Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Film Petit: Fantastic Mr. Fox

"If what I think is happening here is happening... it better not be." -Mrs. Fox

It's Film Petit day!!! Yes, we came back to another Wes Anderson film. We just couldn't stay away that long. But Fantastic Mr. Fox is the only animated film Wes has done and the only one that even Hendrix is a huge fan of. He was very excited about this month's look.

The movie is stop motion animated. That combined with Wes' attention to detail really makes it visually stunning. I love watching the DVD extras about the animation process and just how much he was involved in every single little decision. He even acted out each character's parts himself on video just for the animators to learn how each character moved and acted.

My look is a little less literal this time, but I associate it loosely with the character Ash. Ash is Mr. Fox's son. He's grumpy, he spits, he wakes up on the wrong side of the bed. He never seems to be able to get his father's attention in the ways he wants to. He is probably summed up best in a conversation with his mother in which she says he is just 'different,' as they all are in the Fox family. He responds with, "I don't want to be different. I want to be an athlete."

There are so many themes and lines and quirky Wes-isms that I love about this movie. The way the characters eat like wild animals even though they live and act like people, the way they say "cuss" in place of every actual cuss word, and all the capers stealing from the most hilarious trio of antagonists.

But my favorite scene is definitely the ending. SUCH a great ending. After being under siege by the three farmers, Boggis, Bunce and Bean, Mr. Fox finds a sewer entry into a great big supermarket after closing, filled with everything they could ever need. So of course, Mr. Fox makes a toast, and then they just dance. They dance to Let Her Dance by Bobby Fuller, which is just perfect. Every time we watch it at home, Hendrix immediately gets up at the end and shakes it all over the place. You can see he had no problem doing that in our actual supermarket. 

I guess I should tell you a little about the clothes. The pants are Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop's new skinny jeans pattern, the very same I made for Elsie a couple weeks ago. I definitely love a good unisex pattern, and this one will get lots of use this fall. The fits is great and the pattern spares no detail, which really makes them look pro. But my favorite thing about these is the bright electric orange hue. It's fine wale corduroy from Sewn, and Hendrix pulls it off like a pro. I couldn't love these crazy pants any more. 

The shirt is the raglan pattern from the book Sewing For Boys, made with a couple up cycled tees. (And I put the seams on the inside.) I hand stitched the entire diagram from the movie that explains the rules of Whack Bat. It's a game that Wes made up just for the movie, kind of a baseball/cricket hybrid where the players hit a flaming pinecone. I realize that it's the kind of thing that no one will recognize, not even most people who have seen the movie. But you know that I like my kid wearing weird references no one gets... that's definitely the fun of Film Petit sewing.

Whack Bat Rules
"Basically, there's three grabbers, three taggers, five twig runners, and a player at Whackbat. Center tagger lights a pine cone and chucks it over the basket and the whack-batter tries to hit the cedar stick off the cross rock. Then the twig runners dash back and forth until the pine cone burns out and the umpire calls hotbox. Finally, you count up however many score-downs it adds up to and divide that by nine." 

"There's a lot of attitudes going on around here... don't let me get one." -Ash

Now you absolutely HAVE TO go see Kristin's amazing Mr. and Mrs. Fox outfits. She seriously kills me. Dead.

And we had so much fun planning and previewing all month with the super-talented Cherie. Her little foxy look is just stunningly creative and beautiful, it cannot be missed. Thanks so much for sewing with us Cherie!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Japanese x and + Scrappy Quilt- Done!

This is my favorite ever. I'm just gonna get that out of the way.

And what's with my downstairs neighbors putting up spiderwebs in the middle of September? Also gonna get that out of the way...

So this new-favorite-ever quilt is made up of 48 Japanese x and + blocks from Amy's great tutorial. I was also inspired a lot by Leila's gorgeous quilt. I started making them last December, just a few at a time, completely out of scraps leftover from other projects. Some of the scraps go back to when I first started sewing almost 5 years ago, long before I was quilting. I blogged about some of the blocks here and here

There are also scraps from every other quilt I've made, from every PR&P project, from stuff I used to sell on Etsy, and every other gift and toy I've made. It's pretty cool to watch my 3 year old Hendrix sit and point out all the fabrics he recognizes from things that are still used and played with around the house. I feel like it's a sewn journal of what I've done so far. 

It's also funny how you start to sentimentalize all the places your fabric comes from, even the online ones. Of course, a lot of this fabric came from Sewn Studio, which is pretty much the reason I started quilting and became any good at any kind of sewing. But the fabrics also come from great brick and mortar shops like Crimson Tate and Whipstitch, and my favorite online sources Fresh Modern Fabric, Hawthorne Threads, and Pink Castle

I'm very happy with the way my quilting turned out on this one. I've gone back to pin basting, after being a sprayer for a long time. I really do think it helped my straight line quilting turn out much better. Plus the quilt feels softer without the spray baste, and I'm glad to not buy any more cans of it. Yes, the process is a little longer, but I didn't really mind. Crawling around on the ground isn't the most fun either way.

I quilted 1/8" on either side of every seam that made up the +'s and x's. It took a long time, and lots of marking, but totally worth it. I also used Aurifil thread for the first time and I loved it. This was a whole lot of quilting and I only used 3/4 of the spool. I feel like I would have spent close to the same amount for several spools of Mettler. I may be and Auriful convert now as well.

The back is all pieces from my stash, and the border is Essex linen in leather, (thanks so much Rachael!) which is a kind of weird color on it's own, but looks great against these bold blocks. The binding is a Joel Dewberry Herringbone that was also in my stash. The only thing I bought for this quilt was the thread and batting.

I love how the design of the quilting forms those star shapes on the back. Also love how you can see the shapes of the blocks through the back when the light hits it. Perfect.

I usually start and finish quilts within a month or two, but I'm so glad I took the time to work on this throughout this year. It's the most beautiful thing I've ever made and it's all from leftovers. When I think about that, it really helps me not to splurge on the 187 great fabric lines that have come out recently. I just want to start on my next scrap quilt already!

It finished at 68" by 52" and it's getting lots of use on the couch already. What a great way to start fall. Thanks so much for indulging me by looking at 4 dozen pictures of it :)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

If Tobias Funké had a drawstring bag...

I don't know if it would actually say this, but it sure would be this fancy. Maybe it would say this, and maybe he would use it to keep his make up handy for blue man group auditions. 

If you don't know what I'm talking about, I would be nice and try to explain it but... it would become one of those things where your friend is telling you about some show/movie/lifetime madefortvmovie they love and it involves a lot of character backstory, and they do such a good job at it that for a second you think the story is going to payoff. But then it doesn't. Never does. 

Anyway, it's Arrested Development and you can at least watch the ten second clip

I made this as a birthday gift for my boss at Sewn Studio, a fellow AD fan. I actually introduced her to the gospel of Arrested Development, so yeah. I'm pretty much her favorite now. It didn't dawn on me that I should make this exact thing until the day before her birthday, but it really wouldn't be as fun any other way.

I used Jeni's great drawstring bag tutorial. Whenever I make one of these I immediately want to make one for everyone I know. Then that never happens. I think next time I'll make it a Carl Weathers quote, "Baby, you got yourself a stew!" complete with embroidered hambone. Is this the beginning of a completely unreasonable series of AD themed bags? I would like that.

I'm not so much with the embroidery, but I'd like to practice more. This I just wrote on the fabric and then backstitched over. Then after I pieced everything together I added a scrap of batting under the exterior part of the bag and did some random hand quilting. Then my hand got bit off by a loose seal.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Skinny Little Cords

A couple weeks ago I had the pleasure of pattern testing the new skinny jeans from Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop.

I love how non-homemade they turned out! And the great thing about the skinny jeans pattern is that it's completely unisex, 12 mo-10 yrs. I already have another dark denim pair planned for both my kids, plus kelly green and royal blue cords for Hendrix.

And now, pictures of Miss Elsie parading around the neighborhood like she owns the place. You work that skinny stuff gurrrrrrl.

She don't stop the rock. I made these a size 18mo. Approximately 30 seconds after these pictures were taken, she proceeded to find the one muddy place in front of our house and scoot her khaki booty all over it. Classic.

Pick up the skinny jeans pattern right here!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Hi, my name is Jessica, I used to blog here.

Well hot damn. Two weeks went by without me visiting this place and there is not really a good reason. Now, I am not going to be one of those silly people who come on here and say, "So sorry, I know you missed me terribly!" ... Not that I don't think that's true of you. I know you have all been dreaming about A Little Gray and pining for the day when you would feast your hungry eyes on some new material here. (Don't try to pretend, coy readers.) I just wouldn't think of shaming you by pointing that out to everyone here, on the internet's most widely read blog ever. It wouldn't be couth.

No, you want to know the honest to goodness reason I haven't been interested in blogging much lately? Because I've been sewing like a mad woman. Once I get any free chunks of time to myself, (and the house is brought up to a standard that won't get my children seized by the state, but not much more), I just want to do nothing but sew. Needless to say, I have some things to show you.

One such thing is this cute little bow clutch. I basically used this tutorial, and it's really fast and easy. This one is for a friend, but of course I'll be making another for me soon. I love it. LOVE IT. 

The tutorial has no pocket, but I added one to the inside. Can you believe how free-style I am? Out of control. The fabric is Riley Blake Chevrons and Essex yarn-dyed linen in black. I'm getting down to the last of my fourth or fifth yard of that stuff and I'm really distraught over it. It's the perfect fabric for everything. I've also used it here, here, here, and here. Oh, and here

And this could not be more exciting to me- I'm quilting the big ol' scrappy +&x!! It's getting the heavy straight line treatment, which is of course taking a long time, but my new walking foot makes it feel like joyously running through meadows of beautiful flowers... 218 times. Soon and very soon people. (You can see the quilt top in this post, although now I've added another row and a linen border.)

One last thing, today I'm over at Sew Together, guest posting about my "Sewing Best Friend." Spoiler alert: it's my stash. So go over to see the goods right here, but also leave a comment about what you think of stash growing and such. I'd love to read them!

Hey Zie Zie!