The next step was to take the cloth to the tailor and have it made into an outfit. Of course, I procrastinated....I got the cloth in September and didn't take it to the tailor until December. The tailor has pictures on her wall of outfits....but they are not really appropriate for middle-aged women in Niger. I try to dress culturally appropriately, which means shoulders and upper arms covered, shirt long enough to cover the behind, and nothing too tight. All the pictures she has are mermaid style skirts that one would have to pour themselves into and skin-tight shirts that barely cover the waist. They are all the rage in the country where she comes from, but not really appropriate for here.
So, my problem is choosing a style from her posters hanging on the wall, then describing to her how we could make it more modest and more appropriate.
I left the cloth with the tailor to be picked up a week later....but I got busy and forgot to go. Before I knew it, it was the day of the party and then I had to rush over there between this and that to get the outfit. I held it up and my heart sank. For starters, the shirt was sleeveless....totally inappropriate. Then I tried it on. The shirt fit well, but was also too short. And, in true keeping with the style, I could barely get the skirt on. What an amazing tailor I have! She told me to have a seat and then she and her apprentices basically remade the outfit in about an hour!! She put sleeves on the shirt and lengthened it and they put extra side pieces on the skirt. Oh, and the skirt was way too long for me, so that shortened it as well. I was pretty pleased with the end result.
Except one thing....they added too much into the skirt and here's the thing. They shape it like hips so now it looked like I had extra hips. Believe me, I don't need any help in that department. So when I got home I whacked off some of the extra hip shape and made it a bit more suitable.
The office party was great and we all had different styles of outfits.
Even the four men who had shirts made had different styles. I'm so happy I get to work with this group and that I can show my friendship with them by dressing in the same cloth or "uniform" as we call it here. (The ladies not in uniform are wives of office workers.)
The next day I wore my new outfit to the office. When I came home for lunch, I decided to eat out on the terrace. I picked up the cushion off the chair to dust it off and felt something go down my shirt. I looked and it was a little lizard. I started screaming for John, telling him to get it out. He couldn't see it, so I said, "Let's go inside and get this shirt off!" He replied that then the lizard would be in the house. I sure didn't want that, so I just unzipped my shirt outside, hoping our house worker wouldn't come out of the house just then! John found the lizard on my back, grabbed it, and threw it to the ground. It ran off, but lost its tail in the process. He was probably as traumatized as I was! (Sorry, no pictures!!!!)