Giveaway: Jacqueline Nightgown from Maddy James


Today I have a fabulous giveaway from Maddy James- the beautiful, curve hugging Jacqueline nightgown that I modeled in September!

This gown is part of the first collection of plus sized vintage lounge wear.  Maddy James garments are designed and manufactured in Chicago and all machine washable! The Jacqueline gown is made of soft knit rayon viscose with wing sleeves and satin piping detail at the bust and velvet flowers at the neckline and is available in sizes 1x-4x

Bust              Waist             Hips
43.5 - 45      36.5 - 38      46 – 47.5

Bust               Waist             Hips
45.5 - 47     38.5 - 40         48 – 49.5

Bust                Waist             Hips
47.5 - 50       40.5 - 43       50 – 52.5

Bust               Waist               Hips
50.5 - 53      43.5 - 47        53 – 55.5

Maddy James has a big holiday sale happening right now (till December 1st!) and, in addition to this giveaway, you can enter to win $100 gift certificate to Maddy James on their Facebook page!

Enter to win The Jacqueline Nightgown
a Rafflecopter giveaway

giveaway will run for one week and winner will be chosen at random.

Maddy James is a sponsor of Va-Voom Vintage

Advertise in December- special holiday rates!


Advertise your business, blog or website on Va-Voom Vintage for the holidays! This month, I have a special rate for advertisers.

For $15 get a 150 by 250 pixel sidebar ad and be included in the Va-Voom Vintage Holiday Gift Guide on December 10th. Please email any coupon codes or sales or any other details that you would like me to mention to


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Christmas Movies to Never Get Tired Of


I get pretty sick of Christmas movies before December 1st. A Christmas story plays on an endless loop for about 4 days straight and I get burnt out on the typical holiday movie offerings as well. Here are 6 festive films that you can enjoy all season but are particularly wonderful around the holidays.

Love, Actually
I watched this movie probably 8 times in the past two weeks. It is my absolute favorite Christmas movie and probably one of my top 10 faves of all time.  It's funny, heartwarming and really does show all different forms of love.

The Holiday
 A pretty recent Christmas movie that I came to love but somehow always forget about is The Holiday. Two women travel overseas to swap houses for Christmas vacation and to get away from their problems and somehow find exactly what they were looking for...and I adore Jack Black and Kate Winslet!

Edward Scissorhands
Maybe a little more obvious but Edward Scissorhands is always on our family movie night list for December!

8 Women (8 Femmes) 
In this French musical set in the 1950s, 8 very different women go to a Christmas family get-together when the wealthy patriarch of the family is murdered. This funny pick has fabulous vintage costumes and is a refreshing change for a holiday movie.

Catch Me If You Can
It's not exactly a Christmas movie but it does have a few important holiday scenes and I find myself always watching it around this time of year. Catch Me If You Can is the true story of a teenage con artist in the 1960s who works as a doctor, a lawyer and an airline pilot, forging checks and living the good life along the way. He is stalked by an FBI agent who is desperate to catch him and they form an unlikely life long friendship.

The Life of Brian
A silly tale that begins with very different nativity story from the Monty Python crew - highly quotable with a lot of good laughs!

bottle brush trees and tiny deer


I have a tiny forest

bottle brush novelty christmas brooches with miniature deer and glitter from Wacky Tuna Vintage via Va Voom Vintage

this weekend, I made new brooch designs for the holidays with bottle brush wreaths and trees that Pj and I colored ourselves.  I sprinkled glass glitter on some and added tiny pom poms to others. I ran out of my tiny deer so this is all I will have this season, get one while you can from Wacky Tuna Vintage!

bottle brush novelty christmas brooches with miniature deer and glitter from Wacky Tuna Vintage via Va Voom Vintage

bottle brush novelty christmas brooches with miniature deer and pom poms from Wacky Tuna Vintage via Va Voom Vintage

bottle brush novelty christmas brooches with miniature deer and glitter from Wacky Tuna Vintage via Va Voom Vintage

bottle brush novelty christmas brooches with miniature deer and glitter from Wacky Tuna Vintage via Va Voom Vintage

bottle brush novelty christmas brooches with miniature deer and pom poms from Wacky Tuna Vintage via Va Voom Vintage

bottle brush novelty christmas brooches with miniature deer and pom poms from Wacky Tuna Vintage via Va Voom Vintage

Watercolors and Wool


vintage loafers and bright blue socks

watercolor text books

watercolor paint palette

Last night I had watercolor lessons with my grandpa, who is an award winning artist with a degree in art education. I learned so much, just watching him work. When I was a little girl, we lived with Grandpa for several years but I was only in kindergarten so I rarely saw his studio. It was always a mysterious place to my sister and I. Upstairs in our house was Grandpa's space with his computers, paint and a tiny door to the attic, which we were sure actually led to Wonderland.  It was so fun finally getting to see all of his tools and watch him sweep the brushes around- something I've wanted to see since I was 5.  He gave me a beautiful old easel that folds up very flat and a few art books. I ran to the craft store this morning with my 50% off coupon for some new paper so I can get started putting his tips to use.

I stole Pj's shirt today. It's just so big and comfy. Perfect for a grey, wet morning. I usually wear it with yoga pants, just swimming in it but I kind of love it tucked in and rolled up. I may have to get some more for myself.

henley shirt-stolen from Pj
wool skirt- the bale out, St Louis (now closed)
loafers- thrifted

Single Crochet


vintage yarn basket full of colorful yarn

balls of colorful vintage yarn

retro living room at va voom vintage yarn basket, vintage yellow sofa, throw pillows and radio

vintage mccalls needlecraft magazines

It happens every once in a while- when I throw housework aspirations out the window and sit for a day on the couch, getting my craft on. I woke up early to make breakfast for my little ones and build a killer tent fort. We had a brief puppet show featuring a rude piglet who belched a lot, played by yours truly and then I decided to spend the afternoon making snoods for my etsy shop while I enjoy iced coffee and a Netflix marathon of historical dramas. 

Shiney Brites and Glass Garland


I usually dread the holiday season but this year, something has changed and I am one of those irritating people who start acting like Christmas is next week, even though we haven't even had Thanksgiving yet. I shop the Christmas decor in October, put on the She and Him Christmas Pandora station and yesterday, we set up our tree.

I gave an old wreath a makeover with glass garland, vintage Shiney Brite ornaments and one of our vintage elves. I went crazy with the wire on the Shiney Brites so they don't fall off and crash to the ground when we open and close the door but this way, if we want them for the tree next year, they can be easily removed.

For our first Christmas as a married couple, we started a tradition of picking out a new snow globe every year. Some day, I hope to be an old lady who makes her kids and grand kids dust the snow globes and set them all together on a big wooden buffet in the dining room while I nag "Be careful! Those things have lasted a million years!"

1950s vintage glass Christmas ornament collection with pixie elf and pastel bottle brush tree

christmas tree snow globe from target 2014

silver deer snow globe from Target 2008

glass garland and retro santa vintage christmas decorations

diy shiney brite retro christmas wreath with vintage elf on a shelf

diy shiney brite retro christmas wreath with vintage elf on a shelf

Learning Graphic and Blog Design Online


For the past several weeks, I've been helping Daffny from A Vintage Nerd with her blog. She wanted a total blog design overhaul so I spent a whole day watching videos, learning how to do some stuff and then I created a blog design for her. I always wanted to learn how to digitize my doodles into vector graphics so I found some really wonderful videos for that kind of thing on Skillshare. I loved the learning part of the process and it made me actually miss being in school! Here are the classes that I took:

Digital Illustration: Doodles to Design
Creating Full Color Digital Illustrations from Your Handmade Drawings
Pattern Design: Creating Inspiring Repeats
Learn the Ins and Outs of Illustrator

Skillshare membership is $10 per month and you can take as many of these classes as you like, which is pretty amazing.

The videos use Adobe Illustrator, which I didn't have at the time so I applied the teachings to an opensource program, Inkscape and learned how to use that as I worked.

I created several cute icons for her categories, all scanned in from my drawings and digitized. I really had fun doing this part and if I can refine them more, I'll be listing my clip art sets in my etsy shop. Here are some of my favorites.

The coding was a lot of the same stuff that I already knew how to do but this time, I figured out how to code a sticky navigation and use a custom google font for her post titles. I also made social media buttons to do really cool roll-over effects like mine.  I teach 12 step by step blog design tutorials in my ecourse, Bloggerific: how to have a beautiful, successful blog.

It was a long process of figuring out what we liked and what the other was talking about!  I must have designed 30 different headers before choosing the final one.

I'm looking forward to spending some time this winter, learning illustrator, drawing more and hopefully by the spring the clip art shop will be open!

Stop over and say hello to Daffny and check out her new blog!

Affordable Vintage Shoes for Winter


 Today I spotted the first snow flakes of the year in Missouri. I am so sad to pack up my summery sandals, peep toes and wedges but I have missed my fluffy winter boots and colorful stockings. If you're looking for vintage style winter shoes this season, check out this round up of my previous year's posts for warm retro looks on a budget. You may be surprised to see some of these styles at modern department stores!


No Sew Vintage Christmas Pixie Free Pattern Download


diy elf on a shelf 1950s vintage christmas pixie free pattern download

Today we're making our own vintage inspired knee-hugging elf. I have two original elves that I based this pattern on. They have plastic faces, which you can sometimes find in local craft stores or online but just in case you can't find those, we'll be making our own faces.

diy elf on a shelf 1950s vintage christmas pixie free pattern download

The original elf body is made of lightweight felt, folded and glued so that's what we'll do here. If you would prefer to sew yours, you can definitely do that too, of course!

diy elf on a shelf 1950s vintage christmas pixie free pattern download

Download the pattern and instructions for free from Dropbox

Also check out these free vintage Christmas downloads from previous years!

how to make a 1950s pixie christmas ornament
 vintage gift wrap guide 1950s christmas

How to Make a 1950s Pixie Ornament                                        How to wrap gifts from the 1950s

Terms of Use
Free patterns and downloads provided by Va-Voom Vintage are intended for personal use and are not to be sold or packaged with any other items for sale.  This pattern may not be used to make items for sale. Pattern and instructions copyright Brittany Sherman 2014
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