The Haunted Antique Shop


Royal Bank Branch, Notre Dame Street, Montreal, QC, 1911 via We Heart Vintage

 Happy Halloween to everyone! I'm spending the day watching my favorite Castle Ghosts documentaries this morning (thank you, You Tube!) and we're taking the kiddies trick or treating tonight.

Last year, I shared a personal spooky story and since everyone enjoyed it so much, I thought I'd share another.

 Since Pj and I started dating, we loved to go antique shopping. We have so many wonderful shops in the area and sometimes we like to visit Alton, Illinois shops. Alton is a beautiful old town just on the other side of the Mississippi River. It's an amazing place for vintage lovers and if you enjoy old buildings, you must visit. The cemetery, which sits on a hill above the city is vast and beautiful. There are several blocks of quaint little shops selling handmade pottery from river clay, handmade jewelry, gifts, art and antiques. Alton is also known for several spooky locations and ghost tours throughout the year.

downtown Alton with the Mississippi River nearby

One afternoon in early fall, we parked the car and went walking down the street visiting a shop here and there. We stopped at one called Prairie Peddler Antiques that we have never been to before. They had some very old late 1800's butter churns and a baby cradle outside so we went in to check it out. Pj loves Civil War era antiques and this shop had a bunch. We admired some beautiful kitchenware, book shelves and clocks before heading upstairs to check the wares on the second floor.

Prairie Peddler, the building on the left, during a severe flooding

As we reached the top of the stairs, I felt winded and very hot with a burning feeling in my throat. I thought wow, I must be really out of shape because it was only about 7 or 8 stairs! There were a few other shoppers poking around and I followed Pj while I tried to catch my breath. After a few minutes, the feeling faded and we shopped around, looking at some old books to add to our collection. Near the stairs was a very old 4 post bed frame with a carved headboard that was very beautiful. As I walked closer to admire it, I felt the heat and the burning feeling again. My throat tightened like someone was trying to choke me and I felt panicked like I had to get out of there. Pj also looked uneasy and I said "Let's go right now." and we headed down the stairs.

 McPike Mansion, a favorite destination of paranormal enthusiasts in Alton

As soon as I started to go down the stairs, I felt fine again. I stopped for a moment, edged my way back up the stairs and the moment my feet touched the top stair I felt hot. We ran down the stairs, out the door and never went back.

I don't know if it was the building or maybe even that old bed but we haven't been brave enough to go back yet. Have you ever experienced a haunting?

You can visit Prairie Peddler Antiques at 413 E. Broadway Alton Illinois

For more vintage spookiness, check out my Pinterest board, "Strange, Creepy and Vintage"


Perfectly Flawed


1940s plus size studded jacket with oversized collar, straw hat

I found this beautiful vintage jacket in a pile of rags in a warehouse. It had missing buttons, discoloring on the collar and was a general hot mess but isn't it great?   I brought it home and gave it some love and new buttons. I really love the pointed cuffs on the sleeves. I'm not sure if the studs were originally this brassy color or if they had once been white or silver. It still has some discoloring on the collar that I couldn't remove but I love it anyway.

lace and studs on 30s-40s vintage jacket collar

lace and studs on 30s-40s vintage jacket sleeves

 Do you ever bring home damaged goods to fix up?

vintage straw beret- antique mall
vintage jacket-warehouse sale
navy skirt- thrifted
vintage loafers-thrifted

Pendleton 49er at the Pumpkin Patch


1940s pendleton 49er jacket aris allen wedges and heyday vintage trousers

You know, I am really enjoying all of these outfit posts lately. I feel like this  blog started as a fashion blog and although I blog about fashion, I don't ever show my wonderful collection. I'm so happy to be taking this blog back to where I started. Not to mention, outfit posts are so fun!!

 Yesterday, I wore my very first vintage Pendleton 49er jacket. Isn't the color divine? The shoulder seam had come undone when I bought it but a quick repair made it good as new.  I have a love-hate relationship with this jacket. I love the style, I love the color but gosh, it's hard to match! I like to add unexpected color combos but I demolished my closet before settling on the shirt I'm wearing underneath. I tried green but it was too green. I tried brown, but that's an obvious choice. I tried a yellow but it looked like baby poo. I tried purple but I felt like an oompa loompa. You get the idea....

Finally, I went to Design Seeds to check out some pretty color palettes and it helped me through getting dressed. I know, total first world problem here!

 Daniels Farm and Greenhouse in St Peters, MO has a wonderful autumn pumpkin patch set-up. They had a huge straw maze, big enough for grown-ups to play.

We pet some sheep, cows and goats and watched the piggies brawl

We spent most of our time playing in the corn boxes

At the end of the day, I had about 2 cups of corn in my bra and corn bits all over my pants. Rhys had corn in his diaper and everything but we had a wonderful time!

1940s Pendleton 49er- warehouse sale
trousers- Heyday
1940s repro wedges- Aris Allen
mustard hat- antique mall
1940s hat pin- Ruth's Vintage, St Louis

vintage 1940s plus size pants fashion with pendleton jacket and aris allen rug cutter wedges

Decorating for Halloween


This year is our first year putting up Halloween decorations. Last year, we had just moved in and were still sorting through boxes. Before that, we lived in an apartment and spent Halloween away from our neighborhood.

Now that we live so close to Historic Main Street, we stay home for Halloween so we can take the kids trick-or-treating in the daytime, as the owners of the quaint little shops pass out candy. Since my mom moved to the country, she doesn't have a use for Halloween decorations so I get to borrow hers.

Olivia munched on her very first pomegranate while we decked out the house in cheesy, spooky garland, lights and skeletons. Pardon the messy hair, it was windy!

trash bag halloween streamers DIY

I love these black streamers. My mom has been making these since I was a kid.  They're made out of trash bags! Cut the trash bag open and slice into strips. Pull each strip here and there to create a squiggy spooky curtain. They look great blowing in the wind and they're great for inside the house in doorways. They're not so great for taking outfit pictures, though!

vintage 1940s 1950s Gaytees fur trimmed winter snow boots

70's Dress- consignment shop, ages ago
modern cardigan- Target
vintage Gaytees snow boots- ebay

Hair Cut and Autumn Cape


I got a hair cut last week. I really love it!  I was desperately trying to grow my bangs out. I feel like every girl should try bangs at least once in their lives but gosh, they take a long time to grow and styling is very limited. I never finished my 7 days of vintage bangs posts because I was just so sick of them. I didn't think I'd be able to get rid of the bangs but my amazing stylist blended them in and parted it and it looks awesome! Maybe now, I'll try some different styles with longer bangs and finish that series.

Autumn weather has reached St Louis and I've been wearing my favorite knitted cape everywhere I go. I love it so much, I wish I had several colors.

I haven't been wearing a lot of fancy fun things lately due to some serious added pounds. What can I say- I'm a stress eater. The stress has been pretty intense lately but I started tracking calories on the My Fitness Pal app on my new fancy phone and so far, it's been helping a lot and I've gotten back into this lovely 1940s dress. My only issue with this dress is that the buttons are decorative and it snaps up the front. Snaps plus boobs are not a good thing so I stitched it closed this morning to prevent any bustin' out.

1940s plus size rayon dress casual vintage fashion via Va-Voom Vintage

vintage 1950s pearl and gold tree brooch

 1940s dress- warehouse sale
 vintage knit cape- Buffalo Exchange, Columbia, MO
 vintage purse and loafers- thrifted
 1950s pearl tree brooch- heirloom from Great Grandma Alma

Vintage Bride Sewing Patterns and Style Guide


vintage wedding dress sewing patterns

Today I thought I'd share some beautiful vintage wedding dress sewing patterns from the 1930s-1950s for you DIY brides out there. Although wedding season has typically been a spring time thing, in recent decades, brides have started planning their special day during colder months as well. In fact, October is one of the biggest months for gettin' hitched.

I love wedding planning so much that I became a certified wedding planner shortly after I got married but we soon had a baby and I was able to pursue my real dream job of being a stay at home mom. Sometimes I still do love to look at this season's wedding trends and of course, see what all of the modern vintage brides are doing!

Anna of Mrs Depew Vintage recently added a beautiful collection of vintage wedding gown patterns to her pattern shop. With these PDF patterns, brides can draft-at-home in any size for a custom fit with a perfect vintage look  Anna provides an excellent F.A.Q. article on her draft at home system.

Add some special vintage details like buttons from grandma's evening gown for something old and vintage ribbon for something blue. These are just a sampling of the evening gowns and day dress patterns from Mrs Depew. For the entire collection, see Mrs Depew Vintage on etsy and see the collection of suit jacket and tuxedo patterns for the groom

1930s wedding dress sewing patterns from Mrs Depew Vintage

 Dress Patterns    1121               1052                1124              1029               1120

If you're a 1930s bride, pair a sleek and elegant gown with a flowing veil. Try mantilla styles or pin a simple veil to a white calot  or floral band. Many 1920s and 30s brides pinned the veil into a Juliet cap with the sides framing the face. Cascade bouquets were a popular style for this decade. For drama, add a long and elegant train and long sleeves to any of these styles.

1930s wedding bouquets and bridal veils

1940s wedding dress sewing patterns from Mrs Depew Vintage

Dress Patterns:           4924                     4919                     4920                     4916

The 1940s bride enjoyed all kinds of bridal silhouettes from sleek and sophisticated to voluminous layers and peplums. Sweetheart necklines and long sleeves were often the norm for this decade. For style 4916, add a crisp white bolero, which can be removed later for the reception. Attach a cathedral or layered fingertip veil to a beaded crown, floral headband or heart-shaped halo headpiece. Simple round bouquets with a lace-trimmed holder were popular in the 40s but an extravagant bride may still carry a dramatic cascade.

1940s brides vintage veils, headpieces and bridal bouquets

Vintage 1950s wedding dress sewing patterns from Mrs Depew Vintage

 Dress Patterns                       6090                         6089                        5711                     6712

The 1950s were a grand time to be a bride. With the war over, sweethearts tied the knot left and right and brides took advantage of the ability to use plenty of fabric. Choose a very full skirt with plenty of layers in your crinoline. 1950s brides embellished with lace overlay, beaded trimmings and light embroidery. For your veil, indulge in long layers or take a hint from modern vintage brides with the popular below-the-knee dress and short veil. Bouquets became smaller in the 50s to balance out those plentiful yards of satin and netting.

vintage 1950s bridal veils and wedding bouquets


vintage bride style guide

Va Voom Bullet Bra Day 4: Finishing


We're back with more bullet bra sewing today.

Bullet Bra Sew-Along day 1  Download the pattern and get sizing info
Bullet Bra Sew-Along day 2  Cut and assemble the cups, learn about circle stitching
Bullet Bra Sew-Along day 3  Attach the front and size bands and make sizing adjustments in the band
Bullet Bra Sew-Along day 4  Finishing the bra and attaching straps and closures

Today, we'll finish the edges, attach the straps and do some optional lingerie elastic.

Let's talk about lingerie elastic real quick. The first bra I made, I did without the elastic and it was a great, comfy bra. This time around, I wondered if I might get a better fit with some elastic so I tried it and it really added to the comfort for me. Again, totally optional. The elastic is the last step so you can try without first and if you want to give it a go, the instructions are here. If you chose to not use lingerie elastic, you may want to finish the bra with some bias tape

Anyway, let's do this!

By now, the unfinished edge will be along the top of your bra. Turn this edge under  just 1/2 inch, press and sew.

When you reach the strap attachment area, fold these into a point, fold over and stitch

Let's Talk About Vintage Bra Straps Real Quick.

Most of my vintage bras have these irritating little things in either plastic or metal, which are attached to the strap with a twill tape or bias tape loop and you're supposed to adjust the length of your bra strap. The metal ones are fine. The plastic ones totally suck because they break when you're out and about and your bra strap is flying loose, boob falling out and there's nothing you can do about it. So, if you choose to use the "vintage method" of strap attachment, shoot for metal ones or nylon coated metal, if you can find them.

 Our bullet bra pattern strap attachment is not at all vintage because those things drive me crazy. Another problem with the vintage strap slide is that if you have heavy breasts, the weight of your breasts, causes the strap to fly out of the slider and your boob falls out of your bra and you run to the ladies room with one boob bouncing free inside your blouse and strap hanging all over the place. Not so good. I stitched all of my vintage straps down after the 90th time of those shenanigans. Anyway, on to attaching your straps....

Pin your strap into place at both strap attachment points. On the front, sew a little triangle so the strap is very sturdy. You can hand sew little ribbon bows here if you like or, like I did, curve your lingerie elastic around this area, continuing through the upper cup

Attach strap to side band. Sine we're all different shapes, you may need to adjust the attachment point for your bra strap at the side band.

Ladies, if your breasts are very heavy and straps tend to dig into your shoulders, try a wider strap. You can order wide bra straps here or make or purchase some shoulder cushions. Many of my vintage bras have shoulder cushions and they really do make a difference if you have heavy breasts.

Pin your lingerie elastic to the inside of the bra, along the outer edge and sew. I sewed elastic along the top and bottom of the bra. Not a necessity at all but I like it! I did a wonky job of it very late at night but you get the idea...

Vintage Bra Closures
All of my vintage bras and all that I've found for my etsy shop have a modern looking hook and eye closure but some vintage bras had a really beautiful closure with a G-hook, which I love. Anna from Mrs Depew Vintage has some gorgeous repro closures like this in her shop.

I hope that you ladies enjoyed the pattern and sew-along. I don't think a project has ever made me drop as many F-bombs as this one did but it was worth it! For the cost of one modern bullet bra, you can sew over a dozen of your own and you'll know that it's the right size, color and materials. I will be updating these patterns with more sizes as I get new models to test them on. For updates on sizes and other blog happenings, sign up for my monthly newsletter. 

If you need bullet bra pads to fill in the pointy cups, you can purchase them from What Katie Did or sew your own using this YouTube tutorial

I'd love to see your finished bras and bullet bra inspiration so join the group Pinterest board "Va-Voom Bullet Bras"

For questions, email me at or leave questions in comments below

Bullet Bra Sew-Along Update and Follow on Instagram


Hello all
 Just a quick update on the sew-along. The final touches on the bullet bras will be posted tomorrow. I've had a lot of unexpected things going on on the home front this weekend that I've needed to tend to but we'll be back to normal tomorrow

Also, I finally bought a grown-up phone yesterday so we can follow each other on Instagram!

For my fist post, I shared my new amazing vanity lamp that I thrifted last weekend for $5! I was so excited when I saw him. Pj is not a fan but he accepts ugly lamps if I accept his crazy projects so it all works out!

This morning it's a bit warmer than it has been lately so I sat on the porch and enjoyed the autumn garden while I had my iced coffee.

Downton Abbey Style Guide with Vintage Dancer


With the new season of Downton Abbey to air in the US very soon, we're all excited to see what gorgeous fashions will appear in the  new episodes. Debbie from Vintage Dancer gives us an exciting preview of modern garments inspired by the time along with plenty of 1920s Style Guides to help us get the look.  Earlier this week, Debbie also posted an interview with Bethany, Jessica and myself on our tips for vintage style autumn fashions. Go check it out! I had a lot of fun reading the other ladies answers!

1920s Downton Abbey blouses via Vintage Dancer
1920s blouses via Vintage Dancer

 Now that winter is upon us, I'm feeling very inspired by the fashions of the 20s with heavily draped velvets, brocade, fur trimmings and cozy cloches to keep the chill at bay.

I've never dabbled much in 20s fashions because I'm used to seeing these looks on thin girls. However, there are plenty of beautiful 1920s styles for plus sized women as well. Check out the Vintage Dancer free e-book, 1920s Fashions for Your Body Type and the hand-curated selection of 1920s style plus sized dresses.

free e-book 1920s downton abbey style for your body type via Vintage Dancer

Vintage Dancer covers more Downton style in her post on Downton Abbey Style Clothes to Wear Today. From tea dresses to cloches to 1920s style shoes, you can shop all of the best Downton style clothes and accessories from around the web at Vintage Dancer.

Check back tomorrow for the last day of the Va-Voom Bullet Bra Sew-Along!

Vintage Dancer is a sponsor of Va-Voom Vintage
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