Monday, September 1, 2014

Pre-Order 1940s looks from Wearing History

Wearing History has become a much-loved pattern collection for vintage sewists but Lauren has taken her love of fashion history even further to launch her first ready-to-wear line, now available for pre-order!

For those who love Lauren's patterns but don't sew (or do, but also love a quality made piece), this collection is a fantastic alternative to sewing your own.

Wearing History of California

The Wearing History of California label begins with 5 pieces, reflecting the many beautiful styles from her pattern collections. Including 2 blouses, 2 dresses and 1940s ladies trousers.

Wearing History of California Smooth Sailing Trousers
Smooth Sailing Trousers
Wearing History of California Victoria Dress
Victoria Dress in Pearly Dot with Scarf/Turban in Melody

Wearing History of California Norma Jean Blouse
Norma Jean Blouse in Melody Print

Wearing History clothing is a business operating on the homefront- designed and manufactured in the US, with fabrics custom dyed and printed also in the US.

Lauren is beginning this project with a bang, focusing all over her attention on the details.  The 1940s novelty "Melody" print is exclusively made for Wearing History.  The white deco buttons were hand-selected by Lauren for their authentic look and imported from Germany.

Wearing History of California Ruthie Blouse
Ruthie Blouse in Pearly Dot

Wearing History of California Maisie Dress
Maisie Dress and Sash

All of these beautiful pieces are available to pre-order through the Wearing History Kickstarter campaign.

Plus Sizes, Jeans, Sweaters- Oh my!

Right now, Wearing History must raise $15,000 just to begin the manufacturing process. In just 5 short days, they have reached 2/3 of their goal!!  If Wearing History can reach $5,000 or more beyond the initial goal, Lauren can use the funds to expand the line for larger sizes with plus sized dress forms.

Lauren hopes to add menswear, womens' jeans, sweaters and more amazing vintage clothing available for our community!  Lauren has set up several wonderful thank you gifts for those who pledge, including exclusive tote bags, deals on Wearing History sewing pattern packs, Melody print turbans, clothing and personal vintage adventures with Lauren. So please check out the Wearing History Kickstarter campaign to give your support and pledge.

Wearing History is a sponsor of Va-Voom Vintage. To advertise your business on Va-Voom Vintage, please see my sponsorship page.

No Pajamas at the Grocery Store

I woke up this morning and quickly realized that there was nothing in the house for breakfast so we had to dash to the store. I fell asleep with hair still in braids and makeup on, too tired to drag myself to the bathroom to wash it off and my makeup wipes had vanished. I had about 5 minutes to get out the door.

freshen up quickly with brushing teeth and washing face
re-braid hair or put it up in a scarf
toss on a house dress and flats
scribble down a grocery list

also manged to grab a belt to feel a bit more put together and I was out the door in 5.

It's not the epitome of vintage fabulousness but it's certainly better than wearing my Hello Kitty pajama pants to the grocery store. I know it's the norm to run to the store for a gallon of milk and eggs in sleepwear but really, it's messy and let's face it- gross! I saw a girl at Walmart a few weeks ago wearing black panties and a tank top. To the store. In public. How is this okay? What excuse justifies not needing to wear proper clothing when you leave the house?

Here's another example of my typical grocery store wear. Capri pants, button up blouse, slide-on shoes like wedges. Since my hair is a mess and I don't have time for  makeup, a scarf and sunglasses does the trick and takes less than 20 seconds.  Also out the door in 5 minutes.

 It's not hard to show respect for myself and others by wearing real clothes to the grocery store and truly, it takes no time at all. I know some people say that they don't care what strangers think about them but when one person puts effort into their appearance, it does make an impact on others. Not to mention, isn't it nice to receive compliments while shopping?

Sunday, August 31, 2014

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
wedges- Modcloth
assorted bakelite

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

Saturday, August 30, 2014

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

Thursday, August 28, 2014

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

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

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
Aris Allen rug cutter wedges- Ebay
pyrex brooch -made by me (tutorial here)
vintage scarf- thirfted

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

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.

1       4  

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!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

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

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