Slideshow Widget

Outfit: Last days of summer

Monday, August 28, 2017

Hey there, blogland! I've been away a lot this summer but I'm glad to have taken the time off and glad to be back. This summer, I spent a lot of time out having fun with the kids, playing in the pool, picking tomatoes from the garden. They started school earlier this month and I've been loving the quiet time at home, organizing my craft supplies and thinking a lot about my wardrobe, which has been super comfy/casual lately.

Today Pj was off work and we were bumming around the house all morning. He was feeling a little "meh" so I proposed a nice long walk on Main Street since it was such a pretty day. The street is lined with little specialty gift shops, restaurants, antique shops and spots of historical interest. Its so beautiful. I love to walk along the cobblestone street and enjoy the clattering of restaurant dishes being stacked, the wild mixed herb scent from the spice shop, people walking dogs and babies bumping in their strollers on the uneven sidewalk. I always catch a funhouse reflection of myself in the ripply glass windows. Gnarled tree roots, clawing through the brick often trip me up so I never wear heels.

plus size 1950s summer dress via Va-Voom Vintage
main street, St Charles Missouri
main street, St Charles Missouri
main street, St Charles Missouri
plus size 1950s summer dress vintage fashion and 1940s aris allen rug cutter wedges via Va-Voom Vintage
plus size vintage fashion 1950s summer dress and vintage 1940s reproduction dance shoes from Va-Voom Vintage
plus size vintage fashion 1950s summer dress and vintage 1940s reproduction dance shoes from Va-Voom Vintage
plus size vintage fashion 1950s summer dress and vintage 1940s reproduction dance shoes from Va-Voom Vintage

Parallel to main street and a block over is a pretty park next to the Missouri river. This park hosts festivals all year and our family picnics on weekend mornings. We stopped under a beautiful old cottonwood tree and played with the leaves that already started to fall. In the spring this tree drops puffs of cotton that float down slowly and coat everything in white fluff. Its like snow in the springtime, I love it!

Brittany from Va-Voom Vintage, plus size vintage fashion blogger

Brittany from Va-Voom Vintage, plus size vintage fashion blogger
I wore this dress on the blog once before, years ago. I made it to wear for Easter. Its been in my basement storage for a long time and I decided to pull it out and tweak it a bit. I removed the sleeves and lowered the neckline for a more summery, casual feel. The skirt is full enough for a petticoat but on relaxed days like this, I like to skip those and just enjoy the light, soft feel of the fabric. Its so comfy now, I'll probably wear it with a cardigan  and boots this fall.

Dress- Made by me
velvet hair bow- made by me
shoes- Aris Allen rug cutter wedges
brooch- vintage, from my great grandma

Outfit: The Need to Bare Arms

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

It's 101 degrees in my town today. So miserably hot that my roofer husband is off work and the kids don't even want to swim. On days like today the only thing to do is hit the library.

I returned my recent read, Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes. Its a sequel to You, which I haven't read but the librarian said its really creepy and twisted. Hidden Bodies was pretty hard to put down but the ending left me wondering if there will be a third book.

plus size 1960s vintage dress via Va-Voom Vintage

I always head straight to the cookbook section. I love cookbooks with beautiful full color photos throughout and I usually pick something up based on the cute typography on the spine. I know they say you shouldn't judge a book by its cover but I often do. On this trip, I grabbed a Nigella Lawson cookbook promising quick meals (which always grabs my attention) and a bento book since I'm gearing up for packing school lunches again in a few weeks! 

 In light of this dreaded heat, I picked one of my recently sewn cotton dresses from my closet this morning. I sewed 3 or 4 of these dresses, planning to wear them with a shirt underneath or a cardigan on top. I never wear sleeveless because I'm self conscious about my arms. I think a lot of people have a "thing" like that but I'm starting to feel like I need to let it go and embrace shorts and sleeveless shirts in the name of comfort.

 Its hard to feel comfortable in clothes when you're not totally comfortable with certain parts of your bod  but I reasoned with myself, when the temp is reading over 99, I'll be much less comfortable with long sleeves.  I put on lipstick, set my hair in rollers and hit the road. With my cute fruity earrings and lace-up shoes, I didn't even care about my wobbly arms. Believe it or not, I actually ironed this dress right before we left home but the humidity and heat sitting in the car crumpled it right up again! I swear, autumn cant get here fast enough!

I wore my atomic clock brooch today, which I did a tutorial for a while back. I used sewing pins for the little spines!

retro atomic vintage clock brooch
vintage fruit salad earrings

 Dress- handmade by me 
fruity earrings-antique mall
vintage wicker purse- thrifted
vintage sheer scarf-thrifted
atomic clock brooch-made by me, tutorial here

American Girl Magazine, 1955

Thursday, July 13, 2017

I picked up a few of these vintage American Girl magazines a couple of years ago at an antique shop. Although they're Girl Scout magazines, written for young girls and teens, they have a lot of great vintage fashion articles and even a couple of retro hair styling tips throughout. I love to read old magazines and get a peek at the things people were interested in decades ago. Sometimes I even find little treasures in the form of photos or notes that the previous owner stuck in the pages and forgot about.  Here's a look inside the pages of American Girl Magazine from May of 1955. I hope you enjoy it!

If you're interested in vintage magazines, check out my other vintage magazine posts sharing snaps from my collection

1950s American Girl Magazine vintage womens and teen fashion magazine via Va-Voom Vintage

1950s American Girl Magazine vintage womens and teen fashion magazine via Va-Voom Vintage
1950s American Girl Magazine vintage womens and teen fashion magazine via Va-Voom Vintage
1950s American Girl Magazine vintage womens and teen fashion magazine via Va-Voom Vintage
1950s American Girl Magazine vintage womens and teen fashion magazine via Va-Voom Vintage

1950s American Girl Magazine vintage womens and teen fashion magazine via Va-Voom Vintage

1950s American Girl Magazine vintage womens and teen fashion magazine via Va-Voom Vintage

1950s American Girl Magazine vintage womens and teen fashion magazine via Va-Voom Vintage
1950s American Girl Magazine vintage womens and teen fashion magazine via Va-Voom Vintage

Outfit: Reading on the Patio

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

This week is dreadfully hot in St Louis with highs almost to 100 degrees every day. Its been hard to get out of the house or wear makeup without it melting right off. Lately, I've been going outside in the early morning before the sun hits the back yard to let the kids play in the pool and enjoy my patio.

This spring, I did a little work on my patio area, giving everything a fresh coat of paint. I bought this adorable pineapple umbrella from Target and a few pink accessories from Ikea like the throw pillows, watering can and a little pot for my cactus. I can't mount anything to the outer walls of the house so I spray painted some of these metal grid walls gold and found some small wire hooks to hang pots and garden tools. Its not finished yet but its coming along nicely!

retro pineapple patio umbrella from Target

I love to sit out here and read or knit while the kids play. We're growing some veggies so I come out around breakfast time to water everything and get a few minutes of quiet time before the day begins.

We've been taking advantage of the library a lot this summer too. I'm not a big reader but I want to be! With everything else that I love to do, I don't make a lot of time to be quiet and still enough to enjoy a few pages so patio time is a good time for that. This week, I'm reading this wonderful collection of short stories by Alice Hoffman, author of Practical Magic (Which is very different from the movie but equally wonderful). Blackbird House, much like Practical Magic, has heavy themes of love, loss, magic and dreamlike East Coast towns. Each story somehow ties into the same small house.

plus size pinup style Bridget Bardot inspired pencil skirt and wide headband

With the heat and humidity, I've been looking to late 50s-60s starlets for style inspiration. Today's outfit was inspired by Bridget Bardot. She always knew how to look stylish and super comfy.

I altered the neckline on this Target tee and paired it with a simple pencil skirt and ballet flats. Some knit fabric scraps made an easy headband to keep my hair out of my face in about 2 minutes! While I'm trying to strategically dress to cool off, Rhys is usually trying desperately to get me to allow him to wear his winter wear in July.

blue tee- Target
black skirt- thrifted
gray flats-walmart
headband-made by me

Exploring Cahokia, Ancient Life Near Home

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

This summer, I've been away from the blog and enjoying lots of time with my kids. I planned a calendar of fun outings around St Louis for us so we would keep busy. Yesterday, we took our first family visit to Cahokia Mounds, just across the river in Illinois. I posted my first few video Instastories while we were there.

Cahokia was an ancient city. At its height, it was larger than London and most other European cities.  It is the largest archeological site north of Mexico. People first settled Cahokia around A.D. 400 There were miles of wall around the main part of the city, which enclosed many of the homes, mounds and a big central plaza where people gathered for games, ceremonies and other events. Some of the mounds held large buildings on top of them while others are thought to be burial bounds. Near the city is wood henge, which was thought to be a calendar to track the solstices, equinoxes and growing seasons.  Mound #72 holds the sacrificial remains of 272 people.

The interpretive center at Cahokia has a great museum with artifacts uncovered at the site and displays of what the homes, city and people looked like. Outside of the museum are marks on the ground, outlining walls of homes that were excavated.

Today all that remains of Cahokia to the naked eye are the mounds, wood henge and the pits that were left from digging soil and clay to build the mounds. A few small sections of the original wall have been reconstructed and the original trails and stairway paths have also been reconstructed.

The largest mound is Monks Mound, where the leader of Cahokia lived. It is the only mound with stairs that can be climbed. Monks Mound is about the same size at its base as the pyramid of Giza and is about 100 feet high.  It is the largest earthen structure in the Americas.

It was in the 90s the day we went so I wore my hair in an updo. I tried a new hairstyle inspired by Ann Margret and it worked out so well I'll have to post a tutorial for it soon!

I had this blue top in my closet for a couple of months. It used to be an oversized, kind of frumpy tee shirt with crochet trim down the front. I pulled the trim off and altered the neckline and took it in a bit at the side and now I think it will be one of my favorite shirts. The Cahokia Mounds website recommended practical clothes and comfortable shoes so I wore black capris and flats.

After our visit to the mounds, we drove down the street to Horseshoe Lake for a picnic. Cahokia also has picnic tables on site but I thought the breeze off the lake would help cool us off after our long climb to the top of the mound.

pink vintage scarf- thrifted
pink cat eye glasses- sojos eyewear
blue tee- thrifted
black capris-thrifted
black flats-walmart
backpack- Herschel

Free Pattern: 1950s Toss-on Bolero Knitting pattern

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Boleros are a must-have accessory for warmer weather, especially a basic like this that goes with everything. Knit this simple jacket from 1957 in every color of the rainbow.
See my free patterns page for more vintage crochet, knitting and sewing patterns

1950s free vintage knitting pattern easy bolero

Outfit: Do the Twist

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Lately, I've been experimenting with baking and making a lot of things from scratch. I tried making pretzels for the kids school snacks a few weeks ago but they turned out more like pretzel buns. They were delicious but not pretzels. Yesterday I decided to try it again, this time using Alton Brown's pretzel recipe. I got the dough together just before the kids came home from school and then got a text from Pj that we were meeting his mom for dinner. I didn't have enough time to make the pretzels before we had to leave so I stashed the dough in the fridge.

This morning, after we got the kids off to school, I whipped up some quick breakfast with some veggies and soft boiled eggs from the chickens next door. Soft boiled eggs are one of my favorite things and nothing beats a happy back yard chicken egg!

After breakfast, I preheated the oven and got a pot of boiling water and baking soda on the stove and rocked out on some pretzels. We found that the pretzels are easier to manage in the boiling if we lower them down in a metal colander.

While we waited for the pretzels to bake, I took the compost out and tossed some goodies over the fence to the chickens. Every time they see me, they run to the fence to see what I have. They used to jump over and graze in our yard but they started digging in the neighbors garden beds and wandering too close to the street so my neighbor clipped their wings.

We started a compost bin this weekend and I didn't have a counter top compost bucket to keep our scraps so I decided to use this vintage coffee canister. I always buy vintage canister sets when I find them at thrift stores. They're often missing lids or pieces or they have little dings but they're great for stashing away sewing supplies, things in the bathroom, office supplies and of course, in the kitchen!
Pretty soon, my kitchen timer started to ring and our pretzels were finished! They turned out perfectly!

We finished the afternoon photographing a few things for my etsy shop. I added some pin curl scarves that I knit from this wonderful 1950s pattern and I took some extra photos of my vinyl tinsel bags and confetti mirror compacts. So many sparkles!

dress- made by me with Cotton and Steel Shag Carpet fabric from the XOXO basics collection, pattern made from an old dress
black top-thrifted
vintage daisy brooch- gift from a blog reader