The Blue Gardenia

Just made some pajamas. As cute as these? Not! July 23, 2014 14:54 2 Comments

Cute in bed or out.
Cute in bed or out.

   

I finished some jammie bottoms yesterday, inspired by a sew-along a couple of years ago. More on that and pictures later. I'm cutting out another pair today, though I haven't made up my mind about which pattern I'll choose. I'd love to do this one, if only I had it in Bust 34. I want it in linen for outdoor wear as well. Don't you?

And, of course, Simplicity 3949 is available at The  Blue Gardenia, so snap it up, please, and make Atchison and Emma happy dogs!

 


Frame your face in this exquisite 1950s McCall's day dress. July 23, 2014 08:06

As usual, this woman falls for collar details.
As usual, this woman falls for collar details.

 

You want something cool to wear to help you get through August. Something that carries some weight for the office; something cool enough for walking down those steaming city blocks to reach a cafe at lunch. McCall 4912: Perfection. You'll make it in a lovely cotton sateen. Navy. With a cotton sateen collar in the whitest white. You will be smashing. Absolutely.

And, this 1950s style is available at The Blue Gardenia. But you knew that, didn't you?

 

 


Learning to sew: Try this sexy Betsey Johnson. July 22, 2014 18:38

And it's quick and easy!
And it's quick and easy!

   

If you're learning to sew, or you're an accomplished seamstress in a hurry, you would be hard-pressed to come up with a cuter pattern than Butterick 3511The sexy halter, the v-yoke on the skirt, the well-cut pants. This could go day. This could go dusk. This could go late into the evening. And then, if you like, it could come off . . . in many different scenarios.

So, saunter over to The Blue Gardenia. Johnson's Alley Cat patterns are hard to find, especially in a great size.


You'll be snug and elegant in your '40s cape when the cold wind blows. July 19, 2014 13:14

Now this is the way to forget the 98 degree weather outside.
Now this is the way to forget the 98 degree weather outside.

   

One way to escape the soaring temps: stay inside, snuggle up to your machine and sew. Soon, the winter winds will whistle and you will be ready, you with your magnificent cape, made from Butterick 3701, circa 1940s. You're stitching Version A in a double-faced wool the color of the skies over the Sandias at sunset. And lining it in a Wedgwood blue silk charmeuse. Three mummy. Lush. Now. You have only to get through July. August. September . . .

This gorgeous cape pattern is available at The Blue Gardenia, of course. Don't let it get away.


That skirt. That top. And those cute, creative shorts. July 18, 2014 12:35

High today: 98 in good old low-humidity ABQ. Let me be repetitious: A dry heat is still a very unpleasant and uncomfortable heat. Yes, indeed.

The bias strips shorts: So cute. So unusual.
The bias strips shorts: So cute. So unusual.

And what better ensemble to wear in the heat than 1940s Advance 6440? Imagine the skirt with bound buttonholes and covered buttons. I am thinking linen. Spring green. Anything to remind me of another season. And when you get home, hang the skirt up ever-so-neatly in the closet and let that fabulous playsuit show. You know the shorts are going to fit beautifully — after all, they are made of bias pieces. How radically chic is that?

Can you resist this pattern? It's payday after all. (At least it is for many of you!)

This lovely is available at The Blue Gardenia, where you'll find patterns suitable for the snootiest fashionista. And, yes, we merrily ship abroad. We do.

 


A cool vintage dress for the dry or humid heat. July 17, 2014 13:28

Fresh in any heat.
Fresh in any heat.    

Here in the high desert, where I currently reside, the locals say on searing days, of which there are many: At least, it's a dry heat. It is, I suppose, their way of showing gratitude. But let me inform you: heat is heat. And at least it often rains in the South.

 

But this is a dress perfect for the humid or the arid heat. It is as fresh as Washington cherries, as cool as an ice cream sundae. You can't go wrong with Butterick 3134.

 

And, yes, this can be purchased at The Blue Gardenia. And I speak for all the gardenias when I say we'd love to see your finished garment.


Am I blogging just for me and the Gucci outlet? July 15, 2014 14:20 4 Comments

I ask because since I moved my blog I am getting mostly spam comments from bots selling fakes. Come on, real readers, leave a comment. Let me know you're out there. Let me know you still care. Because this takes time, darn it.

OK. Fit over. Feeling better already.

But leave a comment on my pattern post earlier today. Got it?


Vintage pattern shopping therapy, anyone? Avoid pills and docs. July 15, 2014 14:00 7 Comments

Is there anything about this dress that I do not adore? In a word, no.
Is there anything about this dress that I do not adore? In a word, no.

I am a twisted rag today, a Twizzler stick tied in knots. Something very good happened to me, something that may well lead to something better. I have learned something new about myself in this process: I have superstitious tendencies. In another life, I might be a baseball pitcher, always wearing the same socks that I wore when pitching a no-hitter. And those tendencies are why I am not sharing any details.

 

So. How to calm myself, how to untie the Twizzlers and put them in the pantry? A fantasy Blue Gardenia shopping trip, natch, where my favorite patterns are available in my size. (And, no, don't tell me I can resize patterns, because that ain't me, babe. My size, or you have the blessed opportunity to buy the pattern. A woman must have boundaries, and as a purveyor of patterns, that is one of mine.)

     

Vogue Couturier Design 536, from the 1950s, has long been a favorite. In fact, this was my own pattern, and I paid a mint to get it years ago, thinking it was my size. Than I started sewing, and learned that it was too big for me. My loss, your etc.

The sleeves. The collar. Need I say more?
The sleeves. The collar. Need I say more?

Butterick 3751 from the 1960s is luscious. I love the blouse, and, yes, I would wear it alone, as well as with the jumper. And the jumper I would also wear alone. What a sexy and cool summer dress it would make. I'm a sucker for the multipurpose pattern.


 

 

Total sucker I am for sleeve detail.
Total sucker I am for sleeve detail.

My momma made this for me when I was 12. (Yeah, I was definitely considered  a fashion iconoclast back in small town Louisiana. And that's putting it nicely. In a world of jeans and tees, there I tripped in my red YSL wedgies.) And this is the actual pattern she used. Now, I need a Bust 34 in Vogue 8690. 1970s era, this style. Long for it. I do.


 

 

I love the dipping back neckline, the cowl front, the hint of fullness in the skirt.
I love the dipping back neckline, the cowl front, the hint of fullness in the skirt.

And McCall's 4265dream dress. And I do mean a dream, not the thriller nightmare I had last night. (Yes, in case you care, I escaped unscathed and victorious, but not until after much subterfuge and many car chases and betrayal by a trusted friend.)


There you go. Shopping therapy. I am feeling so much less anxious now. In fact, I feel downright peaceful.

In case you lust for these styles, too, you can buy them at The Blue Gardenia, and we do indeed happily ship abroad. And purchases keep the dogs in treats. Can I overestimate how much they love their treats? Impossible!

 


The hostess gown: Perhaps it could bring peace and prosperity for all? July 14, 2014 22:30 1 Comment

This is the hostess gown dreams are made of.
    This is the hostess gown dreams are made of.

 

Ahhh, the hostess gown. It brings back all those vices we've given up. Like cigarettes. And sidecars.

But this patternista thinks there's still a place in this world for the hostess gown. Small intimate dinner parties. Receiving close friends in the parlor. Or perhaps donning it to open the door to your favorite gentleman caller.

And Butterick 4133, from the 1940s, is perhaps the most glamorous hostess gown ever. And I do not exaggerate. Imagine crossing one svelte leg over the other, swaying it ever so enticingly. He'll turn into a pile of whip cream in your hand. Then. It's up to you what you do with him. Naturally, I have an idea or two. I suspect you do, too . . .

And, yes, this hard-to-find pattern is available at The Blue Gardenia. We added nearly one hundred patterns this weekend. Take a look. And may I suggest that you fill your shopping basket to the brim?


Shameless plug: Free your inner beach bunny or American hustler. June 25, 2014 22:01

[caption id="attachment_4710" align="aligncenter" width="497"]Who could resist your in this? Who could resist your in this?[/caption]   Another week, another new fashion  show of fabulous patterns! His Bertness has worked his fingers right down to the bone adding magnificent patterns for your pleasure. You'll find everything from sexy swimsuits to slinky 1930s pajamas. A few of my favorites: Vogue 8804 from 1953. Doesn't this bring to mind the young Ms. Loren?Absolutely. [caption id="attachment_4762" align="aligncenter" width="548"]I can see Beyonce in this. Or Amy Adams in American Hustle. I can see Beyonce in this. Or Amy Adams in American Hustle.[/caption]   Vogue 8724 is not only very easy, it's very sexy. And it looks straight out of American Hustle. [caption id="attachment_4808" align="aligncenter" width="563"]So pretty. And so easy! And so inexpensive! So pretty. And so easy! And so inexpensive![/caption] Butterick 5648 whispers Myrna Loy. And do note: It's a Beginner's Pattern! Ever so helpful if you are learning to sew.  

And there are so many more. To find the new, just hit the default sorting button, scroll down to newest and there ya go. Very simple, very easy, as that TV chef used to say. We do happily ship abroad. Just in case you were wondering ...

 

Channeling Catherine: The simple, square neckline June 23, 2014 22:30

That hair! That neckline!
That hair! That neckline!
 

That face: God-given.

The simple, country look: Misleading.

Square neckline: Flattering.


Simplicity Designer's 8250: Precisely.

 
You can always ditch the pockets if they aren't your style.
You can always ditch the pockets if they aren't your style.

A new job, a new salary and a smashing new ensemble. June 19, 2014 22:53

Such a smart frock.
Such a smart frock.

You aced the interview. You got the job. You got the salary you sought. And, now, it is time to report to work. You have first day jitters. A little bit. You feel a suit might give the impression you are trying too hard. But 1940s Butterick 3571, a two piece ensemble, is a winning ticket: Businesslike, elegant, sophisticated . And yet it allows your personality to show through. You're so glad you didn't give in to that lazy urge to sit in front of the TV this weekend watching Liam Neeson movies and munching on caramel corn, so happy that you stitched this up instead.

And, you know it, you smarties. You can get this pattern at The Blue Gardenia, and we merrily ship abroad.


Go unto him (or her) in this sexy Vogue. June 19, 2014 00:05 2 Comments

The view second from the left is my favorite.
    The view second from the left is my favorite.

 

I'll be there for you. That's what he said. You believed him. You thought he was true. You did. You believed every word. I will be there for you. He was. He was. And then, and then he wasn't. Disappeared. Gone. With nothing but a Pantone Sunshine postcard with one word: "Sorry."

And here you are, in this club, with the sky and the stars for a roof, cool breezes from the ocean for air-conditioning. On an island far from home, far from where you spent those heavenly two years with him. He cooked breakfast every day. Placed it before you like you were his queen. Eggs. Biscuits. Grits. He always knew exactly what you wanted. Your skin melded every night, his the color of toffee, yours the color of a creamy elephant tusk. And each Friday and Saturday night, you danced. Skin glistening. Sweat mingling. You were one.

Until that day. And that word. Sorry.

And now. Now, he is here, in this foreign land, staring at you across the sparsely-filled room. Raul Malo and the Mavericks croon from the speakers, just as they did on those many nights, both those nights of fulfillment when you were enclosed in his arms and those nights of  fruitless, endless longing, wondering what you did, was it something you said, yearning for him, even if he was a cruel cad.

He walks to you. Graceful as a leopard. He bows. He asks for this dance as Raul sings "if your world has only done you wrong and all you find yourself is all alone."

Yes. Despite the past, despite the hurt, you will come unto him. You are mesmerized. He says nothing, not a word, during "Come Unto Me." You are so close. You know he feels the goosebumps on your arms. You wonder if the feel of your skin underneath the cherry-print silk charmeuse arouses him as much as the feel of his skin underneath his starched white cotton shirt excites you. You are mush. A bowl of risotto.

The song fades. Janiva Magness now sings "there's a long line of fools and we're all waiting to get to you."

You sigh. Ugly. But the ubiquitous they says the truth often is. You continue dancing. He whispers in your ear. "Pretend you have never seen me." As you lean back to peer into his eyes, he says "Don't react. This is the first time we have met. My name is Eliseo."'

"Sorry. Sorry. That is all you said. On a postcard." You hiss.

He pulls you closer, pressing your mouth against his chest. He whispers again his mouth teasing your ear: "Please, be quiet. Someone could be reading your lips. You don't know me, we just met."

You wonder, what is this? A James Bond movie? Please. But you will go along. You have no pride where he is concerned.  You want to feel his hands as he removes the lovely dress that caresses your legs so enticingly as you cha cha. The dress you made  with your own hands. Vogue 8567. You are glad you packed so many beautiful garments for your island vacation. At the time you didn't know why you were doing so. But your heart knew. And your body knows, whether he is Federico or Eliseo, you are his.

This beautiful pattern can be yours. At The Blue Gardenia. And yes, we happily ship abroad.


This Mary Quant number has it all going on. June 18, 2014 00:06

Totally multi-purpose!
    Totally multi-purpose!

   

She has a tight deadline Friday night. Meetings all day, then rush to help set up Lizzy's surprise birthday party, which will doubtlessly be followed by a night of clubbing. Butterick 6649, a 1970s design by Mary Quant, will be perfect. The slacks and jacket are sewn in emerald linen, classy business attire, and the halter is in a lovely peony pink 4-ply silk crepe. At the party, she will ditch the jacket. She'll be smashing, but not so dolled up that she'll take the spotlight off the birthday girl. Oh. She loves those win-win sitches. And how!

Yup. You can get this pattern at The Blue Gardenia. And you will love it. Promise.


Hard, fast and fashionable: Ida displays her best bedside manner in satin PJs. June 16, 2014 21:56

The glamorous Ms. Lupino shows us how to wear pajamas.
     The glamorous Ms. Lupino shows us how to wear pajamas.
   

Now, these are lounging pajamas. Just the garb for eating Belgium bon bons and  reading trashy French novels. Doncha think? I wouldn't shake a stick at those Turkish influenced mules, either. I have a thing for upturned toes. I do.

You can replicate this look with Butterick 5410. Of course, it's from the 1930s. Take the View C bodice, use the View A sleeves. Voila. You're a silver screen goddess.

And you know where you can find this gorgeous pattern, of course. At The Blue Gardenia. Slink over.

 

Choose the non-Russian view, but keep the Russian sleeves. And you've got it!
Choose the non-Russian view, but keep the Russian sleeves. And you've got it!

Beach-bop-alooza: Be his (or her) baby in these bathing beauties. June 16, 2014 15:38 2 Comments

Love this one!
  Love this one!

Ahhh, alliteration. I'm so easily amused.

Now to the subject at hand: swimsuits!

A cotton lace cover-up is perfect for this style, McCall's 7295, copyright 1964. Or you could be practical and go with terrycloth.


 

For those days when you're feeling modest . . .
For those days when you're feeling modest . . .

Having a puffy day? Then McCall's 7306 may make you feel more comfortable in the public eye. But you're not insecure, are you? This is a fabu suit for anyone!


 

The djellaba is irresistible.
The djellaba is irresistible.

McCall's 8736 may be my personal favorite. And we have it in two sizes! This one is from 1967, but, really, it's timeless.


 

For the baby doll fans among you.
For the baby doll fans among you.

Vogue 7816 could also be a fetching maternity suit.

 

 

So, there ya go. Lots of choices. All available at The Blue Gardenia, where we offer patterns for even the snootiest fashionistas!

 


Celluloid style: The white blouse sexed up on Kathleen Turner in "Body Heat" June 14, 2014 16:33 2 Comments

body_heat_blouse  

In Body Heat, Lawrence Kasdan's steamy 1981 homage to film noir, Kathleen Turner is beautiful. She's sexy. She's cunning. And she plays William Hurt's character, Ned Racine, like Yo-Yo Ma plays the cello.

Her character's clothes in the movie, Matty-Mary Ann, are simple and classic. Like this white linen blouse. You could emulate this blouse with McCall's 4583 from 1943. And, yes, you can find this pattern at The Blue Gardenia

The short sleeve version will do the trick. Snappy shorts and slacks, too.
The short sleeve version will do the trick. Snappy shorts and slacks, too.


My first printed short story! So exciting. June 11, 2014 21:41 1 Comment

My story, "She Says", is included.
  My story, "She Says", is included.
 

I know. It is uncool to be excited over your first print publication. I should be yawning. I should. But I'm not.  I was excited when the lovely and talented editor of Black Heart Magazine, Laura Roberts,  published my story "In a City White with Haze". And when she published "One Hep Kitten". And when Rose Red Review published "The Dalmatian Print Chair".

But Fourteen Hills actually invited me to read in San Francisco. A first.

All the views are groovy. But I favor the red one.
All the views are groovy. But I favor the red one.

I did not go. Transportation was out of my budget and theirs.

If I had read, though, I think I would have whipped up McCall's 3461 from 1951. The view with the long sleeves. I have long adored this pattern. I'm a pushover for great necklines, as you know.

And this gorgeous pattern can be yours. The Blue Gardenia has it in two sizes! Isn't that peachy?

 


When the weather outside is frightfully hot, don this short set. June 09, 2014 20:48 2 Comments

Show off those hours at the gym in this 1940s playsuit.
Show off those hours at the gym in this 1940s playsuit.

You paw through your dresser drawers, looking for something cool. Surely you didn't donate all your denim cutoffs to the Salvation Army last fall when you were attacked by that rare closet cleaning bug. But, apparently you did. Darn. And it's been so hot. Last week, 103 degrees two days. And when it's that hot, it doesn't really matter if it's a dry heat. Six percent humidity or 40, 103 is unbearable.

So. Cute shorts are a closet must. Hollywood 1354 is scrumptious. Truly. It's from the Forties, too. Your favorite decade. And you could make the skirt a couple of inches longer for those modest moments that strike on occassion.


 

This captivating cotton is available at fabricsandtrimmings, an Etsy shop.
        This captivating cotton is available at fabricsandtrimmings, an Etsy shop.

That pretty, yet wild, rose print you saw on Etsy would be spectacular.

And yes, you can indeed find this sassy pattern at The Blue Gardenia. But you know that? Didn't you?


Emulate Sutton Foster's impeccable 1950s-style Tony evening gown. June 08, 2014 22:35 2 Comments

I only watched half of the Tony Awards this year, so it seems unfair to do my usual award show best dressed list. So. I am doing something different. Sutton Foster's gown was my favorite, the one I'd most like to wear while accepting an award myself. Absolutely. (Do they dress for the Pulitzers? Do they even have a presentation? Mmmmm . . . something for me to check out. Later. And, yes, I do think big!)

So lovely and so 1950s, Sutton Foster glans up the awards.
So lovely and so 1950s, Sutton Foster glams up the awards.


 

One could get a similar look – and, frankly, in my opinion – an even more beautiful one with Vogue Couturier Design 824. It has a more structured and detailed bodice. And that bolero with its framing collar – wow! I think I'd stick with that luscious fuchsia satin, though. Irrestible.

I am so in love with this pattern!
I am so in love with this pattern!

The fabric organization continues . . . June 08, 2014 15:36

My love for red and pinks is obvious.
      My love for red and pinks is obvious.

 

It's not the most beautiful book. I won't win a scrapbook contest. But it's functional.
      It's not the most beautiful book. I won't win a scrapbook contest. But it's functional.

I continue to organize my fabric. His Bertness and I moved box after box in the storage unit until we found – I think! – all of it. I'm not only listing swatches and yardage in an old sketch pad I found in my office, I am zigzagging the edges and washing each piece that will not be dry-cleaned before I put it away. Yes, dear readers, it is a bit of a hassle and somewhat time-consuming (all right, extremely time-consuming) but it's also very inspiring. I want to make garments out of these lovely pieces. I must formulate a plan . . .


Gorgeous bra top, sleek slacks and a lovely shirt for the modest among you. June 05, 2014 21:34 2 Comments

Knock them on their buns with this sexy bra!
Knock them on their buns with this sexy bra!

Racy bra top. Beautifully cut pants. And a shirt to wear when the wind blows cool or you feel modest. A sophisticated '70s ensemble for summer pool or garden parties. The men will swoon. The women may glare. Can you resist?

And you can get Vogue 7534 at The Blue Gardenia, where you'll find patterns for the snootiest fashionista!


Learning to sew: A '50s Simplicity skirt with sexy slits June 04, 2014 21:39 4 Comments

My fabulous linen. Guess what? It's an upholstery fabric!
      My fabulous linen. Guess what? It's an upholstery fabric!

 

 

I'm stitching the green version. Love the slits!
      I'm stitching the green version. Love the slits!

I've decided I must break my slothful habit of wearing yoga pants around the house (and to the grocery store, the library, El Patio.) Enough! Really.

So I am making skirts, knit tops and cool cotton dresses for the summer.

First up, this mauve linen print. The version with the sexy yet ladylike side slits. I worked on it one day last week, and it fits perfectly. Don't you beam when that happens? I do. I'm lining it in a pinky nude Ambiance, because who needs saggy linen butt drop? I plan to finish it this weekend. And I like it so much, I think I'll make another. Pictures to come once I've made the top. Doncha love the fabric and the pattern?


An update, and, oh, the lovely looks it offers! June 03, 2014 20:56

Think of His Bertness, scanning patterns, adding them to the site, working so hard this weekend for two reasons: to make you happy, and therefore, make our pups happy, because the more patterns you simply can't resist at The Blue Gardenia, the more treats the little hair ranchers get! Do let me tempt you, my pretties, with one pattern from each decade: Simplicity-1721    

I adore Simplicity 1721. A pattern from the NRA period (and that would be the National Recovery Act, not the, ahem, group that claims those initials today). The patio pajamas are luscious, just the garb for lounging in the chaise while your significant other totes and fetches and does everything possible to make you happy. Second, the pattern includes a smart pair of gaucho pants and a cunningly designed blouse. I love the two, two, two looks in one pattern envelope. I do.

 

Advance-5136

 

And from the 1940s, both collar variations on Advance 5136 have panache galore. So comfy, so cool whipped up in a pretty cotton sateen.

Simplicity-8380 Simplicity 8380 is the picture of summer chic. Sophisticated enough for the office, fetching enough for sipping sidecars at your favorite bar. And that stole is so 1950s. Vogue-8371    

My personal fave: Vogue 8371. I have quite a thing for dolman sleeves, and I long for this pattern in my own size. (That would be Bust 34, in case you have one lazing about your pattern cabinet.)

 

You'll also find lots of other beauties this update, from 1930s evening gowns that would turn Myrna Loy green and 1960s swimsuits that will cause temps to rise at any beach party.

 

So. Pop on over to The Blue Gardenia. You won't be disappointed. Promise.