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.