Crane Estate 1920s Style Picnic on the Lawn

Crane Estate 20s Lawn Party-2014

Crane Estate 20s Lawn Party-2014

So after my recent post on vintage picnics, I had a chance to put together one of my own!  Some friends and I recently attended the Second Annual 1920s Lawn Party at the Crane Estate in Ipswich, Ma. The event is truly the “cat’s pajamas” with the majority of attendees dressed in clothing inspired by the Roaring Twenties.  It  is held by Boston Swing Central in partnership with the Trustees of Reservations.

They give free swing and Charleston lessons on the  great wooden dance floor set up at the foot of the stately mansion. And you get to dance to the tunes of the  Baby Soda  Jazz Band all day. There are a bunch of vendors selling all sorts of  clothing and accessories for the vintage lover.  Antique cars set up on the lawn offer great opportunities for fun photos,  A beautiful Italian garden is available for games of  croquet and badminton. And, most importantly, there are the picnics. Everyone sets up on the massive expanse of lawn to relax, enjoy the beautiful surroundings and channel their inner F. Scott and Zelda.

My 20s inspired outfit-Vintage Style Files

My 20s inspired outfit

This year I wore a lace handkerchief hem dress by Nataya, a style that we just happen to  sell at Blue Velvet Vintage!
T strap shoes are Chelsea Crew brand
Hat~thrifted for 1.99     Beaded bag 6.00~purchased at Brimfield Antique Flea Market

Classy dames at the 20s lawn party

Classy dames at the 20s Lawn Party

Vintage vendors

Great vintage shopping!

Beautiful dress at Tangerine Boutique's booth

Beautiful dress at Tangerine Boutique’s booth

More vintage goodies from Tangerine Boutique

More vintage goodies from Tangerine Boutique

Fellow Vintage Fashion Guild member, Melody Fortier, owner of Tangerine Boutique, had a fantastic booth set up with a stunning array of vintage finery.

My Blue Ribbon picnic spread

My Blue Ribbon picnic spread

As if the day wasn’t fun enough, I even won a blue ribbon for best picnic spread! How cool it that?  I was completely unaware that they even judged this sort of thing. So it was a pleasant surprise.

I had recently picked up a great plaid cotton fringed picnic blanket at the SOWA Vintage Market in Boston. (A must visit if you’re ever in the area).  It was only $24.00 and in perfect condition.  When I spotted it I knew it would be perfect for the lawn party.  The blanket inspired me to start looking for more items to put my picnic together.

So the hunt was on! At the Cambridge Antiques Market I spotted the coolest vintage cooler. Snagged that for $30.00 and the picnic basket for $15.00. The cooler will make a perfect ice bucket for storing wine or beer on my tiki bar back at home. The vintage fruit print tablecloth I actually travel with. When I’m on the road for a buying trip I like to take little things I can use to make all the hotel rooms I have to stay in look more homey. I know, it sounds a little crazy, but I love to  have vintage items around me no matter where I land and I think it adds a cheerful touch to your usual generic hotel chain room decor.

Anyway, I thrifted the rest of the items, which is always fun. Picked up vase, glasses, platters etc at Salvation Army.  Everything totalled less than $20.00.  So if you put your mind to it, you can really put together a nice little retro picnic without spending a fortune.  Heck, the food ended up costing more than all the accessories!

Am already looking forward to next years soiree.   And I’ll be on the lookout  for more picnic paraphenalia to add to my collection.

Sunset at Crane Estate

Sunset at Crane Estate

And though the day had been overcast, we were treated to a lovely sunset at the end of a lovely day!


By | 2014-08-08T13:11:53-04:00 August 8th, 2014|Events|4 Comments

About the Author:

Hi, I'm Theresa, owner and chief classy dame at the Blue Velvet Vintage online boutique. Lover of mid century fashion and home decor, classic films, Old Hollywood, pretty dresses, red lipstick, swing dancing and retro culture in general. Between my ecommere site and vintage style blog my mission is to revive the eras of classy dressing and inspire women to add more glamour to their lives! So don't be shy! I love to hear from others who share my appreciation of the styles of the past.


  1. Theresa Campbell
    Theresa Campbell August 12, 2014 at 11:10 am

    Thanks for your kind words Jessica. And I agree that pearls are the iconic accessory to wear with clothing from many different eras. The Lawn Party is a grand time. Wish you could fly to New England for one of them. You would have so much fun 🙂

  2. Avatar
    Jessica Cangiano August 12, 2014 at 8:32 am

    Theresa, you look smashing!!! What a gorgeous frock and hat – and of course your timelessly elegant accessories as well. Pearls will forever be my first jewelry choice for any early or mid-twentieth century ensemble, too – especially for formal/fancy/special occasions like this marvelous lawn party.

    ♥ Jessica

  3. Theresa
    Theresa August 9, 2014 at 11:35 am

    Thank you for the nice compliments, Melody. And as far your booth, you always do such a professional job of merchandising your product, plus it certainly doesn’t hurt that you have beautiful things 🙂

  4. Avatar
    Melody Fortier August 8, 2014 at 8:32 pm

    Lovely blog post! Thank you for the kind words about my booth 🙂 It was so nice to see you there. Your outfit was smashing and I love your prize winning picnic set up.

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