Monday, January 31, 2011

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Winner: Vintage Notions Book Giveaway!

I'm delighted to announce the winner of a copy of Vintage Notions by Amy Barickman:

Commenter #24: Shique!

Thank you to all who entered. I hope you'll consider picking up a copy of this book -- I'm certain that you will enjoy it because you wouldn't read this blog if you didn't love all things vintage!

See you back here next week for Madison Avenue Monday!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Vintage Thingies Thursday: Singer Sewing Book by Mary Brooks Picken

It has been quite some time since the last Vintage Thingies Thursday post, and in keeping with the Vintage Notions giveaway I thought you might enjoy seeing a few images of Mary Brooks Picken's work in the Singer Sewing Book from 1949:

I love the Dedication at the front of the book:

This book is dedicated to women and girls--
and especially to teachers of sewing everywhere--
who enjoy the feel of fabric, the beauty of textures,
the precision of stitches, the smoothness of seams, 
and who delight always in appropriate fabrics
carefully cut and made up for a happy purpose.

The following fashion sketches are help illustrate the techniques in the "Decorative Finishes" chapter and show how designers use these stitches from season to season:

This book has a wealth of sewing information and includes some easy projects (these are similar to--if not the same as--the "magic patterns" that Mary Brooks Picken was known for in her Institute newsletter).  I found out recently that my sewing instructor still uses her copy from time-to-time for the excellent information Ms. Picken's provided!

Don't forget, the Vintage Notions giveaway ends on Friday.  There is still time to enter!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Madison Avenue Monday: Folie by Anny Blatt

In an 80s mood the pink scarf tied around her wrist. I predict that the wrist bandanna and the head scarf tied in a big floppy bow (think Desperately Seeking Susan) looks are going to make a serious comeback.

From McCall's Needlework & Crafts, January/February 1984

Saturday, January 22, 2011

New Listings at Serendipity Vintage

Just a few of the new listings at Serendipity Vintage this week. Click on the headings to see the patterns below and more in each section:

Monday, January 17, 2011

Madison Avenue Monday: How To Wear an Afghan

Also entitled: "Wear Your Favorite Throw Blanket in Public!"

From McCall's Needlework & Crafts, Fall-Winter 1973-1974

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Book Review and Giveaway: Amy Barickman's Vintage Notions

After the holidays I was asked to review a copy of Amy Barickman's new book, Vintage Notions:  An Inspirational Guide to Needlework, Cooking, Sewing, Fashion and Fun, and I couldn't have received a better present:

This is one of those books that makes my heart go pitter-patter:  it is vintage beauty, cooking, sewing, fashion, and more all rolled up into one adorable book that has been lovingly filled with vintage images from Amy's personal collection. Amy and I have this in common -- we both love to collect sewing and needle arts books, vintage home arts magazines and cookbooks, as well as sewing textiles, ephemera and handiwork projects. Vintage Notions is exactly the type of book that anyone who loves vintage and antique domestic arts will adore.

Many of us who collect antique and vintage know about the amazing founder of the Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts & Sciences, Mary Brooks Picken, who was a pioneer in sewing and fashion.  Founded in 1916, the Woman’s Institute of Domestic Arts & Sciences became the largest vocational school in history that was solely devoted to teaching women how to combine the domestic arts with entrepreneurship.  Mary was a woman ahead of her time (women hadn't even earned the right to vote when she founded the Institute)!

In Vintage Notions Amy decided to collect some of the best of the Institute's newsletters to introduce Mary Brooks Picken's work to us modern women. Mary wrote nearly 100 books on sewing and dressmaking in her lifetime, but her beautifully illustrated newsletters that she and her colleagues wrote for the Institute are little works of art. The newsletters are filled with inspirational essays, clever sewing patterns, beauty tips, fashion basics, and tasty recipes, like this Department of Cookery entry for January that begins:

There is a new project for each month of the year, including the instructions for twelve "Magic Patterns" from which you can make some really lovely sewing projects, like this 1920s lingerie set:

Amy also shares advice and plenty of modern tips and techniques throughout Vintage Notions, and many of the charming illustrations are from her vintage collections. The book is organized by season, and one of the little details that I really like about this book is that each season has its own storage pocket for saving fabric swatches or notions or notes about the projects or recipes that you've made, as a kind of journal of your creativity:

Would you like to have your very own copy of Vintage Notions?  Well, you can't have mine! (smile) This is a keeper and is going straight into my personal collection.  Happily, Amy has generously offered a copy to giveaway to a Serendipity Handmade reader!

You can see more sample pages from the book here. To enter, just leave comment with your thoughts about Vintage Notions by 11:59 PST on Friday, January 28th, and I'll choose a winner by random number to be announced on January 29th.  International entries are welcome too.

If you'd like extra chances to win here are some options; please leave an additional comment for each entry:
  • Like Serendipity Vintage on Facebook
  • Follow Serendipity Vintage on Twitter
  • Tweet about this giveaway (be sure to use @SerendipityVint in the tweet)
  • Blog about this giveaway (place the link in your comment)
  • Share this post on your Facebook page (place the link in your comment)
  • Stumble this post
  • Subscribe as a new follower to Serendipity Handmade through Google Friend Connect
Best of luck to you all!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Madison Avenue Monday: Happy New Year

May this new year be...

From McCall's Needlework and Crafts, Fall-Winter 1966-1967

...for you and for all!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Craft Round Up

Thought I'd show you a couple of things I am working on or have finished in the past month.  I forgot to take photos of some of the gifts I made before giving them so these will have to do! I'm basically finishing the projects that I started last year and couldn't finish.

First, I'm finishing a quickie A-line sheath (I've misplaced the pattern but I stored the instructions with the dress thank goodness) muu-muu type dress. I bought this fabric in Hawaii some years ago and am finally using it:

I need to finish the neckline, armholes, and the hem.  I like these as a cover-up for the pool or for wearing around the house in the dog days of summer.

I am also crocheting for the first time in nearly a year.  Because my hands have a tendency to go kaput when I overuse them I only do one or two rows a day when I have the time:

This will be a very simple lap blanket for my grandmother, to match the shawl I made for her.  I'm using Bernat Softee Chunky yarn.

Finally, I made these in about 5 seconds flat:

Button earrings! I found this tutorial some time ago and fell in love with the pink roses. I decided I needed to have a pair too. Every time you head to the craft store you can pick up a set of buttons and make yourself a new pair of earrings. If you're a "thrifty girl" like me this is the perfect little treat -- easy, super-affordable, and won't add pounds! And if you save some of the backings from earrings you buy, you can present them nicely to someone else.

Madison Avenue Monday will return in less than 2 days, and this week I'll also have a new giveaway. You're going to really love this next little item (hint:  it's vintage-themed) so don't miss it!