Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair

You can never be bored at the weekend in Cambridge. There is always something happening and despite the tourist season being in full swing (I swear it gets earlier every year!) I decided to wander into town to check out Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair at the Guildhall.

The Affordable Vintage Fair started in 2005 in Leeds and now tours to more than 30 cities and 6 festivals around the UK. Cambridge’s fair this weekend displayed a vast array of dresses, jewellery, bags, crockery and cake. It’s not a proper vintage fair without tea and cake, right?

The atmosphere was relaxed with many sellers willing to share tales. One stall holder was still jet lagged from a recent trip to the US to source 50s swing dresses. Needless to stay I stopped at this stall to admire the polka dots and lace adorned frocks for a while. Although vintage clothes were not on my shopping list for the day, I took time to lust after all the 40s shirt dresses and hand sewn lace tea dresses.

Local vintage boutique Jemporium Vintage were in attendance with a great selection of demin cut offs and sunglasses.

I had to stop myself from buying vintage clutch bags as there really isn’t space in my wardrobe for any more!

How fabulous is this stall of vintage Vogues?!

I had already contacted my favourite vintage market stall Retrovert to reserve some items, so I headed there in excitement to collect my goods from Sophie and Jane.

As well as beautiful crockery, the stall had numerous baskets of vintage lace, doilies and retro nick nacks. I couldn’t resist taking a snap of this vintage icing set!

These retro tumblers were £12 for the set and Sophie had kindly reserved them for me. I am so impatient and realised I should have also reserved the tea cup I had my eye on too. Luckily it was still available and I parted with £5 for this china Mayfair beauty.

After leaving the fair I spotted many people around the city in vintage get up and some fab victory rolls too! Only made me wish I had worn my vintage frock which I adjusted last week.

Claire x

Postcard from Cambridge

For a while now I’ve been getting to grips with my SLR Camera and venturing out on photography trips around my home city. Cambridge is hugely photographic, with plenty of postcard images on every corner. Combined with the creative buzz, architecture, river views and green spaces, it is difficult not to feel inspired every day. I know I am lucky to live here.

I hope you will enjoy my ‘tour’ of the city through this post. If you don’t even plan to ever visiting Cambridge, I hope the photography will at least be something nice to look at.

The most iconic/postcard image of the city is Kings College, used by locals and tourists as a hotspot for outdoor lunch or meeting up (weather permitting) to watch the world go by.

Just opposite, is the super tasty and decadent Fudge Kitchen where you can taste, make and buy SLABS (yes, slabs) of fudge to take home. I recently tried the maple syrup & walnut fudge and it.was.amazing. They even have a loyalty card with double points on a Friday. Win.

The Market Square hosts all manner of sellers, incuding my favourite vintage sellers Retrovert and the Ostrich Farmer on Sundays. Waffles, fresh flowers, cakes and fruit and veg all week, come rain or shine. A shopping must for visitors and residents.

The River Cam is my little haven for quiet time and walks. Equally you can join the masses and punt along the backs of the college or even get up at the crack of dawn for rowing training. I am lucky enough to live incredibly close to the river.

My prerequisite for living in Cambridge, was getting a bicycle. It is the best way to get around the city and my trusty dutch bike gets me places in all weathers! You see all sorts of cyclists in the city, from those riding with an umbrella to pooches in baskets.

The Sheep Shop is a definite for knitters and crochet fans. Tucked away along the river, this quiet haven of yarn includes a shop and courses at a reasonable price. This weekend I will take the first steps towards learning crochet – watch this space!

I hope you enjoyed the tour today!

Claire x

Adjusting a Vintage Dress

A year or two ago, I went to a great swishing event and came home with two vintage dresses. One in brown silk with white polka dots and another bright orange polyester shirt dress. It might sound like a horrid dress, but I felt it had potential and that every vintage dress has a journey to follow.

The orange dress stayed in my ‘needs mending’ bag at the bottom of the wardrobe for quite some time. The length just wasn’t right. Finally I got around to adjusting it.

I started by measuring the hem to see how much I wanted to take the dress up. Then I realised I would need to prepare myself for cutting vintage fabric. *Dread*.

Whilst on, I loosely pinned the hem of the dress and with a friend’s help, decided that just above the knee would be a much more flattering length.

Pinning the hem was actually the most tricky part of this little project as the dress didn’t behave and lay flat. Plus the iron hates this fabric!

I folded a double hem and pinned along the length.

Then I plucked up the courage and cut the excess! I don’t know if anyone else has the vintage cutting fabric fear, but I find it really scary!

I used my sewing machine along the hem being careful to hold the slippy fabric in place as I removed the pins.

The dress has a new shape now it is shorter and I know I will actually wear it now. I will accessorise with a skinny waist belt and gladiator flats if the Spring weather ever brightens up!

Have you ever adjusted vintage pieces? Please share your posts or stories.

Claire x

Cath Kidston Craft Evening

Last night I had the wonderful pleasure of joining 11 other crafty ladies in Cambridge for a Cath Kidston craft evening. At an absolute bargain of £2.50 for materials, tea and cake – it was an opportunity not to be missed.

Hugely excited and with my shopping list mentally prepared (15% off too!), I arrived to find the Cath Kidston girls Leanne, Jen and Natalie had prepared a lovely work space with fabric scraps, ribbon, jars, ric rac and all sorts laid out.

A wonderful coffee cake had been prepared and tea was served (in CK mugs, natch). We were ready to go!

As the ‘make’ is not revealed until the night, we were all in suspense as to what we would be creating. Jen soon revealed that we would all have our very own Kilner Jar Pin Cushion to take home at the end of the evening, courtesy of a tutorial from domestic godess Martha Stewart.

As we got stuck into our cutting, glueing and customising, people shared stories of their favourite local shops, craft groups and blogs. Some people hadn’t yet discovered the super Sheep Shop, so there was much excitement about their knitting group and crochet classes. I will be blogging about them in a couple of weeks, so watch this space.

The atmosphere was relaxed and friendly, with the CK girls sharing craft tips and their favourite ranges in store. We all had a thorough browse of the products on offer (the Cambridge store is HUGE!) and gushed over the Jubilee and London/Olympic ranges. CK really has some great things on offer at the moment if you are feeling truly patriotic.

An hour or two later, we had finished our pin cushion jars,  stacked up our purchases and assembled our creations for a group photo. Everyone had chosen a different way to customise and there was a great range including embroidery, buttons, ribbons and more.

I chose buttons and ric rac to decorate my jar and I absolutely did not superglue a button to my finger, honest!

When I arrived home, I couldn’t wait to share my creation and fill it with my bobbins.

It’s not flawless, but I love it. I couldn’t leave the shop without a little fabric splurge of course, but I managed to resist the buttons….

I’ve already got some projects in mind for this lovely pack of fat quarters and almost bought another book, but I still need to work my way through the projects in Patch and Sew.

All in all, a really fun evening with great hospitality from the CK girls. Have you been to any Cath Kidston events or craft nights? What are your faves from the range? Or maybe you have tried some projects from the books? Do share and link to your CK creations, I’d love to see.

Claire x

 

My Week In Pictures

Although I had intended to share makes and bakes this week, it has been busy, eventful and celebratory over the last few days, with not much time for creating. So I thought I’d share a snapshot of the memories I created, via Instagram.

You can follow me on Instagram here.

*Be warned: there may be many pictures of a persian cat named Tammy, who should really have her own fan club.

(1) Looking at old photos of Grandad on a recent visit (2) Peppermint Teapigs delivery

(3) New Cath Kidston bike seat cover (4) Finding a parking spot at the station bike racks!

(5) Masters Graduation! (6) Amazing Camomile Tea at Laduree

(7) & (8) Graduation Macaron treats at Laduree

(9) & (10) Lovely handmade card & crochet flowers from crafty friend

(11) & (12) Vintage button shopping

(13) Herman the German friendship cake

(14) Blossom on a rare sunny day in Cambridge

Finally, I couldn’t post without also sharing the most gorgeous box of macarons I treated myself to at Laduree. I couldn’t resist the sweet little Hello Kitty box . Needless to say, they didn’t last long!

Claire x