Chicagoland Vintage Clothing, Jewelry and Textile Show

On Saturday, Liz and I had plans to meet up with Meg, Josh, Michelle and Mike to attend the Chicagoland Vintage Clothing, Jewelry and Textile Show in Elgin.

After camping out for nearly two weeks in Frankfort (we decided to wait out the super cold weather with Julie and Bob), we finally trekked back to Hyde Park on Friday. We picked up Meg and Josh around 9AM, and were on the road soon after.

While I’m no stranger to vintage bazaars, the focus on clothing and jewelry had me a little hesitant. Josh, Mike, and I were debating going in… but ultimately decided to pay the $6 fee because we weren’t sure what else we’d do in the meanwhile. There was definitely a focus on clothing and jewelry, but I did end up spotting a few things that caught my eye. Mostly, we guys just kind of wandered around, keeping pace with our significant others.

Liz and Michelle, browsing around.

One of the first booths we encountered was Somewhere in Time. There were a large number of necklaces on display, and the vendor went into a great story about how these were discovered in a warehouse in the Czech Republic.

A closer view of some of the necklaces.

Butterfly and Dragonfly detail.

The vendor really seemed to know her stuff – and was talking about the processes used to create the necklaces (she was also showing us a few articles that had been written up about the find).

Based on these photos, the necklaces might look a little large – but Michelle tried one on, and they were really fantastic looking. The vendor was really on her game, as she had two different felt backdrops that she placed underneath the necklace, while Michelle had it one. One was black, the other was white, and the vendor was showing how different aspects of the necklace stood out, based on whatever color was underneath it.

All of the color you’re seeing is also made from glass. The necklaces were quite breathtaking.

Additionally, there were earrings as well (also made from glass).

The colors were great. I’m not someone who is really into jewelry, but all this stuff was really fascinating to see and hear about.

A view of the vendors, set up along the main floor of the Hemmens Cultural Center.

Liz happened across a great booth that had tons of vintage sewing accessories – Any Olde Iron (website pending).

An awesome looking spool storage container.

More vintage storage options on display. Liz had a tough time walking away from buying one of these, mostly because we don’t have any real kind of space set up yet. When I asked her why she was hesitating, her response was “We don’t even have a house yet.” Which makes sense – it’s tough to buy things for a place, when you’re still working on getting that place together.

A view of the downstairs booths, with Josh walking into the frame. Dig his awesome version of Jayne’s hat (courtesy of Meg, of course).

Liz and Michelle, looking around at patterns and sewing notions.

I snapped this photo of Meg, who found a large collection of patterns. On seeing me photo her, she said something like “Don’t send that to Liz and Michelle! Don’t tell them about this!”

While wandering around on my own, I found a vendor who had several sewing birds on display. The vendors (a couple) were showing off a magazine article that showed off some of their wares, and talked a lot about the history behind these items.

I kind of lingered around a group of older women, hovering and eavesdropping. I felt a little creepy about doing this, but I was really fascinated at what they were talking about.

So a sewing bird is kind of like a unbrella swift or ball winder, in that it clamps to a table. There’s also a portion (the beak) that holds on to fabric, so it doesn’t slide down to the floor. In a few examples, the sewing birds also have a pincushion.

I heard that some sewing birds will feature a date on the wings (but not all). A few will have a makers stamp, on the underside. For rare examples (like a butterfly), the cost goes up. The butterfly example (near the back of the case) was on sale for $3200.

I had fun bringing Liz, Meg, and Michelle around to look at this stuff. They had never heard of sewing birds before, and I felt delighted that I discovered something sewing-related that these talented and well-versed women didn’t know yet.

A random jacket that I happened across with Josh, featuring a huge “Minnesota Teen-Age Road-E-O” patch. There was an even larger one on the back of this guy.

I did a little research, and found out this was a thing. Not just in Minnesota, but a national program!

An initiative of the Jaycees, Road-E-Os were events sponsored by the Jaycees, Liberty Mutual Insurance, the Chrysler Corporation, the trucking industry, and the Pure Oil Company. It sought to promote safe driving through a series of “tests.”

Check out this sweet clip from the ever-amazing Internet Archive:

So many geat quotes from this clip:

A rodeo, with automobiles, and you want my permission to go out and kill yourself, in what amounts to a game of chicken?

And also:

Hey, what gives chums? You got a license to be this happy?

So cool to trace that find to this wonderful clip. I got sucked in, and watched it all the way through.

After the shopping, we all trekked over to a nearby spot for lunch: Blue Box Cafe.

As you can guess, the cafe has a Doctor Who focus. On arriving, the first episode featuring the Ninth Doctor was playing on the TVs.

I was debating getting their Reuben Rueben sandwich (corned Beef, swiss cheese, 1000 island dressing and sweet cole slaw pressed in light rye bread). But at the last minute, I spotted a sign promoting their “Gobbler” sandwich, which I ended up getting (turkey, cranberry sauce, sausage and stage stuffing, swiss cheese, creamy mayo on toasted sourdough). I really should have taken a photo of the thing, it was so good… but I was too busy eating it. Could easily have put down a second, it was so good!

It was a lovely bit of decompression at Blue Box Cafe, with us all able to sit and relax after a few hours of shopping. We also got to talk about future plans, for a trip we’re all going to be taking this fall (more on that, as we get the details worked out).

A fun Saturday day, overall. I’ve been pretty burnt out with commuting between downtown and Frankfort. And with our move back to Hyde Park on Friday, I’ve just felt pretty frazzled. But despite all that, hanging out with this group is really fun. And though introverts usually feel drained by social activity – hanging out with this group, for me, is easy. Looking forward to travels with these folks.

Meg’s Holiday Party
Knitted Sweaters Photo Shoot at the Lincoln Park Conservatory, with Liz, Megan, and Michelle

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. “… and though introverts usually feel drained by social activity – hanging out with this group, for me, is easy. Looking forward to travels with these folks.”

    Awe. *heart flutters* We love you too! :-D This little group is one of my favorite things.

    Michelle Reply

  2. ^What Michelle said :) Saturday was a ton of fun! Looking forward to our many travel adventures!!!

    Meg Reply

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