Win a copy of Vintage Notions by Amy Barickman


amy-barickman-vintage-notions001 copy

Amy Brickman, owner if Indygo Junction & The Vintage Workshop

Our driving purpose here at Colette Patterns is to help educate a new generation of sewists, a group who may not have had the chance to learn arts and crafts from their mothers or grandmothers.

So we love that one of Amy Barickman’s main hopes for her book Vintage Notions is to rescue knowledge from a previous generation, and to pass it on to “the new generation of creative spirits.”

The book is dedicated to Mary Brooks Picken, a revolutionary businesswoman and educator who founded the The Woman’s Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences in Scranton Pennsylvania in in 1916.

Students came from around the world to attend the school. Peak attendance was nearly 300,000 making it the largest school in history dedicated solely to the education of women. The institute was affordable to attend, generated income for students and elevated the value of their work.

amy-barickman-vintage-notions002 copy

Amy’s book is primarily composed of articles that ran in the Institute’s Inspiration and Fashion Service newsletters, publications that ran from 1912 to 1934.

amy-barickman-vintage-notions003 copy

The book is grouped into 4 sections based on the season. At the back of each section is a little pocket where you can store notes, notions and any other inspiration you’ve found pertaining to that season.

amy-barickman-vintage-notions006 copy

Throughout the book are Magic Patterns, easy to make garment instructions published in the Institute’s original format and wording. (They have been tested for accuracy.)

amy-barickman-vintage-notions007 amy-barickman-vintage-notions008 copy

If this looks like a book you would enjoy, leave us a comment below explaining why!

We will choose the winner this Monday 8/19 so be sure to post your comment by midnight PST on Sunday.

Update: This contest is now closed. Thank you for your comments and congratulations to our winner, Angela Harrison!

Rachel Rasmussen   —  

Rachel is a nerdy Oregon native with a philosophy degree and classical dance background. She fancies her personal style to be quirky sophistication, focusing on the importance of fit while adding special touches of handmade embellishments. She is also a connoisseur of whiskey and nap-taker extraordinaire.

Comments 249

1 2 3

Such a lovely book would push me to sew more for ME! It reminds me of old books I found when my granny passed away…


I would love a copy of that book for a few reasons
1) Reading crafts books is really relaxing
2) I have less time for sewing and I am trying to make every garment special, and old techniques would be very interesting
3) the books looks ver pretty
4) I would like to share it with my grand ma, just to hear her saying “Oh, but I know that already” or “yes, that’s how we used to do it”


Oh my, would I love to to have that book! That it basically the book of my dreams come true! I love collecting old sewing books and women’s manuals (and etiquette books) but I mainly have Finnish ones. I’d love to hear what The Woman’s Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences have to say.


oh wow! thank you for letting me know about this book – ive found vintage diagrams online, but ive been holding off on making anything from them until I have more knowledge to decipher them. cant wait to get my hands on it – is it already available or will be released soon?


The book was published in 2010 and there are sample patterns available on the book website at


What a beautiful book I hope it will be available in the u.k. :)


Oh my what a treasure of book!!! Will love to have it, please count me in for the giveaway, and thank you very much for hosting it.


Sewing is a selflearnd skill that I put a lot of pride in. And everytime I make or learn somethingnew, I get this overwelming feeling og satisfaction. Just resently, my six year old daugher startet showing interest in the art her self, and always ask me “why” and “how” about everything. To get to know about the history of this great art that our mothers and grandmothers grew up whit is important to me. And being able to pass that on to my daughter is just as important. I think she would we interested in looking through these pictures whit me:) I hope I win a sample:)


I am a self-tought seamstress and basically I wanted to learn because I love vintage fashion, from ’30 to ’50 especially….this book would be really helpful since i’m Italian and here nobody writes that kind of books, and in general there aren’t many people who sew (I don’t have any sewing friend in my town, for example :/ ) This book would be reeeeeeeally helpful to me!!! I want to learn as much as I can!


I too would greatly enjoy such a lovely book. I am intrigued with the magic patterns, and would want to not only make the patterns myself but also help my nieces use them.

Jo Torr

My wonderful mother-in-law had been teaching me to sew dresses for my 4 year old daughter when she very suddenly and sadly passed away in February. I’d love to learn more and carry on what she taught me :-)

Pam Caya

Both my mother and grandmother knew a lot about sewing, embroidery, knitting, etc. I, unfortunately, never got to learn from them and have been self taught through MUCH trial and error. I love to sew and especially enjoy making clothes. I think this book would be a wonderful addition to my library.

Rosemary Forest

Ooo what a lovely book and such an inspiring idea. I’d love the book for a number of reasons:
*my grandma passed away before I started sewing but i’ve seen many the picture of her fabulous outfits she made with pennys during and after the war – I’d love to learn how to make some of those fabulously simple outfits that seem so spend thrift.
*vintage designs have always caused me to sigh with desire but to be honest have intimidated me – partly from ignorance of having no idea what the instructions would be like, and partially because buying patters in 1 size only always seemed a bit expensive and I’m only learning now how to adapt patterns sufficiently.
*i’d love to learn more and maybe one day be able to inspire my friends kids (and mine?) – I love the idea of making sewing accessible and ‘cool’ again.


This is right up my alley. You should see the shelves of vintage clothes books I have.

Paige @ LPD

This is right up my alley! I looking at my vintage clothing just to see how they did something. Plus I’m mildly obsessed with M. Pickens!


I just think it would be a wonderful read, it sound very interesting, and I’m always eager to learn more about textile craftsmanship.


Ooh, I would love to win that book. Why? A) I have a sewing book addiction, and b) I’m one of those young seamstresses who doesn’t have that sewing heritage to draw knowledge from. When I was in the Super Online Sewing Bee, I was actually a little sad that only myself and one other contestant hadn’t been sewing since childhood.

Christine Guest

I mend and re-make as often as I sew from fabric, so this book is right up my alley.

And I love to think about construction shapes in sewing, because it feeds into my knit/crochet designs.


This book looks fascinating, and beautiful! I love the history of sewing; I had read about Mary Brooks Pickens–I love that the book preserves her newsletters, making them available to whole new generations of sewists, and that it includes patterns! Thank you for sharing this with all of us!–Ayana


I would be delighted if I won this. Tomorrow is my 29th Birthday. I have just started my Blog and started sewing in May… I love my new hobby and hope to be able to sewing for a long time!

Michelle Bannon

This book looks amazing. Yes, I want a copy! Why? 1. I love vintage clothing, particularly from the period the book covers. 2. I am trying to up cycle more articles of clothing, including vintage finds in thrift stores. 3. I love the fact that it is a woman centered theme. 4. My ASG (American Sewing Guild) group will be involved in teaching sewing to young women in our community. What a great way to share our history with them!


Oh, great book! Vintage sewing books and patterns are my favorites, and the first half of the 20th century is also my favorite! I lcolliding able to insert vintage details into my sewing. Plus, magic patterns!!

Caroline Côté

I would love this book because I lost my grand-mothers at a young age and now that I have a family and I am sewing, I have so much questions for them! They both sew a lot for their family, and one of my grand-mother made quilts too…


What a lovely and wonderful idea for a book! I applaud Amy for her vision and thank you both for this great giveaway!


I am a huge fan of everything vintage! I have a small library of old sewing books, where you have tipped me of to many of them. I’m looking forwards to another books that is recommended by you.


I love the 19-teens and I’m just starting to get on the band wagon with the early 20s too so this would be perfect for me! Primary source materials are awesome plus this one is designed so prettily!

Diane Hudson

I just love the design of the book, from the pattern cover to the little pockets at the end of each section. Being an avid collector of articles and anything and everything to do with sewing and needlearts, then this would be perfect for me to store away all those little handy hints! I’ve been sewing ‘vintage’ for just over a year and the patterns in the book look like a great way to stretch my skills further. Hope I win!


OMG, this book looks perfect. I’ve found two newsletters from the Women’s Institute and would simply love to learn more about and from them.


I’m redeveloping a sewing library and would love this book! I teach sewing lessons and am determined to do everything I can to restore in the youngest generation this art!


I love this book, but I’m from Argentina, so i don’t know if it is possible to participate… pleaaaase


Sewing is one of those really important survival skills that also happen to be incredibly inspiring. I’m so happy that books like this are coming out because I find they’re not as easy to come by these days. (I grew up with vintage everything–vintage cookbooks, novels, secondhand clothing, even vintage sewing kits that were stored away in vintage cookie tins from the 1960s so it brings incredible nostalgia. I was born in the 80s and my parents are immigrants who were trying to adjust to life in North America and who could not afford shiny, new things at the time) But their skills taught me a lot about self sufficiency. My mother was a sewer but for things like prom dresses and costumes, she would hire people to make them. I always found myself envious of such a skill. I always recognized that it’s an important survival skill. If I were to take up a trade, it would be sewing, hands down. It’s a skill that makes us more independent, self sufficient and more conscious of how we consume clothing.


I’ve written about Mary Brooks Picken on my blog in her role as a fashion adviser to older women–see the post here: I would love to have a copy of this book that honors here achievements. Although I’m not a beginning seamstress, I’m sure that I would be inspired!


What a pretty book! I love old books, but often the instructions are a little “off” (either because styles have changed, materials have changed, etc), so I love that this one is made up of vintage articles that have been tested! I would looove to try some of the project ideas and patterns. The ones that you featured look particularly fun. I’ve been wanting to try my hand at making lingerie!


Whoa, this book looks awesome! I’d love to learn techniques that may not be widely used in modern sewing. My seamstress aunt lives too far for me to glean much from her knowledge but this would be a great help.

Thank you for doing this giveaway!


I love collecting homemaking manuals and vintage sewing instructions make it desirable. I also really like the idea of “magic patterns.” Sometimes there is little in this world that can beat a vintage pattern.


What a neat book! I love reading vintage craft books. The whole idea of updating or repurposing our out of fashion clothes seems to have disappeared, which is a pity. I would like to see the tips and tricks from back then, when women didn’t rely on fancy tools so much either. Also, the idea of it being grouped into seasons is genius!


I’ve paged through this book many times at the quilt shop I used to work at. I’m in love with the craft of sewing and dressmaking and this book is such a beautiful record of it! I feel like there is a lot of attention given to fast and easy sewing right now (present company excluded, of course), so it is so valuable to have a record of the highly detailed and technical skillset past dressmakers mastered before us. I am also teach sewing classes and would love to have this book in my library to pass on the knowledge!

Lisa S.

What a charming and lovely book! I’ve always felt I was born about 5 decades to late. I especially love the 1920’s and that lingerie set in the book is gorgeous. It would be my next project!


I would love to have a copy of the book. I have returned to sewing after a long break finishing a graduate degree and can`t believe how much I have missed it. One of my first finds after starting to sew again was your website. Your blogs and patterns are lovely!


What a great idea, to cupture all the knowledge in such a beautiful way, and to pass it on to new generations.


Oh I would love a copy of this book! I am a sewing novice and I just love vintage fashion. I’m sure I could learn so much from all of the tips and tricks hidden in those pages!


Ooo fun! I want to win this book because I am a lover of all things vintage and I really want to try out the magic patterns!


I would love this book because it is simply lovely to look at…………………… oh, and I would make so many of the projects as well.


Such a beautiful book! I loved the idea of the magic patterns…


I’m a vintage lover and I’ve just leart how to use my sewing machine so I really would enjoy this book.


I love to “remodel” clothing! This looks like a treasure trove of great projects and ideas.


I would love this book to work on my vintage garment construction skills.
Thank you!

Jeri Sullivan

I collect books and vintage notions so this is the perfect marriage!


“When this old world starts getting me down, and people are just too much for me to face, I climb way up to the top of the stairs and all my cares just drift right into space….”

No, I don’t climb up to the roof as this lovely old song would have it. On top of the stairs is where my sewing machine is and all my lovely books and pattern and fabric. And I sew, or I touch my fabric and dream about what to make. On the loveliest of days, I look at old things that remind me of other times in my life or way before I existed. The past has so much to tell us if we only listen. That’s why this book seems the best balm for the end of summer. Oooh, I want to hold it in my hands and dream…..

Forgive the long post. I’m in that sort of mood today. A good mood, but a retrospective one….

Diane @ Vintage Zest

What a beautiful book! I would love to win for a few reasons:

1. My grandmother passed before I had the chance to learn anything sewing-related from her, and my mom doesn’t sew.
2. I obviously love vintage hence the blog name (Vintage Zest)
3. As much as I love vintage, I haven’t had the opportunity to make a vintage pattern yet, so the original (and tested) patterns would be amazing!
4. The re-model, re-cycle, re-use section would be such an interesting read for me, because I frequently do that myself! In fact, the virtual sewing group that I started is doing a re-fashioning challenge right now!

I’m one of those “new generation of sewists” whom you mentioned, and I would love this to further my “sewing education.” Even if I don’t win, thanks for showing us a nifty little read to add to our libraries!


It looks like a fabulous book. I did not learn to sew from my mother (she didn’t sew). I am self-taught. I love the books that combine fashion history with practical sewing knowledge! I would love to win this book!


I would love to win that book simply because it looks absolutely delicious. I love the idea of the book and it would just make my heart happy :)

Laura J

I would love a copy of this book! I. Am fascinated by vintage sewing and hand sewing. This would be a fantastic addition to my library!

Ruthann Jagge

I basically learned how to sew from books…my collection continues to grow and they offer suggestions,advice,inspiration,and distraction like nothing else! I’d love to add this book to the mix as it seems to be written from the heart and soul of why we sew:)

Charlotte Amaro

The book looks wonderful. I am mainly self-taught and embrace any new sources of information and inspiration. This book looks to have both.


This book looks amazing! As one of those people who wasn’t taught by a mother or grandmother, I appreciate learning from the past now. What a cool book!


When I was 7 years old my mother was very I’ll. I had 3 little siblings and since I was the eldest I did my best to assist my Dad in caring for them. My grandparents would come during the day while I was at school. I was creative and spent small moments drawing and coloring with the little ones. One day my Grandmother brought me a little sewing kit with lovely little wooden spools of thread, a “pocketbook” of needles, small scissors and an embroidery project. She sat down with me and began to teach me to manage needle and thread. I was smitten and this became my life-long journey of the art of sewing. I still have some of these precious gifts and when I read the description of this vintage inspired book on you blog today I was taken back to that long ago memory and the importance of the fine art of sewing. I would love to have a copy to enjoy and to sit upon my Grandmother’s old 1951 Singer sewing machine that I inherited and use almost everyday. It is now happily being used to stitch up my new Colette Hawthorn dress.


I remember when I first found some of the little booklets on dressmaking from Mary Brooks Picken on Amazon. I thought they were so interesting- such a window into the world of early home fashion and sewing. I think it is so wonderful that much of that knowledge has been gathered up and put together in this lovely book.

Chrystal McKay

What a beautiful book! I want to in a copy of this book because I love books and as a new sewer it will help guide me on key principles to increase the beauty of my creations! Plus I adore the subdivision into seasons!!


This book looks like one my mother would have owned. She taught me how to sew when I was 7 years old. Approaching 60, I have more time to be deliberate about what I sew and enjoy the older techniques for constructing garments. I would enjoy this book immensely, and look forward to using it to inspire my grand daughter. I will hopefully be able to engage her to sew when she is seven.


Would love to learn the traditional ways to sew. I never had the chance to learn from my own mother.


I would love to win this book! I like that the patterns have been tested, and that the whole style of the book looks updated and colourful without losing that vintage feel.


I was fortunate to learn to sew from my mother, but I still feel the lack of what used to be common knowledge. I would love to win this book.


I would love a copy of this book! I never had the opportunity to learn from the previous generations and want to pass on all these treasures of knowledge and skill to my children. I think we’ve lost so much in these last generations that have become increasingly more commercial and less personable. There is nothing like handmade!!


I would love to add this book to my sewing library.


I’m really into vintage stuff right now and learning more about it. I just made my first 40’s dress and learned how to pincurl my hair! I made my first 20’s dress last year! :) I’d love to win this book!


I would love to have this book, I am found of vintage patterns and this is shurely vintage!!!
Living in France, hope you can count me in….

jessie aucoin

This sounds like a wonderful book to use for anyone interested in dipping their toes in the vintage sewing waters…which is exactly where I stand at the moment. Thanks for the giveaway!


The book looks so pretty, I feel like just flipping through it would provide tons of inspiration! Also, I love finding new sewing tips and it’s be really interesting to see the differences between the book’s advice and what the big 4 tell you to do in their pattern instructions

Susan Biles

I love the c over. So beautiful. I belong to a group called Pierce County Clothing and Textile Advisors. Besides helping with the huge quilting and sewing expo in Puyallup, WA every year, our mission is to help and develop new sewists from all walks of life. Many of our classes and fabrics are free. We provide sewing machines for use on site. It would be an honor to own this book! Thank you for your generous giveaway.


My grandma was a professional seamstress and I love looking at and wearing the clothes she made for herself and her daughters. My mom still has most of her unused fabrics and notions – I’d love a book that talks about what they all are and how to use them properly.

raquel from J.C.

It looks like a beautiful book: good reading, great images and lots of information!


I need to have a magic pattern or two, plus anything vintage is right up my alley! I’m about to embark on sewing lingerie, so that section really appeals to me!


This book looks awesome! I learned to sew just 1-1/2 years ago and was taught by my two wonderful friends who are so patient and very talented. I’ve sewn simple elastic-waist skirts and utilitarian projects, but I’m now ready to start sewing my own clothing and this book would be tremendously helpful!


I always appreciate the history and knowledge involved in old sewing books and patterns. I recently acquired a few old embroidery patterns from my grandmother and can’t stop thinking of ways I’d like to incorporate them into the clothes I sew for myself. Recreating clothing from the past gives me all kinds of warm and fuzzy feelings! Thanks for sharing!


I would love this book because with two children under two, some fun, quick projects would be right up my alley right now.

Nicole Martinez

I would love to read that book! I am always interested in reading the different ways vintage clothes were constructed and a huge part are the notions used. It looks really interesting and helpful


What an inspiring book. I have been sewing for many years for other people, and I believe this is what I need to start sewing… for myself!


I would love this book because my grandmother was a professional seamstress and instilled in me a love of all vintage sewing stuff!


That’s it. A lovely book with thoughtful appreciation of the culture upon which our creative community was built is a great source of inspiration.


What an amazing book!! I have to limit myself in buying too many sewing books (project overload!), but this one looks like the perfect one for my nightstand, to read and dream about before bedtime. :) Ooh I hope I win!!! If not, this one’s going on my Amazon Wishlist. ;)


I love vintage sewing notions and trims and using them to embellish modern clothing. This book would be full of ideas and inspiration


I love vintage styling, and making modern things look vintage, and vice versa. This book looks like it would help with that process so much! I think I need to put this book on my wish list.


Yikes! So many comments! I’d love to win this book because knowledge should be passed on and I’m a sewer!

Rebecca M

You had me at “How to Remodel Last Season’s Frocks.”


What a lovely book! I would love to have this book for many reasons . . . I’m a book collector, I’m learning to sew and love vintage clothing and lingerie, and I’m heavily involved in theatre production. This would be a GREAT reseource for constuming period pieces!

Amber PB

Oh my! I would love to sit down with this book: it is lovely to look at, and the historical perspective would be fascinating. From a practical perspective: I totally dig that the instructions have been tested in the modern day!


Oh my, I’d love to have that book. On of the reason I hand craft in any form is to prevent the loss of knowledge from previous generations. This book appears to be right up my alley in that regard, and I’d love to read more about that timeframe, the dropped waists!


What a lovely book. I’m sure the information contained is fascinating, like a bit of a time capsule that is still relevant now in many ways. For me it would also be a pleasure reading what my grandmother could very well have read when she was a young woman just starting to sew her own garments.
Thank you for presenting it in your blog.


Oh my…That book looks fantastic! I love vintage/vintage inspired sewing books and patterns. I’m rather new to sewing in the last few years but am building the references. I’m so lucky to still have my mom around to help me out and the two of us would certainly put this book to good use!! (We don’t live together but share custody of many sewing/craft-related items!)

Wanda Ball

I’d love to have this book. I love craft and sewing books and I need all the assistance I can find. :)


I am a huge Mary Brooks Picken fan, I have written two blog posts on her with links to as many of those online available patterns as I could find. I also collect images of the Fashion Service magazine covers, which would make incredible wall posters. Even though I have 20+ sewing books, and some of her publications are online at, I would still love to get a hard copy of one of her books.


I have a set of Women’s Institute sewing booklets from the early 30s. My grandmother passed them on to me from her aunt. They are marvelous! The set I think was designed as a correspondence course with test questions at the end of each one. “Vintage Notions” sounds like I wonderful read and a wonderful re-source! I would love to own a copy.


I would love to add this book to my sewing library. When my mother was little, a dressmaker would come to the house and measure her for her new school clothes. Wardrobes were smaller and more precious back then! I’d love to learn how clothes were made to last.

Deanna Nielson

I had the pleasure of learning from my mother, who was a Home Economics undergraduate major (when they still called it that). I like the book as a way to capture some of the early records of sewing craft for the home sewist who didn’t have access to such expertise, and as a reminder to me what I should have valued more as I had it available.


What a treasure of a book!!! Would love to have it, count me in for the giveaway, and thank you very much!


I love all things related to sewing. I love books. This fits! I hope i win. Thanks for the opportunity.


Thank you everyone for all of your comments. I love to hear how the history of sewing education for women really touches so many people’s hearts. When I read the description of this book, it touched something deep in me. I’m happy that some lucky person will be getting a copy of it!

Cailyn Culp

This Monday I am moving to Brooklyn, New York to pursue my dream of attending the Pratt Institute! I will be majoring in Fashion Design with a particular emphasis in millinery, I have always loved vintage patterns and have sewn together many of my grandmother’s-one of which ended up being my prom dress! This book would be a great addition to the books that I am taking to college with me!


I love vintage books and their reprints. I have some novels from when my dad was young (written mostly for boys – I think some might even have been my grandfather’s). I also pick up others at library book sales (like the book about the future of space exploration written in the early 50s).
I tend to pass books on to people I know would love them (like the one on etiquette and “housekeeping” from the 50s or the one about the origins of the Scottish Terrier – both have since been regifted).
I also have an interest in the education of women (although I know more about Emma Willard and Mrs. Russell Sage than Mary Picken). OK, I admit, the history of technology comes before that – but the history of women and technology is really interesting – ever hear of Emily Roebling? Yeah, most people haven’t, but she was defacto chief engineer for the Brooklyn Bridge. Sorry… /ramble.
This is a much more exciting gift than the cupcake pin cushions! LOL (And I can see that reflected in the number of comments)


I grew up in eastern Pennsylvania in a “sewing household” and had no idea the Women’s Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences ever existed! I’d love to share this book with my mom, who teaches sewing and works at a quilt shop.

1 2 3

We’re sorry, comments for this post have been closed.