film petit: psycho

good moooooorning/afternoooooon/eeeeeeeeeevening!

it’s film petit time! it’s also October, the spooky month of Halloween. this month, my partner Jessica, our guest Jessica, and i were in the mood to sew something a little creepier than our normal fare. today we present to you outfits inspired by the Master of Suspense, Alfred Hitchcock. we each picked a Hitchcock movie that inspired us, and i chose 1960’s Psycho.

psycho film petit

as with all of our film petit choices so far, Hitchcock films hold special meaning for me. my husband and i met in high school, and one of the first things i learned about him was that he is a major movie buff. our school offered Film as an “English” class senior year, and he was one of two students that the teacher actually created a Film 2 class for because he was so into it! his semester-long Film 2 project was an in-depth analysis of the films of Alfred Hitchcock. i went ahead and piggy backed on that when i took Film as a senior the next year, while he was off at college taking “music in film and television” class. movie buff? more like movie fanatic.

psycho film petit

so many things make Hitchcock movies great. they’re spooky as heck but not typically gory. the plots have twists and turns, they can scare the pants off you but make you laugh too, and a lot of the creepiness is created through music and camera angles and what you don’t see. the soundtrack of Psycho is one of the greatest soundtracks of all time, and the shower scene is probably one of the most recognizable (and freakiest) scenes in film history (never seen it? well here you go). trust me, it never gets easier to watch! i got all jumpy just putting together this collage!

psycho film petit

it was actually my husband’s idea to recreate that iconic scene at the bates motel, showing a mini norman bates transformed into “mother” and then back to clean up the mess she made. the original plan was to have O model the looks, but he refused to wear the wig so I switched my model to Em and retooled a bit.

psycho film petit

for mother’s nightgown, i sewed a made by rae pierrot tunic with shirred neckline and sleeves, in 18-24 months extended to 3T. that would’ve fit O just fine but was much too short on Em, so i added a 6″ ruffle and vintage lace trim inherited from my grandma to make it long enough for her to wear as a nightgown. the yarn wig is based on this tutorial from this mama makes stuff (hers is for rapunzel, but i made it the same way).

the felt knife i made up on my own, quilting together three layers of gray felt with metallic silver thread, then wrapping brown felt around it for a handle. i had to starch the heck out of it so it wasn’t too floppy and i’d probably use better reinforcement next time…not that i plan to make too many felt knives in the future!

psycho film petit

of course Em has never seen any part of the movie, but when i asked her to act like a “mean old lady” and handed her the felt knife, i was shocked to see her get SO into character!

psycho film petit

she called the knife a “sword” and had a grand old time recreating the shower scene.

psycho film petit

we all go a little mad sometimes.  haven’t you?

psycho film petit

psycho film petit

this one’s downright GLEEFUL. not sure whether to worry about her or sign her up for acting classes. 😉

psycho film petit

for the norman bates outfit, she’s just wearing store-bought jeans and a button down shirt, plus O’s fantastic mr. fox jacket (pattern is the basic blazer by blank slate patterns). it actually looked so good on her i might need to make her a blazer of her own!

psycho film petit

here are a few more of the creepy “mother” scenes from Psycho…an attack on the staircase, her spot in bed, and the final reveal, plus one of our favorite lines.

psycho film petitpsycho film petit

little mrs. bates has grown tired from her murderous rampage.

psycho film petit

while she waits for new victims to arrive at the motel, you should head over to check out what the jessicas made – they both sewed outfits from The Birds but had very different takes on it! their photos are also in color, if you’re currently feeling color-deprived.

our guest jessica from running with scissors sewed an outfit for her son, another four year old that got WAAAAY into his role fleeing from flocks of crows! check out her post right here…if you dare! her photos are a crack up.

my partner jessica over at a little gray made a tiny tippi hedren suit, and it’s SO great – her little gal is far too sweet to be scary, but her outfit is totally spot on!


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. our next guest will be robin from nested in stitches!
  • please feel free to add any movie-inspired kid sewing to the film petit flickr group. if you sew along with our film petit choices, we’d love to see that too!
  • 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 archives: the life aquatic with steve zissou, amélie, fantastic mr. fox
film petit button
p.s. did you spot the Hitchcock cameo?
p.p.s. AR-BO-GAST.

31 thoughts on “film petit: psycho

  1. sewchibi says:

    OMG, Kristin, as soon as I woke up to get Az ready for school, I saw this and squealed (well, it was first thing in the morning so, it was probably more guttural with a few pubescent voice cracks ;-).


    Em looks so delighted to be all creepy! And i LOVE the complete outfit!!! I’m a sucker sor accessories you know 😉

    Az was crabby this morning (her words not mine) and I sat her in my lap to look at Applejack and it perked her right up! Just the thing to put her in a better mood! She thought it was HILARIOUS! Thank you, Kristen & Applejack! I’m sure Azy will want to play Psycho next time they hang out!

    P.S.) Yesterday she called Applejack her sister, lol. awwww.

  2. Venus says:

    Okay, I was seriously scared to take showers when I first saw this film (way back when) and now seeing your creation and just how stinkin’ cute it is… it makes me snicker. Well done!!!

  3. Meghan says:

    So awesome!! I love Hitchcock movies as well. I wish more horror movies were still like that with the great camera angels and creepy music to scare you instead of just gore.
    Your little “Norman” is adorable! Love the nightgown and this series!

  4. Danielle says:

    First of I am dying that you actually made the nightgown for O initially. I seriously admire your dedication! This whole thing is fabulous as usual. Felt knife? Genius. E is so funny getting into character. Probably more fun to act crazy than to hold still and smile. And that wig?! So great. Can’t wait to see what she is for Halloween!

    • kristin says:

      Haha I know, it would have been even funnier with O as the model, I think. I’m not that crazy of a blogging mom, though – he wasn’t havin’ any part of that wig. You’re right about the photos, too – super fun for her. Her Halloween costume was fully her request and definitely not as exciting, in fact you could probably guess it if I gave you three tries. 😉

  5. Cherie says:

    Haha, love that Hitchcock made a cameo even in your blog post. I’m dying over these pictures. SOOOOO GOOD. The shower pictures really capture the feeling of the film. And your kiddo cracks me up!!! I love that she got so into character!! Probably should get her in acting lessons. That, or therapy 😛 And yes, blazer for Em FO SHO.

  6. jessica says:

    Of course your shower pictures are absolutely perfect. and adorably horrifying? Is that possible? You made it possible. I love how hokey that nightgown/wig combo is. Perfect for “Mother.”

  7. Caila says:

    Its soooo awesome! I loved your intro: goooooood mooooooorning! I actually read it at 5:00 this morning after the baby woke me up and you made me laugh out loud. Great idea using the pierrot for a nightgown. And I love the wig! Very fun post!!

  8. Tara Faul says:

    this is so awesome! your photos are perfect and totally capture the feel of the movie. One of my favorite things about Hitchcock was how he scared you to death with what you didn’t see. Such a master! Your shot of the shower head cracked me up.

  9. Laura says:

    I love that you all picked different Hitchcock movies this time. That’s so funny that you were going to put the nightdress on O to start with. Em certainly took to the character though. Your pictures do such a fantastic job of capturing the atmosphere of the scene.

leave a comment > > >

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s