The Blue Gardenia

My closet: Pink Martini, Aspen and a 1950s Vogue pattern. July 15, 2013 06:41 1 Comment

Pink Martini in Aspen Saturday a week ago (that's Storm Large, the girl singer, above), and I wore Vogue Special Design 4515. I confess: I did not make this. I had Leslie, my sewing teacher, whip it up, though she would most assuredly quibble with my descriptive verb "whip."

Pink_martini_vogueI have the pattern, but in Bust 36, so I started looking elsewhere for one in Bust 34. Found it on Ebay in condition descibed as good. Alas, foxing was so severe it was impossible for Leslie to locate notches as they had been lost to history. (This is why I refuse to use words describing condition on The Blue Gardenia. One person's "good" is another person's "horrid.")

Anyway, Leslie thought the pattern was very poorly drafted, and she should know: she reviews patterns for Threads magazine. She'll be reviewing this for the blog very soon under Gardenia Garments. 

I'll share some pics with you, taken after the show, so the dress is wrinkled. Sorry. Better pics to come with the review.


The dress is made of silk shantung. I like it. Leslie wants to perfect the fit a bit more. She made MAJOR changes to the design to make it work. Bravo, Les. Here's the back: Pink_martini_back

If you've made this pattern, what was your experience? 

Is criticizing fit classist? June 3, 2010 10:44 8 Comments

In a recent post, Gretchen of Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing, faulted some ill-fitting garments she saw while out and about in New York. Her comments proved to be controversial. Boy. Was I surprised. You could have knocked me down with a feather. Really. One commenter found Gretchen's post not only offensive but classist.  Fit_herrera  

Naturally, this response made me cogitate. Contemplate. Ruminate. Darn it. Nix the big words. Do. I chewed over this, being the sensitive new-age dame that I am. And guess what, lovely readers? I do not think fit is a class issue, and I offer two photographs as proof.

The first is of a pair of slacks designed by Carolina Herrera, a designer I would wear — if only my budget agreed. This pic is from the catalog of a high-end retailer. And if you want these pants, you'll have to plunk down nearly $1,000. But. Take a moment. Look at the zipper! Look at the pleats! And these are on a malnourished model! Wait. Wait. I'm getting apoplectic. I am. Deep breath. OK. Note the pulling fabric at the top of the placket. These slacks don't fit properly.  

Pencil_skirt_tightThe second is an after photo from What Not To Wear. After! Now this is a show I watch. This is a show I enjoy. Absolutely. But despite the admonishments from Stacey and Clinton about the importance of good fit, I often find myself cringing at the makeovers. Look at this pencil skirt. It's a fabulous style. Truly. The high waist and belt are luscious. Love 'em. I do. But those wrinkles! Egads, this skirt is too tight. Way. Take a few inches off this skirt, and any hooker would be proud to wear it.

Don't get me wrong. I realize not everyone can afford a tailor. Heck, not everyone can afford new clothes. With a hubby whose job was outsourced last year, I know economic distress. But I also know well-heeled women who purposely refuse to wear any garment larger than a size 4, even though their bodies are a size 8. I know men who always buy high-water pants, even though they're nowhere near a pond.

So. What do you think, dear readers? Tell me. I'm listening.