Indulging my weakness for sewing

It’s no secret that I have been keen on sewing related crafts since my Mum taught me to sew a long long time ago. As a result I have a major weakness for vintage fabric and all things sewing related. Left to my own devices at a recent auction, I took a punt at a large box of mixed vintage sewing things. I paid a bit more than I was comfortable with as I didn’t have a lot of time to delve deeply into the contents, but I’d spotted a few interesting looking things from (I reckoned) the fifties and so I gritted my teeth and raised my paddle……..

My Mixed Lot of Vintage Sewing Kit

My Mixed Lot of Vintage Sewing Kit

So, when I got it home I had a fun time separating the good from the dross.

Digging deeper into the box

Digging deeper into the box

The woman who had originally owned it was obviously keen on all sorts of fibre based crafts. I found examples of hand woven fabrics:

Hand Woven Items

The handwritten labels make me think they may have been entered in a show.

Tatting and rug making tools:

Tatting and Rugmaking Tools

Tatting and Rugmaking Tools

I have never seen these rug wool measures before, they must pre date pre-cut packs of rug wool.

Rug Wool Measures

Rug Wool Measures

As far as I can tell, you wrap your rug wool around the measure and then cut, running your scissors down a groove on the long side to give lots of wool strands of the same length.

There were also half finished pieces of embroidery and unusual embroidery hoops:

Unusual Friction gripping Embroidery Hoops

Unusual Friction gripping Embroidery Hoops

These plastic/rexine embroidery hoops relied on friction to hold the fabric in place, rather than tightening a screw fitting to tension the fabric.

A part embroidered tea cosy:

Part-finished Embroidered Tea Cosy

Everything I need to make a Golliwog (from the time when this was an innocent toy):

Golly making instructions

Golly making instructions

Gollywog Transfer Pattern

Gollywog Transfer Pattern

Sock needles:

Sock Needles in Sewing Basket

Sock Needles in Sewing Basket

Embroidery and crochet thread:

Embroidery ThreadsCrochet Threads

Novelty Knitting Needle Gauges. I love these as the numbers on my needles always wear off:

Novelty Knitting Needle Gauges

Novelty Knitting Needle Gauges

This cute pin tin looks like it dates from the Art Nouveau period:

Pin Tin

Pin Tin

And; a crazy patchwork tea cosy!

Crazy Patchwork Tea Cosy

Crazy Patchwork Tea Cosy

Now I just need to start finding a use for all of this!

Stylish and Warm – Vintage Knits from Wolsey

I am not a fan of moving house. I don’t like the disruption of packing, or the sense of dislocation that comes from not knowing where you have put that vital something that you absolutely have to have this instant. As well as the normal chaos of a new place, I had to leave things in storage until I found a more permanent place, so not only can I not find things in my new home, I’m not even sure if they’re here, or still in a container in Cornwall!

Fortunately, it looks as if phase 2 of the move will be happening shortly and I can look forward to another spell of unpacking.

Of course, one of the nicer things about unpacking is that you never quite know what forgotten things you are going to come across.

I recently found this pretty little advertising booklet in the bottom of a box I’ve had packed for ages.

Wolsey Brochure Cover

Wolsey Brochure Cover

I’m a keen knitter and I’m currently working on a vintage jumper, made with vintage wool to a vintage pattern. More of this in a later post, but until I have something in 3D to show you, have a look at what you could have bought to keep you both fashionable and warm back in the day:

Eden Roc Twopiece

Eden Roc Twopiece

A lovely outfit if you’re tall and slim. I would love to know what the ‘hopsack tricot’ used to make the skirt is – I feel the need for more research.

Paris Plage

Paris Plage

 

Completely impractical for today’s golf course, I am assuming from the title of this outfit that this is a dress for crazy golf and not the full 18 holes!

 

Rubberneck

Rubberneck

A rather unfortunate name for this outfit, but a great hat, and I love the names of the colours for this model. So evocative.

St Tropez

St Tropez

You could quite easily wear this jumper today, it’s refreshingly spring like and would look just as good with jeans as it does with this pencil skirt.

Newmarket

Newmarket

I’m intrigued by this description – how would you use quilting on a knitted suit?

California

California

I love this outfit, and I’d be quite happy to wear it to the office!

Cote d'Or

Cote d’Or

‘Lacy sweaters and cardigans, in down soft wool and angora’ doesn’t it make you want to snuggle up?

Sunningdale

Sunningdale

I love the idea of unshrinkable wool – I certainly haven’t got the knack of that yet.

Longchamps

Longchamps

With today’s fashion for blocks of colour, this outfit would fit right in on the catwalk, particularly with the Chanel-look jacket.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Newark Antique Fair

It has been an interesting few months in our household. As part of a job change, I’ve moved to Nottinghamshire and the ensuing upheaval has meant that my vintage exploits have been put on hold for a while.
But one of the joys of moving to a new area has meant a whole new set of vintage opportunities to explore and I look forward to sharing them with you.
This weekend was one of the best known and biggest fairs in Britain, the Newark International Antiques Fair.

This enormous fair takes place over two days at Newark County Showground. The first day is supposed to be the best, with an 8 o’clock start for the dealers and the really keen. Unfortunately I couldn’t make it until Friday which was the second day.
This was the warmest and sunniest day of the year so far, so I slathered on the Factor 50, slapped on a hat and made an early start.

The view of the fair from above (from the Fair's website)

The view of the fair from above (from the Fair’s website)

I quickly realised that there was no way I was going to be able to see everything. As well as stands in the showrings, there were smaller and pricier stalls in the indoor areas, rows of tents each with their own stand, and stalls set out in the livestock sheds.

Arcade of tented stands

Arcade of tented stands

But, as I like a challenge, I set off to cover as much ground as possible.There really did seem to be something for everyone, from interior design pieces and Art Deco, to vintage garden tools and European antiques. Here are a few things that caught my eye:

Unusual jointed male mannequin

Unusual jointed male mannequin

I’ve seen shop mannequins before, but never a male one that’s jointed, or quite so anatomically correct.

German Opera Hat Box

German Opera Hat Box

There were a lot of antiques from Europe, including this German opera hat box which was about an inch thick.

Hungarian enamel and zincware

Hungarian enamel and zincware

There were vans from eastern Europe, including an articulated lorry from Hungary that had brought over this load of bottles, enamelware and galvanised items.

Large Coloured Glass Jars

Large Coloured Glass Jars

Also from Eastern Europe, I loved these coloured glass jars. And only £25 each!

Vintage cart

Vintage cart

I’m not sure if this came from Eastern Europe, but it certainly looks as if it could have.

Vintage Dining Set

Vintage Dining Set

Imagine this in a retro kitchen!

Kitchen Cabinet

Kitchen Cabinet

Or if you prefer something a bit more vintage, this painted cabinet.

Candles in the Heat

Candles in the Heat

Did I say it was hot?! Look at what it did to these candles!

Enamel Ice Cream Sign

Enamel Ice Cream Sign

Such a shame there wasn’t an ice cream stand to go with this sign!

Enamel Advertising Signs

Enamel Advertising Signs

Plenty more enamel advertising signs.

I had expected to be able to wander round until the end of the fair, but many stallholders started packing up after lunch and the grounds rapidly emptied. That said, it was a great time to get bargains and I even saw stock left on the field after stallholders had left.

This is definately going to be a regular event on my calendar, but next time I’ll know that it is definately worth paying the extra to go on the first day of the fair.

A Busy Week

It’s been a busy week, with 5 auctions over 6 days. While I take a little time to sort through what I have bought, here’s a few things that caught my eye in the sale rooms:

This lovely cream enamel Belling cooker has a lovely vintage vibe.

Belling Cooker

Belling Cooker

And it goes beautifully with this vintage fridge

Fridge

Fridge

Still on the domestic front, I remember seeing hairdryers like this in hairdressing salons, but I never knew they came in a home version.

Hairdryer

Hairdryer

Or, if you fancy something a bit smaller/more modern (still in its original box).

Boxed Hairdryer

Boxed Hairdryer

I loved the shape of this unusual cheese dish, but couldn’t work out why it was so tall in comparison to its length – pretty, but not practical, unless you’re going to stack all your cheeses on top of each other!

Cheese Dish

Cheese Dish

I’m guessing that this glass dome was also used to cover food, but it was incredibly heavy, much too inconvenient  to protect cakes, so it may be for garden use?

Heavy Glass Dome

Heavy Glass Dome

I loved the way these seventies light shades were stacked, it made them look quite sculptural!

Lampshades

Lampshades

I loved this pair of pictures, just right for down here in Cornwall.

Seaside Girl

Seaside Girl

In fact, it may well have been modelled down here, the landscape (seascape?) definately has a Cornish feeling to it.

Seaside Boy

Seaside Boy

Apologies for the pictures by the way, I only had my camera phone with me.

Always Look in the Bottom of the Box!

I was at a nondescript auction house in Cornwall a little while ago. It’s not exactly a high-end place, in fact it sells such low-end stuff I only popped in because it was on my way to lunch. But I poked around in the boxes as any good auction hound should, and under some rather tasteless ‘Cornish treasure maps’ in a very damp box I found some rolls of old looking paper. I carefully unrolled a corner and I could see what looked like some hand printed designs.

I left a low bid, which was successful and carefully took them home where I had to give them time to air – the smell of damp paper was not nice.

Once they’d stopped smelling, and having thrown away the treasure maps, I unrolled the real treasure….

Block Printed Picture

Block Printed Landscape

The bottom of the box was full of block printed paper.

Border Print

Border Print

These prints were made by dipping a series of carved wooden blocks into paint/ink and then applying them on top of each other. This would have taken a lot of skill and a very steady hand, and was the way the first printed wall papers were made.

Floral Prints

Floral Prints

Some of them had an impressed stamp saying ‘Stampi Remondiniani PESP’, and one had an inked stamp saying ‘Importe d’ Italie’, so I worked out that I wasn’t dealing with British papers:

Italian Export Stamp

Italian Export Stamp

I was fascinated, so I contacted the Wallpaper Historical Society who passed my query on to the marvellously helpful Robert Weston of Hamilton Weston Wallpapers.

Floral Border

Floral Borders

He told me that these were not, in fact, wallpaper samples as I had thought. They are decorative papers that were used to line boxes, or for borders.

Panel Design

Panel Design

The impressed stamp is the mark of Remondini, who were a family printing firm, from 1730 to 1860 based in Bassano del Grappa, N. of Venice.
They exported world wide, which could explain how the papers made it to the UK. The Remondini company was  bought out byanother company called Rizzi who continued using the blocks into 1930s. So my little bits of paper could date from anywhere between 1730 and 1930!

Border Print

Border Print

Unfortunately, some of the papers had been damaged/used:

Part Used Paper

Part Used Paper

I am now trying to find out more before deciding what to do with this collection. But what a fascinating journey they’ve been on, from Italy to one of the poorest areas of Cornwall. And truly a lesson to always look in the bottom of the box……you never know what might be hidden there!

Floral Pattern

Floral Pattern

Let it Snow!

Once Christmas and the New Year are out of the way, my attention turns to skiing. I’ve been a keen skier for over 20 years, and over that time have seen fashions and equipment change, but never really thought about the vintage side of skiing.

It’s hard to know when skiing started. There is evidence of  man using ski-like objects from 4000BC, but Alpine skiing as we know it started about 100 years ago. The exact date seems vague, as a few ski resorts want to claim the honours for themselves. One of the reasons for the growth in recreational skiing was the spread of the railway network around Europe.

Train Travel to the Alps

Train Travel to the Alps

The wealthy British travelled to Europe for long summer holidays, and the hoteliers started promoting winter activities as a way to get people to stay over the winter months.

At the time, skiing was one of many winter sports on offer, including ice skating, walking, dog sledding and even horse racing.

Winter in Davos 1914

Winter in Davos 1914

Dog Sledding in 1914

Dog Sledding in 1914

Racing in St Moritz 1952

Racing in St Moritz 1952

Brits loved to go fast, so they started racing on skis, with the first recognised ski race being held in Murren, Switzerland in 1922, and the Kandahar Ski Club formed by Arnold Lunn and other British skiers in 1924 to promote ski racing as an international sport.

Skiing has moved on since then, with advances in equipment and clothing. We have moved on from tweeds (and skirts for the ladies),

1910 Ski Poster

1910 Ski Poster

through hand knits, I found this great pattern on Etsy:

VIntage Sweater Pattern

Vintage Sweater Pattern

to Lycra and down filled jackets until reaching our current state of the art equipment.

Peversely, some vintage style clothing and equipment are becoming popular with some modern skiers, and my last few ski holidays I have shared the slopes with skiers in traditional nordic jumpers and trousers.

Skiers in Nordic Sweaters

Skiers in Nordic Sweaters

If you wanted to embrace the vintage vibe even further, resorts such as Kanderstag hold weeks where they encourage visitors to evoke the spirit of times past with vintage clothing and equipment.

Kanderstag Belle Epoque Week

Kanderstag Belle Epoque Week

Or if the ‘Belle Epoque’ is a little too vintage for you, try this video from Beaver Creek for clothes from living memory!

For those armchair skiers among you, Christies have a fantastic sale of vintage ski posters this week (the posters in this blog are copied from their listing) or Vintage Ski World.Com  has copies of many ski posters for sale.

The First Auction of 2013

It’s been a quiet few weeks on the auction front, as all the local auction houses close down for the Christmas/New Year break. I can completely understand this, but I miss the excitement of hunting for that next great thing even though I know that I am not missing out, just deferring the finds.

So it was great to go to the first auction of 2013 this week. “Yay!” for Bennicks for starting earlier than everyone else.

There was a treat in store for anyone who liked vintage toys:

Like this lovely tinplate car:

Tin PlateCar

Tin PlateCar

Or, for the more military minded, a tin plate tank:

Tinplate Tank

Tinplate Tank

 

And some other tinplate toys

Smaller Tinplate Toys

Smaller Tinplate Toys

A classic vintage train set:

Train set

Train set

For more active kids, how about this pedal car:

Pedal car

Pedal car

What about this lovely Mobo safety bike, such fantastic 1950s styling:

1950s Mobo Safety Bike

1950s Mobo Safety Bike

 

Or howabout the classic 1970s styling of this Chopper for a bigger kid?

Chopper Bike

Chopper Bike

Or, for the more domestically inclined (and notice that I’m avoiding stereotypes here) a 1950s doll’s house:

Dolls House

Dolls House

It will be a couple of weeks before the auctions settle down to their normal schedule. Until then, I will be trying to find forgotten gems in my piles of boxes and sharing them with you when I can.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exploring Matlock

As those based in the UK will know, it’s a long way to get from my base in Cornwall to anywhere else in England. As a result, I am more likely to travel around the South West than further afield. However, I’m quite prepared to go further for a good reason and this year I ventured North for a family Christmas. On the way, I took the opportunity to stop at Matlock in Derbyshire, which is a lovely little town that I have often passed through but never fully explored.

Running parallel to the river, I found Dale Road, which is well worth a visit for visiting vintage fans.

View up Dale Road, Matlock

View up Dale Road, Matlock

These elegant shop facades date from Matlock’s days as an important Edwardian  Spa town.

The Old Picture Palace on this street is  home to Bamford’s Auctioneers http://www.bamfords-auctions.co.uk and may be familiar to viewers of Flog It! and Bargain Hunt which both film there on a regular basis.

Next up the street, I found ‘The Vintage Rooms’ , a mix of French and British vintage mixed in with modern, vintage sympathetic items.

Peering in through the windows it looked like a real treasure trove:

The Vintage Rooms, window display

The Vintage Rooms, window display

My apologies for the reflections, my camera couldn’t cope with the dusky light.

A Second Window

A Second Window

You can get a feeling for the glorious mix of items in the shop.

I picked out a few things that I quite fancied:

A French Wine Bottle Drier

A French Wine Bottle Drier

This rather gruesome bit of equipment was used for drying wine bottles. I liked the idea of using it to display Christmas decorations.

One of the back rooms had been set up as a vintage kitchen and I was agog at all the kitchenalia:

Cream Enamel Vintage Stove

Cream Enamel Vintage Stove

The floor tiles look like the original terracotta, and I remember my Grandma having an ironing board like the one next to the stove.

French Storage Jars

French Storage Jars

There were lots of vintage containers begging to go home with me:

Glass Storage Jar

Glass Storage Jar

Take your pick of rolling pins

A Bowlful of Rolling Pins

A Bowlful of Rolling Pins

Vintage kitchen cupboards. I love the cream and green combination, it reminds me of my Grandmother’s kitchen when I was a child.

Kitchen Cupboards

Kitchen Cupboards

Check out the blocks of ‘Fairy’ soap, and the old packet of Persil!

Also on a kitchen theme, this kitchen airer was used to display more vintage finds.

Kitchen Airer Display

Kitchen Airer Display

Next door, I found , but sadly wasn’t able to get in to investigate this intreaguing little shop.

ReWorks Windows

ReWorks Windows

Finally, I found my way to the Matlock Antiques and Collectables Centre.

Beautifully Decorated Christmas Window

Beautifully Decorated Christmas Window

I loved the display in this window, Christmassy, classy and using all the height of the magnificent curved Edwardian window.

This charming centre is home to over 50 stands from different sellers, so there really is something for everyone. I found vintage clothes, railwayania, furniture, jewellery and children’s toys. Here are a few things that caught my eye:

Child's Tambourine

Child’s Tambourine

I think this charming tambourine dates from the fifties.

And on a Christmas note, how about this to cook your Christmas pudding?

Pudding Steamer

Pudding Steamer

Still on a Christmas note, this unusual cover conceals a record telling the story of Christmas, with an accompanying book.

I thought the artwork was fantastic.

Christmas Record

Christmas Record

On the way out, my eye was caught by the display in a side window:

Kitchen Table WIndow Display

Kitchen Table Window Display

Check out the dough scrapers at bottom left, and the choppers halfway up the front of the table. You’d need serious smuscle to work in this kitchen!

Sadly, time and lack of daylight caught up with me at this point, so I had to call it a day and carry on with my journey. But I will definately be back for a repeat visit. There’s a cafe overlooking the river at the back of the Antiques Centre to check out, and I still haven’t made it into the town centre!

Complements of the Season

May I wish you a very Happy Christmas?

I am spending my Christmas in the rural North, with no internet coverage.

Normal blogging coverage will resume when I return to civilisation.

Until then, enjoy the holidays

Vintage Car Envy

On one of the last sunny days we had in Falmouth – goodness, that seems a long time ago – I came across these beautiful cars parked up at the side of the road in the town centre.

Silver Karmann Ghia

Silver Karmann Ghia

White Karmann Ghia

White Karmann Ghia

 

Needless to say, I wasn’t the only one taking notice of these beauties.

Side view of white car

Side view of white car

 

These are VW Karmann Ghias convertibles, made in Germany sometime between 1957 and 1970.

Rear view of this German beauty

Rear view of this German beauty

 

These examples were in beautiful condition

Gleaming in the sun

Gleaming in the sun

 

Look at the beautiful red leather upholstery, trimmed with white piping.

Interior of the white car - check out the upholstery!

Interior of the white car – check out the upholstery!

 

The Karmann Ghia won awards for its design, and its clear to see why.

The cars were produced by the same VW  factory that made the VW Beetle after the war, and the early models used a Beetle chassis and engine.

In 1974, the Ghia was replaced by the VW Scirocco and the Porsche 914 – a sad day for fans of stylish cars.

Beautiful SIlver Car

Beautiful SIlver Car

These cars had German plates, so I assume they were here on holiday. I didn’t get to meet the drivers, but if I had I would have loved to have blagged a drive – purely in the interests of vintage research of course!!