit me, not because I fell in love with the color.

After returning to the call of the prints (and prices) at Penney's, I brought home two knit tops with some blue in them.

The first one, here, reminds me of the Jalie sweetheart top, modified with a drape. I really like the shape of this top (just not the blue!). But ...


... for kicks, I decided to try it on inside-out in the fitting room to see how it was made, thinking about copying it later. (See Peter, you're not the only one.) And look at how COOL this is!! I had no idea until I was wearing it inside-out that the self-facing for the drape was asymmetrical like this. I am SO modifying that Jalie pattern and copying this.


This is the other top. It's one of those uber-trendy crossover drapey styles, which is hard to discern in this photo. It's not really conservative enough print-wise for an interview, so I considered this a present to myself just because I need one. I'm sure I'll be buying one of the patterns that are currently out for this style since I do like it on me. And I might end up returning this one to the store because, well, blue. And brokeness.


And, so to come full circle ... I still half-way would like to be able to not NEED to sew my clothes because there are so many pretty choices in the stores, but the reality is I can't. They just don't fit.

Oh, and why the sudden urge for a new suit? Well, I have an interview Monday at 3 PM, and I REALLY want this job. So, cross those fingers and toes again for me please!

Also, thank you SO MUCH for the kind offers of notions and fabrics. Please know that it really touches my heart and I sincerely appreciate the generosity. If this or another job doesn't materialize, I may just have to take y'all up on those offers ... but, really, the bigger concern will be paying rent next month. So, you may see me actually begging in a few weeks. But let's stay positive and not think about that yet. :-)





37 comments:

  1. Crossing everything possible and praying for you, sincerely. I can't imagine you not sewing. You are a master at the art.

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  2. Good luck and prayers for the job interview Debbie. If I may put in my tow cents..wear something that makes you feel fabulous to the interview, even if it's not a suit at all!

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  3. Good luck on Monday -- make sure you don't wear the blouse inside-out for the interview! ;)

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  4. I feel your RTW pain. Great tops you have ended up with. Good luck with the interview.

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  5. Good luck on Monday, Debbie! Maybe this will become your Lucky Blue Suit!

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  6. Good luck from here as well . You have so much sewing talent which would extend to any job really. Perhaps you should show them your blog ! You would get the job quickly then. Have you thought about a sewing related job. From what I hear people on crafty do very well imagine how popular your cover stitching tutes would be

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  7. The tops are great and I'm wishing you luck for Monday. However, if you change your mind about the fabric let me know and a box will be winging it's way to you.

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  8. Your experience of looking for a suit is something I have been going through since I was child.

    Being 5'2 and hovering around size 18-22 since the age of 13, I was always too large for petite and too short for women sizes. But it was about 5yrs ago when I realized that in order to wear clothes that fit my body and my sense of style, I will have to sew it myself.

    Sometimes I forget this fact and go to Penny's (they have come a long way with offering a more stylish selection since their catalog days) but nothing ever fits so I leave upset and emotionally drained.

    I wish you luck on your job interview and hope that you can go back to making what you love.

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  9. I have t- rex arms too. I am avg height but I always take out 2" in the bodice length above the armseye and then 2: out of the sleeve at biceps level. Nothing ever fits me either, so welcome to the sister hood of I - have-ta-sew!

    Good luck on the interview, I am sure you will look smashing no matter what you wear, and your smile will show brighter than your blue suit!

    A

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  10. Good luck with your interview. Sending you lots of new job good vibes!

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  11. Good luck on Monday, I will keep everything crossed. Hopefully, your new blouse will make the suit lucky, lucky!

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  12. Good luck on Monday, sending positive vibes

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  13. Good luck on Monday! I ran into the same issues with trying to find interview outfits last year (at the time, I'd lost weight and was on that plus/misses cusp that it sounds like you're on). FWIW, I usually see other women interviewing in either nice knit dress/cardigan or pencil skirt/blouse or top/cardigan outfits these days.

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  14. Here's wishing for you the right job for you!!

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  15. I'm crossing my sewing machine cords in prayers and hopefulness for Monday! We want to see you modify the jalie pattern.

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  16. I will be thinking of you on Monday, Debbie...You are stellar at keeping your spirits up!

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  17. Best of luck to you on Monday. I wish you the best. (Ready to wear doesn't fit me either!)

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  18. Enjoy your tops! I'm sending prayers and good wishes for Monday.

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  19. Good luck on Monday!
    Cynthia

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  20. Good luck! And keeping everything crossed for you here!

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  21. Good luck on Monday Debbie I SO hope this works out for you.

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  22. "What do the booty girls who don't sew DO?"

    They wear skirts that hike up in the back like a little tent!

    The reasons you gave are why I sew as well. I'm 5' tall, curvy, and busty. Shopping for clothes is far more frustrating than sewing!

    Super big hugs and good luck to you on Monday. Like Carolyn said, just say the word and I'll send some stuff to you.

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  23. Show them that smile you have when you've made some thing you love - also sending prayers & good thoughts

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  24. Good luck in your job interview. It's more important that you feel good in what you'll be wearing than what you actually wear!
    I have gorilla arms- at least RTW would have me believe that - but as I'm 5'11", they're really not out of proportion - but I certainly can't buy RTW - it's often (not always) impossible to lengthen a sleeve, especially better ones with mitred corners - so fabric cut off and can't be lengthened.

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  25. In my mind, the only thing worse that swimsuit shopping is suit shopping. Okay, maybe they are equal, but different. In sewing terms, I need a significant FBA and I am short waisted. I have to wear conservative suits, no frills, black, gray, or navy only. The only RTW suits I've ever bought that come even close to fitting were–no bargain here–Brooks Bros. Even then the local tailor received significant $ for alterations. I've tried plus sized suits too, but they are just too big everywhere else but the boobs. I'm seriously underemployed right now, but I dream of going to some place like Thailand and having a weeks-worth of suits made sometime… Good luck with the interview!
    ~Jen

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  26. Mostly I just lurk, but I want to say good luck on your interview. Use everything you've learned in these difficult times to make yourself stronger and better.

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  27. Best of luck on the interview and just so you don't feel alone in the try on rooms, I can tell you that NOTHING in the stores fits ANYONE who is not 18 years old and wears a size 6. Nothing. Like you, I've got T-Rexification of the arms (even in petites - you and I must be sisters below the elbow because I have that same 2" too long thing going for me too) so nothing in the jacket end of things fits me well either. My great good luck (well, it's sort of a 'make lemonade' thing) is that the company that owns the company I work with sold a couple of parts of it and I was able to save a piece of income by going home to work. Which means that literally, if I wanted to work wearing my jammies and bunny slippers I could but I don't. And actually, I miss working downtown and getting up every day and putting on something nice.

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  28. Debbie, you are probably the main reason I began sewing again, many years ago, after all of your posts and help on Pattern Review. I never have any luck finding things that fit in stores either, because I am much bigger at the top than the bottom. So the things that fit I can make, and the things that I have trouble altering patterns to fit also don't fit me in the stores. Bah. I hope your job hunt ends soon successfully! And I also have a closet full of unused fabrics that I would happily donate if you ever put out the call! :) ~Bev

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  29. Best wishes to you. I hope that you get selected for the job.

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  30. Ditto the advice about wearing what makes you feel confident not about wearing what you think is interview attire. You are good at what you do so just let that shine and don't worry. The offer of stash is an open offer, doesn't matter how much time goes by, when you need something let me know. You have inspired me so much you just don't have any idea. I went through long stretches of unemployment and reading your blog and most of the other kind people who have already posted above kept me sane. You are much appreciated by me and a ton of other people. I will be thinking of you tomorrow and sending prayers your way. Marilyn

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  31. Sending prayers out there for you.

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  32. Hi Debbie,

    Sending love and good karma. I will be thinking about you and the job interview.
    Have you consider teaching sewing skills?
    I am a new sewer and cannot find a anyone to teach me her in S. California.
    Josie Huber

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  33. Oh all of my fingers are crossed for you! Here is hoping everything goes great and your worries will soon be behind you.

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  34. Wishing you the very best today!

    Lynda

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  35. I had the same problem with suits. The only ones I found that flattered at all were from Simply Be, which I had to buy online and sight-unseen. I also didn't actually find *suits* so much as nice suit jackets that I can wear with skirt/pants I already own.

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Thank you for each and every comment. I appreciate them all, but I have to be honest and let you know that I'm usually bad about answering questions. I hope you understand that there just isn't enough time in the day to do everything I want to do.

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