Mrs Depew Paper Sewing Patterns


Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of helping to judge Anna Depew's Name That Dress Form Contest.  Pop over to Anna's blog, A Few Threads Loose to see who won!

Anna has been very busy these past few months with several new patterns and mking many of our favorite Mrs Depew Vintage PDF sewing patterns available in paper format! I love a PDF for the ability to get your pattern from etsy to your home in a matter of minutes but if you're not into all of that cutting and taping, check out the new selection of paper patterns.

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Va-Voom Vintage readers always enjoy the exclusive coupon "VAVOOM" for 15% off at Mrs Depew Vintage.

Many Mrs Depew patterns are from a time when most women could grab some fabric, chop into it and come out with a great dress. Here are some great examples of pattern instructions with diagrams and measurements to make these amazing vintage garments- great for intermediate to advanced seamstresses

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Mrs Depew Vintage is a sponsor of Va-Voom Vintage

Hello December Sponsors


Bitter Root Vintage

Bitter Root Vintage is a Detroit-based boutique with a lovely selection of vintage and reproduction clothing and accessories. The shop is currently stocked with holiday dresses, swanky accessories and lots of bright colors to carry you into spring.
                          shop            facebook               pinterest                twitter   

Love That Lingers

Love That Lingers is a Denver-based vintage boutique on etsy with a beautifully curated selection of vintage clothing, home decor and accessories. For flash sales, giveaways and exclusive coupon codes, make sure to like Love That Lingers on facebook! There will be lots of new things coming to the shop soon. 

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One of my favorite online shops, Plasticland carries a whimsical assortment of clothing, accessories and home decor with a retro twist. Shop fabulous patent handbags, sassy skirts, killer shoes and more, all at Plasticland. US orders get free shipping on orders over $75. Also, sign up for the mailing list for the hottest new arrivals and first pick of sales. 

Lady Eve Millinery

Lady Eve Millinery is owned by Amy Koch, a milliner who makes vintage inspired hats using vintage techniques. This summer, Amy launched an incredible line of straw hats but now that the icy weather is upon is, she's been working a lot of beautiful jewel tones and wools into her designs. Keep an eye on this blog after the holidays for a truly fab giveaway from Lady Eve Millinery!

Snow Day Sweethearts


vintage winter fairisle sweater and 1960s feather pom pom hat plus size 1950s

On Saturday we woke up to a nice thick blanket of snow. Although 5 or 6 inches is nothing to some, in St Louis the road crews are never prepared to handle it so I got to stay home with the kids and play outside.  
I  wore one of my silliest hats with a big goofy pom pom of feathers on one side, which was thrifted a few years ago. When it comes to hats, the sillier, the better.

Olivia watches me pose for my outfit photos so now every photo is a little pose and big cheesy grin for her.

In the winter, I still wear a lot of skirts. Wool skirts with thick socks or tights and boots keep me just as toasty as pants. This is one of my favorite wool skirts because it has the prettiest and most unexpected peachy lining.

1950s winter wardrobe fairisle sweater, wool skirt, snowland boots

So- the boots...I really wanted some vintage Gaytees with the lovely fur. I couldn't find any in my size (9-10) at the time so I hunted around and found these 70s boots by Snowland on ebay. I see them on ebay all the time, in larger sizes but if you poke around in the warmer months, you could really snag a good deal. I think I got these for less than $20. They're wonderfully warm and since they aren't as old, you have a good chance of finding them in really good, wearable shape. They have a bit of a heel but they're very easy to walk in when its icy out.  I think I'll try to hunt down a black pair for next winter.

vintage snowland winter boots

After our snow play, the kids enjoyed a nice warm bath and hot cocoa and I enjoyed a nice glass of moscato and two napping babes.

40s style blouse-thrifted
vintage sweater-thrifted
60s wool circle skirt- antique mall
over-the-knee socks- Target
60s Snowland boots- ebay

{1958 Free Book Download} Vintage Gift Wrapping Tutorials


how to wrap 1950s vintage style gifts tutorial and free retro hallmark book download

 Technical difficulties of all kinds have prevented me from doing much blogging lately but my clever husband came home last night and fixed things for me while I was at work and I woke up with everything ready for me to blog. Thank you, sweetie!!

how to wrap 1950s vintage style gifts tutorial and free retro hallmark book download

 This spring, on a beautiful sunny morning I found this wonderful little booklet at a garage sale that I previously blogged about. It's from the same house that I bought my 1950s china cabinet from! This book gives lots of tutorials and instructions for making vintage ribbon bows and exciting ways to wrap gifts from 1958. Most of these elaborate how-tos are for Christmas but there are also some birthday and other holiday gift wrapping ideas. Aside from wrapping your gifts, you can also make some amazing retro holiday centerpieces and decorations from ribbon to use year after year. I hope that you enjoy it as much as I did!

Download Here: 1958 Gifts to Pretty To Open from Hallmark

This download may not be posted for sale but please do feel free to share it with others! 
how to wrap 1950s vintage style gifts tutorial and free retro hallmark book download

Tutorial: How to Make 1950s Pixie Christmas Ornaments


how to make retro kistchy 1950s pixie Christmas ornaments with free pattern download

Last year, I made these 1958 mischievous pixie ornaments from a vintage magazine.They turned out so cute and are now some of my favorite holiday decorations. This is a fun project that the kids can help with and they match beautifully with your other retro Christmas kitsch.

how to make retro kistchy 1950s pixie Christmas ornaments with free pattern download

how to make retro kistchy 1950s pixie Christmas ornaments with free pattern download

how to make retro kistchy 1950s pixie Christmas ornaments with free pattern download

You will need:
ball ornaments- I used plastic modern ones. I love unbreakables with little ones around!
craft felt
small pom poms
colorful foil scrapbook paper (available in full sheets or small sample packs from craft stores)
red seed beads (for the mouth)
ribbon or yarn for hanging the ornaments
glue- we used hot glue and tacky glue
other bits such as spangles, sequins, tiny foil or bottle brush trees.

retro spangles, sequins, pom poms and rick rack for how to make retro 1950s pixie Christmas ornaments

tiny bottle brush and cocktail pick metallic Christmas trees for how to make retro 1950s pixie Christmas ornaments

metallic foil paper for how to make retro 1950s pixie Christmas ornaments

Download the pattern and instructions from Dropbox. Set your printer at 100% to print pattern at actual size

If you have a hard time finding trees, I found some green foil cocktail picks at the craft store and when you snip them short, they're great little trees!

how to make retro kistchy 1950s pixie Christmas ornaments with free pattern download

You can also curl metallic pipe cleaners into spirals to make a tree. if you do this, hot glue the ribbon to the ball and pull the ribbon up through the center of the spiral tree, as pictured.

how to make retro kistchy 1950s pixie Christmas ornaments with free pattern download

I hope that you and your family enjoy making memories with these funny mid-century sprites!

If you enjoyed this project, check out my e-book Kitschmas Crafting with Va-Voom Vintage

You aren't curvy enough to be plus size


I was on facebook this morning when I read a very sad thing from Elly Mayday's page. Elly is a unbelievably gorgeous pin up model who began her career as a plus sized girl, campaigning for body acceptance and loving yourself. Recently, she has been battling with cancer and through it all has remained strong and just as lovely as ever.

She received a comment from a fan telling her that she won't be her fan anymore because she has lost weight (due to cancer) and basically that it's not okay for plus sized girls to build up a following as a big girl and drop some pounds later.

This struck me personally. In 2011 I posted about how I had surgery to remove my gallbladder and wanted to lose weight to improve my health and be able to be energetic and fit for myself and for my kids. Wouldn't you know it, I got some less-than-positive feedback from someone about how disappointed she is that I want to lose weight. See that post here

Girls, I weigh 217 pounds today. I am 28 years old and 5 foot 7 inches tall. I know that if I continue making the choices that I have been making, I will eventually have serious health problems. My back will hurt, my knees will give out, I certainly wont  be able to fit into any of my lovely vintage dresses....and running through the park with my kids? Forget about it.

It's okay to embrace your flaws, to love your body and to dress to make yourself feel beautiful. It's not okay to abuse my body by eating McDonald's every day because "big is beautiful". I love my body and I want to take care of it so it can serve me for a long time!

So far this month, I've lost 5 pounds and I'm hoping to get down to 160 by summer. I won't ever be a skinny girl because my body wasn't made to fit into a size 5 but I want to be healthy for my family and for myself. Some may approve and cheer me on and some may say nasty things because I'm not fat enough for them anymore.  I feel sad for these people because they are totally missing the point of being body positive. Really, they are just as bad as people who say you have to be skinny to be beautiful.

Like Elly, I will always campaign for self love, acceptance and a body positive way of thinking but I will also stress the importance of taking care of yourself. Stay strong, stay beautiful and for goodness sake- 
support your sisters regardless of their dress size!

Name That Dress Form Contest


Okay girls, I am -so- excited about this! My dear friend Anna from Mrs Depew Vintage is hosting a contest on her blog, A Few Threads Loose to name her new dress form!

Anna and I are both big fans of giving silly, inappropriate names to things so we want you to get your minds a -little- dirty (but not too dirty!) and give Anna's new lady a fabulously tacky and hilarious name. One of my plus sized mannequins is named "Busty McChesterly", which is what a boy in high school called me to upset me but instead made me almost squirt soda out my nose!

The judges include Anna, her friend Becky, Tilly from Tilly and the Buttons and myself. I'm already having a great time reading the entries so pop over to A Few Threads Loose and give us something to snicker about!

The winner of the Name That Dress Form Contest will win $30 to Anna's fab etsy shop. And while I'm on the topic, look at the beauty that I got from her shop the other day. Corselette pattern $7.50 at Mrs Depew Vintage

You lovely ladies can save 15% off at Mrs Depew Vintage with code VAVAOOM15

Blogging Tip: Remove Image Shadows for a Seamless Look


free blog design tutorial remove image shadows in blogger for a seamless clean design

I wanted to share a quick blog design tip today that's very easy to do and (I think) really improves the look of any blog. This is how to remove image shadows.

By default, blogs have this light greyish frame around all of your images, including stuff in your sidebar. If you add a custom signature or any fancy buttons, all of these will have this image shadow. By deleting the shadow, it makes everything have a professional looking, seamless background.

It really does make a difference, doesn't it?

Here's how....
Go to your blogger dashboard, select template

choose the orange "customize" button

1. click "advanced"
2. scroll down to "Add CSS"
3. paste this entire code in the box:

.post-body img, .post-body .tr-caption-container, .ss, .Profile img, .Image img,
.BlogList .item-thumbnail img {
  padding: none !important;
  border: none !important;
  background: none !important;
  -moz-box-shadow: 0px 0px 0px transparent !important;
  -webkit-box-shadow: 0px 0px 0px transparent !important;
  box-shadow: 0px 0px 0px transparent !important;}
click "apply to blog" and save and you're done!
For all of my blog design tips and tutorials, check out my first e-course, "Bloggerific: How to Write and Design a Beautiful, Successful Blog"  now available

Advertise in December


Tis the season to advertise your blog, business or website on Va-Voom Vintage!

With over 114,800 page views last month and affordable rates, Va-Voom Vintage is an ideal place to advertise your holiday sales. Check out my media kit below to see what people are saying about Va-Voom Vintage. Ads sell out very quickly so if your ad size is booked, you can reserve for next month.

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The Details

  • Ad buttons rotate with every page load within your size group to ensure that everyone gets an equal spot  near the top
  • Monthly sponsor roundup posts are posted on the 15th of the month and include information and links about your blog, business or website. If your ad is purchased after the 15th, your spotlight will be included in the following month's roundup 
  • Featured Sponsor posts are published once per week, in order of booking so if you're the first to book, yours will be during the first week of the month, last to book will be during the last week of the month. 
  • Ad space may be purchased through Paypal, please email me at to reserve your space
  • If you'd like to branch out to social media readers, check out my brand new Facebook and Pinterest Package. This package includes 25 Pinterest pins, 4 Facebook mentions and exposure to over 4,600 followers throughout the month

You Little Minks


vintage 1940s plus size 1940s red dress vintage mink fur stole
What a crazy few weeks it's been! We celebrated Christmas and Thanksgiving last week and I'm starting my new job this week. Lots going on but I've missed blogging! I'm glad to be home and at my comfy little desk again.

I have been having a blast with my new tripod and remote. It makes outfit photos so much easier, especially because it entertains the kids. I set my tripod up, get into position and Rhys snaps away! He's my official Junior Blog Photographer, and isn't he great!? This is his first selfie.

Just testing the light....

On Thanksgiving, I wore a dress that I have never had a chance to wear. I found it in a dark, dirty warehouse, piled up with other clothes and with some sad stains and rips. I finally got around to fixing it on Thanksgiving day.  It still has a strange black mark on one of the lapels that I cant remove so I may have to bedazzle it to match the rhinestones on the collar and hip. I never thought that bedazzling vintage was a good idea but here, it might work!

I also wore my vintage mink stole, which I think I have worn in public maybe once. I found these little fellas a while back at a flea market. There are so few occasions that are fancy enough for fur that I may just start wearing it to the grocery store

1940s red dress vintage mink fur stole

1940s plus size red dress vintage mink fur stole

1940s red dress vintage mink fur stole

 1940s dress- warehouse sale
1940s mink stole- flea market, Wentzville, MO
vintage floafers- thrifted

vintage 1940s plus size 1940s red dress vintage mink fur stole

The 1950s Kitchen: 4 Vintage Turkey Leftover Recipes


the 1950s kitchen vintage recipes for Thanksgiving turkey left-overs

I hope that everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving! One of my favorite things about Thanksgiving was always my mom's turkey taquitos that she made with left-overs.

Today I thought it would be fun to share some 1950s recipes for Turkey left-overs from 1958.

Turkey Turnovers
Turkey Souffle
Hot Turkey Salad
Turkey Hash with Cream

the 1950s kitchen vintage recipes for Thanksgiving turkey left-overs

the 1950s kitchen vintage recipes for Thanksgiving turkey left-overs

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