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Amy Barickman, founder and owner of both Indygo Junction and The Vintage Workshop is a leader in the sewing, needle arts and retail crafting industry. Amy will be guest blogging here with us at BurdaStyle and wanted to take a moment to introduce herself and give you guys the chance to win a copy of her fantastic book, Vintage Notions: An Inspirational Guide to Needlework, Cooking, Sewing, Fashion and Fun. Read on to see what inspired Amy to write Vintage Notions and how you can comment to win your very own copy!

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It was several years ago that I first discovered Mary Brooks Picken. I was indulging my ‘obsession’
with vintage textiles, illustrations & ephemera when I stumbled upon a series of beautifully
illustrated “Inspiration” newsletters from The Woman’s Institute in Scranton, PA. I was struck
immediately by the shear beauty in the illustrations and in the clarity and strength in its writing. In
article after article, Mary and her staff encouraged women to actively work to discover their
creativity, not just for themselves, but for their families as well. Mary believed strongly that in every
woman there lives a creative spirit that can be tapped for both personal fulfillment and financial
security.

In Mary’s writings, I found a kindred spirit. Like Mary, I have spent a career trying to empower
women to find their inner creativity through fabric arts. From Indygo Junction (indygojunction.com)
and its focus on fashion sewing & patterns, to The Vintage Workshop (thevintageworkshop.com)
and its digital vintage images, it has always been my hope that everyone could find, as Mary called
so perfectly phrased it, “faith in their own two hands.” This is why I wrote Vintage Notions.
One of the great rewards of working in this industry is getting to work with a seemingly endless
stream of gifted, fun and talented individuals from all over the country. Since I began 20 years ago,
this community has inspired me to be more creative, challenged me to work harder and been a
source of great comfort and friendships too numerous to list. Today, as blogs and gatherings like
The Creative Connection increase these opportunities to build meaningful relationships with new
friends, I look back with great gratitude to everyone that has been a part of my fulfilling life. This is
why I wrote Vintage Notions. For this wonderful community.

Whether it’s due a sluggish economy, an influx of talented young women looking for their creative
voice or simply technology catching up to our need to share and helping us discover the talent that
was always there, the home arts are back with a vengeance. From Etsy to Lifetime TV’s “Project
Runway” to the D.I.Y. network itself, we have rediscovered the value in recycling and handmade.
Through my love of vintage I’ve learned that, when we take the time to look back at the wisdom,
struggles and talents of the women that came before us, we find great inspiration and direction in
our lives today. This is why I wrote Vintage Notions.

In 1926, on the 10th anniversary of the founding of The Woman’s Institute, Mary Brooks Picken
wrote that, beyond everything else–beyond the creativity you nurture, the skills you learn, the self-
reliance you discover and the friendships you make– the one thing she wished for every woman
was that they each learned “to attain that bigger thing, the art of living contentedly and graciously.”
If my book can move someone one step closer to that goal, then it has done what I dreamed it
would.

This is why I wrote Vintage Notions.

-Amy Barickman

Now that Amy has shared a little bit about herself, it’s your turn. Tell us who inspires your creative sewing endeavors and you could score a copy of Amy’s Vintage Notions book! Make sure to leave your comments by 9:30am EST on Monday, February 8th for your chance to win!

115 Comments

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    Feb 10, 2011, 08.56 PMby kate1313

    I seek inspiration from a range of sources. Blogs are a great way to connect with people around the world, I also love to pull out my collection of 1930’s 40’s and 50’s Australian Women’s Home Journal.

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    Feb 8, 2011, 09.10 PMby lasgirl25

    I am inspired to sew by my mom, she is such a great sewer. I started sewing as a little girl, I’ve sewed and taken out so many stitches I can’t count. The first thing I ever sewed was a pin cushion. I also like to sew with crazy fabric, but my favorite color to sew with is white. I am so inspired by the beautiful wedding dresses, costumes, quilts that are made of white.

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    Feb 8, 2011, 04.09 AMby sewhappy-1

    i’m inspired by all the creative people in etsy and burdastyle! I also really like carolina hererra’s style. and of course, anything vintage also puts me in a creative sewing mood.

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    Feb 7, 2011, 08.37 PMby amyalc

    I usually find inspiration in blogs, flea markets and antique malls, vintage books, and most lately, items found in nature.

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    Feb 7, 2011, 05.09 PMby kluckingbear

    I find myself inspired by bloggers. I see what they’ve sewn and their tips and tricks on patterns and it encourages me to get started on a project myself.

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    Feb 7, 2011, 11.43 AMby psychorat

    I get a lot of inspiration from blogs and also from TV

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    Feb 7, 2011, 11.16 AMby vivalasoph

    The widely beloved founders of Heinz & Moritz, and those behind making it what is today, are responsible for instilling in me the need to sew! Living in Switzerland for a year, it was so disheartening to note on every second passerby, the same article of clothing I’d examined two days prior in an H&M sale! Sewing is the better alternative- you end up with something that’s entirely your own, of much higher quality at a lower price, which is also entirely without ethically questionable, sweatshop origins..

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    Feb 7, 2011, 05.22 AMby onlyoneme

    right now, my un-born baby girl. Only three weeks to go and I have so much to make her little world so special! I can’t wait to meet her and lavish her with craft-love

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    Feb 6, 2011, 06.14 PMby loves2sewPA

    Inspired by my mother who taught me to sew and inspired by those creative folks I meet along lifes paths. Would love to win this book – love heirloom sewing!

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    Feb 6, 2011, 11.56 AMby daisylynn

    I don’t know if any one person inspires me to sew, but maybe if I had to pick one it would have been my grandmother. My Mom’s mother had an awesome sense of style and femininity as well as a penchant for costume jewelry. I inherited a lot of it when she died, and the vintage pieces complement my new creations perfectly.

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    Feb 6, 2011, 02.12 AMby nancynigh

    I am so inspired to see “sew” many people (pun intended) embrace hand crafts. BurdaStyle gives me inspiration a-plenty and lets me know that I am not alone in my need to work with my hands, make something out of nothing and be proud of it. I am on my own creative journey, but it is nice to know I am in good company!

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    Feb 6, 2011, 01.51 AMby teamydear

    I get my style inspiration from the people surrounding me, from burdastyle, from movies… The idea of sewing instead of buying though is for two reasons: having a creative outlet and trying to be more environmentally friendly

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    Feb 6, 2011, 01.35 AMby elaineren

    inspiration is every where, nature, internet, people, materials, and of course, necessity

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    Feb 5, 2011, 12.14 PMby ujosiili

    Sewing & knitting bloggers and also other burdastylers! Women have always been sewing and knitting in our family, but during the past few years and with the help of the Internet community of creative people, I have realized that things don’t always need to be done in the same way and that I can always give the crazy idea a try!

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    Feb 5, 2011, 06.58 AMby ciaoterra

    Inspiration definitely comes from all over the place.. I have an aunt whose abilities inspire me every day. Other than that I’m inspired by pretty silk, all the amazing yarn out there, fashion editorials, friends&family, pretty colours and on and on and on

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    Feb 5, 2011, 05.17 AMby suz123

    I’m mostly inspired by bloggers and Burdastyle and magazines; I love seeing the lovely things people make, and I want to be able to do that.

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    Feb 5, 2011, 02.48 AMby wendylynnb

    I am inspired to sew because it makes me feel more connected many generations in my family, most especially:

    My mom, who has been a creative sewer as far as I can remember. Because of her I wouldn’t iron my doll’s clothes with the toy iron I had as a kid—I would ask for some fabric to iron instead, as that’s what I thought irons were for.

    Her mom (my grandmother), who was the best saver, up-cycler, and re-purposer I’ve ever known. I inherited her sewing machine, and some of her furniture—when I reupholstered some of it, I found her scrappy handiwork underneath where she had scrimped together some salvaged upholstery fabric with strong hand-embroidered stitches.

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    Feb 4, 2011, 02.23 PMby anneeza

    Every single thing that mingle around me. I guess I am one who is easily attracted to unique stuff and adored to have one and the cheapest is to make it my own.

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    Feb 4, 2011, 02.10 PMby baka-pepica

    My inspiration is internet, burda, specialy deviantArt.

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    Feb 4, 2011, 11.40 AMby chrizell

    I’m inspired by a lot of blogs, magazines and my kids.

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    Feb 4, 2011, 10.03 AMby mouselmgiot

    Thank you, it is very interesting to get some knowledge from resumee people who have a big experience in it!

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    Feb 4, 2011, 07.50 AMby ohmygrems

    I am inspired by function, what is appealing to the figure, and what others before me have created.

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    Feb 4, 2011, 04.27 AMby Suz11

    My Great Granny is my inspiration when it comes to crafting things for my friends, family and my home. Although she lived a modest life in an isolated county town in rural South-Australia, she made the most beautiful clothes, homewares and paper-pieced patchwork quilts with whatever fabric was available. The mis-matched charm and everyday quality of her crafts inspire me to create things that I can pass through to my great-grandchildren one day.

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    Feb 4, 2011, 03.02 AMby flutefish

    The internet—or the people on it! There are a lot of blogs out there that are so inspiring!

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    Feb 4, 2011, 01.43 AMby nancyalexis

    My biggest inspiration has to be the photos of my parents college days from the late sixties and early seventies. There is something so fascinating about it to me… I often wonder if it comes from my dad who was an architect and loved modern design.

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    Feb 3, 2011, 10.06 PMby euma

    My mom, she has always been a very creative woman and I love to share my sewing with her.

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    Feb 3, 2011, 09.13 PMby lemma

    Im really inspired by both my mother who is a a very excitible quilt topper, fabric dyer, and embroider-er, and my great-grand mother who is one of the most talented embroiderers, cross stichers and needle-workers I have ever seen. They inspire me with constant creativity and ideas and experience that they allow me to draw from for my own ideas.

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    Feb 3, 2011, 09.05 PMby Meghan Gerrity

    I’m inspired by my great aunt’s amazing sense of style. She turned 90 last year and I am sure I’ll spend the rest of my life trying to emulate her timeless style.

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    Feb 3, 2011, 08.42 PMby aslimir

    Many different things inspire me.etsy,burda style,fabrics :)

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    Feb 3, 2011, 06.47 PMby georgebruce

    I swear I was born with a needle and thread. My mom has inspired me all thru my life to create. I can’t imagine a day without sewing

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