I've written the praises of the lovely and kind Amy Barickman of Indygo Junction in the past, and today get read for more of the same! I was honored when Amy asked me if I wanted to be part of the tour for her book, Amy Barickman's Vintage Notions: An Inspirational Guide to Needlework, Cooking, Sewing, Fashion, and Fun and the new coordinating fabric line. Sticking with my usual policy, I wanted to properly read and browse the book before giving it any endorsement, and what a pleasure this book was to read.
I find it really easy to get all wrapped up in the modern sewing scene, with its cliques and such, and this book was such a breath of fresh air. It was a very refreshing read and a lovely reminder that this thing we all do–sewing–has been going on for a very long time. Long before Instagram and blogs, ladies were gathering at the Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences with Mary Brooks Picken, learning the tricks of the trade and setting the groundwork for everything we know today.
Maybe you all have heard of Mary Brooks Picken, but I surely didn't know anything about her, her story, or more importantly, her legacy. This book not only gives you the timeline and the path that she took, from 1886–1981, but it is also jammed packed with delightful gems like recipes, stories from a time gone by, fashion tips from the past, and so much more, all from the Institute's newsletters. Mary wrote nearly 100 books on sewing, founded the Institute, taught at Columbia University, was the first woman to be named a trustee of the Fashion Institute of Technology, and was one of five original directors of the Costume Institute, now part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She was a badass.
Since the book is using material from a by gone era, it is decidedly sweet and vintage in its appearance, but that is totally my cup of tea and I am thrilled to have it as part of my collection to refer to over and over again. I loved learning about Mary, reading from the voices of women long ago, and will totally use some of the yummy recipes!
In addition to the book, Amy has designed a new collection of fabric with RJR that uses imagery from the book on quilt weight cotton. She sent me yardage of my favorite print–the patternmaking images–and I cannot wait to sew up some jammies with it. (Just need a spare second to do it!)
Want to win a copy of this cute book for yourself? Amy is kindly giving one of my readers a copy! Only open to the US (books are stupid expensive to ship out of the US–sorry!). Just leave me a comment below and tell me your oldest sewing memory. Was it of your grandmother sewing? Did you take home ec ages ago? Did you inherit some tools from a great aunt? Tell me about it!
Don't want to wait for the giveaway? Or perhaps you want to buy the book for yourself, a friend, or some of the other stuff from the Indygo Junction website? Well not only are they giving away the book, they also gave me a code to give to all of you for use at her shop! Use the code VMM15 to receive 20% off! Visit the shop here.
Giveaway details: The giveaway runs from 12am on September 22 and ends at midnight on September 28 Pacific Time. One person will be chosen at random. The winner will be announced here on my blog on September 29. If the winner cannot be reached or does not contact me by October 6, a new winner will be chosen.
Remember, you do not have to have a Disqus account to comment! You can also log in with your Twitter, Facebook, or Google+ account. Or if you don't want to use any of those, simply click into the "name" field under "sign up with Disqus" and a spot will open for you to either enter your information, or you can click the box at the bottom that says "I'd rather post as guest".