The Blue Gardenia

Happy birthday to me! March 26, 2015 20:17

 

denisebd

Enjoying a low-key birthday celebration. Scandal, music, His Bertness is cooking dinner. We will do a bigger fete this weekend. Today, I give you Sly and the Family Stone: https://youtu.be/yTS8E8YATqg


And the winner is . . . March 23, 2015 13:15

... Nanci, who will be getting a package with a Blue Gardenia gift certificate, a copy of Gertie Sews Vintage Casual, a Nars Audacious lipstick, and a Cover Girl nail polish!

 

Gertie's second book!

Gertie Sews Vintage Casual,

This shade flatters all --- or so a Nars makeup artist told me. 

 

I thank all who entered by leaving a comment, following or shopping at The Blue Gardenia. And, if you didn't win, don't despair, you'll get a second chance soon. Because why? I love give-aways. Truly I do.

(Winner was chosen via random number generator. Each entry was given a number in the order it arrived, then total entries were entered into the generator.)

 


What would Claire wear? Emulate the strapless silver bombshell dress. March 21, 2015 17:53

Claire Underwood in her irresistible silver armor.

Claire Underwood in her irresistible silver armor.

Did you fall in love with Claire's stunning strapless silver dress? I did. Definitely clothing as armor. If you want this dress at a fraction of the cost, consider Donna Karan's Vogue 2470 from 1990. View B, of course. (Although A is gorgeous, and it would make a perfect LBD. Double the style. Double your money. I love it when that happens!)

 


 

Pattern perfection, if I do say so myself.

 


 

Pattern perfection, if I do say so myself.

The line drawing. The line drawing.

I would choose this silver linen lame from Mood. They have many other silver lame choices if this is not to your liking.

$21.99 a yard. It is, alas, polyester. $21.99 a yard. It is, alas, polyester.
 

Do check Monday when I will post The Blue Gardenia give-away winner.

And if you want this marvelous pattern, look no further than The Blue Gardenia!


A Spadea sheath that sings spring. March 18, 2015 20:30

Fabulous boatneck + waistline details = perfection.
Fabulous boatneck + waistline details = perfection.

You've been searching for the perfect sheath for the spring days that beckon. When you spotted this Bill Blass, Spadea N-1243, you knew it was the one. Absolutely. Yes indeed. Simple, yet the unusual detailing at the waist make it solid gold.

And you the already have a lovely silk doupioni you purchased at Mood. It's a sophisticated dark peach that will showcase this design and send it all the way to the moon.


 

This sings spring!
This sings spring!

 

And, yes, you may purchase this gorgeous pattern at The Blue Gardenia. But you knew that already. I know you did.


A sewing goal almost achieved. March 16, 2015 22:19

Guess what I did today? I nearly achieved my goal of making a dress in one day. Or, to be specific, in four hours. Because, that, dear readers, is my sewing budget. My project — 1970s Vogue 8371. It is dreamy. Absolutely. Easy to make. Flattering. Smart. Can you ask for more, other than being a best-selling novelist and holding a winning lottery jackpot ticket? I think not.

Love, love, love this.
Love, love, love this.

 

 

Luscious! A wonderful wool challis from Fabric Mart.
Luscious! A wonderful wool challis from Fabric Mart.

The fabric — a  gorgeous wool challis from Fabric Mart. I added a lining of black Ambience. I installed an invisible zipper, my second. I nearly burst with fear as I stitch one in, and then I am shocked when I look at it and see that I have sewn it in correctly. I find them so much more frightening than a lapped zipper, yet the process is so much faster. Mmmmm. What is that all about, I wonder? Perhaps there is a sewing psych I can call?

If you like this pattern, The Blue Gardenia has it in bust 36. And, yes, we happily ship abroad. We do.

And don't forget to enter our give-away. It is splendiferous. Click here for the details. Hurry. It closes March 17 at midnight PDT.


My 1950s-style circular skirt: dots! March 15, 2015 22:00

In front of one of Albuquerque's many public art works.
In front of one of Albuquerque's many public art works.

 

One of the many garments I've made while I've been away from blogging is this ikat skirt. The fabric was designed locally, and it is yummy. The pattern, Simplicity 2758, is a Threads pattern. So easy! Even though it makes me look like I've had one Twinkie too many, I made another. Of course, I made it before I saw myself in this picture!  I'll share the other later.

If you haven't already, do enter The Blue Gardenia give-away. If I do say so myself, it's really wonderful. Click here to see.

And feel free to shop. It makes my little canine friends so happy. More treats. Better treats. Yes indeed.

 

I think I'll try the shirt next.
I think I'll try the shirt next.


The closet of cool chic Claire Underwood: The ladylike white dress March 13, 2015 02:38

One of her many outstanding outfits, this shows her ladylike side.
One of her many outstanding outfits, this shows her ladylike side.

 

I am not alone in thinking House of Cards Claire Underwood, beastly Frank Underwood's calm, clever wife, is one of the best dressed characters on the small screen. She is always sleek. Her clothes always simple. This is a woman who wants to look great, but doesn't want to spend time on a fussy wardrobe. After all, she's busy making her dreams come true.

I love this white dress. It is simple, yes, but doesn't have the androgynous edge Claire's clothes often do. It is feminine, but not frilly. No silly looks for this fashion icon and mover and shaker.

It has the pleats and the silhouette. Claire would approve.
It has the pleats and the silhouette. Claire would approve.

You could get this look with Vogue Couturier Design 2345, designed by Belinda Bellville in the 1960s. Simply lengthen the sleeves, make the midriff a bit more form-fitting, and add a dark belt, like this Kate Spade Leather Bow Belt at 6pm.com.

This is in dark green, but I don't think Claire would frown at the substitution.
This is in dark green, but I don't think Claire would frown at the substitution.

Gorgeous Fabrics has an outstanding white rayon double-knit (and I can vouch for the quality because I bought it in another shade). It's perfect for this look.

And, you guessed it: You may purchase this luscious pattern at The Blue Gardenia, where even the snootiest fashionista will find patterns to her liking. And don't forget to enter our give-away while you are here.

 


Need a weekend project? How about 1950s Simplicity 3208? March 11, 2015 21:33

Lovely Mexican style skirt and sexy top. So flattering.
Lovely Mexican style skirt and sexy top. So flattering.

You are in the mood to sew this weekend. You are. But you need instant gratification, because it has been that kind of week. So many projects you know won't be finished when you leave your office on Friday. Loose ends. You hate them.

So. You want something you can complete this weekend. In its entirety. Simplicity 3208 is perfect. Simple to Make, Simplicity says, and you know they wouldn't fib.

A lightweight robin's egg blue cotton from Mood for the top . . .

Irresistible color and the lightweight cotton will be perfect for summer.
Irresistible color and the lightweight cotton will be perfect for summer.


And a cheerful seersucker from Mood for the skirt.

Such playful colors!
Such playful colors!


You're looking forward to this project. It will be such fun. Absolutely. So much more fun than scrubbing the bathrooms. Ugh . . .

And, yes, this gorgeous and easy pattern can be yours at The Blue Gardenia. And we do happily ship abroad. We do.

 


What is on your sewing table? March 10, 2015 12:27

Last fall, I cut out By Hand London's Flora dress. Out of a luscious coral linen. I loved the bodice with the straps, but the mullet hem is not my style. Absolutely not. I will occasionally wear an uneven hem, but this one — no. 

I evened the hemline.
I evened the hemline.

 

I adore this color. Yes indeed.
I adore this color. Yes indeed.

Since winter weather arrived soon after it was cut out, I set the project aside. Now that sunny, if cool, days are here again, I plan to complete it. Soon. Very soon. As soon as I finish what I am working on, which I hope to share next week.


So. Do share. What is on your sewing table?


A give-away! Gift certificate, Gertie's book, Nars lipstick and more! March 08, 2015 22:16 38 Comments

The Blue Gardenia is having a give-away! This, to atone for my lazy blogging habits of late (and I use late very loosely!).

Smart 1940s Butterick frock! It could be yours!
Smart 1940s Butterick frock! It could be yours!

First, the prize:

A $50 gift certificate for The Blue Gardenia.

gertie
This treasure is $21.88 at Amazon. 

Second, Gertie Sews Vintage Casual: A Modern Guide to Sewing Sportswear Styles of the 1940s and 1950s by Gretchen Hirsch, of Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing.

Third, Nars Audacious lipstick in Jane, a terracotta rose, valued at $32.

 
This shade flatters all — or so a Nars makeup artist told me.
This shade flatters all — or so a Nars makeup artist told me. 

 

And last, a luscious coral shade for your fingertips, Covergirl Outlast in #250, a $5.49 value.

And what, you may be pondering, must you do to win? First, leave a comment below. For a second chance, follow me on Twitter; for a third, follow The Blue Gardenia on Facebook; for a fourth; follow on Pinterest, and for more,  make a purchase: you'll get one entry for each $10 you spend at The Blue Gardenia. Is that the cat's meow or what?

So, don't delay. Enter right this minute! Deadline is Tuesday, March 17, midnight PST. (Yes, St. Patrick's day!)


In the mood for mod? Drop by and see our additions! December 07, 2014 22:32 1 Comment

 

Ahh, how hard we have worked this weekend to bring new lovelies to you, dear readers and clients. One of my favorite patterns, especially for those just learning to sew, is Burda 3881. Such a stylish way to brave the winter chill.

A super easy pattern for those in a hurry or new sewistas!
A super easy pattern for those in a hurry or new sewistas!

 

 

 

Another favorite – one in my own collection as well – is Vogue Attitudes 1258 by Todd Oldham. A delicious jacket. Totally. The collar, the big buttonholes. And a choice of palazzo pants or cigarette slacks. Can't beat that with a baton.

Smashing ensemble, no?
Smashing ensemble, no?

 

The sections you'll find additions in today are 1960s-on Vogue and Other. Take a gander.

And in case you were wondering  – and of course you were – we happily ship abroad. Enjoy, patternistas. Do.


From an asymmetrical Cardin to '30s wrap coat, we've got new additions here. November 30, 2014 21:29

Well, dear clients, we've just added tons of patterns, nearly a hundred, and are they luscious? In a word: yes! A few of my favorites:

I love asymmetry in a suit.
I love asymmetry in a suit.

 

Vogue Paris Original 1434, designed by master couturier Pierre Cardin. The buttons! The collar! Slap me before I gush some more.

I am a pushover for clever pockets.

Talk about your pocket details!
Talk about your pocket details!

The attention you'll get if you don this! All eyes, honey, all of them on you.
The attention you'll get if you don this! All eyes, honey, all of them on you.

Pictorial 8818 is very rare, most eye-catching, and how about those buttons?

Ladies Home Journal 79 is just the  coat for when those winter winds blow briskly.

Love the hemline.
Love the hemline.  


And those are just a few. Scurry over and shop, shop, shop. My little canine friends love their treats. They do.

And, yes, we happily ship abroad.


So. What's going on? Advice, please. November 13, 2014 16:34 17 Comments

I am confused. I am in despair. For years, customer after customer complained that I needed to update The Blue Gardenia. Add a search. Add a shopping cart. Et cetera. And guess what? Sales are way down since we implemented the new site, even though I have lowered prices substantially.

For instance, one rare 1940s Vogue Special Design wedding gown was MUCH cheaper at The Blue Gardenia, even though ours was a better size. Two other sites had it, one at Etsy, one an independent site, but both had bust 30. We had the gown for $35. Theirs were $75 and $95. I have seen patterns we have for $200 go for $500 on Ebay.

I've lowered prices because my fiction is gaining attention, so I want to move patterns faster now. All except the rare ones are priced to sell. And these are vintage patterns, folks, not reproductions!

So, friends, what gives? What is it that you don't like about the new site? Sales are down 90% since we installed it. (And it cost a pretty penny for the redesign.) So tell me, what is the problem? We now have not one, but two layers of security.

Please share your thoughts. I beg you. This is far too much work to do to make only a few dollars a month. Because whether we have sales or not, we carefully check patterns and add new ones at least once a month, and sometimes more.

 


Celluloid style: Bette Davis's terrific top in "Now, Voyager." October 07, 2014 15:24

Almost the spitting image of the fabulous white blouse in "Now, Voyager."
Almost the spitting image of the fabulous white blouse in "Now, Voyager."

If you love old Bette Davis movies as much as I do, then you doubtless love this simple, yet sensational top from Now, Voyager, one of my favorite Bette Davis films. Who can resist the reincarnation of the plain duck into a beautiful swan? To emulate the look, use McCall 3637, copyright 1940. It's a steal and such a popular bust size, too.


The original. The original.

And, yes, this pattern can be yours for a mere $39 at The Blue Gardenia, where we offer patterns suitable for the snootiest fashionista. In case you care, we happily ship abroad.

A sexy 1930s peekaboo day dress. Just one among the many new items. September 07, 2014 22:46 2 Comments

Sleek and sexy.
    Sleek and sexy.

 

We've been working so hard. Counting. Checking. Selecting only the best patterns for you, dear ones. I love them all, of course. But Pictorial 8114 is a favorite. Racy, peekaboo front, tied with little bows. So special, doncha think?

 


 

Unique and captivating collar and princess seams.
Unique and captivating collar and princess seams.

   

I actually have Butterick 8573, circa 1950s, in my size. I love this style. It's on my make list. Fetching, yes?

 


 

>

That peplum. Those cutouts. Dreamy sigh.
That peplum. Those cutouts. Dreamy sigh.

Another one in my collection. I love it when I come across multiples. McCall 6948 is luscious, from the broad shoulders to the draped peplum to the cutouts. Can you resist?

 


 

Love the sleeves. Love the neckline. Love the unpressed inverted pleats. I love Vogue 7139. Period.


Comfy. Pretty. Simple.
Comfy. Pretty. Simple.

 

I am also mighty sweet on Pictorial 6884. Two views. I love the View 1 the most, though. That neckline! And we have this one in two sizes.

 

Huge update, this. So drop by The Blue Gardenia and fill up your cart! And yes, we merrily ship abroad.

 

 


Go unto him, Part 2. Will he ask you to his cabana? August 12, 2014 23:55 2 Comments

Butterick-7913 You gaze across the ocean, your eyes following the path the moon has made. The moon that tonight seems as big as Earth, as yellow as a buttercup. You place your sidecar on the waist-high adobe wall that surrounds this rooftop cantina. You lean on your elbows, feel the sea breeze caress your body like a lover.

Will he come tonight? You wonder. You long to see him. Last night did not end as you had hoped. He saw you safely to your cabana door, hand gently on your elbow. He took your keys. He unlocked the door. Opened it. Said good night. Not even a kiss.

You hear the first notes of Bahia Blanca, one of your favorite tangos. A hand cloaks yours. Then picks it up, tenderly pulls you into tango position.

It is Federico. Or Eliseo. Whoever.

He is an expert at the tango. But then he is an expert at everything. Is he not? Especially leaving. You have not danced the tango since he left. Since he disappeared, leaving only that postcard.

La Yumba begins. You do not stop. Your flicks are still sharp. You have lost nothing in technique. You hope he is impressed. You hope he thinks you have been out dancing every night. Of course, you haven't. Not that you've been sitting at home soiling a glass of merlot with your tears.

Your dress, Butterick 7913, View A1 minus the bow, sways seductively as he leads you into the atrapadita. The aubergine silk georgette moves beautifully.

Your eyes are locked together, a spotlight on a film noir chanteuse. You dance. Libertango. El Choclo. La Cumparsita. Continuously. You stay on the dance floor. You do not stop.

Will tonight be the night? The night you embrace completely. Man and woman, bodies joined, closer even than the tango?

You, too, may have this sexy pattern. You, too, can hold his heart in your hand, ensnared by your charms and your beauty in this fabulous late 1930s dress. Will you be careless with his gift? Or treat it like the most fragile piece of Murano glass?

Butterick 7913 can be yours. Just click through to The Blue Gardenia shop. You'll be glad you did. And so will he.

 


McCall's 6621: Suitable for tinkling the ivories in a 1940s film noir. August 07, 2014 20:10 2 Comments

I love the sleeves. I love the drape.
I love the sleeves. I love the drape.

Such a sexy 1940s design, this McCall 6621. And yet, it isn't so revealing, so in your face, that you couldn't wear it to an office affair or to a party at your significant other's house without feeling exposed.

I think I would stitch it up in a silk crepe. Perhaps a periwinkle blue or maybe even aqua. Either would be smashing. And, yes, this scrumptious pattern is available at The Blue Gardenia, where you'll find patterns for the snootiest fashionista! (And we do happily ship abroad!)


A smart 1930s frock worthy of a movie star. August 05, 2014 22:13 2 Comments

This is a wonderful wardrobe staple.  

You've been quite faithful to your plan to eschew yoga pants except on the mat. One of the secrets, you have found, is to wear dresses: They are easy and comfortable to wear and easily fit into your gym bag. A dress is less bulky than separates.

You adore Hollywood 905 from the 1930s. The right view has that smashing wide collar, your weakness. And it looks as if it will be easy to make — and that's important since you are an advanced beginner.

You'll whip it up out of a pretty paisley rayon challis you found at GorgeousFabrics.com. You love the colors. And the print is reminiscent of the '30s.  

And you can find this marvy vintage pattern at The Blue Gardenia. And you can find it in not one, but two sizes! Doncha love it?


 

This pretty rayon is available at Gorgeous Fabrics.
This pretty rayon is available at Gorgeous Fabrics.


A dress made for sultry nights on the dance floor. August 04, 2014 22:43 2 Comments

Imagine the swish of the skirt when you foxtrot.

Long distance relationships are not for you. It's only Tuesday and you long to see  him, to feel his fingers trail down the brook of your back, his rough palms cupping the curve of your ass. You won't see him until Saturday, separated as you are by an ocean and a nine-hour nonstop flight.

You hide the tail of thread on the hand-picked zipper you just completed on McCall's 9603. You hold the dress up, a vision of french blue silk charmeuse. You are so eager to dance with him, especially to your favorite foxtrot, Dance Me to the End of Love.

You feel the silk caressing your thighs as you do the fall-away, the hover corte, the slide and check. He is such a strong lead you can dance the most difficult dances with your eyes closed. And it's more thrilling than being on the highest, fastest wooden roller coaster.

Let me see your beauty when the witnesses are gone, Leonard sings. You get goosebumps each time you hear this song. Show me slowly what I only know the limits of . . .

Why did he move to London? Oh, yes, a better job and more money and the chance to experience life in another land. And now, you have this crazy relationship. He comes to you every two weeks, and you go to him two weeks later. He wants you to move over . . . maybe . . . you're conflicted.

You imagine circling the dance floor in this dress, secure in his arms. He will love the dress. The dance. You.

Touch me with your naked hand, touch me with your glove. You love Leonard, too. Brilliant. Sexy.

You hang the dress on a padded hanger. You will finish the dress tomorrow. You cannot wait to see him running to you, to feel his lips smother yours. The cab ride to his flat. And then  . . . bliss. 

 

 


And now for a non-pattern moment, let's admire a canine pal! July 30, 2014 20:54

His Bertness and Atchison enjoy a lazy Saturday afternoon.
His Bertness and Atchison enjoy a lazy Saturday afternoon.

 

I haven't shown any pictures of Atchison and Emma lately, so let me rectify part of that dilemma. This is Atchison, enjoying some time on His Bertness's lap. Emma, by the way, is not the camera hog that Atchison is — that is why I show fewer pics of her on the blog.

Aren't you feeling more relaxed now? Sort of like you've meditated for 5 minutes?


Rain, rain, please don't go away! This coat is too chic not to wear! July 29, 2014 16:41

So, I ask, how many of you have made a raincoat? This is one of those rare days in Albuquerque that one needs such garb. Is the fabric difficult to sew? Is the fabric hard to find? I love Simplicity 8096. It's so Agent 99. And she was one chic spy goddess. Perhaps if I'm a good girl, I'll find one in my size. Heck, I may have one already in my storage unit. This was originally my pattern, then I realized I was buying the wrong size.

You can purchase this pattern at The Blue Gardenia, and make one stunning outfit. And yes, we merrily ship abroad (although it may take us a day or so to get to the post office!) And for you BG fans on foreign shores, we can ship up to six patterns for $18. Such a deal.

So secret agent woman.
So secret agent woman.


A panacea for the blues. July 28, 2014 21:22

So many options!
So many options!

Have you ever had one of those days? One of those really bad days? A day when your best friend dumps you, your dog bites you, you snap the heel on one of your favorite shoes?

On days like that, you deserve something special. Something to cheer you up. Something beautiful to wear while you snuggle up on the sofa with a cup of tea, watching your favorite chick flick. Something like Simplicity 2832.

Do scurry over to The Blue Gardenia, and snatch this gorgeous pattern for your collection. That's an order.


Yes to the man. Yes to the flowers. Yes to the dress. July 28, 2014 14:26

So elegant, so graceful, so wearable. So elegant, so graceful, so wearable.

 

You said yes. You, the ultimate party girl, legendary manizer. No one is more surprised at this news than you. You've chosen the flowers: calla lilies. You've chosen the guest list - small, only your nearest and dearest. And you've chosen the dress: Simplicity 9299, Version A, in a platinum crepe-back satin that's as soft as ice cream. It's chaste enough for the altar; sexy enough for the dance floor. 

You may purchase this beauty at The Blue Gardenia. And yes, we do happily ship abroad.


A cute 1960s shortie suitable for Ms. Bardot. July 24, 2014 15:29 1 Comment

You are having one of those days. You know the kind: the doggie barfs the breakfast he scarfed too fast and he does it on your new duvet cover. You dropped your blueberry smoothie on the floor while you were trying to find your cellphone. And then the toilet overflowed.

Sigh.

The shortie version is my favorite!
The shortie version is my favorite!

You really just want to be a sloth, take to your bed, read a trashy book, and eat peanut butter cookies.

But you refuse to give in to your malaise. What you are going to do instead is create. Yes. CREATE. That sense of accomplishment, of work well-done, always makes you feel better. No plus difficile VPO for you today. No. You need a fast fix. So you have chosen Simplicity 4288. The short version. And you just happen to have some lovely lawn you bought last summer, and it is luscious, the color of a Dark Lady rose. It won't take long to make. And you know you'll feel better when you look at the finished nightie and matching panties. Absolutely.

And, yes, as it happens, you may buy this pattern at The Blue Gardenia. And I hope you do. Think how fetching you will look in  this 1960s number. (And we do ship abroad, happily.)