Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Shoesday... Wednesday...

Hey all! Is it a gorgeous day out today or what? I have the day off and I have been thoroughly enjoying myself. Over the last few months, my life has been a bit of a roller coaster ride. First, in February, one of the seamstresses who works at MD fell and broke her arm. The weeks following were a scheduling nightmare as I tried to reassign all of her brides to the remaining seamstresses. I even had to call in reinforcements and ask a couple of our contracted seamstresses to start much sooner. I remember when it happened, it was stressful, but everyone kept saying, "At least it didn't happen during the peak season!" (Peak season for bridal alterations is generally defined as April through October.)

Well, just when I thought we'd recovered and were on our way to a nice, smooth, well- organized summer in the alterations department, another seamstress suffered a major health issue- she had a stroke. Unlike the broken arm incident, this was incredibly emotional for everyone at the store. A stroke is such a serious thing and all I wanted to hear from anyone was that she was going to be okay. And fortunately, that's exactly the news I got- almost immediately. Even though I know she's fast on the road to recovery, there is still a piece of me that feels sad every morning when I go in to work and see her sewing machine without her smiling face behind it.

So what does a bridal alterations manager do when it is in fact PEAK season and she tragically loses a key seamstress? Well, she hops behind the sewing machine herself, of course! And she pins the brides gowns herself at their fittings. And she does her best to keep everyone's spirits high despite the enormous influx of additional dresses to sew. It was about a month ago that the stroke happened and I'm proud to say that not only has the seamstress made great strides in her recovery, so has the alterations department. Because after all, the weddings are still going on as scheduled- whether I have a seamstress to sew the dresses or not.

It's been an emotional ride for all of us involved, and there have been some tough decisions made, but I'm happy to report that despite all the craziness, I think we're starting to get ourselves out of the weeds.

"Why haven't you replaced her?" so many brides have asked this question. Honestly? Finding a truly skilled bridal seamstress is difficult to do in the off-season. In the middle of the summer? It's impossible.

So here I am on my day off, finally starting to feel as though I can take a breath and relax and all I can think about is my outfit that I'm wearing to a friend's party this coming weekend. Who knows where the idea came from, but my friend Juhree is throwing what she calls "The Sailor's Garden Party." Where do I begin?

Why "the sailors?" you ask. Well, my boyfriend came to visit for my birthday a few months ago. We went out on the town with my very beautiful and very stylish coworkers and friends. At the end of the night, he remarked to me, "Your friends are just the prettiest bunch of sailors I've ever met!" When I looked at him quizzically, he explained, "Well, you know- with all the drinking and cursing." They embraced their new nickname with enthusiasm like I'd only seen when they're cracking open a fresh bottle of wine.

The "Garden Party" seems pretty straightforward- an outdoor affair with lawn games like croquet and badminton, right? Well, somewhere in the midst of all the planning, there came a discussion of appropriate attire for such an event. Effie Trinket served as the inspiration and guests have been encouraged to wear colorful, outlandish clothing, and to be sure to complete their outfit with a stylish hat or fascinator.

I've decided to wear a white dress that I made for myself a couple of years ago when I still lived in Pennsylvania- it's a perfect dress for an afternoon party:

Instead of the blue sash, I spent this morning creating a bright pink one with an enormous bow in the back. I also ordered a raspberry colored full-skirted petticoat from Petticoat Junction to really pump up the volume on the skirt. As for what hat to wear? Well, that's a surprise, but I'll tell you this: it's going to be a borrowed pieces that LITERALLY walked the fashion runway very recently. 

Unfortunately, even with the haute couture headpiece, it was all looking a bit too sweet- there wasn't enough of a funky edge to the outfit. Then I found these and it all came together: 

Only available online, I had to take a chance and get them. I think they are the perfect finishing touch to a zany look that I believe will be just right for this silly event. I'll be sure to take lots of photos and post them here or on facebook and twitter for you all to see. 

Have you had any fun parties to dress up for in the last few months? Leave a comment and tell me all about it! 

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