Lady Eve Millinery


 Hats and millinery is one of my passions so I'm very excited to share an interview from one of my sponsors- milliner Aimee Koch from Lady Eve Millinery on etsy.  Millinery is an exquisite art form and Aimee was kind enough to share some photos of her process as she uses vintage techniques in every hat creation.

Va-Voom Vintage readers get 15% off at Lady Eve Millinery till the end of March with code VAVOOM15

Babette                                  Claudette                                          Zelda

What got you interested in millinery?

I have always had a love of old things and history as well as a passion for creating things with my hands.  I owe a deep debt of gratitude to my mother who taught me how to hand sew, knit and crochet starting at the age of 5.  I did theater through school, college and continued on into community theater after that.  This gave me a wonderful exposure to different costume collections.  While at college, I earned a degree in History.  I began picking up vintage pieces, including hats, and when they became more difficult to acquire, I started collecting vintage sewing patterns.  My own vintage pieces becoming more often study pieces.  I have had the remarkable good fortune to connect with clothing collectors and spend time examining their collections….one collection now belongs to a museum.  I also undertook a study of vintage sewing and pattern drafting.  At the same time, I've always been a great lover of hats and began first with sewing soft pieces from patterns.  As the availability of vintage hats in wearable condition dwindled, I began exploring millinery shops in hopes of finding vintage inspired pieces.  Doing that, I discovered that for truly vintage minded pieces, there didn't seem to be many options.  At that point I rolled up my sleeves and determined to learn the craft for myself!  I began a study of millinery techniques and piece by piece acquired a collection of vintage millinery blocks.  It's similar to sewing a new vintage dress from an old pattern…except I get to breathe new life into a vintage hat block.  The result is a *new* vintage hat.  

I often dream about the fabulous vintage hats in films and old magazines. What is your favorite hat from film or old celebrity photos?

Sometimes I will watch movies solely for the hat inspirations!  Ask my husband.  My earliest childhood days were pre-VCR/DVD…which meant watching old movies as they replayed on Sunday afternoons.  My greatest hat loves are Ilsa's brimmed piece in the final scene of Casablanca (when she tearfully gazes up at Bogie); that green bonnet from Paris that Rhett brings to Scarlett to win a kiss; and Lauren Becall's beret in to Have or Have Not…which she tosses on the desk of the Vichy officer to read the label…..oh and that sweet little tilt hat in Girl Friday.  I keep a running pinboard of my hat inspirations to draw from.  You will see in my shop the "Ilsa" inspired by Casablanca and the "Olivia" 1940s style tilt hat series as well.

Ilsa and Olivia

My grandma said that she used to love to go to Macy's hat department as a girl and try on all sorts of hats. We're all saddened that hats aren't as popular today as they once were. Do you have any tips for the modern woman who wants to incorporate a vintage style hat into her wardrobe?


Do not be intimidated by hats!  Isn't it funny that something that used to be considered a wardrobe essential now seems so intimidating to many?  If hats are something you love, then express that and jump in.  You will be surprised at how many lovely compliments you will receive.  There is something so polished and ladylike about wearing a hat….don't be surprised if men start holding doors for you.  I hear so often that women don't feel confident enough to step out in a hat…but wait until you try it!  You will find your confidence boosted by admiring looks and comments.  It makes wearing hats addictive I tell you!

What's so lovely about hats is the range of options available. I'm including some charts on face shapes and hat silhouette pairs your readers might find helpful….evaluate what would be most flattering to you in terms of shape, but don't be limited by it.  Consider your personal style.  If you are a 50s loving gal, pass on the cloche and go with something like "Claire".  If you adore that 30s vibe, consider a brimmed piece like "Delysia".  Once you have your hat, play with the placement on your head.  Simply tilting a hat to one side or another, can enhance your look…think of an eye half hidden by a jaunty angle as you gaze up at your own Bogie.

If this is your first hat purchase, consider a neutral color and/or a simple trim before jumping into feathers and veils you might not feel bold enough yet to wear.  Consider the quality of the hat.  There is a large difference between a soft, lustrous fur felt velour and a mass produced wool felt.  A hat is an investment piece and when properly treated, can give you years of wearing pleasure.  It can be a signature piece of your wardrobe.

Of the hats in my shop, I find "Delysia" to be a universally flattering daytime choice.  There are so many possibilities for personal style with the tilt of that brim! The original 1930s block is in itself a work of art (there is a pic of the block with the listing). For evening, theater, dinner dates, and social events, I adore the "Olivia".  It can be trimmed simply or with some extravagance.  It is a *slightly* undersized 1940s tilt hat in the style of Girl Friday.

See Aimee on           Pinterest     Etsy

I'd Rather Be Thrifting


image by Elsa Lang
I had great plans to get things done today. I was going to wake up, throw on a dress, wash some dishes, go grocery shopping and all manner of practical responsible things. And then this funk settled over me and I was in an awful mood. I tried Pinterest, painting my toes...I even moved the couch to the center of the living room so I could lay in a sunny spot like a lazy cat but nothing worked.

 Then Pj said "You need to get out of the house." and I agreed. I thought let's pop into goodwill and maybe I'll find a pretty vintage dish for a buck or two. That'll perk me up.

 Boy, was I right! I found two pretty dishes- one Cinderella bowl in the Early American pattern- my first pyrex bowl ever, believe it or not!  Also a really pretty blue-green melamac bowl by Lenox Ware.

 *On a side note- what exactly is a Cinderella bowl? I often thought it was in reference to the pattern. When we got home, Pj did some Googling and found this excellent post from Javelin Warrior's Cookin' With Love, which explains that:
 "like Cinderella’s glass slipper, these bowls were the perfect size and shape for the American kitchen"
Now if that isn't brilliant 1950's advertising, I don't know what is! Read more on Cinderella bowls on Corelle *

 Spotted from the other side of the Goowill was this adorable vintage Swing-a-Way ice crusher, which matches my kitchen counters and tile. I don't do a lot of ice crushing but now that I have a sweet front porch with tin awnings, I think I need an ice crusher in my life for those summer days of sipping iced tea.

 The score of the day was this fabulous mid century book shelf for $7. I  have a perfectly empty space in the living room and we have a few boxes of books still in the basement from moving in so I'm really happy to be able to get my hands on all of my books again!

Nothing like a little thrift therapy to brighten a girl's day.

Sick Day, Snow Day, Blog Day


Today we were hit by one hell of a winter storm. We got about 6 inches of snow in just a few hours. I was nervous that our power would go out because last time Pj and I lived in this part of town, we lost power every time it snowed! Luckily, the snow fall has quit for now and the electricity is still going strong! I did enjoy the noise of sleet falling on the tin awnings and siding.

 Pj stayed home from work today with a really ganrly sinus thing. He doesn't get sick often but when he does it's like he's near death. I made these amazing sandwiches today, which I found on Pinterest via Ring Finger Tan Line . Pj and I both had the idea to add bacon, making them even more spectacular. I think all of that bacon and cheese made him feel better!

image via Ring Finger Tan Line
While snowed in with the kids and Pj today, I did a little tinkering on the blog.
 On the side bar, under the google friend connect is a new thing to subscribe via email, which I've had a few requests for. I also added pretty new social network buttons and some buttons down there for my frequent posts so you can see all of those outfits all at once, read my old theme weeks and all of that jazz. I'll be updating my tutorials page with my newest stuff and lots of little cosmetic things that have been driving me crazy for a while.

 I'm not even close to finished with it but it's time to curl up and watch a movie with some hot cocoa. Stay tuned for a few more changes this week!

Isn't that a cool old building across the street from my house? It's a church now but it used to be a school house back in the day and at one point was also an antique shop. You'll probably see more of it in the warmer months when I can get over there for some outfit pics!

Bakelite Envy


This morning, the kids and the neighboring rooster woke me up about an hour before sunrise. I am -so- not a morning person but that means there's more time in the day to be productive. This week and next,  we're finishing up with the layout for Hey Doll! issue 2 and taking the remaining photos.

 I just put together a very funny (and quite relatable) article from contributor, Liz Walker titled "Bakelite Envy" with some photos of my bakelite collection. Here's a peek

Va-Voom Vintage bakelite jewelry collection

Hey Doll! Issue 2 comes out March 2nd- see the blog for more info and to read issue 1

Voluptuous Vixen Vintage


As you know, there's nothing I love like a little love and support from one girl to another and no one does it better than Lexi from Voluptuous Vintage Vixen.

Lexi features beautiful vintage loving ladies with curves on her blog, proving once again that beauty knows no dress size.   Earlier this month, Lexi featured Va-Voom Vintage as one of her top blog picks!

In addition to being an avid supporter of the curvy girl, Lexi works as a hair and makeup artist in Paris.

 See Lexi on her blog, Voluptuous Vintage Vixen

Trunk Of Dresses


                   Today I wanted to give a little shout-out to a returning sponsor, Trunk of Dresses

 Trunk of Dresses carries some of the most dreamy vintage dresses with a sprinkling of accessories and separates too. She currently has a lovely selection of vintage treasures in every color of a spring bloom.

Send in your looks for Hey Doll! Issue 2


We're working on issue 2 of Hey Doll! Vintage Magazine. Since spring is just around the corner, I've been cleaning like a mad woman these past few weeks. This issue is all about spring cleaning with some lovely light recipes, beautiful spring knits, fashions and you can see how I did a retro DIY on my microwave! 

 We'd love to see your vintage or handmade aprons and favorite housewife and spring outfit looks in our Dolled Up section. Send in a photo of your outfit with your name and web site/blog if you have one to us at

 Here are our dolls from last month's issue:

Learn more about Hey Doll! Vintage Magazine
read the magazine on Glossi

Gibson Edwardian Shoes from American Duchess


My sponsor, American Duchess has turned out another fantastic vintage shoe design, for pre-order today- the "Gibson"

 American Duchess says: " We need to sell about 50 pairs of *each color* and if we don't meet this goal, the least-popular color will have to be dropped, so please share with any of your friends who might be interested in this shoe!"

Order your shoe today through March 8th for a pre-order discount!

The "Gibson" Edwardian style shoe comes in black, white and tan and was a popular design from 1900 to 1920 but honestly, would look fabulous with outfits from any era! This shoe was designed from this exquisite original Edwardian shoe.

 This Gibson has a 2 inch custom made french heel for all day comfort. The white model is paintable and dyeable so you can customize to match your dress.

                                      Order yours today exclusively from  American Duchess

             American Duchess is a sponsor of Va-Voom Vintage. All images from

Hayworth Collection Eyeglasses


Today marks the launch of the new 1940's inspired, limited-edition Hayworth Collection from Warby Parker- makers of beautiful vintage style prescription eyeglasses.

I'm a prescription glasses-wearer myself and although I do adore my original 1950's cat eyes, I find myself not wearing them as often as I should in fear of something tragic happening to them.  I've scoured the internet and local stores for vintage styled modern frames but nothing quite fits what I wanted- until today! I especially love the beautiful color of the Neville style in Blue Marblewood...lovely!

Warby Parker says this about their beautiful new collection:

"....The stretch we had our eye on- Los Angeles in the 1940's and 1950's was a dark and contradictory time in American history. With it's mixture of postwar disillusionment, forward-facing optimism and technological,  progress, there's a lot about that era that reminds us of today. The Hayworth Collection is our way of bringing noir (and Art Deco) design themes into the future...."

The Hayworth Collection includes 3 styles of optical glasses and 3 pairs of sunglasses, suitable for both brooding detectives and femmes fatales alike.

View the Hayworth Collection exclusively at Warby Parker. For more eye wear inspiration, check out my Pinterest board, Spec-tacular: Vintage Glasses

Disclosure: Va-Voom Vintage is not an affiliate of Warby Parker.

Knitting in the Morning


I love working evening shifts because I have the morning and afternoon to do what I like. This morning, after a quick outing to Walmart, I worked on my 1940's puff sleeve jumper for a little while- which is very close to being finished! I really love this beautiful blue color. It's perfect for spring, don't you think?

1940's Date Maker Cardigan- Knitted by me (pattern at By Gum by Golly)
acorn brooch- Luxulite on etsy
navy a-line skirt- thrifted
vintage scarf- estate sale

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