I conceived of my new book, Amy Barickman’s Vintage Notions: An Inspirational Guide to Needlework, Cooking, Sewing, Fashion and Fun, to rescue Mary Brooks Picken from obscurity and to reintroduce the clever sewing patterns, cooking basics, beautiful illustrations, and inspirational essays from the Women’s Institute’s newsletters with a fresh and modern voice. It is filled with creative ideas, practical advice and charming anecdotes that celebrate the domestic arts.
Vintage Notions is the union of all of the things that are important to me as an artist, entrepreneur, and homemaker. I have collected the very best vintage material from the Institute’s newsletters and married it to my own extensive collection of vintage textiles, needlework, illustrations and memorabilia.
Each chapter of Vintage Notions represents a month of the year and features seasonal recipes, crafts, decorating and beauty tips plus some of my own thoughts about the material. There are twelve easy-to-make, chic sewing projects. Each season has its own storage pocket, a clever place to stash away clippings, fabric swatches, and any little notion that inspires you in your creative pursuits.
As I researched this book, I was struck by the idea that everything old is new again. We are once again interested in the domestic arts our grandmothers practiced daily. We take pride in thrift through refashioning and recycling. We look to live contentedly and graciously. I hope that Vintage Notions will allow readers to reconnect with the past and their own creative spirit.