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!

33 comments:

  1. I like the creative part of this book and how it inspires one to cook from their recipes or make an outfit .

    tumblemumbo at gmail dot com
    intl. / thanks

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  2. fb shared
    http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=741569600

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  3. I would love this book, lately I am hooked on finding vintage fabrics and notions at estate sales, perhaps I can find some inspirations for my treasures.

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  4. This book is beautiful - I am addicted to all things vintage and am always looking at books and magazines to be inspired.

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  5. I just "liked" you on Facebook.

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  6. This is a book I would enjoy and love to have. In fact if I don't win I will buy one for me. Am thinking of giving a friend one for her birthday. A lovely book.
    Jo

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  7. i love how this book has so many sections too it, and i would really love to have a proper look through!
    Rachel
    koolkatbubble@hotmail.com

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  8. Oh this book is SO perfect for my 12 Projects to Christmas or Sew Creative Challenges. It also sums up Sew Retro, So You in a book. Perfection and regardless of whether I win or not this is an absolute MUST HAVE. I can't thank you enough for bringing it to my attention.

    sewretrosoyou@live.co.uk

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  9. I have looked at this book on Amazon, and Indigo Junction would LOVE to add it to my library. It's a PERFECT reference book and such a good book to be inspired by. I am doing the handmade challenge on facebook, so this would come as a welcome addition.

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  10. It's a beautiful book that not only brings back memories but challenges us as well!

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  11. I was just browsing this book yesterday at the bookstore! It is high on my "Want" list! Thanks for the chance to win. Mary Brooks Picken is one of my heroes!

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  12. I like Serendipity Vintage on Facebook!

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  13. I subscribed as a new follower to Serendipity Handmade through Google Friend Connect.

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  14. I love the little vintage illustrations in the book. It looks like a great book.
    Thanks for the giveaway!
    ~Jenny~

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  15. I liked Serendipity Village on Facebook.

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  16. I became a follower of this blog.

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  17. Love the looks of this book, "like" this on FB and am following the blog. So happy to have found it!

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  18. Subscribed as a new follower through Google Friend Connect as well!

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  19. My love for vintage borders on the obsessive and this book looks like a lovely collective read. I'd love to get my hands on a copy!

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  20. I follow you on twitter (shique)

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  21. And I follow you on Google Friend Connect

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  22. I am a new follower on Google Friend. I love vintage textiles and patterns.

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  23. Thanks for reviewing this book. I'll put it on my wish list (if I don't win!!) Visited Amy B's blog. Very inspiring. Must read more on Mary Picken too

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  24. I put up a blog post!

    http://neitherbrilliantnorbeautiful.blogspot.com/2011/01/book-giveaway-at-serendipity-handmade.html

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  25. I have several of the Women's Institute booklets, so i'd love to see what "Vintage Notions" has to say about Mary Brooks Picken. I already like your FB page and follow on Twitter (@fripperie) - not sure if that still counts...

    [sorry if that comment duplicated!]

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  26. Oh my! I would lovelovelove this book... I liked you on FB and stumbled this post...

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  27. What a lovely book! patternjunkie1 (at) gmail (dot) com

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  28. I'm a new follower, too! patternjunkie1 (at) gmail (dot) com

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