Flashback Friday: Jessica from A Little Gray

Welcome to another Flashback Friday! Today we are lucky to have Jessica from A Little Gray share a flashback with us!
One of my very favorite project(s) from Jessica are her Film Petit posts, where she (along with Kristin from Skirt As Top) makes clothing inspired by some of their favorite movies. There, of course, is always a clever photoshoot to go along with each design, like she did with Moonrise Kingdom. So darling.
Jessica is a blogger that’s really well-rounded when it comes to the sewing machine (surely you saw her Charlie Brown ornaments all over blogland this Christmas) – I love the style of her quilts too, which you’ll get to see a bit of today!

Hi I’m Jessica, and I’m so happy to be a part of Flashback Friday! It’s been really great reading these posts and learning all kinds of sweet things about my favorite bloggers. 

When I look back at my own history as a sewist, it’s hard to pinpoint the real reason I got so hooked. I’ve been at it almost 5 years now, (I think?) and my skills and style have changed so much in that time. My mom has always been a very skilled quilter, all self-taught. I remember all the beautiful pieces that were on our beds growing up, lovingly made for us over many many hours (I know that now!) But I was never interested in doing it myself. That changed a couple years after I got married when I wanted new curtains, but couldn’t find any I liked. She taught me how to use her own machine and then gave it to me. 
I made the curtains and kept tinkering when I needed to, but what really got me into creative making and sewing was my son Hendrix. (His middle name is Gray, which came from my mother’s maiden name. So that’s where my blog name comes from- my two big inspirations.)

First Reactions

For Hendrix’s first birthday, I wanted to give him something extra special and I wanted to make it myself. Jill, one of the first bloggers I read regularly, had just made her son an amazing tabletop playhouse and I knew he would love something like that. I didn’t know exactly how to do it, but I thought maybe I could figure it out. So that’s exactly what I did. Even though it seemed like a huge project at the time, it wasn’t complicated to construct. And I decided to let myself take my time and get creative with all the details. 

Elephant side
Lion/ Giraffe side

The colors and designs were inspired by those old Fisher-Price circus train toys. My brothers and I always loved them as kids, and now my kids still go nuts for them at Nana and Papa’s house. I drew up the pattern pieces myself and carefully appliquéd it onto the tent pieces over the course of a few late nights. When it came out just as good as I dreamed, I felt like I could make anything! And of course, it didn’t hurt that Hendrix was so happy with it. Now he’s almost 4, and still loves whenever I get this out for him and his sister. You can read more about it here

LBB hoodie

This shirt was the first clothing item I ever made from a pattern. It’s LBB’s Recycled Tshirt Hoodie, and I was so excited to see it on my kid! I realized sewing clothing for him was totally doable, and loved the fact that I could do it with a pattern I printed at home and a couple old shirts. I felt like another sewing milestone was conquered. 

Hendrix's quilt 1

Then, the year that Hendrix turned two and moved into a big bed, I decided to take a quilting class and make his bed quilt. I never thought I would have the attention span for quilting, or even like it that much. But after finishing this first one, I was completely hooked. And I probably wouldn’t have tried it if I hadn’t been so motivated to make something so special for Hendrix again. He loves it and still drags it all over the house. You can see more of this quilt here. 
I feel like these three things in particular were the beginnings of who I am as a sewer now. I make a lot of quilts, I make my kids’ clothes, (don’t worry, my daughter Elsie now gets a lot of special handmade things too!) and I dream up fun and playful projects for them. I’m sure a lot of you can relate to my story and having that strong desire to create things for your kids. I’m so thankful that it’s a part of how my children will always remember me as a mother. 
Thanks for having me today Abby, it’s been so much fun remembering these sewing “flashbacks” of mine!
Thanks Jessica! That card table playhouse would be a pretty great accomplishment even for an experience sewist, I love all the little details! Doesn’t she make a great use of bright colors when sewing for her kids? Always the perfect mix. Make sure to stop by A Little Gray and say hello to Jessica!

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  1. Ah yes, Jessica, this is why I love you so much. Despite your sometimes hard candy shell, you sew with a ton of heart. Great flashback!

  2. Wow–I love the playhouse! I can just imagine the hours of fun in that! Gorgeous! Well done on the top, and the quilt is so lovely with such happy colors… Thanks for sharing your projects :-)

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