And the Oscar Goes To….Our Favorite Craft Scenes on the Big Screen
Happy Oscar Weekend fellow makers! As an editor here at Craftsy and a raving fan of all things film, I’m constantly relating crafting moments I encounter in the workplace to scenes I’ve seen in movies and on television. In honor of tonight’s 86th Academy Awards, I wanted to share the best moments of makers and crafts appearing in film. With my movie-loving skills, pulling this list together wasn’t too difficult!
How much of a movie buff am I? For example, I can’t see a cake instructor decorating a wedding cake without being reminded of the movie Father of the Bride…
Steve Martin, looking through a brochure of wedding cakes:
“What is that, is that dollars? $1200?! A cake, Franck, is flour and water. My first car didn’t cost $1200.”
Martin Short, dissolving into giggles: “Well, welcome to the ‘90s, Mr. Banks!”
Photo via Craftsy class Cake Design Made Simple: The Wedding Dress
Whenever we have a sewing shoot that involves encouraging advice on ways to save money with fabric, all I can think about is Scarlet O’Hara in Gone With the Wind. Immediately, I envision her coming down the stairway wearing her famous velvet dress that Mammy helped her make (and the hysterical spoof Carol Burnett did in which she saunters down the staircase wearing a similar dress and a curtain rod slung across her shoulders). But without further adieu…
Here’s my favorite Oscar-worthy moments of crafting on the silver screen.
Best knitting featured in a movie
Runner-up: The grandmother in the gorgeous, somewhat eerie animated French film Triplets of Belleville.
She is tough as nails and spends much of the film following behind her grandson on a tricycle as he trains to ride in the Tour de France. She doesn’t say anything — her audio is characterized by incessantly rhythmic whistle tweets (which she uses to keep him on pace) and the sound of her knitting needles clacking as she whips up one no-nonsense garment after another.
And the Oscar goes to…The lovable Gromit from Wallace & Gromit: A Close Shave.
Silent, comedic, breed-unknown Gromit spends much of the movie knitting away feverishly. His bumbling (but lovable) owner Wallace invents things like the Knit-o-Matic, a machine that shears a sheep and then knits a sweater for the sheep to wear. Brilliant.
Are you a knitter and a film buff? Well here’s the best patterns for knitting while watching TV, perfect for completing while watching your favorite movies and award shows!
Best photography feature in a movie
Runner-up: The lovely Julia Ormand in the Sidney Pollack remake of the 1954 movie Sabrina.
Sabrina is a chauffeur’s daughter who escapes to Paris as a young woman, where she works as an intern on fashion photography shoots. The shy, gawky and lovelorn teen cringes as photographers bark orders at her, wielding their cameras intimidatingly in her direction, but she returns to the U.S. transformed into a sophisticated, chic adult who uses photography to peer into the lives of the people who interest her. The way she uses her camera to disarm Harrison Ford’s uptight character Linus speaks to the way that the camera’s lens brings powerful intimacy into the everyday views we often take for granted.
And the Oscar goes to…Jimmy Stewart for his incredible performance as a seemingly paranoid photographer in the classic thriller Rear Window.
In the first scenes of the film, Hitchcock pans over shots Stewart took during thrilling shoots. He then shows us a smashed-up camera and a photo of a race car collision with a tire headed straight for the photographer. It comes as no surprise then when we next see Stewart’s character laid up in a wheelchair with a broken leg. Bored and fidgety without the ability to return to his fieldwork, Stewart turns his long-range lenses to his own neighborhood, where he discovers a hair-raising crime.
Photo via the Craftsy class Composing Classic Landscapes
Best sewing feature
My two picks for sewing are a bit obscure, and perhaps cheating since they both aired on television.
Runner up: The role of Lorelai Gilmore from the show The Gilmore Girls.
As a self-professed quasi-snob when it comes to television and movies, I was gobsmacked by how much I loved this show, which followed a single mother and her Harvard-bound teenaged daughter. Lorelai’s character development was often illustrated in scenes that alluded to her earlier years as a seamstress — making a dress for her daughter’s first dance, re-designing a hideous wedding dress for a close friend, and creating costumes for the local children’s performances. Her sewing projects lead us into a world in which lack of money led to a path of independence and resourcefulness, and each garment served as almost a love letter for the friend or family member she made it for.
The Oscar goes to…The PBS classic Anne of Green Gables
Anne’s heart-breakingly lovable caretaker Matthew — a kind, elderly man — drives into town to quietly ask one of the shop owners to create a dress as a present. It’s a gift that Anne’s been dreaming of: a fashion-forward dress with the biggest puffed sleeves imaginable. I still get a lump in my throat every time I remember Matthew shyly offering the dress to Anne at their beloved farm.
Photo via the Craftsy class Classic Tailoring: The Blazer
Best food and cooking feature in a movie
And the Oscar goes to…Dustin Hoffman’s lunch, dinner and French-toast cooking evolution in one of my top two favorite movies of all time, Kramer vs. Kramer.
This heart-wrenching movie begins with Meryl Streep fleeing her family life, and Hoffman’s character painfully fumbles through his early attempts to continue providing for their young son while balancing work and his shock over unexpectedly becoming a single father. Food plays a powerful role in the film, from power struggles at the table to a prominent reminder that Streep’s maternal presence is no longer part of the daily routine, and I can’t eat French toast without thinking of Hoffman’s cringe-worthy first attempt to make breakfast for his anxious son.
Best quilting feature in a movie
And the Oscar goes to… Elizabeth Taylor and Mickey Rooney in the 1944 classic National Velvet
The quilt that Taylor and Rooney toss over her beloved horse, The Pie, when he falls terribly ill is definitely Oscar-worthy. While the quilt plays a small role, it is apparent that the two characters who stay up all night frantically caring for the failing horse aren’t alone; to me, the quilt represents Velvet’s mother, whose character casts a protective love over the entire film with the same quiet strength she employed when she bravely swam the English channel in her youth.
Photo via Craftsy class Oh My Stars! Six Pieced Blocks
So those are my Oscar nods — not a current contender in the mix! I must be out of date. Happy Oscar viewing, Craftsy fans!
About the author
Jane Glenn is an editor and snack connoisseur at Craftsy. Outside of work, she is passionate about art, film and literature, cooking, spending time in the great outdoors with kindred spirits, and forcing her shepherd-mix mutt to wear a costume consisting of a tiny jockey on a tiny saddle. Her delightful and wonderful peers at Craftsy are kind to put up with her, especially when she does things like deliberately plant Oxford commas in her bio to make the editing teams uneasy.