Tag Archives: humor

Field Trip: Native Fashion Now at the Peabody Essex Museum


Let’s go on a little field trip, shall we?

Earlier this month I visited the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA to see Native Fashion Now.  The show runs from November 21, 2015-March 6, 2016.  If you plan to see it, check with your library to find out if they offer passes that will discount or eliminate the admission cost for you.

The show covers a wide range of designers.  Some are using traditional techniques, materials, and imagery in completely new ways and others focus on preserving tradition.  There are also questions within the exhibit about cultural appropriation.

Here are some of the pieces I found most interesting.  When possible, I’ll have the artist’s card describing the work below each picture.

Native Fashion Show, Peabody Essex Museum

The ones below were some of my favorites.  I liked the surface treatment of the fabric and the use of imagery on these dresses.  It was something I hadn’t seen before.  They made me rethink the idea of vintage dresses (even though these weren’t vintage when they were made).

Native Fashion Show, Peabody Essex Museum

Native Fashion Show, Peabody Essex Museum

Native Fashion Show, Peabody Essex Museum

Native Fashion Show, Peabody Essex Museum

I loved the level of detail in each little figure or image on this belt as well as the variety of materials that were used.

Native Fashion Show, Peabody Essex Museum

Native Fashion Show, Peabody Essex Museum

Native Fashion Show, Peabody Essex Museum

The way these three designers used their materials of choice so creatively was really inspiring.

Native Fashion Show, Peabody Essex Museum

Native Fashion Show, Peabody Essex Museum

Native Fashion Show, Peabody Essex Museum

Native Fashion Show, Peabody Essex Museum

Native Fashion Show, Peabody Essex Museum

Native Fashion Show, Peabody Essex Museum

I really loved this dress.  It isn’t by a native designer (it’s by Isaac Mizrahi).  At this point, the exhibit brings up the issue of cultural appropriation.  It gave me a lot to think about.

Native Fashion Show, Peabody Essex Museum

Native Fashion Show, Peabody Essex Museum

Here is an Iris Apfel ensemble.  If you’ve seen the documentary about her, you’ll know that she donated a good amount of her clothing collection to the Peabody Essex Museum.

Native Fashion Show, Peabody Essex Museum

Can you imagine the amount of work it took to create these boots?

Native Fashion Show, Peabody Essex Museum

This sign explains both the Iris Apfel ensemble and the boots.

Native Fashion Show, Peabody Essex Museum

This artist extended native imagery beyond fashion into an area that has a lot of cross-pollination with street style:  skateboarding.

Native Fashion Show, Peabody Essex Museum

Native Fashion Show, Peabody Essex Museum

It was an enjoyable and thought-provoking exhibit.  It gave me new ideas and broadened my understanding of fashion.

Before we go, let’s have some recommendations.  THIS IS FUN NOW!

  • Have you ever read the series The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith?  It’s what my mystery-loving friend describes as a “cozy”.  It’s not gross, graphic, or terrifying, but focuses on the work and relationships between several recurring characters.  Mma Ramotswe solves mysteries in Botswana with her faithful and opinionated assistant Mma Makutsi.  There are a number of books in the series, so if you like it, you’ll have plenty to read.
  • Smoked paprika.  It’s good.  Try it on eggs.
  • I found this on the Closet Case Files blog, and I had to repost it.  It’s all about activewear…and how inactive we often are when we’re wearing it.  This is your dose of humor for the week:


A Mystery…


While going through some old books, I came across this book that I’d read and saved from my childhood:

A Mystery! (Pattern and Branch)

Illustration by Jon Nielsen

I can’t remember the plot of the book, but what I really like is this cover picture.  My husband and I started to reimagine the story that went with it:

Donna Parker:  Who are you?  What are you doing here?

Intruder:  I, uh, um….

Donna Parker:  Wait a minute!  What…?  Are you…?  Are you doing the DISHES?!!!!

Intruder:  No!  I…Of course not!  I’m a man!  Men don’t do dishes!  I was, uh, fixing your blinds!

Donna Parker:  Where are all the dishes I left when I stepped out?

Intruder:  I don’t know!  Someone else must have broken in before me and done them!  You know, there have been a lot of these do-gooder break-ins lately.  I’ll just be going now.

Donna Parker:  You can’t fool me!  You have DISHPAN HANDS!  Have you been using my hand-softening dishsoap?!

Intruder:  I TOLD you!  I don’t wash dishes!  I just used it to wash my hands.  Is that a little old lady who needs help crossing the street?  Gotta go!  ‘Bye!

Donna Parker:  Where did those flowers on the window-sill come from…???

Full disclosure:  My husband washes dishes even more than I do, so I know men wash dishes.  We thought our version made a pretty great mystery for Donna Parker, though.  What do you think is going on in this picture?

Craft Fail: One size fits all pants


I got sucked in.

I was pregnant, and I wanted pajama pants that would fit me while pregnant and afterward (just humor me and pretend that elastic-waisted pants aren’t the obvious solution).  So…I found a pattern online for these one size fits all type pants.  SO BRILLIANT!

Or so I thought…

Somehow, once created, these weren’t the wonder pants of my dreams.

Pretty cool, huh?

Pretty cool, huh?

I followed the pattern and all, but once I tried them on, I realized a few things.  Um….how should I put this?  Well, a baby wears diapers….so I guess it could sort of be a mother-child look-alike outfit…or something?

Sort of looks like diaper pants...

Sort of looks like diaper pants…

I’m not sure if these pictures display the true and full diaper-like nature of these pants, so I’ll include a few more below (it also sort of feels like you are wearing a diaper when you have them on).  Beyond the diaper thing, the thighs were a bit snug.  So much for one size fits all (or even one size fits most).

As I was discussing these with a friend of mine, she said they reminded her of some pants she had seen once where the side seams were unsewn, with a tie in the front and back (unlike these, which only have a tie in the back), so you could truly customize them.  Once she said that, it brought to mind some Thai pants I had seen once that were a similar style.  I think those might have been better….

Anyway, you could try to make the best of this.  Here is what they could look like dressed up!

That's my modelling face.  Don't you think I'm a natural?  ;)

That’s my modelling face. Don’t you think I’m a natural? 😉

They can even be worn by men!  Our friend Caleb agreed to model them for you guys.

"One size fits all" pants AND giant sweater!

“One size fits all” pants AND giant sweater!

We thought it would be fun to combine the pants and the Giant Sweater from this post.  I’m pretty sure this is the “I love this outfit SO MUCH!!!!!!!” smile.  Thanks, Caleb!

So, while these pants seemed like a brilliant idea, they didn’t turn out so brilliant.  Maybe those pants with the unsewn sides would be better…..I could try that version some day!!!!  What do you think?  😉

Craft Fails


In the spirit of sharing, honesty, openness, and just laughing at our own mistakes, let me introduce Craft Fails.

Sometimes you have a great creative project going, and it just tanks.  You know, you just botch it.  The idea is great, but something in the execution goes awry.  I’ve had many projects like this.  So what do you do?  Sometimes you power through it, and ignore your mistakes.  Sometimes you just want to cuss (yes, “cuss”, not swear or curse).  But what about the real failures?  Well, I think we should share those projects because shouldn’t we all laugh at ourselves once in awhile?  I’m fairly open, so I don’t mind sharing my disasters with you.  I hope that some of you will send in your craft fails from time to time, too.  For more information on that, see the Craft Fails page.

Now!  Down to business!

I’d like to share a few Fails today to get us started.  For our first project, I give you Exhibit #1, the failed sweater project.  Behold:

Craft Fail: Giant Sweater

This is a picture of my wonderful and kind husband, wearing the sweater I lovingly knitted for him over a few years with yarn I bought from a farm in Vermont.

How lovely!

How touching!

It’s sized for a giant.

Yes, I did a gauge (a little test swatch to see if your knitting is the same size as that of the pattern’s author).  Yes, I followed the pattern.  I even tried felting/fulling it (shrinking it in the washer and dryer).   You can fit at least two people in there.

Now, sometimes these failures make me so mad I just want to cuss but this one was so bad, we just laughed (and almost cried, in my case).  It was terrible!  Sometimes my husband uses it instead of a coat for sledding, so I guess it’s still useful.

That leads us to Exhibit #2, ANOTHER sweater fail!  This was supposed to be an A-line chunky sweater, but it morphed into…a maternity sweater.  You can see me wearing it while pregnant here.

Craft Fail: Inadvertent Maternity Sweater

I tried to save this one by felting/fulling it also but, sadly, it didn’t help.  It did keep me warm when I didn’t have a maternity coat, though.  It’s all about perspective, right? (Right?)  It’s ok if you laugh.  I do, too, when I look at that picture.

Needless to say, I’m off sweaters for the time being.  I got a blast of false confidence when my first sweater fit perfectly.  Unfortunately, every sweater since has been giant-sized.  I’m sticking to hats at mittens and little things for now.

Finally, what about the project you think is success, only to find out, much later, that all those looks you were getting, that you may possibly have thought were looks of admiration, may possibly have been…um…not that.  Maybe people were laughing on the inside but, you know, it was on the inside, so you couldn’t see it.  It was kind of them to keep it inside, wasn’t it?

I give you, The Christmas Dress Made Without a Pattern.  A wonder of invention, draping, and stuff…

Craft Fail: Christmas Dress

Flattering, no?  Yeah, I thought I was so cool.  Looking at the pictures a few years out, I realize this was a craft fail.  Ha ha ha ha ha!  Yes, I am laughing about myself as I write.

Now, before I sign off, I just want to encourage you.  If you, like me, have worn your craft fails in public, do not dismay.  Fashion is fun, it’s experimental, and that outfit is just one day in your clothing life.  A vintage jewelry vendor at Brimfield once gave me the best fashion advice I’ve received.  If you like something, just wear it. Someone will probably think it’s awesome.