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June 21-23, 2013 at the Lake County Fairgrounds, Grayslake, IL

are you up for doing something different? we invite you to participate in an exhibit at the Fair showing the work of YOUR hands! There is no jurying - no stress.

My grandmother, Beatrice "Lorette" LaLonde Cassidy passed away in 2002 (at age 98!) and left me her bag of patterns. I am the oldest granddaughter and the only one who she taught to knit and crochet who kept at it.

It was difficult to go through, so I put it off. In 2008, I brought it with me to a "Do It In Public" meeting and we all eagerly and tenderly looked through the bag and found some great retro stuff! We thought it would be fun to take one of the patterns to interpret and create an exhibit for the Fair. The result was a stunning display of every kind of interpretation: knit, crochet, quilt, felt, beadwoven, sewn, etc. (see header above from our first exhibit)

We continue the tradition each year to honor those who taught us and those who have inspired the work of our hands. Thank you to Coats & Clark for permission to use these retro patterns!


it's "in the bag"! ready for a creative challenge?

Create our "retro" handbag - your way - and we'll exhibit it for all to see at the Fair! This year's bag is from the 1925 publication "Clark's O.N.T. Book No. 23—100 Designs for Bags". It's about drawstring, tassels, and netting! There are a couple of rules:

The bag must have a drawstring closure, it must have at least two tassels (bottom and drawstring), and it has to be either netted (made of some sort of netting or netting stitch), or to look netted (lattice design in felt, for example).

you can crochet it, knit it, bead it, weave it, felt it, quilt it, sew it...Let your imagination run WILD!

Entry fee is $10 for the first bag and $7/ea for additional bags. The pattern will be e-mailed to you. If you wish to have a pattern mailed to you, there is an additional $7 postage and handling fee.

to enter:

  1. Fill out the online entry form 
  2. Download a copy of the 2013 Handbag Information Sheet
  3. You may pay your entry fee by credit card or check (see below)
  4. You will receive your pattern via email after entry fees/forms are received and processed. We process payments/forms once a week. Mailed patterns may take additional time.
  5. Deadline to register: May 21, 2013

    To pay by credit card (or Paypal):

    Vintage Handbag Entry Fee: $10.00
    Optional: $7 per bag: Add an extra bag (adjust number to the number of extra bags at checkout)
    Optional: Add $7 handling fee for mailed patterns only
    View Cart/Check Out

To pay by check: (Note - due to small office staff, it could take up to 2 weeks after date received to process checks). Make check payable to the Midwest Fiber & Folk Art Fair and send to:

     Midwest Fiber & Folk Art Fair
     Vintage Handbag Exhibit
     PO Box 754
     Crystal Lake, IL 60039-0754



My grandmother (above) was married in 1925 - in a flapper dress! Actually, the "flapper" dress was not called "flapper" until 1926, when the dress remained similarly styled (loose and dropwaisted, usually sleeveless, promoting a "boyish" figure), but the hemline rose a few inches to the knee. For an interesting read on the etomology of "flapper" see Flappers were basically high spirited and emancipated (especially in throwing off the stifling corsets and bloomers) both in dress and behavior.

  • Sears opened their first retail store in Chicago, IL
  • The first Motel (Motorists Hotel) opened in San Luis Obispo, CA
  • Richard G Drew, working for 3M, invented scotch tape
  • "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald, was published
  • Nellie Taylor Ross becomes the first female governor (Wyoming) in the US. Twelve days later, Ma Ferguson becomes the first female governor of Texas. (Women had just earned the right to vote with the 19th Amendment, signed into law in August, 1920)
  • The New Yorker published its first issue.
  • Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris gives a name to the Art Deco style.
  • Charles Francis Jenkins achieves the "first demonstration of radiovision" transmitting pictures and sound over 5 miles. (television)
  • Oonagh Keogh in Dublin becomes the first female member of a stock exchange in the world
  • Mount Rushmore is dedicated
  • The country-variety show WSM Barn Dance, later renamed the Grand Ole Opry, makes its radio debut
  • The Great Sphinx of Giza is unearthed


Don't forget to sign up for our e-mail list and we'll keep you up to date with Fair plans. PLUS, your demographic information is helpful to us as we gain sponsorship. You'd be helping the Fair grow and we PROMISE that your information will be kept private. Click here to read our privacy policy.


"It's so wonderful to be surrounded by all this talent and Fiber." -Paula from Crystal Lake

Lorette Cassidy

From past years:

"Scarlet Macaw"
Honorable Entry: Best Use of Color
Carol Perenchio 2012

"Silver and Gold"
Honorable Entry:
Best Craftsmanship
Jean Apgar 2012

"Leap Year Project Bag"
Honorable Entry:
Best Design
Monique Zobel 2012

"Polar Bears"
Honorable Entry
Roberta Ripperger 2011


exhibit 2008