Claire took some fab photos of me and my stall and has very kindly let me share them below.
This Saturday a lovely vintage market took place in Cambridge. Local sellers of vintage and preloved clothing, retro homewares and handcrafted accessories joined together to create an afternoon filled with unique finds. Here are a few of my favourite stalls from the day:
Charlotte Rose Vintage showcased a range of vintage and designer fashion. The most exquisite piece they had was this 1930s gown with incredible lace detailing.
Trash Chic didn't disappoint with their fun and quirky array of clothing and accessories. The maxi dress, above right, with its authentic Carnaby Street style, was my favourite item in their collection.
You never know what vintage delights will turn up at Funky Junk and Kitsch Bits, but I can guarantee Kat's talents for display will make you crack a smile. As well as the cute kitsch, I loved their divine Stratton compacts.
Retro Junky had an extensive range of retro for the home, with colourful linens and fun figurines. Their vintage sewing patterns were very tempting.
Fellow Cam City WI member and Etsy shop owner Claireabellemakes showcased her handmade accessories on her beautiful stall. I loved her sewing themed fabric covered rings and her new range of cufflinks. You can check out her post about Off the Rails over on her blog Claireabellemakes.
Claire took some fab photos of me and my stall and has very kindly let me share them below.
My stall clearly demonstrated that my penchant for vintage bags is verging on a buying obsession, as I managed to fill an entire table with my recent finds. (I arrived home to find seven more evening bags waiting in the post, and have twenty more to pick up from a recent auction so I think it is probably time to say "I'm Sophie and I'm a Vintage Bag - aholic!") Thankfully, other people seem to like my vintage bags too and the lovely Collette from Crafty Glitten picked up a classic 60s handbag from my stall.
Our vintage jewellery was also much admired and my favourite Ballerina Clips were snapped up on their first outing.
I also said goodbye to a simply fabulous late 50s early 60s blue suit that just oozed Mad Men glamour. I was sad to see it go, but I know that it will be treasured by its very stylish new owner.
I managed to resist buying anything for myself on the day, but there was plenty of temptation! I tried on this horse novelty print skirt and would have snapped it up if it was a different colour.
A massive thanks to the organisers for the work they put into this event and all the lovely visitors and customers that came along. I hope to see you at the next Off the Rails!
This week I have found lots of beautiful items of vintage jewellery to restock my little red vanity case.
I love them all, but if I had to pick the item I like best for this week's favourite find, it has to be the ballerina cape or cardigan clip.
I love all things novelty, and have a real fondness for dancing, so you can see why I like it. It looks great pinned on to a collar and is perfect for adding a touch of quirky vintage detailing to an outfit.
All these lovely brooches, from classic to kitsch, are £10 and under and will be up for grabs at tomorrow's Off The Rails event. If you're free and local to Cambridge, I hope to see you there!
Last week I had a lovely day trip to the local auction house in Willingham. If you've never been before it is a beautiful complex of old barns, completely packed to the rafters with antiques. Even if you don't intend to bid in their upcoming auction, it is worth a visit on one of their viewing days just to admire their lots and immerse yourself in the past.
The buildings themselves are worthy of admiration. I love the vintage signs that they've use to decorate the walls.
After you've had a wander around the barns, there is a lovely little cafe where you can have a rest and further admire the antique silverware and old paintings on display. The cafe is the perfect place for a nice affordable treat to refuel you for more treasure hunting!
Here are some of the gems I spotted on my visit. Oh that I had the space and money for them all!
I am drawn to all thing typography and advertising related so this Edwardian walnut cabinet with gilded lettering caught my eye straight away. I don't really fancy a hog's hair toothbrush, or 'turkey sponge' whatever that may be, but I love the quirky touch and connection to the past the text brings. This striking piece sold for £460.
My dad spotted this cute Victorian set of drawers by Heal and Son London. I don't often like antique furniture, as so often it is made from dark wood, but this little light walnut beauty is certainly an exception. We were so taken with it that we even considered bidding, but on seeing the estimate of £750 - £900, we thought it was perhaps a bit pricey! In the end it sold for a whopping £1,240 which I like to think confirms our good taste!
This set of six chairs stood out as one of the few midcentury items of furniture. They're Danish by J L Moller and have seats made of paper string. I love the simplicity of their design and I think they would look so stylish in a retro modern home. Others clearly thought so too and they sold for £480.
Always on the look out for vintage fashion, I came across this collection of shoes, hats and clothing. This lot included a gorgeous midcentury suitcase and a fabulous John Selby dress with an amazing paint pot novelty print, so I surprised it didn't get snapped up on the day.
I also spotted this striking lot of shirts and designer jackets. I quite like the eccentric prints on the silk shirts, and in the end these went for £100 on the hammer.
So there are a few of my favourites on the day. What do you think of my picks? If you fancy having a nosey round their next sale, then you can find out more at Willingham Auctions.
This Saturday sees the return of 'Off The Rails', a vibrant market of vintage and handmade wares.
Lots of lovely local sellers I know are taking part and I'm looking forward to trading alongside: Claire from Claireabellemakes, who makes beautiful handmade accessories; Lady Fen from Trash Chic who sells fun, quirky and affordable clothing; Jane with her cache of kitsch from Retro Junky , Sinead from CharlotteRoseVintage with her stunning apparel and Kat and her eclectic retro homewares from Funky Junk and Kitsch Bits.
Come and see me and all these great traders and more at St Andrew's Baptist Church Upper Hall, Cambridge, this Saturday April 13th from 2 - 5pm. It's free to get in and I can guarantee a fun afternoon of shopping indulgence!
I'll be bringing along a selection of my quirky and quality vintage fashion, accessories and jewellery. I've found some real gems in the last week which I can't wait to show off. Here's a few photos to whet your appetite...
Hope you can make it along to Off The Rails and support your local independent traders! For more information and previews of what's to come check out https://www.facebook.com/cambridgeofftherails
Have a great week!
Today I managed to find time to visit A Soviet Design for Life at the University Library. There's such an array exhibitions on our doorstep here in Cambridge, but I must confess I always tend to miss them. But, I managed to make it to this one in the nick of time. If you're local and haven't been yet I'd recommend it - it's on until the 6th April.
I've always had an interest in typography and constructivist design, so the exhibits didn't disappoint. Unsurprisingly, red was used in a lot of designs and it was quite striking to see this colour in such abundance. Here are a few of the items that appealed most to me. Please excuse the noisy pictures as it was quite dark!
The abstract forms and complexities of constructivist works intrigue me. You can find out more about the movement here on MOMA.
The exhibition was put together from the University Library's Catherine Cooke collection. Cooke devoted her academic life to the study of Soviet design, and one of her major focusses was on the works of Chernikhov, a graphic designer and constructivist. His work 'Fantasy no.87', above right, appealed to me with its complicated abandon. I find that looking at constructivist designs makes my mind want to try and create something coherent and 'construct' something from the chaos. What do you think of it?
Items were grouped into categories and were juxtaposed across times. I particularly liked these items of paper ephemera from the 'Food' section - Leningrad ration coupons from 1947 and a pea soup packet from 1973.
With my love of all thing atomic and midcentury design, it's not surprising that these two postcards celebrating the Soviet space programme stood out for me.
And finally, my favourite piece in the show was this fabric design from the 20s-30s. I can never resist a 'novelty print' and would love to have been able to seen the rest of the designs in the book.
If you'd like to find out more about the exhibition you can visit it's dedicated site here and if you've been already then I'd love to know what the highlights were for you!
This Saturday we had the pleasure of attending From Cambridge With Love at the Cambridge Guildhall. Despite the snow and rain we had a fabulous time and are very grateful to all those who braved the weather to come and see us.
We met some delightful fellow stallholders and here are a few of my favourite picks from their wares.
Mouthwatering cakes were on offer from Biscotti di Debora. I had one of these tiramisu cakes and I can tell you it certainly did not disappoint! Further temptation was provided by Harry Specters handmade luxury chocolates. Not only were they beautiful and delicious, but the fact that the business is a social enterprise supporting people with autism, made me feel even better about eating them!
Moving on to retro homewares, I spotted these two tea themed lamps. Annabel from Bellaboos makes these quirky lamps by drilling into vintage china, and the bright red shade by Skylark Designs has been embellished with cute teacup appliqués.
As well as the stalls, there was lots going on throughout the day with face painting by E & K Occasions, photography by JHarris, retro hairstyling by Chelsea of Sitting Pretty and live music that never failed to get me singing along! We also met poet Emmalena Ellis who was offering previews of her upcoming book and poetry writing workshops. I was very envious of her music themed tapestry jacket. Isn't it great!
So finally onto our Retrovert stall. We had all sorts of vintage delights on offer; our quirky range of vintage clothes, an abundance of accessories, elegant china and of course a few bargain items too! Many of the items we sold were fitting with the awful weather. We said goodbye to a fabulous 60s sheepskin coat, a hand crocheted blanket and my beloved umbrella brooch.
And I'll leave you with a few of my favourites from our very own stall. There's nothing like a gorgeous new cake stand, a kitsch clown and some dancing couples to make me smile!
From Cambridge With Love returns to the Guildhall on May 11th and it would be great to see some of you there. I'm looking forward to it already!
This Saturday 'From Cambridge... With Love' makes its debut at the Guildhall. I for one am very excited!
Here's what the creators have to say about this brand new handmade and retro fair: "A vibrant and fun event showcasing the very finest of Cambridge's local produce, artisans, handmade, retro homewares, independent retailers. This isn't just a fair - but an event for all ages. If shopping isn't you thing then try out our gorgeous tearoom, cupcakes, live music, workshops, beauty bar - and much much more!"
I particularly like the sound of the truffle making and retro hairstyling demos. Head on over to their Facebook page for tantalising glimpses of what's to come.
I think the best thing about this new event is that it will showcase the amazing array of local talents that we have. I find you can get so much more out of buying from independent retailers - the story behind their products, attention to detail and just a more personal touch.
I'm busy getting ready a fabulous range of vintage fashion, accessories and jewellery for my stall at the event. I'm going to be optimistic about the arrival of spring and bring my collection of very pretty print dresses that can't wait to get out in some long awaited sunshine!
Hope to see you there! Sophie x
Throughout history it seems we are constantly searching for new ways to take in information and to keep up with what is important to us as individuals. With the demise of Google Reader, I thought I'd share the two ways I like to follow my favourite blogs and their updates.
So there's the two ways I like to follow blogs and you can of course follow us on both bloglovin and hellocotton ;-) If you have any other ways you like to get blog updates, or want to recommend blogs for us to follow then do share them in the comments below!
Cheers for now! Sophie x
Last Friday, I had the pleasure of attending 'Second Hand Style', a wonderful local event. I have a passion for low carbon living and a love for fashion and design, so it was exciting to go to an event that combined both. The event was a collaboration between Cambridge Carbon Footprint, Catwalk Cambridge, and Wear it, Love it, Share it. As part of the project they produced a photo collection showcasing outfits entirely created from second hand clothing and accessories.
The Fashion Show
The eagerly anticipated catwalk show was a success and I'm sure it inspired the audience to use second hand and vintage clothing to recreate this season's looks for less. Many of the models were familar from Cambridge Style Week, so it was a joy to once again see their talents. The outfits had been put together with clothes sourced locally from swishing events, charity shops, and vintage and second hand markets. I bet they had a great time shopping for all the different looks!
The show was excellently narrated and I think this was a great event to highlight that you can still be fashionable at the same time as saving the planet and your pennies!
After the show was finished I took the chance for a photo on the daffodil adorned catwalk. As usual my outfit was almost entirely second hand and vintage. Here you can see: 50s style angora cardigan from Mango via a charity shop, vintage Liberty print skirt, 60s beaded necklace inherited from my Nan and suede boots that were a gift.
After the show, the swish was unveiled. The thrill of the treasure hunt had begun! For the uninitiated, a 'swish' is a clothes swapping event where participants take a few items of clothing that they would like to donate, all the items are then pooled and sorted into categories, and then everyone gets to a have good rummage and find clothes that they would like to take back with them. It is a fabulous way to update your wardrobe and even better, is usually free or for a small donation!
I donated these two skirts, one that I have had for years and don't really wear anymore, and another that I confess to never actually wearing at all!
The tables and rails filled with clothes and accessories were mobbed by excited women in search of new treasures to take home and you can see from this shot of the aftermath that many were successful!
And here's what I found! A lovely silk and cotton dress from Jigsaw in one of my favourite colours. I can't believe that someone didn't want it anymore, but I am very pleased to give it a new home. What do you think of my new find?
If this post has got you inspired to try your hand at clothes swapping, then you're in luck! Wear it, Love it, Share it has an event coming up next Saturday the 23rd March on Fitzroy St, Cambridge and you can find more about it here. And while you're in town, why not make it a day of fashion indulgence and come and see me and my vintage wares at From Cambridge With Love in the Guildhall.
Have a great week! Sophie x
Today's favourite find is a little different as it's something I'm keeping for myself rather than a fantastic vintage item I've discovered for our shop.
I found these grubby old buttons in the British Red Cross shop on Burleigh St. They may not look like much, but as soon as I saw them I knew I had to have them!
Hoping that my memory had not failed me, I rushed home and got my Grandpa's World War II jacket out of the cupboard, and there they were staring back at me - the exact same buttons.
Here they are side by side...
Now I can use them to replace the two that are missing from my Grandpa's 'Battledress Blouse' and sew them on as he perhaps did many years before.
Here's the jacket in all it's glory. It's in pretty good condition considering it's over 60 years old, was evacuated at Dunkirk and who knows what else! It's a testament to a time when clothing was built to last.
My Grandpa married my Nan in 1942 and here he is wearing his uniform on his wedding day. Doesn't he look dashing?
Grandpa died last year, so I treasure the things we have inherited from him. It touches me that objects from the past can help maintain a connection with those that we have lost. Memories and sense of the person that they were can be carried on long after they are gone.
Do you have any treasured items that were passed on to you?