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Mar 25, 2010

The hills are alive...

Readers, I have officially jumped the shark.

This pattern will soon be in my stash, thanks to an impulsive "Buy it Now" cursor click.  You can probably guess where I'm going with this...

Whoops, wrong photo.  Let's try again:

Don't these images just put a lump in your throat and a song in your heart?  (Or is it the other way around?)

Just to clarify, this was NOT my idea -- not by a long shot.  But you-know-who has a weakness for all things Julie Andrews and I didn't feel up to this.  I don't know exactly when I'm going to make this little Tyrolean number, but rest assured it has risen nearly to the top of my to-sew list. 

Actually,  today's entry was supposed to be about finding one's sewing inspiration from the movies.  It was supposed to be about YOU, loyal followers and lurkers.  But as usual my enthusiasm got the better of me.

I recognize that most of you can relate to this kind of thing more than my kooky creations:

Some obscure blogger whipped this up last fall, inspired by Katherine Hepburn or Audrey Meadows or somebody.  But it was obviously inspired by a movie -- some might even say ripped off completely without so much as a nod to the original designer, Marc Jacobs. 

But getting back to movie inspiration, have any of you ever made this pattern?

 How about this one?

For me, when a pattern is marketed as a costume it totally loses its appeal to me (not counting clowns of course).  It seems just one step removed from those Halloween costumes from Woolworths (RIP), cheap plastic mask secured with a stapled-on rubber band.  Not to mention that if you're sewing one of these, so are a thousand other people.  Where's the fun in that?

In closing, I ask you:  Have you ever been inspired to sew something you saw in a movie?  Were you making a costume or a real, wearable (after October 31, that is) garment?  

What movie outfit would you most like to wear, if you could?

Get it off your chest!

And for your movie entertainment, you simply MUST watch this.  One question: weren't there seven children?  (I mean, talk about low budget.)

More hilarity:


  1. Good question. whatever. What I actually want to comment on is I have, of course, been clicking daily for good luck (as instructed). The only problem is, that directs me to their very annoying website. Honestly, i don't want to know that on a list of sewing blogs you are being 'beaten' by a blog featuring *nursing covers*. They are boned. Well. Good grief. What can I say. Mae

  2. And here I thought I was the only one clicking that button every morning.

    I think there's only one way to make sure that never happens again: click away, people!

    And now back to our regularly-scheduled program...

  3. Ich liebe this Neue Mode pattern and I am truly neidisch (jealous) that it is coming your way! I have been more influenced in my life by SOM than I care to say.

  4. Ah, you actually asked a question that I'm currently working on. Great timing! In the party scene in "Julie and Julia", Julie wears a stunning dark blue fancy version of a shirtwaist dress (her sister Dorothy wears rust). I am trying to copy that dark blue dress. Perhaps not in taffeta - but definitely a fancy shirtwaist.

  5. I want to make every ensemble that I saw in the movie "The Group." And I would too... If only I could find a copy of that movie. I don't care if it's on VHS or Beta! I'll find a way!

  6. The green dress Knightley wears in Atonement. *sigh*

  7. I always get inspiration from movies, and television. Barbara Feldon in the old "Get Smart" series wore some terrific stuff, and more positively that show was on in the late 60s - chartreuse and hot pink mini dresses. Meg Ryan wore a lovely blue-gray dress and lacy blue sweater/shrug outfit combination in the very last scene of You've Got Mail. I love it every time I see it, and have to remind myself that I have a large chest, and no waist to speak of, and that it would look hideous on me. Otherwise I go off in search of patterns and material trying to recreate that outfit.

  8. Does it count if you covet the Bob Mackey creations Carol Burnett wore in her "monologues" at the beginning and end of her old shows? I have the Bob Mackey book, but it's the fancy Cher/Mitzi Gaynor type stuff. I just want to make his suits. -- San Antonio Sue

  9. omg. I love Judi Dench...hilarious video link..

  10. I do "costumes" all the time. My daughter (18) likes to wear them for fun as normal day wear - and has all her life. When you mentioned how boring men's patterns were - my first thought was you need to dip into historical/costume garb. Lots of possibilities there - but then I wasn't sure if you went in for that sort of thing as you are so fashionable.

    I don't like the "costume-y" costume patterns. They take too many short cuts and leave off too many details. For example, when my daughter wanted a 'matrix" style coat, I looked over a plethora of pattern possibilities, and chose one that was a real coat - not just the easy to throw together version. And my daughter found the Jedi costume she wanted after months of searching to find one that was, again, not just a "costume".

  11. Does TV count? I only ask because I made a Foofa costume from Yo Gabba Gabba last year.

    I used the simplicity Wizard of Oz pattern for the spats, pants, and hood (the hood was heavily altered) and a vintage toddler dress that I altered to make work for the body. Evie was adorable in it!

  12. Laura, you know some people might consider it inappropriate to post a live link to a photo even more irresistibly adorable than those of the blog host.

    Luckily, I'm not one of them!

  13. a lot of costume patterns have pieces that I would like to learn to make that I have a lot of trouble finding in regular patterns. I really want to make under busts and corsets and the ones that appear to have the fit I want always come in the costume patterns. I've been working on a under bust that I'm trying to add a hood to for a while.
    similar to Fourkid's daughter in high school I made renaissance dress patterns and wore those to school. I loved the sleeves.

  14. Anything empire line from Bright Star. Swoon.

    But of course I don't think you can really can't beat a bit of Sound of Music.

    Liesl x

  15. Judi Dench looks so unimpressed! She's one of those ladies who looks better as she gets older for sure.
    It's nothing special but I always wanted to make the blue and yellow coordinating shift and coat from Glass-Bottom Boat that Doris Day wears.

  16. Oh my goodness Laura! That photo of Evie made my morning - so adorable!! Some pretty heavy competition there Peter.

    I'm a complete sucker for tv and movie costumes! Luckily I'm also an Iowan, so that Midwestern practicality prevents me from really going all out and reproducing some of my favorites. Because, you know, I don't have anywhere to wear them. Now if the right event were to come up...

    I've sewn two reasonably practical and wearable outfits inspired by Pushing Daisies and
    how embarrassing, I have sewn that Dorothy costume... For myself. It really wasn't that bad people! Don't be haters ;)

  17. The orange and white kimono dress that Drew Barrymore wears in Music and Lyrics. I *love* that dress. My favorite color is orange, and I have been trying to find fabrics that are both similar and affordable so that I can make my own. :)

  18. All my recent sewing has been for the kids' school play recently and it's inspiring, but frustrating. I wish these puffy pirate shirts were for ME. And I'm wondering how my husband would like a nice red velvet Captain Hook frock coat in his size.

  19. Absolutely I've sewn 'costume' patterns! ;) I have the Simplicity pattern for Rose's dresses from Titanic. I made the chiffon number that she wears when the ship sinks. I also have the pattern for dresses from Chicago. Velma's All That Jazz dress is awesome!

    My spring and summer sewing project is to recreate Reese Witherspoon's wardrobe from Walk the Line. *swoon* Great movie, fabulous frocks!

    I'd also love to recreate Meg Ryan's looks in You've Got Mail and I.Q.

    Sarah :)

  20. You are so bad....I laugh so hard when I read your blog. And usually I'm at work. Containing mirth is rather difficult here. I agree with the costume thing. And where I live, this is why people get up and go to the fabric store it seems. That or getting married. sigh...I hate to see the world of sewing so belittled and unappreciated. Even more sad, I think the pattern companies make a haul on "costume patterns" and that's probably what keeps them in business. I hope I'm wrong. Either way, I can't wait to see you singing in that get up! It's too bad that you are way too much fun for your own good.
    I've been way inspired by some movies lately and can't wait to make all the clothes from them and wear them everyday. Can't wait. Even if I do look like I should only be coming out on Halloween.

  21. Peter, do you have some kind of hidden camera in my house? Why do your posts always seem to directly relate to something going on in my life... it's scary. I just watched an old movie the other day "It Could Happen to You" and have always loved the shirt that the selfish wife wears. I'm determined to make it, no matter how outdated it is. Maybe I'll make it longer and use it as a nightshirt.

    I've also always wanted to make this pattern:

    I bought it several years ago but just haven't gotten around to it. Maybe one day.

  22. I offered to make her a Cookie Monster outfit this year, but my SIL doesn't want her dressed as a boy. :D I told them that otherwise, I'd much, much rather they wanted her to be something from an actual pattern rather than me trying to improvise!

  23. Seriously, you did not know that the black dress is a knock off of the one Audrey Hepburn wore in Breakfast at Tiffany's? Designed by Givenchy, all her movie clothes inspire me.

  24. Givenchy? I'll have to Google her.

  25. 1) If you gotta be swiping my images without permission, can I at least get a link here please?

    2) For the record, MJ gets most of his ideas from *me.* He just gets credit for them because he's much more willing to whore them out to the public. There are some days when he just gets on my blog and hits refresh over and over and over for hours.

    3) I haven't tried to recreate any yet, but I would *love* to have Grace Kelly's wardrobe from "To Catch a Thief." *swoon*

  26. I love watching old movies and getting ideas for clothes. I've never sewn from a "costume" pattern before, but since I spent an hour Sunday morning looking for a Star Trek dress I might have one in my near future. No, I don't need it for anything--just thought I'd make it for fun.

  27. I love movie costumes! I've knocked off many a costume for Halloween: Ever After, Addams Family, 101 Dalmations (new school Dynasty-esque Cruella), Chicago, Down With Love (and if you haven't seen Down With Love put it in your Netflix queue immediately), etc. etc. I can't think of any non-costume inspired pieces, though. Must get on that!



    (Sorry, peanut butter you know...)

  29. (Who do you have to know to post a live link around here?)

  30. Actually, I've been searching in vain for a site that shows all the lovely, inspiring movie costumes/fashion. I think a trick they do very well in movies is making ordinary people (well, actresses) look extraordinarily pretty, even when wearing sort-of-normal stuff (see Meg Ryan, as quoted above). Very inspiring. What comes to my mind is "Chocolat" and "Amélie". Can you tell I'd rather be French with short, dark, curly hair?

  31. Pretty much any costume from Lady Sings the Blues. But there is one in particular that involves a cape.
    And here's a link for just for you:

  32. Any of the delicious ball gowns Deborah Kerr wore in the King & I.All that swooshing and sweeping around, glorious!!!

  33. I agree that whenever I use a "costume" pattern, I end up having to do a complete overhaul as their "shortcuts" always makes the pieces look so cheap.

    Don't roll your eyes — I love Halloween! Like Moxie Tonic, I have also sewn the Dorothy costume, just last year actually. I did alter the pattern (of course) to be a separate dress and shirt (the pattern has it as one bodice piece — yuck), which made it more time consuming, but a much better looking product at the end. I even spent six hours gluing small red sequins to a pair of heels to get my ruby red slippers. Crazy? Perhaps ;)

    I secretly want to make any of the dresses of Kirsten Dunst's in the movie Marie Antoinette. Completely irrational, I know.

    I would wear most anything from Mad Men :)

  34. Hm. I just realized. I can totally make the sailor outfits from Sound of Music because I have a vintage 40s sailor pattern thats the same style. And it's in Evie's size...

  35. I've made many a garment based on movies and television; but the one I'm proudest of is when I was asked to make the red dress Julia Roberts' character wears to the opera in Pretty Woman. Turned out great, if I say so myself!

    Of course, most of the rest of my movie-and-TV-inspired sewing has been costumes to look like most of my girls' favorite characters; not nearly as glamorous. ;)

  36. IF I were to make costumes, I would totally do Regency style wardrobes a la Pride and Prejudice (my fave is the BBC/A&E version, of course). I'm so impressed with these patterns, I would definitely try them. Someday...

    And I agree with the SS, Grace Kelly's wardrobe in "To Catch A Thief" die for!

  37. gawd I'm sick.
    This would be for Halloween.
    I wanted to dress as a full on Slytherin. Sort of a Snape inspired affair with long black frock coat and silver snake jewelry and all. And the plan was to wear it to work. I came *this* close to doing it in 2006, too. But being an - ahem - adult, I bailed on the idea.

    A few minutes ago I was thinking about this glorious, tragic dress Aeyrn Sun wore in a few eps of Farscape.

  38. Peter I'm such a fan, of both you AND Cathy! And the slide show of Cathy trying to reconcile her past truly made me laugh out loud. Especially when she finally sees her mother (Great choice!) and then reconsiders. You're a GENIUS!

  39. Peter, to post a live link, you have to HTML it. So the code is (remove spaces) < a href = " webaddress " > text for link < / a > Just trying to make it show up....

  40. Jon, thank you! Now if you could only convince MY mother.

    Laura, thanks a million; I'll give it a try.

  41. Grace Kelly's wardrobes were fantastic - "Rear Window" would get my vote.

    Where on earth did you find the Judy Dench clip? That woman is amazing. Her performance in "Nine" was probably the highlight of the movie. I knew she could do serious drama, and I knew she could do comedy, but she can actually do a servicable job of musical comedy as well!

  42. Easy!

    There is a scene in Rosalyn Russell's Auntie Mame in which she appears in a brown taffeta ensemble. Long sleeves and sparkles on top. The bottom is magic: a very long full skirt that splits to reveal a pair of matching brown taffeta cigarette pants. Wowowoweeeeee

  43. Ooooh -- I remember that outfit! I want that too. And with a LONG cigarette holder.

  44. I made the "Dorothy" when my daughter was in college. She gave me 5 days to find the fabric, find the pattern, find and dye the shoes, get a stuffed dog for the basket......

    And, all that and work too! I finished the whole thing at four o'clock in the morning the day of her party. I then drove the whole kitandkaboodle to her school (80 miles away) and was back in time to go to work at the University of Denver by eight in the morning. She still wears that costume from time to time...12 years later.

    What we moms do for our children is just ridiculous sometimes!

  45. My introduction to theater sewing was sewing costumes for Toto and the Cowardly Lion my freshman year in high school. The director bought the fabric and a costume pattern that was a basic body suit with flaps covering the hands and feet. (It closed in the back via hooks.) I had to design the head pieces myself, with my mother's help. Fortunately, I had a flying monkey headpiece from a ballet recital a few years earlier to use as a starting point.

    The costumes turned out really well, and after that, the director LOVED me and I was guaranteed at least a bit part in any play I tried out for. (My enthusiasm for theater was significantly greater than my talent. :) )


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