The Blue Gardenia

A sexy 1930s peekaboo day dress. Just one among the many new items. September 8, 2014 00:46 2 Comments

Sleek and sexy.
    Sleek and sexy.


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?



Unique and captivating collar and princess seams.
Unique and captivating collar and princess seams.


I actually have Butterick 8573, circa 1950s, in my size. I love this style. It's on my make list. Fetching, yes?




That peplum. Those cutouts. Dreamy sigh.
That peplum. Those cutouts. Dreamy sigh.

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.

Comfy. Pretty. Simple.
Comfy. Pretty. Simple.


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 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.


McCall's 6621: Suitable for tinkling the ivories in a 1940s film noir. August 7, 2014 22:10 2 Comments

I love the sleeves. I love the drape.
I love the sleeves. I love the drape.

Such a sexy 1940s design, this McCall 6621. And yet, it isn't so revealing, so in your face, that you couldn't wear it to an office affair or to a party at your significant other's house without feeling exposed.

I think I would stitch it up in a silk crepe. Perhaps a periwinkle blue or maybe even aqua. Either would be smashing. And, yes, this scrumptious pattern is available at The Blue Gardenia, where you'll find patterns for the snootiest fashionista! (And we do happily ship abroad!)

A smart 1930s frock worthy of a movie star. August 6, 2014 00:13 2 Comments

This is a wonderful wardrobe staple.  

You've been quite faithful to your plan to eschew yoga pants except on the mat. One of the secrets, you have found, is to wear dresses: They are easy and comfortable to wear and easily fit into your gym bag. A dress is less bulky than separates.

You adore Hollywood 905 from the 1930s. The right view has that smashing wide collar, your weakness. And it looks as if it will be easy to make — and that's important since you are an advanced beginner.

You'll whip it up out of a pretty paisley rayon challis you found at You love the colors. And the print is reminiscent of the '30s.  

And you can find this marvy vintage pattern at The Blue Gardenia. And you can find it in not one, but two sizes! Doncha love it?


This pretty rayon is available at Gorgeous Fabrics.
This pretty rayon is available at Gorgeous Fabrics.

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. 



And now for a non-pattern moment, let's admire a canine pal! July 30, 2014 22:54

His Bertness and Atchison enjoy a lazy Saturday afternoon.
His Bertness and Atchison enjoy a lazy Saturday afternoon.


I haven't shown any pictures of Atchison and Emma lately, so let me rectify part of that dilemma. This is Atchison, enjoying some time on His Bertness's lap. Emma, by the way, is not the camera hog that Atchison is — that is why I show fewer pics of her on the blog.

Aren't you feeling more relaxed now? Sort of like you've meditated for 5 minutes?

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!


Frame your face in this exquisite 1950s McCall's day dress. July 23, 2014 10:06

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 20:38

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 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.


A cool vintage dress for the dry or humid heat. July 17, 2014 15:28

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 16:20 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 16:00 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 15, 2014 00:30 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 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 ...


Channeling Catherine: The simple, square neckline June 24, 2014 00:30

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 20, 2014 00:53

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 02:05 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 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.