March 10, 2011

Twirly Girly

A new skirt recon from a favorite, but now outgrown, hoodie:

Hoodie to black polkadot skirt

I had to wrestle some snaps off of it in order to add that width-expanding front section. The white buttons are hiding the unhappy under-snap fabric.

I drew up a little diagram for how one goes about making a top into a skirt:

Hoodie to black polkadot skirt (instructions)

Cut on the orange lines, and then sew the green piece in place to widen, if necessary. Fold over the top to make a casing for an elastic - and there you are. Easy-peasy.

Any suggestions for what to do with the hood?

March 9, 2011

Lara Art

Hi web.
I always feel like I have to say right up front in any post that this is "Mr. Forty-two roads" writing, so that any phrasing, typographical errors, or nonsensical ramblings are appropriately credited.

There's a lot going on, and more every day, as the little ones grow up. Jakey is just ridiculously and adorably verbal (samplings: hagubuh = hamburger, sequedilla = quesedilla, sammup = stand up, moa-ata-peas = more water please [he says it all running together as if it's one word, though he can say each of the words just fine on their own; it's really adorable], baxetbaah = basketball [he busted out "daddy. watch. baxetbaah" after we took them to their first basketball game, Princeton vs. Penn women's bball... Princeton dominated. Our loyalties lay divided, now, however]) and Lara is doing new and impressive things at a fierce rate.

Here is a sampling of some absolutely amazing art from her recent creative explosion:

"Lara eating spaghetti and meatballs."
Her perspective is great, and watching how she adds to her repertoire, and how her style resolves, is just joyous. She has this coloring book-ish collection of pictures, and today she colored all the various arms/legs/face of one of the figures the same color for the first time, and really basically her finished work looked ... like a grown-up kid's!
(words I checked and stressed over the spelling: spaghetti, repertoire, and placement of kid's apostrophe. And now apostrophe.)

Here's a fantastic piece she drew:

(totally on her own, unsupervised, during "nap time," with no influences. And she's never been to a Warhol exhibit...)

And finally, the piece de resistance (or the piece de renaissance, I should say, given it's style):

"Lara: mixed media self portrait, on black, circa last Sunday."
She composed this at this great thing they do at the Philadelphia art museum, where on Sundays they have a set up for kids to do art projects; so after seeing some portraits, Lara crafted her own Renaissance style portrait... I think she did great, and it's so interesting how different her portrait looks than her normal pictures of faces.

Anyway, craft-ness seems to run in the genes, as she's always whipping up some art or other; it's great, and keeps our house well-decorated. Thanks for reading!

March 8, 2011

Sweater Do

I tend to have a hard time finding warm winter clothes because my skin is really sensitive to animal fibers. So wool? Nope, not even merino. Angora? No way. Worn over another shirt? Strike three. Even most blends are too itchy for my weak-sauce constitution. But my go-to option, cotton, doesn't really always cut it for the weather. So I was totally thrilled when I realized a few years ago that I can now tolerate cashmere, if I layer it. In a giddy moment, dazed by a massive sale and dreams of not feeling like frostbite is about to set in, I bought this blue sweater:

blue cashmere (before)

It's quite large and boxy, and has a really weird giant turtleneck thing that is much longer than a normal human neck but too bulky with the zipper to fold over in any attractive fashion. But still - warm! Sort of soft! Last night, after years of wearing this thing, something finally snapped, and I went to work. The result:

blue cashmere (after)

I took off the neck piece and zipper, and took the sleeves and body in a good two inches. What's fun is that this took an hour, tops, involved relatively minor alterations, but now fits and looks so, so, so much better! When I finished, I was reminded of a great thing Tom Ford said in his interview with Terry Gross about "A Single Man" (which, if you haven't seen it, is awesome). He was talking about how people on TV always look good in their clothes, and explained that it's not that they have perfect bodies - it's that every single thing they wear is altered and tailored to them. Even t-shirts. For some reason that's really stuck with me.