The Blue Gardenia

In the mood for mod? Drop by and see our additions! December 8, 2014 00:32 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.

Celluloid style: Bette Davis's terrific top in "Now, Voyager." October 7, 2014 17:24

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.

Go unto him, Part 2. Will he ask you to his cabana? August 13, 2014 01:55 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.


A dress made for sultry nights on the dance floor. August 5, 2014 00:43 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. 



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.

A panacea for the blues. July 28, 2014 23:22

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 16:26

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 17:29 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.


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.)

Just made some pajamas. As cute as these? Not! July 23, 2014 16:54 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!


You'll be snug and elegant in your '40s cape when the cold wind blows. July 19, 2014 15:14

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 14:35

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.


Shameless plug: Free your inner beach bunny or American hustler. June 26, 2014 00:01

[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 ...


This Mary Quant number has it all going on. June 18, 2014 02:06

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.

When the weather outside is frightfully hot, don this short set. June 9, 2014 22:48 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?

Gorgeous bra top, sleek slacks and a lovely shirt for the modest among you. June 5, 2014 23:34 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!

Be the star of the picnic in this 1940s playsuit. June 2, 2014 23:31


The family reunion picnic is a mere two weeks away. Sigh. She’s not exactly the picnic type. All those ants and flies. The heat. The humidity. However, Grampie is getting older, and he’s not in the best of health. His badminton days are long past, so she really doesn’t want to miss this one. What to wear? How about whipping up that sassy Du Barry romper she saw at The Blue Gardenia? It’s so fetching, and her legs could use some sun. Perhaps she’ll use that lovely cotton sateen she bought at Gorgeous Fabrics a few weeks ago. It will be so cool.

Of course, you can buy this cute pattern at The Blue Gardenia. And, yes, we happily ship abroad.



Swing dresses, Mad Men sheaths, Miyake and more: Take your pick! April 20, 2014 23:44

New vintage patterns at The Blue Gardenia! Check the Forties, Fifies and Sixties to enjoy the fashion show. I'll tease you with one from each decade: Hollywood-678 Hollywood 648 offers a fun way to practice laying out striped fabrics. Love those pockets! Of course, this pattern, loaded with Forties attitude, would look fetching in solids or florals, too. Doncha think? McCalls-5178 From the Fifties, this amazing design from Hannah Troy is sure to please. Sassy and sexy and hard to find. Good size, too. VogueAmDes-2088 Issey Miyake admirers, take note: The Blue Gardenia added not one, but two outstanding patterns. Vogue American Designer 2088 will take your jacket wardrobe up several notches. So. Drop by and peruse all the additions. We know you'll find something you can't live without.

Prescription for sunny days: 1930s sweat elegant sports attire April 4, 2014 00:47


You are looking forward to the weekend. You are yearning for the sunny days the forecaster promised. Absolutely. Lemonade. Chicken salad. Laughter. Strolling around the course attempting to smack that little dimpled white ball. You don't really care if you hit it or not. Neither will anyone else, because you are going to look so swellelegant. You, in your butter yellow and French blue linen sports dress. The one you whipped up from delicious 1930s Ladies Home Journal-New York 1280. Lovely. So very. And, yes, this pattern is available at The Blue Gardenia, where you'll find patterns suitable for even the snootiest fashionista. We added many 1930s patterns, most in factory folds, from 1933-1935. Enjoy!

Learning to sew: A pin at a time & my hair matches my dress. January 15, 2014 21:40

I had little time for sewing today. I spent the afternoon at the dentist's office. Can you say fun? At least, he's a sweetie and good at his job. And he's on my dental insurance plan. Yippee skippee.

I did, however, at least get darts pinned. I'm trying to do a little sewing every day, even if I only have time to mark and pin. It's progress. One step at a time. And all that.

BluehairI dyed my hair blue! At least parts of it. Teal and cobalt with an orchid streak here and there. I love it. A sportscar was not in my budget for a midlife crisis. Yeah, the photo's lousy. One of these days I'll get a camera with a remote clicker, so I can take good pics like the big girl bloggers.

Don't forget to stop by and shop or just browse the new Blue Gardenia. It's so easy to navigate. We have a search engine. How cool is that?

Golden Globes 2014: Dull & duller. But a few dreamy dresses. January 12, 2014 18:01

Am I the only person who found the 2014 Golden Globes as dull as an Albuquerque coffee table undusted for a month? Even the majority of the gowns let me down. There were a few highlights, a few gowns that inspired closet lust:

Lupita Nyong'o, above, of Twelve Years a Slave, takes home the Blue Gardenia Dennison Blue Foil Star Award. If I hadn't already bought red silk charmeuse for a bias cocktail number, I would definitely copy this Ralph Lauren beauty for my Valentine's Night fashion pleasure. Day length, though.  His Bertness would definitely approve. Maybe my birthday dress? In blue?

Sandra Bullock
also stunned. Her Prabal Gurung gown took colorblock to new heights. But what is it with older women and long hair that would look more appropriate on a teen? A sophisticated updo would have made this look perfection. Nice lipcolor, though. Is it Chanel Paris again?

Paula Patton
should pinkslip her stylist. This Stephane Rolland design — and I use that word loosely — looks like a boring white sheath with a fluffy dishtowel tossed over her shoulder. Perhaps the star was doing kitchen duty afterward?

What was Julia Roberts thinking in her Dolce & Gabbana? Was she referencing Sharon Stone's seminal Gap shirt and black evening skirt look? If so, she failed. Miserably. And that sparkly belt? Yikes. I hope I don't have nightmares about it. Roberts' hair was sensational, though. Loved it. Absolutely.

And guess what? The new Blue Gardenia website is up, and we are already getting compliments. Hop on over and let us know what you think. It is so easy to shop! Hope you love it. Passionately.

Make your biscuits light and fluffy in this 1950s holiday apron! December 2, 2013 02:10 2 Comments


Ahhhh . . . biscuits. Don't you love them? I do. His Bertness made these for dinner last night. I was an excellent instructor, and he was an ace student. These were perfect: light, flaky, lots of layers, crunchy outside, tender inside. Yum bunnies.

1950s_xmas_apron_patternIf you're planning to do some holiday baking, may I suggest Simplicity 4511? It has Christmas trees! Or if you prefer, you can have tulips, leaves, strawberries.

This would be an excellent pattern to purchase at our end-of-an-era sale! We'll be debuting the new and improved The Blue Gardenia website come January. Till then, the more you shop, the more you save.


The perfect dress for feeling irresistible, strong and independent. June 27, 2013 01:57

You've been dumped. Unceremoniously, as the ubiquitous they say. He didn't deserve you. That's what you say. Call it justification, if you must. You're not going to stay home and empty a box of Puffs. Not you. Not this time.

You're not even going to call a girlfriend and go out for sidecars and a minute rehashing of the relationship. No teary "what did I do wrong" questions from you. You are going to do something different. You're going to put on your favorite dress, Vogue 8930, copyright 1957. You've made it three times. It really is a tried and true. You're going to slip on the cherry red shantung and go to The Artichoke Cafe and have steak frites and deconstructed lemon meringue pie and then you're going to come home, curl up in your favorite chair and read The Art Forger. To paraphrase Ms. Gaynor, you will survive. Happily and in style.

The details, because of course you want to know: Vogue 8930 Dresses Bust 32 Complete Copyright 1957 $33.

And yes, my lovelies, this chic pattern can be yours. Just drop by The Blue Gardenia, where the patterns are counted, the jewelry is sparkling, and domestic shipping is free. (And, yes, we happily ship abroad for a fee — just what the post office charges, in fact.) So rush on over. Do. Snap this one up. Don't delay.

Learning to sew: My Gertie coat. What do you think? March 3, 2013 15:56 9 Comments

Finally. My Gertie coat. Sure. It took time. But I am pleased with it.

It's made of wool flannel.

And lined in 3-mummy ice blue silk charmeuse. I did not make bound buttonholes. My one regret. My sewing teacher encouraged me to enter it in a local contest, and my bound buttonholes aren't quite up to snuff.


Well. There is one other regret. I was so busy sewing that I missed buying tickets for The Mavericks. By the time I realized they were going to be in Santa Fe, all the good seats were gone. Drat. I'll just have to settle for Raul Malo's voice on CD. See and hear what I'm missing? At least, we have Pink Martini tickets for consolation.

The countdown begins: The Blue Gardenia sale ends tonight! January 7, 2013 00:00

So. You have mere hours to take advantage of The Blue Gardenia's terrific sale. And you want to, don't you? I want you to, and so do our little canine pals. They like their treats. They do. Absolutely. And treats cost money.

The details: 

Spend $50 - $99, get 15% off. 
Spend $100 - $249, get 35% off. 
Spend $250 - $399, get 40% off. 
Spend $400 or more, get 45% off.

Isn't that grand? I think so. And the limits are all before the discount, which means if you spend, for instance, $250, then your tally will only be be $150. It includes every pattern, every piece of jewelry. May I say wow?

Sale ends at midnight PST January 7, 2013 — yes, tonight! So hurry, scurry! All payments must be received by January 11, 2013.