Vintage Bleuettes

A Bleuette Story. . .


Bleuettes on Holiday


Three vintage Bleuettes and their cousin went to France for their spring holiday—here they refresh themselves at a Paris cafe upon arrival, enjoying the warm day and street life. From left to right, they are: Franceline (a 29 cm UF 301- 1&1/4), Madeline (a 27 cm SFBJ 301-1), Mimi (a 27 cm SFBJ 60 8/0), and their cousin, Flori (a 28 cm SFBJ 8/0).

The girls are wearing these reproduced Gautier-Languereau fashions, from left to right:

            G-L 1955 “Trio”

            G-L 1949 “Mon Beau Village”

            G-L 1925 “Paris”

            G-L 1927 “Ècoliére”





The travelers taxied to the home of their cousin, Liane Verlingue, where they would spend a week with Liane and her family.  Next morning, Liane, Mimi, and Flori rose late and breakfasted in Liane’s room.  Mimi was delighted to see her beloved croissants!


The three girl in this photo are wearing nightwear from the patterns of La Semaine de Suzette  for Bleuette, from left to right:

            1919, issue #48 “Chemise de Nuit”  (Nightgown)

            1920, issue #49 “Chemise de Nuit Forme Empire” (Empire Nightgown)

            1922, issue # 28 “Peignoir d’ Ete” (Summer Robe)


Liane Verlingue is a size 2 La Petite Française “Liane” whose head was made by the J. Verlingue company of Paris, and whose body was made by SFBJ, also Paris.

Two of the girls had risen earlier and left the house for a shopping trip.  In this photo, Franceline is trying on a pink flannel satin-trimmed dressing gown while Madeline offers her opinion:  “Just your color, Frannie,” she exclaims.



Franceline’s dressing gown is from LSDS 1952, issue # 49 “ Pour Rester au Coin du Feu” (For Sitting in a Corner by the Fire), while Madeline wears the 1925, issue # 46 “Manteau Practique” (Practical Coat) and her 1921, issue # 42 “Beret de Satin.”  Madeline’s leather handbag is the LSDS 1932 “Sac a Main” (Handbag).




 Later in the week, all the girls gathered in the hall of Liane’s home with their maps and train time-tables in order to plan the route of their next adventure!


It has turned a little cooler, so the girls wear their coats and hats as they begin their journey.  Their coats are, left to right:


            G-L 1952, “Parisienne”

            LSDS 1929, “Vite. . . Au Travail”

            LSDS 1949, “Manteau Raglan”

            LSDS 1925, “Manteau Practique”

            Vintage 1930s wool coat from France

After consulting the maps and time tables, they boarded the train for the next leg of their journey.  Madeline and Mimi brought a lunch-basket to share as they sat together on the train.  Of course, it had croissants in it!

The girls spent a day and a night on the train, traveling south into warmer weather and sunshine.  Eventually they arrived at their destination and left the train, gazing upon new sights, absorbing all the new sounds and scents of this beautiful place.


How wonderful to be in Provence!!!  The girls loaded their luggage onto a trolley at the station and arranged to have it taken to the home of their cousin, Marie-Anne.  They strolled towards her home along the cobbled streets, and as they got closer, Marie-Anne burst from the door of her house into the plaza to welcome them.


She cried, “Bonjour, Cousins, I have been watching for you all morning!” 

“Oh, my, doesn’t Marie-Anne look exactly like Franceline?” the girls asked themselves.  What a family resemblance!


Marie-Anne is a 23 cm SFBJ 301.


One of the special things the cousins did on their first day there was to have a portrait made showing all of them together at last, enjoying their family reunion.



What a pleasure to shed the coats and hats and wear summer dresses!  In this photo the Bleuettes and older cousins are wearing, left to right:

            LSDS 1955, #49, “Les Sorties de Bleuette” (Bleuette’s Visits)

            G-L 1950 “Kermesse” (Country Fair)

            LSDS 1937, #33 “Un Robe de Plage” (Beach Dress)

LSDS 1920, #45 “ Robe Faite de Doux Etoffes Differentes”

(Dress Made of Two Different Fabrics)

            A vintage G-L dress of 1955 “La Danse” (The Dance)


Marie-Anne, wearing a dress made by her mother, has been given flowers and an exciting gift from Paris!


Marie-Anne’s family took the cousins into the grape and olive groves of Provence to their country home to enjoy the pleasures of a Provencal summer.  One morning Franceline and Mimi left the white house with the green shutters to stroll along under the trees, chatting, arm in arm. The heat shimmers, even under the trees! The girls walked as far as the village, where they found Mimi’s favorite croissants, freshly baked, and watched the men playing a game of boules.


Franceline is again wearing her 1937 “Beach Dress” with pink espadrilles purchased in the village, and carrying a wide brimmed sun hat, while Mimi has on the LSDS 1935, issue # 26 dress called “Quand Reviendra le Temps des Cerises” (When Cherry-Time Returns) and a roll-brim hat based on those in the G-L catalog.


Summer is nearly always sunny and hot in Provence, but sometimes there comes along a day of rain.  When this happened, the cousins ascended to the attic of the old house to delve into the many trunks and wardrobes stored there for generations.  As the rain drummed on the tile roof, they entertained themselves by dressing up in the old fancy dress costumes and wedding gowns of brides of the past.


The cousins have discovered these Bleuette costumes, left to right:


            LSDS 1912  Wedding Gown and Veil

LSDS 1907  “Vêtement Japonaise” (Japanese Coat) and

and 1907 “Capote pour Bleuette” (Bonnet for Bleuette)

            LSDS 1923  Wedding Gown and Veil

            LSDS 1912  “Robe de Soirée” (Evening Dress)

            LSDS 1919  Wedding Gown and Veil



Cousin Marie-Anne took a snapshot of the girls wearing their attic discoveries, including some rather funny hats!







Finally the lovely holiday drew to a close, and some of the girls accompanied Cousin Liane back to Paris, but Mimi lingered on for another week in Provence so that she could participate in the grape harvest.  Mimi has aspirations to be a vintner someday, and proved herself a hard worker in the vineyards.  Here she is in the shady area where the family had set up a place to have lunch and rest.


 Mimi wears the LSDS 1921 “Robe a Bretelles” (Suspender Dress) with the G-L “Paysanne Russe” (Russian Peasant) blouse of 1935.


Meanwhile, in Paris, Franceline and Madeline waited for Mimi in comfort in the Verlingue’s courtyard in the late summer sun.  Flori and Liane attended to some gift-buying for those back at home.


Franceline wears the G-L 1957 “Kermesse” (Country Fair) while Madeline’s dress is the 1930 G-L fashion “Les Confetti.”  Later they will do a little last minute shopping, so Madeline keeps her string bag handy.


What a toll the vineyard took on Mimi’s hair!  As soon as she reached Paris, she went at once to the hairdressers.  While there, she decided to try an entirely new look.


The tres chic hairdresser is a 38 cm SFBJ 301, size 5.

Flori had accompanied Mimi to the hairdresser and was somewhat surprised to see the results!  Who would have thought Mimi could look so sophisticated? 


Mimi wears the skirt which belongs to the LSDS 1931 “Girl Scout” uniform with a handkerchief jacket—a parting gift from the grape harvest crew. 


Flori is wearing the LSDS 1906 “Robe d’ Ete” (Summer Dress).


Back at the Verlingue’s, Mimi and Franceline brought their luggage down to the courtyard while Madeline and Flori packed bags upstairs.  The boy from the train station would help them take the luggage trolley to the station to catch their train to Le Havre.  Oh, my, what a lot of luggage!  The girls seem to have more than they started out with!


Franceline wears the LSDS 1937 “Un Tablier par Saison” (Seasonal Apron) of oilcloth while Mimi has on a vintage flocked gingham apron to protect her dress.



At Le Havre the four girls who started out in the spring turned toward home on an ocean liner in the fall.  At sea, they sit on deck, bundled in their coats and hats, with a blanket over them.  Mimi and Franceline fell asleep with the rocking of the ship, but Madeline was too excited.  And where was Flori?  Unfortunately, she was seasick in the cabin!


Franceline and Madeline are wearing the G-L fashion of many years’ running, “Petit Bob” (Little Bob), the sailor-inspired coat and hat of navy or red wool with gold buttons.  Mimi wears her G-L 1952 “Parisienne.”

Eventually, Flori gained her sea legs and came up on deck to find Madeline awake.  Together they looked over the rail while the other two continued to nap.  Thank goodness Flori could now enjoy the trip!


Flori wears a tweed version of “Petit Bob.”


Ravenously hungry after their nap, Franceline and Mimi went into the lounge for tea, and met one of their fellow travelers, a girl of about their age from Japan.  Her name is Miss Yoko Yamoto, and she was happy to show the Bleuettes her drum.  She was going to America on a cultural exchange of student musicians.  Mimi and Franceline were delighted!  “We play music, too, Miss Yamoto,” they told her.




Franceline wears the 1934 G-L fashion “Domino”—so named for the domino-spot buttons on the jacket.  Mimi is wearing her LSDS 1931 “Girl Scout” uniform as a suit with a simple white blouse.  Miss Yamoto is wearing traditional Japanese garb—a printed rayon kimono and obi.

After tea, the girls got their instruments from their cabin and joined Miss Yamoto in playing an impromptu concert—here they are taking a bow.





Meanwhile, the New Generation (reproduction) Bleuettes at home had received a telegram telling them that the four travelers were on the way, so they diligently began preparations.  Miette decided the most important thing was to make sure their beds were ready, so she set to work to make them up with fresh bed linens.






 To do her housekeeping, Miette wears a pattern from LSDS 1921, issue #5, Apron with Crocheted Lace Edging.


Nessa, the Irish Bleuette, thought she could use her artistic talents to create a “Welcome Home” sign for the travelers—Cead Mille Failte! (A Hundred Thousand Welcomes!)—with her crayons.  She has also made a paper chain to decorate the room, and has some other plans for party fun.





Nessa wears an LSDS apron from 1924, issue #6, called Play Apron.


Natalia, left, and Dorée decided that to them must fall the food preparations, so they are making thumbprint cookies, croissants, brioches, Gateau Cerise, and other treats they know the travelers love to eat.  The girls are working in their sunny kitchen, where they will put the goodies in the freezer until the day of the Welcome Home Party.





 Covering her LSDS 1936, issue # 14 dress, Natalia wears an apron from LSDS 1946, issue #1 “Elegant Tablier Pour Bleuette.”  (Elegant Apron for Bleuette)


Dorée is keeping her 1955 G-L fashion, “Trio,” (without the vest) clean with the 1951 LSDS pattern from Sept 15th—“Tablier de Jardinière Pour Bleuette.” (Garden Apron for Bleuette)


As a reward for all their labors, and as a surprise for the travelers when they arrive home, Maman allowed the girls to have the dog they had all been wanting for so long, a collie, whom they named Lad, after the stories they had read. Natalia explains to Lad that this is his little bowl for treats on a stand in the kitchen. 


Miette wears the 1956-57 G-L apron, “Sagesse.”  (Good Conduct)

Dorée has on the LSDS 1926, issue 38 “Tablier Fantaisie.” (Novelty Apron)

Natalia is still in her LSDS 1936, issue 14, Nice Dress of Wool.


At last the ship docked on American shores and Miss Yoko Yamoto took this snapshot of her four friends to remember them by.  They all said goodbye and promised to write.  How chilly it was!  How tired they felt!  And still not home yet. . .



The girls are dressed in their city coats and hats for chilly fall weather.

Clockwise from left are:

Flori, wearing the LSDS issue 37, 1919 pattern, High Fashion Cape, a G-L style cloche,  and the LSDS fur collar, 1921, issue 48.

Franceline, wearing the 1925 LSDS issue 6 pattern, Fur Trimmed Coat, and the Fur Trimmed Toque that was published in LSDS in 1907, issue 43.

Mimi, wearing the 1924 pattern from LSDS issue16, Fall Coat, and a G-L style hat.  Madeline, wearing another version of the Fur Trimmed Coat of 1925 and a velvet beret.

The travelers arrived home early in the morning to find that the girls had prepared a Welcome Home Party, working late into the night, and then gone to bed.  They were all still asleep!  Looking around, the travelers marveled at how strange their home looked to them now, and how much the girls had done to prepare for their homecoming.


After hanging up their coats and hats and leaving their parcels in the hall, the travelers heard a scurrying of toenails on the floor, and Lad burst in to see who it was.  He did not bark, of course, he knew quite well that these were more of his young mistresses.The girls fell in love at first sight!






From the bedrooms came sounds of thumps and bumps.  Suddenly, the room was full of girls all exclaiming and reaching out to hug the first person they could.




There was LOTS of hugging!




The party table of goodies looked like this:



Meanwhile, all the coats and hats, all the luggage, and all the presents for the girls who stayed at home were piled in the hall:


At last, the gifts were brought in and distributed, and the girls at home were given special sparkly purple witch hats (they were surprised to remember it was Halloween night!) from a Mardi Gras shop on the Left Bank, and many other thoughtful and fun presents from Paris and Provence.  The celebration was as good as Christmas, and lasted until much too late!



The girls’ dresses are, left to right:


            LSDS 1936, #14, “Bleuette Porte Une Gentille Robe de Lainage.”

            G-L 1934 “Domino” in wool plaid

            G-L 1934 “Domino” as shown in the G-L catalog

            G-L 1955 “Trio” (without the vest)

            G-L 1931-32 “ Invitation”

            LSDS 1918, #1  “Tablier d’ Écoliére”

            Maman-made Aran sweater and pleated skirt

            G-L 1931-32 “ Un Sourire”


Next morning, two travelers still on Paris-time rose early and enjoyed their hot chocolate in blissful peace and quiet.  After all, there is no place like home!






Franceline wears her Paris purchase, LSDS 1952, issue # 49 “ Pour Rester au Coin du Feu” (For Sitting in a Corner by the Fire). 


Mimi wears the LSDS 1922, issue # 28 “Peignoir d’ Ete” (Summer Robe).


The End

About "Bleuettes On Holiday"

This story was written as a series of photo postcards purportedly from the traveling Bleuettes and their cousin over three seasons (Spring 2007 to Fall 2008) as part of the many sewing challenges and pattern introductions at the Bleuette Sewing Club.  All the Bleuette costumes shown (with the exception of one dress and one apron) were made by Martha Nichols, or are vintage doll clothing.  This story is copyrighted by Martha Nichols.