Vintage Notions Review and Indygo Junction patterns Giveaway

I was recently contacted by Amy Barickman and the folks at Indygo Juntion (Amy’s pattern company) to see if I would like to review a few of her patterns and a copy of her latest book Vintage Notions. I jumped at the chance, mainly because I’m a vintage junkie.  Also, I love the timeless quality of sewing and the inspiration found in vintage patterns, pictures, etc.

I’d seen the beautiful cover of Vintage Notions, but I’d never had the chance to really sit down with the book. It was right up my alley.  It’s not necessarily a pattern book (although there is a great collection of vintage patterns with diagrams included in the book), but more of an “inspirational guide to Needlework, Cooking, Sewing, Fashion and Fun” featuring gorgeous images of vintage illustrations, textiles, and, of course, notions.

Vintage Notions is an introduction for this generation to Mary Brooks Picken – the Martha Stewart of the early 20th Century.  MBP founded The Women’s Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences in 1916. Much of the material for Vintage Notions is taken directly from a newsletter she published between 1916 and 1934.  She was also a best-selling author and successful business woman who’s goal it was to empower women (beginning in an era when they didn’t even have the right to vote) and to recognize and elevate the value of the domestic arts. (Hopefully she was also able to do it with out any unauthorized biographies or cheesy made-for-TV movies involved.)

I loved all the retro illustrations and images (of course). But the content was fun to read as well. And proved that there are some pretty timeless aspects to this sewing revival we’ve seen over the past decade.  (Just when you thought re-fashioned men’s shirts were a trend of the 21st century!)

Vintage Notions is also full of recipes, household tips, fashion advice and ‘lifestyle tips’ such as these two for “Calming Your Nerves During the Holiday Season”:
  • If you find your mind working overtime, pick up a magazine and read a story that has a wholesome bit of humor or pathos, the entertaining sort that is light but agreeable reading.
  • If you play golf or tennis, play to win

See? Good advice, never gets old. :)
I think there are some pretty timeless aspects of the domestic arts – they’re still like comfort food. And it was a lot of fun to read about how it was done in the early 20th Century. I plan to keep this book by my bed for the weeks to come, enjoying the other tips and tidbits Amy Barickman and Mary Brooks Picken have to offer.
Amy is also designs wonderful pattern, distributed through her pattern company, Indygo Junction. And there’s something for everyone – whether you’re a vintage junkie too, or your tastes are a little more modern.
Above is a book of vintage embroidery patterns called A Stitch in Time with Mother Goose. The book contains over 25 vintage nursery rhyme embroidery designs and baby quilt and bib patterns.
And for those of you who are a little more modern in your tastes, there are lots of fabulous options including this great apron pattern, a fabulous applique bag pattern, and two patterns to make trendy zipper and wool roving accessories.
I’m always impressed with the Indygo Junction patterns – they’re well written and include good instructions and clear diagrams.  Here is a little zipper corsage I made for myself with the My Garden Zips pattern. (FYI -it’s very tricky to take a picture of a corsage while you are wearing it.  Also, sorry to blind you with my pasty white arms.)
(As a matter of full disclosure: all of these items were provided for review with no other compensation.)
Giveaway moved here
Contest now closed.
Congratulations Ladies. Thanks so much to everyone who stopped by. Glad to know I’m not the only one who happily straddles the vintage/modern divide.


  1. says

    Your corsage is so pretty! I love orange! <br />I&#39;m both too! but I&#39;m been leaning towards more vintage-y stuffs lately! Lace, my downfall :)<br /><br />Thanks for sharing!<br />hugs, margie

  2. says

    Vintage, definitely vintage! I love to embroider, I&#39;m working on a set of Days of the Week dishtowels at the moment. I also love redwork and Mother Goose:)<br />Did you know there are children out there who have never heard of her? How sad:(

  3. says

    I&#39;m both to the extreme. The whole middle part isn&#39;t interesting to me at all. I guess it&#39;s because it&#39;s my grandmama and my mother&#39;s gig. It makes my life easy at the fabric stores these days since we both find something we like.

  4. Penny says

    I currently have 70 plus vintage aprons hanging at our local museum, so vintage would seem to be my answer. But, I am upcycling men&#39;s shirts into aprons, so that would say modern. <br />So I guess I&#39;ll have to say BOTH!!!

  5. says

    vintage — always vintage…because antiques, old things (and people) have stability, they are strong and have endured the test of time. there is much we can learn from them. what will &#39;modern&#39; have to say in 100 years? it will be considered &#39;vintage&#39; by then! and, so it continues!

  6. says

    I prefer modern quilting but vintage clothing! I adore Indygo Junction patterns, their women&#39;s patterns are one of the few that I can wear with minimal alterations.

  7. says

    That book looks fabulous! I really love vintage sewing stuff, although my tastes are normally considered modern… I&#39;d love the embroidery! We can&#39;t forget our roots!<br /><br />Thanks for the chance,<br />Michelle

  8. Anonymous says

    I&#39;ve never left a comment on a blog before. I just found yours and I like it! I like both but think I would love the Vintage!Guess I cannot enter the contest because I do not have any of these accts.

  9. says

    I am definitely Vintage and this book is right up my alley. I love to read about things like this and collect vintage books like this. I have added this to my must have list. Thanks for the review.

  10. says

    Great book review, Amy! I used to love reading my grandmother&#39;s old books – they looked a lot like the pages you&#39;ve shown! And I&#39;d definitely have to say BOTH to the giveaway – they both look wonderful!

  11. says

    I use to be all about vintage but in the last few months I have really been leaning to modern so I guess I would have to say both. Thanks for the giveaway.

  12. says

    LOVE the mother goose book. It is right up my alley since I have been looking for cute mother goose inspired embroidery patterns! Oh how I hope I can win this!

  13. says

    I guess I am a little of both. Of course, if I had to choose for the giveaway it would be modern. I love your review since I have never heard of Indygo Junction. I will definitely be checking them out. Thank you.

  14. says

    What a great giveaway! I&#39;m going to pick up Vintage Notions just for the eye candy! Hmm.. vintage or modern? I guess it depends on my mood. Mostly modern with a few fabulous vintage accents thrown in here and there!

  15. says

    Vintage – Mother Goose seems fitting for a new baby quilt that must finish before June (after taxes are done). Thanks to you and Indygo J. for this giveaway.

  16. says

    I&#39;m thinking modern. I like the idea of vintage but keep seeing myself go modern! I love Indygo Junction patterns – I&#39;ve used the Gored Skirt and Wrap Skirt and loved them. That Petal Blossom Bag looks great!

  17. says

    Oh wow, the book looks terrific!!! I really want a copy so I can snuggle up with it, and discover all the fun little tidbits :) What&#39;s up with all these people saying both? lol, I&#39;m voting for vintage for sure! The designs remind me of my grandmother&#39;s beautiful handy work. Thanks for the chance to win. missavene at gmail dot com

  18. says

    I think my choice would both. I enjoy the juxtaposition of vintage patterns, with a mix of vintage and modern fabrics. Or vice versa–a modern pattern with vintage fabrics. I enjoy the surprise of the contrast!<br /><br />Amanda

  19. Anonymous says

    I&#39;d have to say predominately vintage with little bits of modern.<br /><br />Julianna<br />

  20. Simone says

    Hi,<br />I just found this page by coincidence and I consider it as a real treasure (so I did not hesitate to add it to my bookmarks). Lovely designs, excellent tutorials, so I think I have to enter the giveaway. And I can only say: BOTH.<br />Best wishes,<br />Simone<br />blendenull(at)web(dot)de

  21. says

    Oh what a darling book! :o) I can see why you will keep it by your bed, imagine the sweet dreams you will have after reading. :o)<br />I am more vintage. :o)<br />Thank you for the opportunity to win such a darling give a way.<br />Sincerely, Trish

  22. says

    Definitely a both kind of girl…although the Mother Goose embroidery sounds so sweet. I need to get my hands on the book–it looks like a great book to curl up with and spend lots of time looking through.

  23. says

    I would normally say both but for this purpose I would definitely say VINTAGE. I have been looking for patterns exactly like the ones you have displayed – I have some old floral fabric from garments of my late grandmother that I wanted to stitch a girly design on for my daughter&#39;s room. I would be so thrilled and utterly overwhelmed if I won these designs!!!<br />Anna Allan<br />anna@

  24. says

    That book looks so interesting. Thanks for the review.<br /><br />I&#39;m definitely split between modern and vintage. Those vintage patterns are too cute, but I also love fresh, modern ideas. Love that messenger bag. You&#39;re right, it&#39;s so hard to choose just one!

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