MFAM Week 5: Fairfield Flashback

MFAM header copy

Week five of the My Favorite Art Museum series is here! Okay, so week five was supposed to be here a couple days ago, and I’m even later than I was last week. I can’t even blame my car this time. (Dang it!) I’ll try harder next week. Promise.

This week we’re looking at the Nelson-Atkins’s modern and contemporary collection. These galleries are a treasure trove of color, media, style, and technique. I never get tired of visiting them, not even when I used spend 30+ hours a week walking the halls as a security guard.






My inspiration for this week comes from Fairfield Porter’s The Mirror, a dual portrait of the artist and his 10 year old daughter Elizabeth. I really liked the way she directly engages the viewer of the painting, like you’re in the scene with her and her father. The painting also stands out from many of the other works in the galleries because of its more traditional subject matter.

IMG_0736bThe Mirror, 1966
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

Based on the expression on young Elizabeth’s face, this was not the first time she’d done this.

IMG_0736c“I’m having so much fun right now. You have no idea…”

Believe it or not, this is not the first time I’ve recreated Elizabeth’s outfit. Way back in 2008 when I was a museum guard, I dressed as Elizabeth for the Nelson’s staff Halloween party. It took a while for everyone to figure out who I was, but everyone loved it once they realized who I was supposed to be. (I assume they originally thought I was just poorly dressed.) Even the grumpy curator thought it was great.

217508_503956366972_163_nMe with the pirates and witch doctors.

It’s been five years, and the only part of my original costume I still have in my possession are the red tights. (Not many occasions call for red tights. Who knew?) I would have to start from scratch with these three underwhelming pieces.

before copyImpressive, right?

I started with the sweater, shortening the sleeves…


…before moving on to removing the zipper. Using the knit “ribbons” from either side of the zipper, I added details to the front and back. I used a pin for the closure at the neck, and added large brown buttons for embellishment.

sweater detail copy

And at the end I had a lovely new cardigan.

Orange Sweater 2 - 19 October 2013 copy

Then it was time to move on to the yellow blouse. I had originally planned on recreating a ModCloth top for copycat week during season one of Refashion Runway, but had instead opted for a Gwen Stefani look. Now was the perfect time to recreate the ModCloth look.

I began by cutting away the side seams so that the top was open like a poncho. Then I cut off the sleeves.


To copy the back of the top, I folded the shirt in half and cut off a large portion of the back panel. Then I took in the remaining shoulder panel about two inches before gather the larger panel and reattaching it to the shoulder panel.


To alter the front of the top, I removed the old darts and added new ones that fit my dress form.


After the major work had been done to the front and back, I took the top in several inches on both sides and finished the edges around the arms.

Yellow blouse - 19 October 2013 copy

By now I was running way, way, waaay behind. (Sorry!) I finally wised up and realized I already had a brown skirt, so I tossed aside the sliced up “to do” skirt in favor of my refashioned wool skirt from earlier this year. (Click here to see the Aussie Army pants refashion from March 2013.)



 I pulled the look together with my aging red tights and recently refashioned grown up saddle shoes.

after copyMFAM Week 5: Modern and Contemporary Art

Will week six’s project be done in time? You’ll never know if you don’t check back this weekend for the next MFAM installment. And remember, please don’t touch the art.

Image credits:
They’re all mine this time


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