This one was written as a joke, from Jessica Salfia on Twitter, and it’s a great idea:
Some things from the ‘gram:
Lisa Congdon, with the wise advice yet again
Did you know Mary Engelbreit was still making art? And has an Instagram account? And is super liberal?!
Julie Houts‘ mix of FASHUN illustration and anxiety is pretty great.
THIS. All of this. I’m sure we can all relate. (El Arroyo restaurant and their famous sign.)
Back at the start of quarantine, I ordered something from all my favorite indie fabric stores, both to support them and to make sure I didn’t run out of fabric.* Fancy Tiger Crafts in Denver had just gotten a shipment of Ruby Star “Tiger Fly” rayon so I grabbed a couple yards with no plan.
At some point in the last year I had picked up a bigger size of an out-of-print Built By Wendy pattern, Simplicity 4112. I had made it before (ten years ago!) in a beloved Kaffe Fassett rayon, but I had outgrown it.
I saw the pattern in my stash and boom! A fancy lady blouse in fancy tiger rayon:
This looks fancy but is actually super-simple to make–just 4 pattern pieces and no interfacing on the placket (it’s “grown on” so you just fold the fabric on itself). I used my narrow hem foot for the sleeves and my Bernina handled the buttonholes like a champ.
This was a delight to make–it’s so YELLOW!–and I think Doc and I have really hit our photographer/model stride. Really happy to have this decade’s version of the blouse in my closet.
*Reader, I am NEVER going to run out of fabric.
Austin Kleon turned me on to Ron Padgett’s poems. This is from a long one, “How To Be Perfect,” which you can read in full here. Some of it is silly, some of it is profound–“Be nice to people before they have a chance to behave badly.”
Excerpts from “How to be Perfect” by Ron Padgett
Get some sleep.
Don’t give advice.
Take care of your teeth and gums.
Be friendly. It will help make you happy.
Hope for everything. Expect nothing.
Take care of things close to home first. Straighten up your room
before you save the world. Then save the world.
Be nice to people before they have a chance to behave badly.
Don’t stay angry about anything for more than a week, but don’t
forget what made you angry. Hold your anger out at arm’s length
and look at it, as if it were a glass ball. Then add it to your glass
Wear comfortable shoes.
Do not spend too much time with large groups of people.
Plan your day so you never have to rush.
Show your appreciation to people who do things for you, even if
you have paid them, even if they do favors you don’t want.
After dinner, wash the dishes.
1. Friends, we’ve reached the end of the seventh week of isolation here in Utah. Remember when we were preparing ourselves for two weeks? Truly, humans can get used to anything.
2. It’s May Day for workers (who are striking at Amazon, Target, Instacart, and Whole Foods today; don’t break the line!) and it’s Beltane for all the neo-pagans out there. For people obsessed with counting days now, that means we’re midway between the spring equinox and the summer solstice.
3. I…did not expect Austin Kleon to be tweeting about Beavis and Butthead, yet here we are. It is wise advice:
Sage wisdom from Beavis:
“You cannot run from your own bunghole.” pic.twitter.com/Xp0dRsqvwU
— Austin Kleon (@austinkleon) April 28, 2020
This dude is NINE (!) today!
He is such a delight and SO grown up. He’s an only child so he’s around adults a lot anyway, but he really is a collected, focused little human (who wore a bow tie for our “downtown day”).
He has the brain of an engineer and an artist’s sense of color. He can tell you anything about trains–literally anything, from technical signal workings to when different engines were in service. He’s extremely open-minded about new experiences, which is rare in kids (or even adults) and he’s just fun to be around. I know I’ll always learn something after I talk to him.
He has an iCloud account now and is texting (!) and I treasure the messages I get:
Happy birthday, Skyler! I hope your day is really ixiding.
Please enjoy this piece in Town & Country appreciating Martha Stewart’s Instagram account: All Hail Martha Stewart’s Big Quarantine Energy.
As the kids say, we stan Martha in this household, and I’ve followed her on Instagram for years. But her account has been particularly good during lockdown and I’m happy to see it getting the press it deserves:
Martha is unapologetic in her approach to this crisis—as she is in all things. […] There’s no false modesty about her resources, no smug odes to how blessed she is, no glibness about the importance of self-care.
Martha is not trying to influence me. She’s not suggesting I order a Tonal or start raising baby geese or plant half a dozen daffodil varietals in order to be more like Martha Stewart. It is quite obvious to everyone that that there can be only one Martha Stewart.
What better thing to do with your quarantine time than to make a fancy robe and then force* your significant other to recreate fashion shoots?
This all started with the fabric–a tiger print rayon from Workroom Social that was sold out for, no joke, over a year. When I got the email that it was back in stock, I bought first and figured I’d make a plan later.
I still get emails from Emerson Fry about fancy clothes I can make for much less, and I remembered they were selling this tiger print “Fete Kimono” that caught my eye. Then Helen’s Closet had a sale and I bought their Suki Robe pattern and it all fell into place.
I didn’t have anywhere near enough fabric but I made it work: Since I was going to wear this as a jacket, not a real robe, I cut a size down. I also chopped 5 inches off the shortest length and just lengthened the sleeves vs. cutting a separate sleeve band. Once again, I was really impressed by Helen’s Closet drafting and instructions–I thought the neckband inset would be fiddly but it all went together really well.
I’d seen some younger coworkers wearing the “kimono as jacket” trend (back in the Before Times) and always wanted to try it, so I’m happy I was able to make one for myself. Plus, I can literally sit around working in my robe.
*Doc has actually been extremely patient as I make him take pictures for the blog, which is usually in the afternoon when everyone’s (my) blood sugar is lowest and we’ve already rattled around the house together all day. He’s a good sport.
Doc had the brilliant idea of combining our park outing with some skating for me Friday night. Our closest park has an area of blacktop that must be intended for little kids to practice bike skills. Turns out, it’s also great to practice skate skills:
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Don’t worry, I still remember how to do my one trick:
1. Hey, another week has passed! April has felt like the longest year but we are doing it, every day. I’m proud of us.