Summer's End


casual retro plus size featruing 1940s wrap blouse from Mrs Depew Vintage

Today was the last day of the year that we'll take the kids to our favorite splash park. We're sad to see it close but that means fall is right around the corner!!

Today I finished a new blouse, made from the 1940s Wrap Blouse pattern from Mrs Depew Vintage. I love this blouse so much! I'm a sucker for a sweetheart neckline and its as comfy as a tee but much more stylish. I used a really pretty cotton plaid that will work well in my closet year round.

I made this blouse for Daffny of A Vintage Nerd in a knit fabric and it was really cute- like a 1940s t-shirt!

Although summer is ending, it's still quite warm in St Louis so I wore my hair in no-fuss braided pigtails (never too old, I think!) with my fun yellow wedges.

casual retro plus size featruing 1940s wrap blouse from Mrs Depew Vintage
casual retro plus size featruing 1940s wrap blouse from Mrs Depew Vintage

Va-Voom Vintage readers save 15% off at Mrs Depew Vintage with code VAVOOM at the register

casual retro plus size featruing 1940s wrap blouse from Mrs Depew Vintage

1940s wrap blouse- handmade by me
jeans- Gloria Vanderbilt Amanda jeans
wedges- Modcloth
assorted bakelite

Mrs Depew Vintage is a sponsor of Va-Voom Vintage.

Giveaway: Everyday Fashions of the Fifties As Pictured in Sears Catalogs


everyday fashions of the fifties as pictured in sears catalogs from dover publications review
 I spent yesterday tidying up the house so I'd have all weekend to sew. This weekend, I'm sewing a bullet bra and a few 1950s separates. For inspiration, I've been looking through my new copy of "Everyday Fashions of the Fifties As Pictured in Sears Catalogs"

everyday fashions of the fifties as pictured in sears catalogs from dover publications review

This is part of a series of wonderful catalog reprints from Dover Publications. When I first got interested in vintage clothing, I looked to magazines and catalogs to see what people really wore back then. These books cover styles of men, women and children and show casual day wear of the average 1950s woman as well as special occasion wear. Learning the style really helped me to find modern pieces with a great vintage look while shopping thrift stores and I built my vintage wardrobe from there.

everyday fashions of the fifties as pictured in sears catalogs from dover publications review

These books are sorted by year, with the year at the top corner of the pages,  so you can see how the styles changed slightly as the decade progressed.

Dover Publications sent me a copy of Everyday Fashions of the Fifties to give away to one lucky reader! This giveaway will end on 9-7-2014. Giveaway is open worldwide.

everyday fashions of the fifties as pictured in sears catalogs from dover publications review

Pop over to Dover Publications to see their entire selection of fashion and costume books as well as collectable vintage paper dolls.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blogging Ecourse Sale!


I get a lot of emails and questions from readers asking for blog advice. I love to share what I know with others but I never was able to find enough time to give one-on-one support. There's so many topics to talk about and so many important details that an email was never enough. One summer, I finally decided to write a blogging ecourse, sharing everything I know about blogging. It took a very long time to get it all down and organized in one place but I was so proud to finally finish it!!

This ecourse is in blog format. The categories are organized on the sidebar and each article is in a blog post. Once you purchase, it's yours to keep forever so you can go back and read through tutorials and tips as you need it. Take a peek!

Bloggerific covers everything that I have learned in my almost 5 years of blogging. I talk about how to never run out of post topics, how to design your own blog from scratch using free programs and even how to make money blogging. 

This course also includes a set of retro styled printables that I designed to keep you organized. Stick them in your blog binder to keep track of blog posts, sponsors and all of that fun stuff.

This course was written for both new and established bloggers, with a focus on using You'll learn:
  • How To Brand Your Blog   Create a unique, custom look and feel for a beautiful blog that stands out among the rest
  • Writing Tips and SEO  Optimize your posts and blog design and build relevant links all over the web to increase your traffic. With these writing and brain storming tips, you'll always have a pile of great blog post ideas.
  • DIY Blog Design   12 step by step tutorials to design your own beautiful blog. These tutorials are written for Blogger users.
  • Blog Photos and Images   Learn to find images that you can legally use on your blog, take your own gorgeous photos and make all of your blog images look great.
  • Social Networking   Build a following on social sites to increase traffic to your blog with time management ideas so you can spend more time creating and having fun and less time promoting.
  • Make Money Blogging   Everything I know about how to legitimately make money doing what you love including creative ideas to monetize, how to find sponsors and how to build and use a media kit.
  • Building Relationships     Form life long friendships, important business relationships and the smart way to deal with negativity in the blog world.
  • Maintaining Your Blog   stay organized, plan for the future and create an amazing editorial calendar to keep you on track
  • Tools and Resources    A list of over 50 wonderful online tools and resources to fuel your creativity and help your blog run smoothly.
Read a recent review from Trish Hunter Finds

Buy Bloggerific: A Guide to a Beautiful, Successful Blog, $20

After successful payment completion, you will be directed to the access page. If you are not directed to the access page or have any problems, please email me at

Gone Fishin'


1940s plus size casual vintage style with jeans

Last weekend, I thirfted this cute plaid blouse from a small town thrift shop in Bourbon, Missouri. I rarely find a lot of spectacular vintage in small towns but it's a great spot to find simple separates like this. Pj and I walked down to the pond and I tossed the net in to see what I could find. I pulled out a pretty big blue gill on the first go but I got him loose and let him go home. I can't wait for the weather to cool down a bit so we can take the little ones out on the pond in the paddle boat.

1940s plus size casual vintage style with jeans 1940s plus size casual vintage style with jeans
 easy 1940s victory rolls and novelty pyrex brooch

Blouse- thrifted
Gloria Vanderbilt Amanda jeans- thirfted
Aris Allen rug cutter wedges- Ebay
pyrex brooch -made by me (tutorial here)
vintage scarf- thirfted

How to Go Antique Shopping with Kids


tips on how to go antique shopping with little kids
When Pj and I were first dating, we loved to go antiquing together. We'd hop in the car on a Saturday morning and make a day of it, whether it was a road trip or a long walk around a local antique mall. We got married, had kids and we kept doing what we love.

Antique shops can be scary places for parents of tiny ones but in our few years of taking kids with us, we haven't had any disasters.  Even with a wild 3 and 4 1/2 year old, it has continued to be one of our favorite family outings. Here are our tips for antique shopping with small children.

Start 'em young
 I remember carrying my little Olivia around the antique mall in her Moby wrap while I  looked through old post cards. When we had Rhys, he would nap in the stroller while Olivia walked with Daddy. Teach them at a very young age that antique shops are amazingly fun places but that it's important to be careful.

Ask, then touch 
We look at all of the pretty breakables, delicate jewelry and interesting treasures and we touch them. Little ones are curious and they want to touch as well. Imagine walking through an antique store without being able to touch a thing. I'd cry and fuss too! Our antique shop trips are great opportunities to learn and explore. Allow them to touch things, hold things and investigate. Talk about what things are, how they were used back then and how things are different now. Once Olivia was old enough to walk on her own while holding hands, we started a very important "ask before touching" rule so we can help her pick things up and explore them and return them to the shelf without breaking them. They're still little and we work on the "ask before touch" rule every time we go to an antique shop.

Plan Ahead
We like to go antiquing early in the day. The kids have had a good breakfast, they're feeling happy and ready to have some fun. If we go too late in the day, they're crabby and needing naps and we'll find ourselves not having any fun at all. Plan your trip when the whole family is feeling adventurous and well rested. The best part about antiquing is that its very tiring so they'll probably nap on the way home!

Know the rules
Most antique malls have basic rules such as no food or drink and no large bags. Make sure that everyone has had a bite to eat before entering and stick a diaper and small pack of wipes in your purse if they don't allow large diaper bags.We have one mall that claims to not allow large bags but I've always just shoved mine in the bottom of my stroller and no one has given me any grief about it. If you think you'll need your bag, they may even hold it behind the counter if you ask.

One of my local favorites has a small nook with tables, chairs and vending machines with snacks and soda. Sometimes, kids can get a little sensory overload so this is a great spot to sit and re-group before finishing up.

Bring Entertainment
I have a  bag that I keep in my trunk that includes a few small board books, quiet but fun toys  and extra change. They sit in the double stroller and read or play with toys quietly while we look around. Some of our favorite antique malls have candy machines by the door and they always have a vendor with $1 beanie babies and mardi gras necklaces, which my kids love! When we enter the store, I remind them that treats are for well-behaved kids and if they can follow the rules, we'll let them pick out a little something or get some candy on the way out. Sometimes we bring our tablets, which are loaded with educational kids games, puzzles and such.

Bring help or keep trips short
Since Olivia was a baby, I always went antiquing with Pj or my best friend, Amanda. If one of the kids started to lose their marbles, I'd have another grown up to help get them out of there. A few weeks ago, I took the kids antiquing by myself for the first time and it was actually really wonderful! Rhys rode in our small stroller and Olivia walked along. We walked from our house to two antique malls. Since each mall was very small, I think it helped them to not get too antsy. Well, and Rhys found a Spiderman book that kept him happy for quite a while!

Grow eyes in the back (and sides) of your head
This is where it helps to have help. Its hard to look at everything and keep a very close eye on little ones. Pj and I usually take turns looking at booths and looking after kids so everyone has a good time. When I find a booth that I need to spend some time at, he takes our wild boy and Olivia hangs out with me since she's old enough to behave while I look through boxes of buttons and such.  A stroller or baby carrier helps keep control over little hands. I've learned that those toddler arms can stretch like Gumby so I'm very careful about where I park the stroller too.

Be Regulars
Get to know the antique shop owners and pop in frequently. I'm sure that owners see our sticky, drooly beasts and cringe but when they see how well behaved and in control everyone is, they'll be pleasantly surprised and happy to see you come back! When we started going to antique malls on date nights, our ladies started to get upset that they missed out on seeing the little ones and giving them stickers at the register. We have one lady who is constantly in a crabby mood but when she sees those kids, she always smiles and chats with them. Frequenting local stops helps the kids to become familiar with the scenery and it may not be such a sensory overload for them too. They learn early that there are certain expectations for antique mall outings and if they behave, they're rewarded with praise, a fun afternoon and a little treat. This week, I visited a local place, just me and the kids and the shop lady looked so irritated when she saw me come in with kids. We stayed for a good hour, looking at things and by the end, she was so impressed with their good behavior that she complimented us and gave them each a kids movie for free, to watch before nap time after we walked home.

Have Realistic Expectations
The most important thing to remember is that children are tiny, curious people, still learning about the world and we must always have realistic expectations of them. I know that my limit with my kids is usually no more than 2-3 stops per day. Anything after that and I'm asking for trouble. I also know that although I've reminded them of the no touch rule 65 times today, I need to keep watching and reminding them throughout our trip. We have a lot of great antique shop outings but every rare once in a while, we have a bad day and we promptly leave when someone has a melt down. Usually, the melt down is a result of me not preparing enough for our trip (no naps, forgot toys at home, I've shopped too long and they're ready for lunch). Be mindful of how they're feeling and try to get on the road before anyone loses their marbles.

Have a great time hunting antiques with your littles- Before you know it, they'll be spotting the good stuff before you do!

Learn to Sew Knit Fabrics {50% off sewing class!}


Last time I was at the fabric store, I noticed a beautiful stock of knit fabrics-perfect for sewing my own cardigans, blouses and comfy dresses. Sewing knits can be tricky though, because garments fit differently depending on the stretch of the fabric. Knits also need to be handled a little differently while being sewn so many people shy away from anything with a lot of stretch. Fear the knit no more with this wonderful online sewing class from Craftsy- Sewing Fashion Knits: Beyond the Basics

Aside from comfortable tees, skirts, pants and dresses, you can use your knowledge of sewn knits to make amazing vintage style jumpers and skirt sets using ribbed sweater knit fabrics.  I do love to knit and truly nothing beats a hand knit garment but if it's not your thing, find a similar pattern and sew your own in a fraction of the time it would take to knit!

This week only, Va-Voom Vintage readers save 50% off the online class "Sewing Fashion Knits: Beyond the Basics" from Craftsy. 

  • Craftsy online classes are yours to keep forever, so you can log in and re-watch video lessons
  •  Paid classes also feature one on one support from your instructor and classmates. 
  • This class includes bonus sourcing information for specialty fabrics

This class, taught by Linda Lee, covers everything you need to know about how to sew with knit fabrics. Learn how to choose and source the right knit for your project, lay out your pattern to get stretch in the right places and finish your seams for a professional look to your garment. You'll also see how to stabilize fabrics and work with the challenges of sewing open lacy knits.

Although this class is titled "Beyond the Basics", Linda also talks about a lot of simple tips for sewing with knits such as finding the grain line, marking the fabric and pre-treatments and testing stitches before you sew.

Sewing Fashion Knits includes a bonus chapter featuring a sew-along for a simple shrug, working you through the project step by step, answering other questions that you may have along the way.

There are a lot of beautiful knit fabrics out there, some with ribbing, stripes and great textures for your vintage knit wear. 

Next time you see a really fun novelty knit, don't be nervous, enroll in 'Sewing Fashion Knits: Beyond the Basics" from Craftsy  The 50% off discount ends in a week!

This post is sponsored by Craftsy. Please view my full disclosure policy

I'm really a mermaid


 1950s retro plus size vintage swimwear

Today we had the best time splashing and swimming in the river. My father in law invited us to bring his grand babies and go out to the Huzzah Valley Resort

We left home bright and early to make the drive and arrive early enough for a good spot.

I've never been to this resort but it was just beautiful! I yelled"Pull over!!" so I could jump out of the car and get a photo of the beautiful pastures.

The temperature reached over 100 degrees today but the clear water was cool and fresh. In this area, the water was about 8 feet deep and had tons of big fish swimming around under me, nibbling my toes. Even in the very shallow areas, I sat with my hands out, petting them as they passed by. Amazing!

1950s retro plus size vintage swimwear
1950s retro plus size vintage swimwear

My sister in law came and brought her two girls and we all had a blast. The kids were so brave, especially my oldest niece, Hannah! She must have jumped off the ledge into the river over a dozen times, yelling "Watch The Amazing Hannah as she jumps into the river!!" We made a river train, with the littlest in the front and I towed them all around.

My favorite part of river play is all of the beautiful rocks. This area has some amazing geodes and rocks with holes in them, which my mom always said you can peek through to see fairy land! I collected a ton of beautiful river rocks for her to put in her country garden. 

1950s retro plus size vintage swimwear
1950s retro plus size vintage swimwear

Swimsuit- Catalina Anchor print from Walmart
Crocs flats- Famous Footwear
Stripe dress- Modcloth

Gone to the Country, Will Return


1950s plus size rick rac dress and blue cashmere cardigan

When I go to mom's, I always want to plan these amazing outfits because she has such great scenery but then I end up bumming around on the couch in my pajamas or running around outside in yoga pants and tee shirts. Now, I'm finally getting the knack of it and planning cute but comfy for weekends in the country. I haven't worn this dress in ages but you can't go wrong with a little cotton dress. I love the ric-rac trim and colorful print. Great for hanging out indoors, running into town or going on walks in the meadow.

I paired it with a 1950s cashmere cardigan that I was so proud of- thirfted last week for two bucks!

vintage plus size rick rac dress and blue cashmere cardigan with novelty brooch

vintage plus size rick rac dress and blue cashmere cardigan with novelty brooch

vintage plus size rick rac dress and blue cashmere cardigan with novelty brooch novelty brooch will return

Oh and the brooch. I freakin' love this brooch and it was a total accident. We stopped at the craft store last Thursday night so could pick up my weekend craft supplies before our trip. I spotted a few really awesome jewelry findings on sale and this was one of them. I simply stuck an adhesive pin back on it and voila- epic novelty brooch!  If you love to make brooches, check out my e-book, Pins for Pin-Ups: DIY Brooches for Retro Girls

vintage plus size rick rac dress and blue cashmere cardigan with novelty brooch

1960s dress- estate sale
red belt-thrifted
50s cardigan-thrifted
brooch-made by me (sorta)
shoes- Aris Allen Rug Cutter wedges

End of Summer Essentials from Powder Vintage


It's storming tonight in St Louis and the summer is coming to and end. This weekend, we're savoring the last bits of summer with a trip to the river for a day of water play. We still do have some warm days left in the season so here's some of my favorite end of summer essentials from Powder Vintage on etsy. These pieces transition well into fall and throughout winter with an added cardigan, tights and cold weather accessories.

Powder Vintage

{ s h o p  }                   {  f a c e b o o k }                     {  t w i t t e r  }

 What are you doing to enjoy these last days of summer?

Powder Vintage is a sponsor of Va-Voom Vintage. To have your business featured on Va-Voom Vintage, see my sponsorship page

My new favorite jeans


 Last weekend, we went to my grandma's house for a family barbeque. It was very hot and humid outside so my hair went all crazy and makeup melted right off.  I wore my new favorite jeans, thrifted a few days prior.  These are the Amanda jean from Gloria Vanderbilt. They're high waist jeans and very long so I can cuff them all cute like Freddie's jeans. I'm pretty tall so a jean with a wide cuff is a rare find for me but apparently you can order these in short or long. I love them so much, I think I will have to find a few more pairs. Also, I know that there's a big fashion rule about wearing horizontal, stripes if you're plus sized but I like horizontal stripes, darnit! I like them so much that I bought this same top again in pink so there! haha!

plus size retro casual jeans style

leopard print handbag and lucite clamper bracelet

affordable 1940s vintage style wedge shoes

plus size retro casual jeans style

stripe blouse-Target
jeans- thrifted
shoes- Amazon via Amerimark
leopard purse-thirfted
confetti lucite clamper- ruby lane

How To Wear Black and White


how to wear black and white vintage style

 "Women think of all colors, except the absence of color. Black has it all. White, too. Their beauty is absolute. It is the perfect harmony."- Coco Chanel

I am such a fan of crazy bold colors but some of my most well loved pieces are black and white, grey or tan. Something typically drab with no color at all. There's a reason why the little black dress is a closet staple. Neutrals never go out of style. You can pair an otherwise boring dress with any accessory, any color and style it a million different ways.

Today, I want to talk about how to wear black, white and grey and make it really pop, without the use of other colors.

how to wear black and white vintage style

Play with Sharp Lines
On Friday I bought this killer black and white stripe dress by Tatyana Boutique, on sale at Modcloth and I can't wait for it to get here!  If you go for monochrome, try sharp lines like a stripe, check, hounds tooth or color blocking.

how to wear black and white vintage style

Incorporate Unexpected Details
a unique accessory may be small but it makes a big impact. Here, play with crochet gloves, polka dot scarves and quirky print tights. 60s style white sunglasses are an effortlessly chic finish

how to wear black and white vintage style

Focus on StructureA shapely garment with perfect fit or unique details doesn't need a novelty print or bold color to pack a punch.  White light fabrics with full folds in the skirt is crisp, light and feminine while this classic black dress is sleek and sophisticated. What might be a boring grey or black becomes spectacular with a beautiful collar, perfect drapes and darts in all of the right places.

Use Texture and Print
This black wool suit and veiled hat stand out with the strong texture of a lace parasol and veil. Black and white is always bold with a playful print like polka dot.

how to wear black and white vintage style

how to wear black and white vintage style

10 Classically Vintage Staples in Black and White
  1. black ballet flats
  2. black and white polka dot print
  3. white 60s sunglasses
  4. white peter pan collar
  5. white pearl necklace
  6. black seamed stockings
  7. black or white capri pants
  8. black corde handbags
  9. snowy white cardigan
  10. white gloves

Do you love the all black and white look?

Powered by Blogger.
Theme Designed By Hello Manhattan

Your copyright

Copyright Va-Voom Vintage 2019