Thursday, April 18, 2013

Film Petit #8: Back to the Future

Wait, stop. Press play:

  The Power of Love by Huey Lewis & The News on Grooveshark

Ok now you are ready for this, on your mental skateboard.

Like many people my age, I watched this movie a lot as a kid. I remember once when I was four years old, I was watching my two preteen brothers have a mostly friendly wrestle in the living room. This was not an unusual sight in my house, but for some reason I decided to feign indignation at these shenanigans. I marched right up to them and pointed one finger out in front of me, leaning my whole body into it like a blossoming little George McFly. "Hey you! Get your damn hands off of him!" I don't think I knew which brother should get their damn hands off of which, but I knew I was keeping the peace and standing up for justice and possibly saving people in photographs from being erased. Of course a discussion followed, and my mom wanted to know where I heard that word. When she heard my answer, I wasn't really in trouble any more. Then I told her she was my density.

 Ok, maybe the density part was a stretch, but I remember being a pretty cool four year old, so it's entirely possible. The rest of that story is completely true and one of my earliest memories. It seems likely that this movie taught me how to measure a movie's worth for the rest of my life. The gold standard.

So this is my little Doc Brown. I wanted to do Doc all along, but at first I was thinking of Hendrix. Obviously, Elsie is much more Docish. It shoulda been the obvious choice. 

Crazy hair, naturally, but check out the crazy eye:

Is an all-white summer jumpsuit that zips up the front the most practical Film Petit clothing I've ever made? No, probably the least. But it cracks me up, so I'll still find occasion to make her wear it. I started with the new Oliver & S Pinwheel tunic and then extended the top straight down into shorts instead of the a-line shape of the pattern. I installed the zipper in front, trimmed the neck and sleeves in bias from orange Lizzy House Jewels, and then sewed some thin elastic into the waist. I made the whole thing from an old men's button up in the closet and the rest of the supplies I had on hand, so at least my impracticality didn't cost anything.

The 88 is embroidered on the front pocket in black perle cotton from Sewn. Of course, this is the exact speed required for a DeLorean to time travel. (Everybody knows that.)

The radiation symbol was painted on the back with a freezer paper stencil. Without it, this would just be a pretty cute little romper. The fit needed a tad more length in the body, but that would be easy to fix and make her one out of pretty fabric. I love the ease of the zipper in front. 

I took these pictures in the middle of the square in our neighborhood in Cincinnati. There is no clock tower, but it's kinda got the quaint small town thing going on, and the 20th Century Theater in the background is very retro. I could totally picture an Enchantment Under the Sea dance being held there. 

My favorite scene in Back to the Future is at the dance when Marty gets on stage and starts playing metal for the high school kids in 1955, and they all just stare at him like he has three heads. I may have fallen slightly in love with Michael J. Fox.

"I guess you guys aren't ready for that yet. But your kids are gonna love it."

Now go see Kristin's very creative interpretation of the DeLorean! I love that she picked the time machine as a character. It looks very BTTF, but not like a kid dressed as a car. Well, just go see.

And we have had so much fun working with Dana from Made on this one! She brought her usual clean and stylish skills to Film Petit and her little Owen is the perfect Marty McFly. Thanks Dana!!

If you are new to Film Petit, here's how it works:

  • Roughly once a month, Kristin and I will post FP on the same day, along with one special guest. We all choose a movie together and sew clothing for our kids inspired by the characters or something else in that movie. They are not kids movies, they are just movies we love to love. 
  • We usually don't tell the movie until the post goes up, but we love for people to sew along and make stuff from their favorites too. You can post your photos in the flickr group.
  • You can see all my past Film Petit posts right here, and Kristin's here
  • Next time we are being joined by Delia! We love Delia!
  • We have the most fun ever. 


  1. Thank you for including a soundtrack.
    And dude that jumpsuit?? PLEASE make more for the summer. I want one!

  2. Hahaha love that you included the POWER! Oh Huey. Freakin love the jumpsuit and your awesome story. High five!

  3. and yes. your damn story is killing me.

  4. Ok - how fun are you - the soundtrack was definitely needed and missing from the other two posts. LOL - Love it!

  5. I didn't need to click the Huey Lewis link. I have it in my head as soon as I saw the movie theme!!! The jumpsuit is fab. So awesome!

  6. The college I went to has a building with a clock that looks remotely like the clock from Back to the Future, and the college tour guides used to (hopefully still do) tell people that it's THE CLOCK. Total lie. And always hilarious.

  7. love it. love that anyone who recognizes it is going to pee their pants. awesome.

  8. Bwahahahha. My favorite piece! Love your story too. hahaha. Love Elsie's perfect Doc crazy eyes! Love that you guys did BTTF too. Now I want to watch it again!

  9. Ok, that is hilarious, and pretty dang cute, too! And the bonus soundtrack inspired a full on dance party among my kids. We had to play it twice.

  10. Ok, Rocking out to the music! love it! That little girl is oozing Doc charm like nobody's business! I love her crazy eyes, lol. The little romper is fabulous and love the lab glasses!

  11. I love this! Back to the Future was a favorite at my house growing up. We had neighbors who drove a VW van, and every time it drove past us my sister would scream, "It's the Libyans!" She also wore a watch just so she could look at it and pace back and forth saying, "Damn. Damn, damn." Good to know so many other children were introduced to that word by BTTF.

  12. Ha! So cute! Now you need to make a George McFly outfit for Hendrix, because that would also be pretty adorable. Great Scott!!

  13. Love that romper! Such a cute twist on a lab coat. And the 88 is a great touch :)

  14. love the details and the creative twist on Doc! My favorite line of his is where he yells: "The Lybians!!"

  15. So so so great once again! The "your kids are gonna love it" scene was my fav too. I remember how awkward it felt, even as a little kid, haha. Can't wait for next month already!

  16. Oh, and in regards to the practicalities of a white suit for a little tacker. I'm in the same predicament now. If only we were neighbours they could get muddy and trash their FP outfits together!

  17. Jess, I love this so much, such good memories of that wonderful movie with the family. You nailed the outfit, photos and model, perfection. love you, Mom

  18. I love this series so stinkin' much! Can't wait to see what you all and Delia have in store!!!

  19. great story, the disappearing photo was the most amazing thing to me as a kid. totally explained the space time continuum thing that time travel warps (i think i just geeked out lol)
    i always wanted to have the courage to hang onto a car while riding a skateboard

    anyway love your jumpsuit !! the bias tape on the sleves = perfect! she looks so cute in it


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