Marty McFly

I love the 80s.
I mean, like, Howard Jones, big bow, pegged pants, Karate Kid, Wham (Make it Big), shoulder pad, scrunchie it up love the 80s.  And I blame it on having two older sisters.  One crimped while the other teased and sprayed (with Aquanet) till they gave me the largest bangs in my 6th grade class.  Radical.

So when the Film Petit ladies chose Ferris Bueller’s Day Off as their feature project in January, I realized that I totally needed IN on the 80s sewing fun.

If you’re new to Film Petit, it’s an ongoing sewing series hosted by Kristin from Skirt as Top and Jessica from A Little Gray where they give a creative/sewing interpretation of their favorite films.  They pick a new movie each month and ask a guest blogger to join along.  And for the month of April they asked me!  Well, I guess I asked them.  And then I requested either Teen Wolf or my all-time, probably favorite movie: Back to the Future.   And they went for it!

Is there a more classic, fun movie??  The plot is virtually seamless (okay there are nit-picky moments…like why does the rain suddenly stop after lighting strikes the clock tower?  Silly stuff)  But mostly the characters and moments are just fantastic!  You’re really rooting for everyone.
Except Biff.

So Jessica, Kristin, and I each picked a different character from the movie and gave them our own spin.  I went for the classic Marty McFly:

and turned him into Owen McFly:

with the key piece being a freaking huge orange puffy vest.

And with a few other items we completed the look (though I am missing the awesome Marty denim jacket because A) I couldn’t find one B) Didn’t want to make one C) Owen will prob never wear one here in Texas.  So if you have a jeans jacket you’ll be extra fly.  Or should I say MCfly)

Then layer it all together,

And you’re ready to go BACK, to the future.


Most of the sewing came together smoothly, using patterns I already had.

• T-shirt: I used my Basic Tee pattern and repurposed Casey’s favorite red tee into little Owen size (thank you Casey for making a Back to the Future sacrifice).
• Button-up shirt:  I also used the Basic Tee pattern and extended it a bit to make a new button-up shirt from an old thrifted Mens XL shirt.  I even left the collar as-is, which is a little big for the new shirt but for this project it works.
• Suspenders: I used 3/4 inch wide elastic and sewed suspender clips to the ends.  Nothing fancy.  Next time I’ll make them adjustable.
• Jeans: These were Target clearance for $2 and originally more wide-legged.  You could just peg your jeans at your cuff but I sewed my down the side and inseams to make them McFly skinny.
• The Puffy Vest: Oh that vest.  A labor of love.

I used the Flip Vest Pattern which worked perfectly.  I really wanted it to be orange nylon fabric like Marty’s vest but couldn’t find any so I went with fleece.  I added a stand up collar (I’ll have to explain that in another post), sewed 4 layers of batting inside the vest, and quilted wide lines on the outside of the vest.  It wasn’t a “hard” project but definitely took all my body strength to sew through the many layers.  And I broke about 4 needles in the process (and couldn’t even add snap closures because the fabric was so thick).  Next time I’d use a little batting.  But I do love how it turned out.

And a little added surprise…when I finished sewing Owen’s shirt there was enough fabric left over to make a Clara skirt!

So I threw her in the DeLorian and she came out of it a 1950s girl at the diner.

I ironed a felt C to her sweater with fusible webbing, used a scrap of fabric for the headband, and finished the look with Old Navy shoes and a T-shirt from Forever 21.

And now Marty had some girls to impress while trying to escape Biff and his knucklehead posse.

I kind of think so.

And he took the modeling pretty seriously though he’s never even seen the movie.  He wanted to make sure his hair was pushed up and his sunglasses were positioned like they are on the DVD cover.

Cause that my friends, is the Power of Love (and the bribery of lollipops).
Thanks Kristin and Jessica for letting me join the Film Petit fun!  Of course the time travel doesn’t stop here.  Head to Skirt as Top and A little Gray where Doc and the Delorian are hanging out.

Now make like a tree, and get out of here.

  1. 1) Erica

    The outfit is so cute, but I love love love the photos with captions! What a nice way to start my day. Thanks for sharing!
    Oh my goodness your kids are dollbabies 😉

  2. 2) Karla

    RADICAL! I love it, ALL of it! Great job 🙂

  3. 3) AmyL

    Did you know some of the scenes were filmed in Cali (Port Hueneme, Oxnard, and Pasaedena)? My old apartment was next to the train tracks used before they took off to the Wild West. BTW, awesome job on Owen’s outfit!

  4. How cute is that!? Love love love it!! Puts a smile on my face!

  5. Thanks so much for sewing with us this month, Dana! That was such a blast. LOVE both of your outfits, especially the life preserver. Yay! 🙂

  6. Dana, that’s so awesome… I’ll have to check out more of this project. It’s too cool.

  7. So cute!! Those 80s jeans with suspenders brought back memories and made me smile! 🙂

  8. How cool are you being a part of the awesome and incredible film petit?!!! Love this iconic outfit, you did amazing!!!! Owen really looks like a young Fox – love it!

  9. Holy Wow! You were made (pardon the pun) for this challenge! Amazing, the pictures are way too cute!

  10. 10) Penny

    Hi Dana – what a fun blog reading this morning! It just made me smile and then laugh. You could be a cartoonist! (in your spare time of course!)
    Great outfit (and pictures) for Owen and the bonus skirt for Clara! Not to mention her complete outfit, too.
    I know your family appreciates how much fun you make their daily lives!
    Way to go! Thanks for sharing. Who would ever even think to make a puffy vest?!! I think now a whole lot of sewers will be doing so, thanks to your great blog.
    You truly ROCK!!! Have a great day everyone.

  11. “When this baby hits 88 miles per hour, you’re gonna see some serious $&^%.”

  12. The vest!!!! Love it all. Owen is the perfect Marty! Also, I love you for mentioning Wham!. It’s possible I can still sing the entire Wham! Rap…

  13. 13) Hayley

    We’re totally laughing all the way through! What an enjoyable post! Love the pics with captions!

    • 14) jodie

      hahaha me too exactly! jodie :O)

  14. Holy adorable! Love love love! I’m going to have to make something Back to the Future for my little guy now.

  15. 16) Karin

    I love this movie! I’d love to dress up my boys like this for Halloween – just not sure they’d go for it. Have you heard that they are coming out with BTTF Lego sets?

  16. I love this series and your part in it is awesome! What a fun post!

  17. One point twenty-one jiggawatts! I love everything about this–EVERYTHING. Sending to hubs now, who is totally going to want this *exact* outfit for O.


  18. 19) Julie H.

    So fun and adorable and the captions had me rolling! Ü Great job.

  19. 20) Jas

    Oh dear, I do believe I see a bit of Clara tummy about to escape! Great post, cute outfits…..just plain fun on a day with so much sadness in the news. Thank you.

  20. This is so awesome! I love all the pictures…he definitely does a good job of looking like Marty 🙂

  21. Perfection Dana! You rocked it and Owen and Clara too! Too adorable. I grew up on these movies, so I love love that you guys did it for FP!

  22. Love it. I was just day dreaming about doing a back to the future Halloween this year…but I couldn’t think of anything past Marty. Your Marty look is awesome, and your model did a great job.

  23. 25) Chelsea

    OMG! That is so cute! Adorable kiddos.

  24. back to the future is my most favorite movie ever! Love the outfits– you nailed it!

  25. 28) Heather D

    My mom STILL uses Aquanet. lol

  26. 29) Claudia

    Awww gee whiz! Day MADE with this one! Such fun!! I graduated high school in the exact mid 80s! Recently bought myself a pair of stylish aviators to which my fine 17 yr old son referenced Back to the Future! A few classic lines have been floating around the house too!
    Super fun post, keep on!

    (Clara, adorbes!!! Totes adorbes!!)

  27. 30) Mary Kay

    Dana – being a teen from the 80’s – that was A.W.E.S.O.M.E.

  28. 33) Amy G

    Oh my goodness, I love this! The project, the pictures, the captions – awesome! The other two bloggers’ projects are great too. So creative! Great job, guys!

  29. I think this is the most entertaining blog post I’ve ever read. Owen is just too adorable for words in his totally RAD outfit. I had the biggest crush on Michael J Fox back then. Posters all over my bedroom. And I loved Back to the Future and Teen Wolf. I am definitely adding both of those movies to my Netflix queue to watch again. 🙂

    Oh, and Clara is just so cute in her 1950’s getup. Rockin’ Around the Clock baby!!!

  30. Great outfits and inspiration movie. 🙂

  31. Okay this has to be one of the cutest, funniest posts I’ve read in a while! Not only did you make really cute outfits, but the pictures and movie references just killed me! I loved that movie, too, and while I wasn’t cool and didn’t have bangs, (I did have “wings” once but I hated them) I did love the 80s and am so glad you decided to take part. Thank you!

  32. Aaah! Way to much cuteness in one post! You have some great-looking kids. And I’m sort of blown away that you made that button-up, though I shouldn’t be. I mean you are Dana. 😉

  33. 38) Debbie C

    So, SO fun. I think my fave parts are the puffy vest for him and the adorable gingham skirt for her. I gotta go find me a gingham shirt to convert…

  34. 39) Marci

    Dana, this is the greatest post in the history of forever!! I love everything about it. Guess what we’ll be watching with the kiddos this weekend? 🙂

  35. 40) Sharon

    Ahhhh!! So cute!! Lol! My older girl cousins teased my hair and sprayed on a aquanet skyscraper on my head too!!! Gotta love the 80s! The Breakfast Club is still my all time favorite!:)

  36. 41) Celine

    That’s AWESOME!!!! I am such a fan of Back to the Future series! (we watch it around the time of new year’s to celebrate the passing of a new year and remind ourselves of how the “future” was once imagined!!!!)

  37. This is so entertaining. Like, when have you ever wanted to read a blog post over and over again like it’s a favorite movie? Right now. So good, love the little “scene” between Owen and Clara. And the VEST! He is such a great model.

  38. 44) Carrie

    Too cute! Love it. Great movie and great outfits.

  39. 45) Sharlyn

    Wow! Great job, and your models are super cute 🙂

  40. 46) iHeartQuilting

    I love that movie – no one was cuter than Michael J Fox. Except maybe your little Owen! And Clara is getting so big!

  41. I don’t know what’s better-that awesome outfit, or Owen’s cute poses and expressions! It’s a tie. I especially love the puffy vest-worth those broken needles, huh? And the shirt-so cute! Clara’s bonus outfit is freakin adorable too.

  42. Oh my gosh, I love this post! So hilarious! I would never have thought to model an outfit after Marty McFly.. but it looks so great! Also… I just made a post on my own blog about Back to Future. Hmmmm..

    Also, I love little Clara’s outfit! I keep wanting to put more things together for my little 16 month old, and you’ve inspired me! Thank you!

  43. 49) Chyn

    Clara is sooo adorable. I love her outfit.

  44. 50) Laura

    What an adorable post! I laughed out loud a few times reading it. Love it! The 80’s were my heyday and I totally remember that movie.

  45. You are hilarious… LOVE IT ALL. Nice work. Great movie.

  46. LOVE Back to the Future (have all 3 on DVD and watch them heaps with my 11 year old!). LOVE the outfit you made Owen – you did VERY well. And of course having left-over fabric for the little skirt for your daughter – really super “dad-dad-daddy-oh”! Wouldn’t it be great to have a little boutique for 50’s-style kid’s gear? 😀

  47. Ok… A few things… This ENTIRE post made me smile!

    Need to see a picture of 11 year old Dana with the big bangs!

    Owen is the best model ever! Props to Casey for letting you cut up his favorite tee… I need to repurpose a button down for my son. And use the rest for a skirt for my baby girl! I usually do her a quick skirt when the strap or arm binding on my undershirts break but this is such a good one! And im always looking for ways to match these 2!

    Clara! Is starting to look like a toddler. My girl is close behind her, so seeing her grow makes me sad because it means my baby will be where her brother is and her will be where owen is who will be where lucy is… Thats a little too much for me.

    Ok… All done with my essay! Thanks for the post!

  48. 54) Karen Tham

    So much fun! Love it – and what great models! Now I feel like watching the movie again 🙂

  49. 56) kelly

    Oh goodness, this was just too cute! This is probably one of my favorite film petite postings- love back to the future, and your outfits for yourkids!

  50. 57) Yana

    fantastic reading:)) I love your Marty!!!

  51. 58) becca

    OMG! You’re killing me! This is all so RAD. With the clock tower behind Owen and everything… Great job!

  52. Dear Dana,
    Ok, can I just say that beyond the AMAZING sewing/dress-up skills, the commentary and speech-bubbles cracked me up! You are awesome, girl!

    The kids are SO darn cute and I love the ensembles you cooked up… Totally tubular, man!
    80’s baby in NE

  53. Cutest post ever! I loved Owen’s outfit and then you showed Clara’s outfit and just killed me. SO CUTE.

  54. Awesome sewing! Superbly presented and such cute kids. I’m also in complete agreement that Teen Wolf would be a great Film Petit project. Good on you for being bold enough to ask to play.

  55. 62) Anuja

    Awesome. What a nice story and so very nice of the kids to indulge you

  56. I think that’s the most entertaining blog post I’ve read in ages! Awesome job!

  57. Wow, fantastic! 3 cheers for Owen. He is such a trooper and a fabulous Owen McFly. Clara is just too cute for words. My husband and I watched all 3 Back to the Futures over the winter with my kids. They loved it. I love when they like something from my past. I’m not such a geek after all. lol.

  58. Cute. Back to the Future is my husband’s no. 1 favourite movie too!

  59. What a fun post! I love it! Owen and Clara are adorable!!!

  60. Love it! So cute! And such a good movie =)


  61. What a cool project, this Film Petit fun!
    Love what you all dit with it!

  62. 69) Holly

    Oh my goodness! Hilarious. Thanks for a good chuckle on an otherwise sad week.

  63. 70) vanessa

    This might be my favorite post of yours ever. Too cute!

  64. 71) EA James

    I can’t believe Casey let you cut up his favourite red tee! Jamie will wear his most loved t-shirt until it ‘ceases to form the properties of a solid’ (he applies this Seinfeld quote to a lot of things I would otherwise have chucked out). That’s love, right there.

  65. This is SO freaking great. Heeeee!! Love it.

    And you are going to think I am such a dum dum, but I *just* got the 88 miles per hour reference from your other blog. WOW RAE.


  66. 73) Beth Bernards

    This post made my day! I love your creativity and fun-ness ( I totally know that’s not a word, but it should be). Anyhoo…thanks for the day brightening!

  67. SO Adorable….I don’t have a boy (yet) but I think that is just too cool!! What a great idea. Keep on creating…

  68. OMG Owen is such a heart breaker. Most people say “he’ll be such a heartbreaker when he grows up” but he’s breaking my heart now with how adorable he is!

    This is such a great post and the special appearance by Clara was icing on the cake. I love your blog!

  69. Eeek!! I was just talking about this movie with my husband on Saturday! Love it!!!

  70. I love that post. The clothe , the pics …… I love that movie. Simply a great Idea. <3

  71. This is so cute! I love the idea. And what a classic movie!

  72. What a scream …. I’m holding my sides!!! You truly are fantastic …. & love your ideas ….. xxxooo – dorothy capone

  73. 81) Meghan

    *Halloween Costume Idea 🙂 * What a fun post…nice idea with the skirt for Clara!

  74. 82) Aide Jacobo

    Me encantaron las fotografias y tus hijos muy bellos…. estoy empezando a leer tu blog y me tiene muy entretenida todas las cosas que haces, felicidades!!! te envio un saludo desde la Cd. de Monterrrey, en mi querido Mexico…. kisses and hugs.

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