The Blue Gardenia

My 1950s-style circular skirt: dots! March 16, 2015 00:00

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.

Rain, rain, please don't go away! This coat is too chic not to wear! July 29, 2014 18:41

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.

Just sewing along: Ogle the details on a '50s Gertie-style coat! October 24, 2012 09:40

I know. The details don't show up well in this picture. Black! The bane of neophyte snappers. This is my ace sewing teach Leslie, wearing a coat that was a gift from her mom-in-law. (Now, that's a mother-in-law who deserves a very nice and pricey lunch, doncha think?) Very similar to Gertie's sew-along coat. (Although I do prefer Gertie's cuffless sleeves.)

This close-up shot may show some of the neat detailing along the hem. Piping! So classy, so elegant, so unusual. Really sets this design apart.

Leslie, by the way, will be teaching a holiday cocktail party dress class Gertie_dress_pat at Nob Hill Fabrics, so if you live in the ABQ-Santa Fe area, do sign up. Details here. You may choose Gertie's sexy design, Butterick 5814. Love this dress. I, of course, am using a real vintage pattern. Surprised? I know you are! I'll share that pattern with you later, natch. One day, though, I'll tackle this Gertie design. It is the cat's. Totally.


Our first Albuquerque update. Don't miss these amazing patterns. February 1, 2012 01:24

Here it is: The Blue Gardenia's first New Mexico update. Rather exciting, I think. I hope you do as well. You'll find designs from Givenchy, Lanvin, Dior, to name a few. Let me share a few favorites:

She's going to be a June bride. But she's not one bit nervous. She hasn't shed a tear of frustration. She hasn't had one anxiety attack. Not one. She is calm. She is cool. And she's going to look beautiful in Butterick 3859, designed by Chetta B. She loves the tiers. She loves the bias band. Not your usual tiers, though. These are sleek. And this dress is modern. Nothing frothy about it. Nothing at all. His heart will be racing as she glides down the aisle. She is sure of it.

The details: Butterick 3859 Top and Skirts Designed by Chetta B Bust 34-38 Still in factory folds $33.

She adores 1920s fashions. But she's only been sewing awhile, and she doesn't have the courage yet to tackle an authentic 1920s pattern. That's why she is absolutely crazy about Teresa Nordstrom's cape, Simplicity 4947. It's inspired by clothing from 1920-1925, and it has a divine drape in the back. She's going to make Version B in royal blue velvet, lined in lilac charmeuse. It may be a challenge. But. She will rise to it. That she knows. Absolutely.

The details: Simplicity 4947 Cape Designed by Teresa Nordstrom inspired by fashions from 1920-1925 One Size Still in factory folds $33.

She's in the mood for something mod but mature. Something powerful and eye-catching. Something that will present just the right image at the business conference she's attending next month. Vogue Paris Original 2007 fits the bill. Perfectly. She will impress.

The details: Vogue Paris Original 2007 Dress Designed by Lanvin Bust 38 Complete $45

And, dear readers, there are oh-so-many more. Do stop by. Do shop, shop, shop. At The Blue Gardenia, of course, where the patterns are counted, the jewelry is sparkling, and domestic shipping is free. And we happily ship abroad as well, for less than the USPS charges us.

Ms. R. V. Hayes' sewing book: I want to take this course. Now. January 31, 2012 12:07 6 Comments

While unpacking, I found this treasure, picked up at antique store years ago. It's a student's book from a Singer sewing course taught in Ada, OK. Not only did the student learn what would be considered advanced techniques today (at least by this fledgling), the course was a bargain. All 16 subjects for a whopping $10.
What I personally love about this leather 3-ring-binder book, is that the student's work samples are included. I enjoy imagining Ms. Hayes mastering all these skills.

Today, I'll share four samples with you, dear readers.

First, binder samples:

An inner curve with square corners and a bound placket and buttonhole loops.

Next, narrow French seams and flat-felled seams and wider French seams and flat-felled seams.

Wouldn't you love a class that taught so many techniques and forced you to learn them well enough to put in a book? A class taught by someone who not only knew her craft but was passionate about it? Oh, how I would. Absolutely!

This is a thick book, and not to worry, I'll share all the examples with y'all. You wait with breathless anticipation, right? You do. I know it.

(Oh. You may click these images to enjoy the details in a bigger size.)

I thought I was a fabric slut . . . January 26, 2012 09:26 10 Comments

but maybe not. I've been sorting through boxes, paring down. Our house is nearly 1,000 feet smaller here — but right in the center of town, no more suburbia! —  so some things must go. Fabric is especially hard to toss. It inspires hopes, dreams, possibilities, the future.

I picked this piece up more than a decade ago at a Houston estate sale. It's a barkclothy, lineny kind of thing. So pretty. I love the colors. Love the print. But. Would I actually wear a garment made from this? No. Still, I couldn't part with it. Or so I thought when I went to bed. Upon awakening, I changed my mind. Yes, I love it. But will I use it? No. So. It's going to Goodwill. Bye-bye, lovely fabric. Make someone else happy.

Do you have a hard time letting fabric leave your abode?

This oh-so-smart 1940s pattern can be yours. Yes, indeed. January 13, 2012 07:33

It's chic. It's sophisticated. It's in a highly desired size — Bust 36. And it can be yours for a steal during The Blue Gardenia's Take the Left Turn at Albuquerque sale.

The fine print: Buy three or more patterns, get 35% off your total order! Isn't that exciting? I think so. But hurry. The sale ends this weekend. Don't let this opportunity to save on counted, checked, archived patterns get away. And we take American Express, Discover, Mastercard, Paypal and Visa. All to make you happy. All to make it easy. For you, dear readers.

And we do ship abroad as well. Happily, in fact. We charge less than the USPS charges us. Isn't that grand? I think so. I do.



Take the left turn at ABQ and save, save, save on lovely patterns! January 7, 2012 16:25

You're wondering— I know you are — about our annual end-of-year sale. The bad news: We didn't have it. We were in Prescott packing. We were. Box after box.


There is good news: The Blue Gardenia is having a Take the Left Turn at Albuquerque sale instead. So here's the scoop:

Buy 3 or more patterns, get 35% off your total sale!
Sale prices good now through
11:59 p.m. PST Sunday, January 15, 2012
Payment must be received by Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Shop Early for Best Selection!

I took the left turn at Albuquerque! December 6, 2011 06:45 11 Comments


And what a trip it's been. So far.

I hope you have missed me, dear readers. Been pining for me, refusing to take nourishment, dampening those tissues, wondering where, oh where might she be. Et cetera.

His Bertness and I have moved to Albuquerque. Isn't that exciting? I think so. Our house has vigas. Sure, they are rotting, and the  landlord is planning to remove them. (Pass the Puffs, please.)

So. In a nutshell: It took us almost a month to find a house that met our basic requirements. (And basic, they are. The vigas were delicious lagniappe.) We moved in last Wednesday. So excited were we. Pillows in our own home to rest our heads upon, instead of pillows in a B&B or a motel.

Thursday morning, during a storm here with hurricane-force winds, I heard two pops, peeked through the blinds to see the cause, and saw two flashes of fire come from two power lines attached to our home. Attached, that is, once upon a time. A neighbor's tree had fallen and hit the lines, setting them free.

Firemen came. The electricity company. An electrician. We had no power. None at all. We moved back into a motel. Returned home Saturday. Cleaned a lot. Unpacked a little. Grew fond of our cute 1950s bungalow. Today, a Roto-Rooter tech is at our little home. But. That's another story.

I think I am going to love ABQ. I do.

And, yes, The Blue Gardenia is up and running. So, shop, dears. Shop. Shop. Shop. Make me even happier. And yourselves, too. You work hard. You deserve a treat.