Giveaway: Glamorous Movie Stars of the 1950s Paper Dolls


Glamorous Movie Stars of the 1950s paper dolls by Tom Tierney from Dover Publications

Today I have another beautiful giveaway from Dover Publications- Glamorous Movie Stars of the 1950s Paper Dolls.

I was so surprised when these paper dolls arrived in the mail. Artist Tom Tierney really captures the unique look of each of our favorite 50s starlets and nails it with the details that make these film costumes so iconic. This book includes:

Doris Day, Ava Gardner, Susan Hayward, Audrey Hepburn, Jane Powell, Debbie Reynolds, Jane Russell and Elizabeth Taylor

Glamorous Movie Stars of the 1950s paper dolls by Tom Tierney from Dover Publications

Glamorous Movie Stars of the 1950s paper dolls by Tom Tierney from Dover Publications

Glamorous Movie Stars of the 1950s paper dolls by Tom Tierney from Dover Publications

Enter to win a copy of Glamorous Movie Stars of the 1950s Paper Dolls below and visit Dover Publications to see all of the beautiful vintage paper dolls

This giveaway is open worldwide and will end on October 7th 2014
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This post is sponsored by Dover Publications. Book provided for review and giveaway by Dover Publications 

Sewing with small amounts of prints


I love a great novelty print or reproduction fabric but vintage fabrics are often limited and repro fabrics can get expensive. Here's some inspiration for using small amounts of a wonderful print in your vintage sewing projects. These exquisite fabrics are available from Time Capsule Fabrics, specializing in period- correct fabrics from the 1920s-1950s.

Collar, Pockets and Yokes
look for creative ways to use small amounts of prints in a dress like collars, pockets, sleeve cuffs and yokes. Add bows in a great print to the neckline.

Hats, Purses and other accessories
Add a splash of color to your outfit with hats, bags, scarves and other accessories with small amounts of prints.

blouse details
During the time of make do and mend, a girl used what she had to make the most of her wardrobe. A great feedsack print or old dress makes a colorful blouse yoke or vest.

Trade places
Swap places with print placement as suggested on the pattern envelope. This dress would be gorgeous in a solid with that beautiful tropical print as an accent. 

Time Capsule Fabrics is a sponsor of Va-Voom Vintage.

I had it first!- Dealing with Copycats


how to gracefully deal with copycats

I wrote this post ages ago and never did publish it but I feel like its very relevant and something that we all have to deal with at one point.

I very rarely post personal and negative stuff on my blog. I hate to do it and I don't really know if I will post this. I like to keep this blog has a happy place, a positive retreat for myself and for you but I wrote this at least to vent my irritation and hopefully to help any of you that has to deal with copycats.

This has happened to me a few times and I'm sure it's happened to you. A while ago, it happened on a pretty big scale. I came up with a really awesome thing that no one else does and someone else totally ripped it off and passed it off as their idea. I was pretty angry- mainly because I feel like this person has been watching my every freakin' move.  I felt defeated.

I wanted to chew them out. I wanted to leave a passive aggressive comment. I wanted to call them out. But I did none of these things.

I did have a nice long rant with two close girlfriends about how this person has no original ideas. And I might have used a few *ahem* unladylike words.

Why I didn't do anything
Screaming at someone or being publicly nasty wouldn't have done anything except make me look like a jerk. It's hard to rise up and be the better person sometimes but you have to- to protect the brand and reputation that you have built for yourself and because being a jerk never gets us anywhere.It makes matters much worse.

We all borrow ideas
Whether or not I want to believe it, we all borrow ideas from each other. I'm sure I've borrowed ideas too. The truth is, there are really no new ideas out there. Even if I was the first person that I am aware of that came up with an idea, someone most likely did it long before I did. If you do borrow an idea from someone, make it known that this person had the idea and that you were so inspired, you decided to follow suit. At least give them a true compliment and be friendly.

I have had plenty of people take my ideas and put their own spin on them. I think it's great when a community tries things together because we all have something unique to add to the cause. I'm never upset by that. I'm flattered and thankful and when they give me credit, I enjoy seeing how others use my ideas to solve their problems.

In the age of the internet, there's so much to see that it can be hard to tell where your ideas end and someone else's begin.

Let them motivate you
When someone steals your newest great idea, let them take it! They have no good ideas of their own so they have to be a copy of someone else.  You came up with that great thing and you'll come up with many more. You are not a one trick pony! You're a fountain of creativity and unique thoughts.  While they will certainly continue to copy you, you will constantly crank out the next big thing and by the time they copy you again, you'll be moved on to something even more awesome.

Be Careful Who Inspires You.
When I was in middle school, I'm proud to say that I was a trend setter. I always did crazy things that no one else did because I love to stand out in a crowd! There was a very sweet girl that I was friends with who one day started doing everything I did. It drove me crazy! I pride myself on being an individual and I want others to enjoy the same freedom.

One day, I had enough and I came to school with a pretty good looking fake nose piercing. I wore it for days and everyone thought I got my nose pierced. She backed off and finally confided in me that she wanted to pierce her nose too but her mom wouldn't let her. I took it out and she saw that it was fake. I told her. "Yeah, my mom wouldn't let me pierce my nose either. And I wouldn't want to anyway." Be careful who you emulate because while some people may look like everyone admires them, they don't always make the best decisions. In fact, some of what looks like their good ideas could be your downfall.

When it really comes down to it, no one can take what really matters.
Your passion
 your insight
 your talent,
your creativity
your long term plans

Halloween, Retro Style


Today is the first day of fall!! I am so excited. I love autumn. The weather is so beautiful, everything is pumpkin flavored, I can wear my Pendleton jackets and gloves again. If there were a place in the world that was in a constant state of autumn, I would live there happily for the rest of my life.

The kids and I were checking out Halloween decorations the other day and talking about making plans to go the fabric store for costume materials and I'm whipping up some darling Halloween accessories for the shop. To celebrate the best time of the year, here are some of my favorite kitschy spooky looks, all from Cats Like Us. 

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Wacky Tuna


vintage felt brooches, snoods and scarves from wacky tuna vintage on etsy

For the past few weeks, I've been bursting with new awesome ideas as I get my craft on. I've been feeling really creative lately and the kids and I have been spending many afternoons making wonderful things and lots of messes together.

 I get emails asking if I make such-n-such thing to sell and I never do. I finally listened to my friends and started crafting items for etsy.

Since my attentions cannot be easily directed towards one type of item, I have opened Wacky Tuna Vintage on etsy, where you will find all of my short bursts of attention in the form of felt, Lucite, resin, sewing, crochet and whatever else I dream up that day. Since I bounce from one thing to the next and am very difficult to wrangle, most things will be very limited until I feel the urge to make another one. I truly don't enjoy selling vintage but I'm having a blast doing this! My sewing machine is never put away and my craft room is all organized with beads, vintage buttons, fake fruit and novelty print fabrics.

vintage felt novelty brooches handmade by wacky tuna vintage on etsy
kitschy felt brooches, handmade by me!

Why "Wacky Tuna"?

About 6 years ago, Pj and I were watching a show on Discovery Channel about tuna. It might have been Tuna Wranglers or something like that. Well, the fellas had a big catch of fish and they brought them to a station to weigh the catch. To do this, they weigh a portion of the catch and average it out to figure out how much to charge for the whole shebang. How does one weigh a tuna fish? They're big and slippery and typically don't enjoy sitting still while out of the water. To get the fish to relax, they cover their eyes with a cloth and give them a little pat on their sides and suddenly, the fish feel calm and relaxed and sit still long enough to be weighed.

When I go into a craft store, I am very much like a slippery tuna. I get excited, run all over the place and forget why I came to the store, resulting in Pj having to wrangle me, calm me down and get me out of there. He started covering my eyes, patting my back and calling me a "wacky tuna". The name stuck and now he just calls me "Tuna"

vintage powder puffs, snoods and hair bows handmade by wacky tuna vintage on etsy
snoods, bows and my fluffy pink powder puffs

Wacky Tuna will also include some of Pj's handmades. Pj leans more towards manly and rugged things (renaissance faire type of things) but he's making some beautiful vintagey things for Wacky Tuna too, including his much loved hair pin cases and new leather travel sewing kits that I've been begging him to design for me. Many of the things in the shop have his awesomeness applied to them as he tests things out to make them practical, durable and amazing. I make it pretty, Pj makes it function. We're a great team!

hair pin wallets and vintage states puzzle brooch from wacky tuna vintage on etsy
Pj's leather hair pin wallets and vintage puzzle brooches

Vintage Under Thirty will also be closing this month. I may list some remaining items in a sale section in my Wacky Tuna shop later but I'm really not sure! Wacky tunas are very unpredictable.

Please check out Wacky Tuna Vintage and share! Follow @wackytunavintage on instagram for updates!

My photo shoot with Maddy James


On Day two of our weekend in Chicago, I pin curled my hair, grabbed some breakfast with Pj and headed out to meet Gina from Maddy James for a photo shoot for her autumn line. This fall and winter, Maddy James will launch their first plus sized pieces.

Maddy James specializes in vintage inspired lounge wear. All Maddy James pieces are designed for comfort, practicality and glamor, even when you're sleeping. My favorite thing about this line is that although the fabrics look at feel so luxurious, everything is machine washable!  See me in the beautiful tap pants set here.

I was able to get a few unedited behind the scenes snaps with my camera. I can't wait to see the finished photos from this shoot.

The first piece that I modeled was this gorgeous black nightgown.  This full length gown has full sleeves, burgundy piping under the bust and little flower accents around the neckline.

vintage style plus size pajamas and lounge wear from maddy james

vintage style plus size pajamas and lounge wear from maddy james

vintage style plus size pajamas and lounge wear from maddy james

The second piece that I wore is this amazing two piece pajama set. The wide-legged cropped pants made me re-think my post on not wearing pajamas at the grocery store. This set includes a matching crop top with the same style sleeves as the gown and flattering diagonal seams along the bust line. The little cream colored bow on the top matched these vintage boudoir slippers perfectly. I could live in these pajamas!

vintage style plus size pajamas and lounge wear from maddy james

vintage style plus size pajamas and lounge wear from maddy james

vintage style plus size pajamas and lounge wear from maddy james

vintage style plus size pajamas and lounge wear from maddy james

For the last set, I wore the Maddy James tap pants in red with the tomato logo tank. The Maddy James tomato was designed by Gina's daughter. Gina's grandfather always said that her grandmother was the best looking tomato in town.

vintage style plus size pajamas and lounge wear from maddy james
vintage style plus size pajamas and lounge wear from maddy james

After the shoot, I got to get a sneak peek at prototypes from the rest of the new collection. The pieces will begin production this fall and I can't wait to share them with you!  I had so much fun at the shoot, I could have stayed and played with the girls all day!

For updates on when these and other  pieces will be available, follow Maddy James

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Hello there! Gosh, it's been a whole week since my last post. This week has completely gotten away from me but I'm happy to be home and back to blogging. Last week was a crazy time of preparing for a weekend getaway in Chicago!

I'm in St Louis and although Chicago is only a 5 hour drive away, I had never visited the city. Gina from Maddy James invited me to come to town to model a few pieces from her exquisite new autumn line so we took the little ones to my mom's house and Pj and I hit the road on Friday afternoon.

We checked into The Whitehall Hotel shortly after 3pm and unpacked before heading out to explore the city. The Whitehall is a beautiful little boutique hotel in the heart of the Magnificent Mile. It was built in 1928 and has been enjoyed by Katherine Hepburn, The Beatles and Sophia Loren! This hotel originally had 3 luxury apartments on each floor. Read about the fascinating history here

We walked several blocks away to find The Billy Goat Tavern, founded in 1934. The Billy Goat is known for cheap, good pub food. There was a funny old guy behind the bar who yelled at us as soon as we came in "Hi! What you want? Double cheese da best!" So I said "Double cheese it is!" and he shoved us down the line to wait for our food. Although the service wasn't very friendly or relaxing,  it was fast, cheap and yummy.

After dinner, we found a free trolley to Navy Pier. We had no idea that they even had such a thing!

Navy Pier was way more awesome than we expected. I have never seen any of the great lakes and was not expecting Lake Michigan to be so beautiful and so big! The water was this gorgeous blue-green with little waves and lighthouses. Its like a little ocean! In Missouri, we have these awful muddy rivers so it was quite amazing for us to see. A huge storm rolled in over the city while we were at the pier. By the time it started raining, there was Pj and I and two guys hanging out in the rain. They kindly offered to snap a pic of us together.

Pj really wanted to pet a seagull. He told me a silly joke that goes "Why do seagulls live by the sea?...because if they lived at the bay, they'd be "bay-gulls" (say it out loud)


We walked back to the hotel from the trolley stop, stopping at Trader Joe's. I had sushi and wine in bed and watched the Travel Channel till I crashed.

Stay tuned tomorrow for day two of our amazing weekend in Chicago!

My fab dress is from Tatyana Boutique via Modcloth

{Free eGuide} Success With Sewing Lingerie


success with sewing lingerie free eguide from Craftsy

On Wednesday afternoon, I put the final touches on a black satin bullet bra that I made for a very exciting event this weekend. I found some vintage straps and rayon  binding in my sewing stash that I forgot I had. When it comes to lingerie, the small details are most important!  Sewing lingerie is one of my favorite projects because there's so much room to get creative with each piece and things come together so quickly.  Visit my bullet bra sew along page for the free pattern and sew-along

va voom vintage bullet bra

Today I have a FREE printable lingerie sewing guide from Craftsy, featuring patterns from the much-loved lingerie designer, Ohhh Lulu. The patterns used in these tutorials are not included but they are available for purchase through Craftsy.

This step by step guide, from Christine Haynes of City Stitching with Christine Haynes, teaches how to sew a bralette, high waist retro style panties and a half slip.

free eguide success with sewing lingerie from craftsy

Sewing lingerie is very simple, even for beginners and a great project to use up small bits of fabric from your stash. I bought some flannel backed satin for my bullet bra but since I bought way too much, I think I'll have to try my hand at these darling high-waist panties to match.

free eguide success with sewing lingerie from craftsy

vintage lingerie ads

This eGuide includes tips on what types of fabric to use for these projects and tricks along the way to get a professional look in your handmade unmentionables.

Download the FREE lingerie sewing eGuide from Craftsy 

If you’re new to sewing or would like to learn some great tips and tricks to improve your home sewn garments, check out all of the wonderful online sewing classes available through Craftsy.
read my reviews of:

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

how to sew lingerie free guide
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