MFAM Week 2: Walk Like an Egyptian

MFAM header copy

Week two of the My Favorite Art Museum series is here, and it’s time to revisit everybody’s favorite period in history – ancient Egypt. Admit it, it was one of your favorite subjects growing up. With the hidden treasure, mummies, and mystery, how could it not be?

Even though we’re all grown up, we’re still obsessed with the after-living, cat-loving ancient Egyptians. Sure, we may not spend all day watching documentaries on King Tut and mummy curses anymore, but we do spend a significant amount of time watching The Walking Dead, zombie movie marathons, and internet cat videos. (Don’t deny it. You know it’s true.)

IMG_4462[1] The Internet

Not too long ago, the Nelson acquired an assemblage of 2,500-year old funerary objects that included the outer and inner coffins of the noblewoman Meret-it-es, a gilded mask, 300+ shabtis, and statuettes of Isis and Nephtys.

outer coffin of Meret-it-es, ca. 380-250 bceOuter Coffin of Meret-it-es, ca. 380-250 B.C.E.
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

The condition and level of detail seen in the outer coffin is rather remarkable.

IMG_0456bNot too shabby.

In this photo, you can see where boards where removed from the coffin so that curious museum goers could look inside to see how it was built.

IMG_0454bFYI, the mummy in back is not Meret-it-es.

Apart from her name, not much is know about Meret-it-es. However, while I was working as a security guard at the Nelson, I did run into her in the hall. Well, sort of…

inner coffin of Meret-it-es, ca. 380-250 bceInner Coffin of Meret-it-es, ca. 380-250 B.C.E.
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

It was 2010, and the ancient galleries were still being renovated. A co-worker and I were walking down the staff corridor one afternoon when we heard a door open behind us. We turned, expecting to see the maintenance crew or the restaurant staff. Instead, two art conservators were wheeling the 2,300-year old inner coffin down the hall like it was no big deal. My co-worker and I looked at each other and then back at the coffin. “Well, that’s not something you see every day,” she said.

meretites copyJust amazing.

The second oddest thing I saw in the staff corridor was when the walls were lined with hundreds of blue cupcakes. Sadly, I did not get one. But enough about that…

This week’s project comes in the form of a $1 skirt (that’s so tight I can’t even zip it up) and a $4 pair of pants that are made for a woman with hips far more impressive than mine. I found the Egyptian print skirt a few months ago, and it is actually the inspiration for the MFAM series.

before 3 copyLet’s get this party started!

Between the too-tight skirt and the too-loose pants, it was pretty hard to rock out to The Bangles. Obviously, something had to be done. I started with the skirt. The cut wasn’t really my style, so I decided to turn it into an infinity scarf. To do this I removed the zipper and unpicked the long seam down the back.

1Seams ripped!

Then I deconstructed the rest of the skirt, rearranging the fabric panels so that they formed a more rectangular shape. After laying it out, I sewed the panels back together and pressed the seams.

2Rearrange, sew, press.

There wasn’t enough fabric to make a nice-sized scarf, so I added a panel of black cotton fabric to one end of the Egyptian print fabric.

3Adding a panel of fabric.

Then I folded the semi-rectangular fabric in half lengthwise with the right sides touching, pinned the edge, and sewed along the pins, creating a long tube of fabric.

4Sewing the long edge.

Once my scarf tube was complete, I turned it right side out, matched up the ends of the tube (right sides touching again), and sewed along the edge as far as I could. Then I hand stitched the remaining 2 inches to complete the scarf.

5Finishing up.

The pants were easier. I removed the side belt loops and unstitched 3-4 inches of the waistband at the hips, then turned the pants inside out and pinned along the outer seam using safety pins. Then all I had to do was sew along the pins and take in the waist band about 1/2 an inch on each side.

pants copyTaking them in.

This week’s refashion was fairly simple (and had decidedly fewer mess ups) compared to last week’s Old West refashion. To complete the look, I skipped accessories and stuck to the basics instead – a black t-shirt and sandals.

After copyMFAM week 2: Egyptian Art

Now I’m off to watch YouTube videos of Steve Martin. Unfortunately for Schrödinger, I’m not in the mood for cat worship. (She knows why.)

IMG_4494aDon’t listen to her. I’m innocent.
Now help me hide these flowers under the couch.

Don’t forget to tune in next week for the next MFAM installment, and remember, please don’t touch the art.

Image credits:
The Internet,
Inner Coffin of Meret-it-esThe Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
Outer Coffin on Meret-it-esThe Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art


  • JJ says:

    Happy to see you have a blog now. I love seeing your refashions and this seems more informative than Facebook. :)

  • Elizabeth says:

    I’m glad you like the blog and that you’re enjoying the series!

    - Elizabeth
    aka The Hungry Octopus

  • Gail says:

    Great job on the pants, and your little cat is so cute. I’m curious to know if she is a rescue as it appears her left ear has a tear in it (at least that is how I see it in the photo – could probably just be her sitting position).

    • Elizabeth says:

      Schrödinger (aka “The Schröde” or “Evil Cat”) isn’t technically a rescue, but she was a stray. My sister and I were moving furniture into our old apartment when she waltzed through the open door and made herself at home. She’s been my furry room mate for the past five years.

      I’m glad you like the pants! (And the cat too.)

      aka The Hungry Octopus

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