film petit: mon petite amélie

it’s film petit time, and this month’s film is one that’s been a favorite of mine for many many years (we even had the soundtrack playing at our wedding reception in 2004).  it’s…Amélie!

petite amelie

officially titled “Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain,” Amélie (affiliate link) is a 2001 French film directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet about a little girl that grew up within her own imagination.  she was a lonely child and a lonely adult too, until one day she is struck by the urge to become a “do gooder” and surprise others with small acts of kindness and love.  her shenanigans include stealing her father’s garden gnome and sending it around the world, guiding and describing the street scene to a blind man, and setting up two lonely hearts looking for love at her workplace.

petite amelie

as she does these good deeds for others, she chances upon a young man named Nino.  Nino is on his own quest to find an elusive mystery man as he reassembles discarded photo booth photos for his collection, and Amélie quickly falls in love…but she knows the way to get his attention is through the photo booth.

petite amelie

so she goes to a photo booth and takes photos of herself…

petite amelie

…and directs Nino to meet her…

petite amelie

…knowing that when they finally do meet, they will fall deeply in love and be together forever.

petite amelie

in the meantime, playing the game is just as fun…

petite amelie

i knew i wanted to sew Amélie herself.  as i watched the movie for the first time in years, i kept a notepad near me and sketched out my inspiration for what to sew for Em.  i noticed a few things about Amélie’s wardrobe (played by the lovely Audrey Tatou):

petite amelie

as i put these ideas together, i noticed that the design that emerged reminded me of the darling ranges dress (adult pattern) by megan nielsen!  i went with that inspiration.  mine is a mini version, with short sleeves and fewer buttons.

petite amelie

the button down front comes to a v at the neck (i drafted facings, a feat i’m geekily proud of – this pattern has eight different pieces!).  i stitched the facings down by hand for an invisible finish.  the sleeves puff slightly at the shoulder, and i made it in a red with white polka dot cotton (moda essential dot) to stick with her mostly-red color theme.  it closes with five white buttons.

petite amelie

the bodice attaches to a gathered skirt and has shirring in the back to add some shape while remaining very comfortable for my little gal.  i owe my newfound knowledge of facings and shirring to the washi dress, so it was fun to apply those techniques to create this pattern of my own.

petite amelie

Petite Amélie LOVES her red polka dotted dress, and sets out to make the world a better place…

petite amelie

…one traveling garden gnome at a time!  now scamper on over to probably actually to check out Gail’s gorgeous gnome dress!  i LOVE that she was inspired by the gnome.  the dress she made is amazing, you’ve got to see all the lovely details.  Amélie was impressed!

petite amelie and gnome

and to find out if Petite Amélie’s photo booth charms worked on Little Nino…head over to a little gray for some amazing sewing and a little bit of trickery!  Jessica had a genius collaboration idea with this one; you really don’t want to miss it!

petite amelie

it was SO fun planning this month’s post with both my co-host Jessica and Film Petit guest Gail – how great to have three people watch the same movie and be inspired by different parts of it!  thanks ladies, this was such a blast!


here are the guidelines for film petit:

  • every month or so, Jessica and i (plus a guest blogger) will sew an outfit (or outfits) for our kid (or kids) inspired by a movie we love.
  • if you’d like to play along, please feel free to add any movie-inspired sewing to the film petit flickr group.  if you sew along with our film petit choices, we’d love to see that too.  we’re close to doing a round up, so keep ’em coming!
  • if we really like your stuff, we may ask you to join us for a future film!
  • this is a pretty relaxed series, really the only rule is to make outfits for kids based on films you love. if you have any questions, please let either of us know.
film petit button for your blog

PS – i took the indoor photos in the Ace Hotel lobby where there is a functioning vintage photo booth (!!), and the outdoor photos at Cool Cottons, a wonderful local fabric shop you should definitely visit if you have the chance.

PPS – Cherie from you & mie will be joining us in september!


45 thoughts on “film petit: mon petite amélie

  1. Rachel says:

    Well, this sure put a smile on my face this morning. I remember watching this movie at a theatre in Paris in 2001… isn’t it a great movie !?! So unique, I love the whole thing her random acts of kindness, with the traveling gnome & the mystery of the photo booth/guy.
    Et ta petite Amélie est adorable avec sa robe rouge 🙂

    • kristin says:

      Oh thanks, Rachel! Such a great movie though I hadn’t seen it since having kids and the beginning of it kind of made me melancholy! Anyway though, still great et merci for your French comment! Now I’m legit. 😉

  2. gail says:

    your photos are amazing! this is so much fun, and that dress is très Amélie! and your own pattern! we all knew it already, but you’re so good 🙂

  3. jessica says:

    oooooh teach me about facings Kristin! This is so fun, your whole story is great. I can’t wait til we can get our little love birds together one day!!!

    • kristin says:

      i’m thinking i may do a tutorial down the road. so…there. and yes, we will bring them together at some point! perhaps in the middle, like nebraska?

  4. sewchibi says:

    Oh. My. GOD!! Absolutely one of my favorite movies!!! No lie!! Totally gonna try to sew along this time!!!
    So cute! The photoshot looks amazing kristen!

  5. Lucinda says:

    What a great movie to choose as your inspiration! Love your little Amelie’s red dotted dress. And kudos on figuring out the facing drafting and shirting! This sewing series is so unique – love it!

  6. Emily says:

    Oh it’s perfect!! Great job with the facings too! Those v necks are still perplexing to me. 🙂 So we had the soundtrack at our wedding too and I was just playing these songs the other day!!

    • kristin says:

      Reception music twins! I played the soundtrack while I was sewing and while we headed to do our photoshoots, too. Em liked listening to the “Ahbellie” music.

  7. Jane says:

    Love this!!! 🙂 This makes me want to go watch that movie again right now!!! It’s been years since I’ve seen it!! But i have it somewhere, i’ll have to fish it out….great job.

  8. Cherie says:

    So beautiful, Kristin! I feel a very strong connection to this movie too – and the soundtrack, for sure – and you’ve done a phenomenal job staying true to the movie’s spirit. LOVE the photos and the dress is adorable! Nice job producing your own pattern with facing and everything! It looks very professional. Pattern making in your near future?? 😉 Anyways, I love it all – fantastic job – can’t wait to see what you come up with next time!!!

  9. Cuckoo Chanel says:

    This post is so sweet I could cry. I adore the film “Amélie”, and am intrigued by your film petit series. What wonderful creativity. I haven’t yet sewn for the abundant number of little girls in my world, but this may be the inspiration I needed. I’ll definitely check out your Flickr group.

  10. kim says:

    You are killing me! This is one of the funnest (most fun, whatever) photoshoots I’ve ever seen on a blog. Love it, love it, love it. Great movie choice, great dress, great sewing. I am seriously so impressed!

  11. Danielle says:

    Oh I love Amalie! That’s so cool you had the soundtrack playing at your wedding. I think you totally nailed the look plus it’s such a cute practical dress for school and such. I’m impressed with your facing ability. And these pictures are just perfect! Wow as usual!

  12. Lis says:

    Love, Love, Love this movie! So much that I wanted to name my daughter Amelie, but alas, my husband won out in the end. Lovely job recapping the movie, and on your sweet Petite Amelie’s dress!

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