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.
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