Thank you for voting me through to this week of Project Run & Play! This week’s challenge was to come up with an outfit based on a character from a movie. As I was googling some of my favourite movies, I stumbled upon images from “The Brothers Bloom” and instantly, I knew that Froo should be Bang Bang. It’s a bit of an unknown movie and an unusual choice for outfitting children, but this is the outfit of my dreams:
From the last challenge to this week’s challenge, it doesn’t take much to make the connection that I am obsessed with tailor-fitted outerwear. With wide-legged pants? Yes, PLEASE! Except, I had never sewn a blazer, nor a proper pair of trousers before. This seemingly simple outfit would require some crazy attention to detail–not something I could whip up with my tiny bag of tricks. I mean, a suit!
I found the task of making a suit completely daunting, so I sewed up an outfit for Boo that would give me the confidence to try welt pockets and test the use of knit fabric instead of wovens. I chose knit fabric because I wanted comfortable, kid-friendly fabric that is easy to wash and most importantly, doesn’t need ironing. I outfitted Boo as Bloom, played by Adrien Brody. I made the art museum vest and trousers by oliver+s in black bamboo stretch French terry.
I wanted Boo to wear a bowler hat, but I couldn’t find a pattern for one. As I suspected, the wool needs to be molded into a round shape anyways. I made a wool fedora instead, which is more like the one worn by Bloom’s brother, Stephen, played by Mark Ruffalo. The fedora pattern is from E & E Patterns.
I am not including Boo as part of my entry for this week, since I didn’t design the vest, trousers, nor the fedora. The only thing I designed was his ascot tie, which is simply one piece of fabric sewn into a long skinny scarf. His outfit was a practice run for Froo’s, so I consider him to be an accessory (photo shoot prop) to Froo’s outfit! I will blog about his outfit at a later date. But, Oh. My. Goodness. I cannot get over how cute my little guy is. He is definitely not the pensive, moody and sensitive character of Bloom, but just as charming and swoon-worthy!
As for Froo’s outfit, I used natural bamboo stretch fleece, which is extremely soft. Her pants started off as the art museum trousers. She tried on Boo’s pair in size 3 and they fit! I kept the front pockets, but omitted the fake fly, belt loops, darts and welt pockets on the back. Using some layering tricks with Swedish tracing paper, I merged a wide-leg pant bottom by tracing Pattern “O” from the Japanese sewing book, Happy Homemade: Sew Chic Kids. To dress up the pants, I added red piping to the outside leg seams.
I purchased the Basic Blazer pattern from Blank Slate Patterns. It’s my first time using a Blank Slate pattern and I was immediately impressed–starting with the way the paper was taped together. There is no paper cutting involved and the paper lined up perfectly, saving time and frustration. Brilliant! Then I traced Froo’s GAP knit blazer directly on top of each pattern piece, adjusted for Froo’s measurements, measured and aligned pieces to make sure they would match up. This process took several days. Drafting. Tracing. Redrafting. Oodles of eraser bits. Then I did the unthinkable–I cut my fabric without making a muslin first. Eek! I had barely enough fabric left to eke out the winter accessories, so I was ALL IN.
My furrowed brow has left permanent deep-set wrinkles, but I’m ecstatic with the end result! I slimmed and flared out the sides, narrowed the sleeves, created a more dramatic collar and added piping to the edges. The fit is perfect on Froo. I’m a little jealous.
My favourite detail is the small pocket flap attached to the welt pockets that can be hidden inside the pocket. I was nervous about the red stitched button holes, but they turned out really well! I placed a piece of tracing paper underneath the garment before stitching the button hole and ripped it off afterwards.
Bamboo fleece is a fair bit thinner than regular sweatshirt fleece and definitely requires lining. I chose to line it with thin jersey knit, with anchors printed on it! The heather taupe is neutral and doesn’t show through. I bought it at Fabric Outlet (also available online) during a date night with the hubs. He’s a good, good man. Anyhoo, to sew up my lining, I used this awesome tutorial from the Grainline blog, instead of the instructions from the pattern, since I needed a way to finish the sleeve hem with piping.
I also added a back facing to give the blazer more structure. I used red bias tape to make a little loop for Froo to hook the blazer on her cubby at school. I used Pellon Easy Knit interfacing on the front/back facings and collar. After sewing up the lining, I actually unstitched it to add a 2.5″ border of interfacing to the bottom hem, which made a HUGE difference in the structure of the blazer.
I made a last minute t-shirt for Froo, since it’s indecent for a 5-year old to wear a low cut blazer with nothing underneath! I used the lining fabric to make another flashback skinny tee, this time with a scoop neck and short sleeves.
I used stay tape on the neck hem to get a nice flat finish, following this tutorial from Skirt As Top. It worked beautifully.
I made the toque (aka “beanie”) by tracing Froo’s Old Navy toque (seen here). I drafted shapes, similar to the juggling balls, from the book, “little things to sew” by oliver+s, to round out the hat, giving it a spherical shape. The scarf is a longer and wider version of Boo’s ascot tie. I used a Clover pom pom maker to make and attach cute red pom poms to both!
I knew that Froo would never wear a bow tie on its own, so I incorporated it into the toque instead. The bow tie is attached to the toque with a strap and a snap button.
That’s 5 pieces total for this week’s challenge! Neutrals with pops of red for contrast. I am beginning to see a theme with the things I like to sew…
Both the ivory bamboo stretch fleece and black bamboo stretch French terry are from Nature’s Fabric. From the exterior, they both look about the same, but the fleece is fuzzy on the inside and a smidgen thicker. Froo & Boo love their bamboo pants! Boo calls them his “soft pants” and refuses to take them off once they are on. Froo is happy that her pants are softer than Boo’s. Sheesh.
I wanted to take some photos of Froo by the water, but of all days to leave my camera at home… arg. I took a couple of iPhone photos of Froo with a goalie stick, instead of a shuffleboard paddle. Keeping it Canadian, eh?
There is a great museum scene in the movie, shot in Prague–a gorgeous city. The hubs and I visited the first winter we were married. It was cold, snowy and magical. For our photo shoot, I wanted to take moody photos at the San Mateo County History Museum, in Redwood City. The weather was forecasted to be cloudy and grey last Friday, but it ended up being sunny and over 70 degrees! Poor Froo & Boo were melting. Boo dropped his fedora in the water fountain, which explains the soggy, warped brim. Froo refused to wear her winter accessories. I don’t blame her. By the end of it, they both wanted to dip their feet in the fountain!
My longest post EVER. Thanks for making it this far! I have a couple of tiny favours to ask of you:
1. Please head over to the Project Run & Play website to vote for me!
2. If you haven’t already seen it, watch “The Brothers Bloom”. Clever storytelling. Enchanting locations. Beautiful cinematography. Amazing fashion. Rachel Weisz is stunning. Adrien Brody is dreamy. Mark Ruffalo is brilliant. Rinko Kikuchi (Bang Bang) is a hoot!
Thanks again for visiting! I hope you liked the outfits for this challenge. I must admit, this week was a challenge for me, but I am so happy with how it turned out! I made 9 pieces altogether, 5 for my submission. I can hardly believe it!
p.s. In case you were wondering, 90% of the photos look something like this: