Tag Archives: Presents

Anniversary Giveaway!

(trumpet fanfare, please)

…Announcing the first ever Noir Girl giveaway…

…in honor of my 100 Day Anniversary!

Noir Girl has now been in existence for almost 100 days, all thanks to the many marvelous readers who frequent this blog.  I am so grateful to each and every one of you for all your kindness, camaraderie and friendship.  I truly enjoy reading and commenting on all your posts.  You inspire me, challenge my thinking and back up my gut reactions.  In a sentence: You guys are wonderful!  It’s so exciting to be a part of the blog community. So, I’ve been plotting how I could say thank you in a more tangible way, and I think I have a pretty good offer.

I made 5 handkerchief sachets that I am going to give away to five lucky readers in the coming weeks.

Fabrics (from left to right): Brown Tooled Suede, Indian Inspired Multicolored Brocade with Gold Overtones, Cream Cotton Calico with Yellow Flowers, Pink Floral Silk Charmeuse, Green Silk Brocade

Lining Fabrics (from left to right): Pink Crinkled Satin, Deep Purple Crinkled Satin, Gold Silk Brocade, Pink Taffeta, Green Silk Brocade

The fabrics for each one are listed above and they all have satin ribbon ties. The Pink Silk Charmeuse sachet is lined with the same pink taffeta from the Vogue Jacket project.  The rest are all fabrics from my stash.

If you’ve never heard of Handkerchief Sachets before, they are small fabric pockets usually made out of luxury fabrics used for keeping a lady’s delicate handkerchiefs safe.  I believe that some may have had lavender and other sweet smelling items hidden somewhere inside to freshen the hankies.  I have a vintage one that lives on my vanity (that’s my vanity above).  The allure for me about handkerchief sachets is the fact that many young women used theirs as hiding places for secret treasures.  I became fascinated with them after watching At Bertram’s Hotel (1987) with Joan Hickson as Miss Marple.  In this made for tv film, there is a scene where Miss Marple is showing her friend some recent purchases:

Miss Marple: Oh, and I also treated myself to a handkerchief sachet.

Lady Selina: Oh, how pretty!

MM: My old one had fallen to bits.  I’d had it ever since I was a girl.

LS: Oh the things I used to hide in my handkerchief sachet! Photographs, love letters, diaries…

MM: Oh, yes!  I once kept a valentine card in mine – for years.  Given me by a young man called Lionel Mattingly.

LS: Romance, Jane? What happened?

MM: Oh, nothing. Mother nipped it in the bud.

LS: You mean you never saw him again?

MM: Oh, indeed yes.  I came across him years later. And of course, Mother was absolutely right.

This can kind of give you an idea, anyway of the feeling I’m trying to tap into with my own versions of the Handkerchief Sachet.

On to the nitty gritty:  This is an open invitation for everyone to participate (International friends included! – don’t worry about the postage).  Feel free to enter if you’ve never commented before, whether you know me or not, or if you just found my blog today.  I want to hear from you!

How to win: Comment on this post and be sure to fill in an email address in the form, so I can contact you when you win. And, specify which sachet you like the best, and I’ll try to give you the one you like.

For the comments, let’s play a little game.  Let’s see if we can write a story, with each comment adding two or three words.  The first words are:

The cool breeze

Take it anywhere you want to go, but let’s refrain from profanities and objectionable content.  Keep it clean.  I’d love to get 100 words – one for each day my blog has been up. When I announce the winners, I’ll post the finished story and we’ll see how we did. :)

I will draw the winners from a vintage hat on April 1, 2009. On that day, I’ll do a post announcing the winners and email each one.

Good luck, my dears!


Filed under Giveaway, Sewing

Headbands and Sachet Set

I got my little headbands all finished!  It was touch and go there for a while.  I though maybe I wouldn’t finish them in time for the event where I was going to see my 5-year-old friend.  It all worked out, though.  :)  Have a look at the finished product.

I fashioned a “headband sachet” (a play on handkerchief sachet) out of the pink bandanna fabric and the remainder of the pink taffeta from the Vogue jacket.  I have a handkerchief sachet that is this same size and it served as my model.  My version has satin ribbon ties and an iron on embroidery initial.  I also used fusible fleece on the wrong side of the bandanna fabric to give the sachet more body.  It worked out well and has a great aesthetic feel when you hold it.

I treated the edges of the ribbon with Fray Check, because there is absolutely nothing worse than frayed edges on ribbon.  It’s one of my sewing pet peeves.  I just think it ruins the whole look of the piece.  I feel that if, as a sewer, you’re going to go to the trouble of making something lovely, it should be as professional and finished looking as possible.

The inside of the sachet – It has two pockets for keeping headbands and other treasures.  I’ve heard that some ladies used their sachets as hiding places for love letters and other sentimental items.  I think that’s a lovely idea.

If you’d like to make headbands of your own, have a look at Heather Bailey’s instructions.

Happy Sunday, my dears!


Filed under Crafty, Sewing

Fashion Backward: Veronica

Darling Veronica is finally finished.  There is also a small matching zip-top purse for maximum organizational purposes.  Just for the record, Veronica comes from this book.veronica-ensembleI had a bit of a hard time trying to come up with the proper embellishment for the front of each bag.  The original instructions called for a butterfly to be cut from leather and attached with vintage buttons, but somehow, butterflies just didn’t seem right for this bag.  I was thinking of a large velvet ribbon to echo the velvet already present, but that seemed slightly impractical and a tad boring.  In the end, I settled for 4 inch wide strips of the bag fabric (Laura Ashley, btw), top stitched 1/2 inch from the edge and fringed (pulling out the long horizontal fibers of the fabric and leaving the short vertical ones).  I folded these strips in half and then folded gathers into it and pressed it.  For the large bag, I covered the largest button I had on hand and sewed it on top of the fan.  For the small bag, I used an opaque, pearl-look button to secure the mini fan.


small-purse-detailVeronica has a nice shoulder strap with that glorious velvet ribbon on the outside.

full-viewJust one more photo, I promise!  I attached a Fleur-de-Lis charm to the zipper on the small purse.  I always notice the large zipper pulls on vintage bags and I think they’re so lovely.


I had a lot of fun making Veronica and I hope my friend enjoys showing off with her!

Look for a Sweater Refashion a lá Barbara Stanwyck soon!

Happy New Year to everyone!


Filed under Fashion Backward, Sewing

Sneak Peek: Veronica

The luscious velvet ribbon arrived yesterday, so Veronica is on her way to being finished.

I got two colors, one lighter and more orangey the other duller – more gold.  I wasn’t exactly sure which would match my fabric and I didn’t have the patience to wait for samples.  Have a look.  The yellow floral fabric underneath is the outside of Veronica.  The inside is equally pretty. ;)

Choice #1 - Gold
Choice #1 – Gold
Choice #2 - Marigold
Choice #2 – Marigold

I decided to use the Marigold color.  The Gold color will show up in another project soon!

BTW – Here is the one and only Veronica Lake.  I am guessing that she is the inspiration for the name of this bag I’m making.  She’s the originator of the infamous “peek-a-boo” hairstyle.  She made some simply marvelous film noir movies with a guy named Alan Ladd.  She was perfect as the femme fatale.


Filed under Fashion Backward, Film Bloggers, Sewing

Fashion Backward – Shirley

Well, here it is – as promised.  Christmas present #1 for a great friend of mine.  I would have had it posted yesterday, only we got a dreadful ice storm and I had to go outside with my brother and clear our driveway of fallen trees.

Shirley frontShirley is made of Navy Blue Herringbone Twill and Sky Blue Stretch Twill.  There are two covered buttons on the front.  She is lined with Sky Blue “Peachskin.”  I have to admit that I had never heard of peachskin before I saw it in my local Joann’s.  It’s a great lining fabric.  It has a soft, almost velvety feel but no nap.  (Nap is kind of like the grain of a fabric.  Like when you feel velvet – if you run your fingers over it one way, it’s smooth and soft, run them the other way and its bristly.  The same concept applies to animal fur.)

Shirley comes from this terrific book by Australian author Emma Brennan.  I love how this purse is named Shirley.  It suits the style so well.

Here’s some more photos of Shirley:

Shirley SideSide view – The back is all navy blue.

The handle is navy blue on the top and sky blue on the inside.  It’s large enough to slip over the wrist.

Shirley Inside

Inside view – A chic magnetic snap so necessities don’t fall out of Shirley.

The lovely peachskin lining is here, too.

So, that’s Shirley.  Stay tuned because Veronica is next!

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Filed under Fashion Backward, Sewing