The Blue Gardenia
What would Claire wear? Emulate the strapless silver bombshell dress. March 21, 2015 18:53
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.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.
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 21:30
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.
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 23:19
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.
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.
The closet of cool chic Claire Underwood: The ladylike white dress March 13, 2015 03:38
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.
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.
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.
A give-away! Gift certificate, Gertie's book, Nars lipstick and more! March 8, 2015 23:16 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!).
First, the prize:
A $50 gift certificate for The Blue Gardenia.
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.
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 7, 2014 23:32 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.
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.
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.
A sexy 1930s peekaboo day dress. Just one among the many new items. September 7, 2014 23:46 2 Comments
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?
I actually have Butterick 8573, circa 1950s, in my size. I love this style. It's on my make list. Fetching, yes?
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.
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 13, 2014 00:55 2 CommentsYou 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?
A dress made for sultry nights on the dance floor. August 4, 2014 23:43 2 Comments
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 17:41
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.
A panacea for the blues. July 28, 2014 22:22
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 15:26
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 16:29 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.
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 15:54 2 Comments
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?
You'll be snug and elegant in your '40s cape when the cold wind blows. July 19, 2014 14:14
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 13:35
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.
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 14:28
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.
Vintage pattern shopping therapy, anyone? Avoid pills and docs. July 15, 2014 15:00 7 Comments
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.
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.
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.
And McCall's 4265: dream 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!
Shameless plug: Free your inner beach bunny or American hustler. June 25, 2014 23:01[caption id="attachment_4710" align="aligncenter" width="497"] 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.[/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![/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 01:06
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 22:56
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.
Beach-bop-alooza: Be his (or her) baby in these bathing beauties. June 16, 2014 16:38 2 Comments
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.
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!
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.
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 17:33 2 Comments
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.
When the weather outside is frightfully hot, don this short set. June 9, 2014 21:48 2 Comments
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.
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?
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