Kansas City Connection

I am looking forward to my upcoming Kansas City book events Sept.2nd-4th, and I am thrilled  to celebrate the release of Vintage Notions with favorite local retailers who have inspired me: Curious Sofa, Urban Mining, and Tomboy Design Studio. Check my events schedule for more details. Now a little bit about my book’s connection to Kansas City…..

To tell the story of my inspiration let’s start from the beginning. My book is based on material from The Woman’s Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences which was founded in 1916. After discovering newsletters from the Institute  and purchasing them based on the beautiful illustrations, I began reading the editorial writing  and was compelled to rescue and introduce the content in a modern format…

Mary Brooks Picken was the founder of the Institute and directed much of the material that was distributed via the Institute’s correspondence course. Her writing and philosophy for everyday living spoke to me ..as I further researched her life I was so excited to learn she was born in Kansas and educated in Kansas City (my home) at the American College of Dressmaking. While  researching I found this image of an advertisement from that school in one of the college’s original texts that is housed in the rare book collection at the Missouri Valley Room in Kansas City’s downtown public library.

“We teach you by mail and put you in a position to command the largest salary of any woman in your locality, or you can start in business for yourself.”

An example of early woman’s entrepreneurial driven by the knowledge of sewing and dressmaking…I love the fact what is old is new again, sewing and crafting are in vogue. Etsy and The Renegade Craft Fair are just a couple examples of this amazing handmade movement!!

Incubator events like The Creative Connection Event next month offer classes, seminars and more…join me for the event and  panel “How To Launch a Business”!!

161 Responses to “Kansas City Connection”

  1. I collect vintage sewing books. I love the attention to detail, the simple break down of complicated instructions. The drawings always give a hint to the age of the book.
    I’ve been sewing for over 40 years, but a lady wouldn’t say how many.
    Not related be an admirer of Mary Brooks Picken.

  2. I’m still after that book! I’ve been obsessed with historical sewing and women since I was quite young, and I can’t wait to read this. Besides, today’s by birthday!

    August 26, 1920: August 26 is known as Women’s Suffrage Day, when the 19th amendment was ratified giving us the right to vote.

  3. So looking forward to this book, I have your “Sew it” book It is my fav book on sewing. Best of luck with the new book (not that you will need it!)

  4. I’d love to read your book and share it with my local quilt study group. We alternate months of book study and months of oohing and ahhing over old quilts. I love your patterns. Kathie L in Allentown

  5. I am looking forward to reading your book. It looks so interesting.

  6. I have sewn since I was in 5th grade, about 40 years now. I’m almost vintage! I can’t wait to get my hands on your new book. I love each newsletter that comes to my email.

  7. I have sewn since I was in 5th grade, about 4o years now. I’m almost vintage! Can’t wait to get my hands on your new book. I love when each newsletter comes to my inbox.

  8. The skills involved in becoming a Graduate Dressmaker are amazing–wouldn’t I love to be able to Design, Draft, Cut, Fit, Make, Drape & Trim any garment! Perhaps the Institute’s lessons should be reissued!

  9. Love it. I like the idea of being “Mother: Queen o’ the World!”

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