Amy Barickman is an entrepreneur, seamstress, pattern designer, fabric designer and author who has been inspiring creative spirits her entire career. Her love for sewing, all things vintage and live come through in her patterns, books and blogs. Sulky is proud to partner with such an inspiring and influential woman in the sewing and crafting industry. We recently sat down with Amy and talk to her about her life and career. Here is what she had to say!
Where were you born?
I was born in Birmingham, Michigan
How did you grow up (i.e. in a city, on a farm, raised by wolves)?
I grew up in Des Moines, IA. — all american suburban childhood.
When did you first know you wanted to be an artist/designer?
When I was a teenager I actually started a line of teddy bears, which I designed and created using repurposed materials. I used jackets with interesting textures and mink collars from old coats to create all shapes and sizes of bears. I haven’t stopped designing since!
How did you get started in the Sewing Industry?
When I was young my mom owned a store which carried fabric, craft supplies, books, gifts and more. My mom was an avid sewer and growing up in that environment and learning it through her was really inspiring.
Do you have any professional training or are you self taught?
I grew up watching my mom run her store, which gave me a great knowledge of how to understand the market and create products. I was also a fine arts major at the University of Kansas and my design classes were great training.
What inspires you?
I love collecting vintage patterns, fabric, needlework and sewing materials. I find so many treasures combing through antique fairs and flea markets! I love finding an old apron, or piece of embroidery that I can modernize for the contemporary sewer.
I know you are very inspired by Mary Brooks Picken, tell us a little about her and why she has been such an influence on you and your work?
Mary Brooks Picken is my muse - I discovered her when I started collecting the work of the Woman’s Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences. The Institute was a correspondence school which taught women how to sew, cook, keep house and use their skills in business. Mary Brooks Picken founded the Institute in 1916 and went on to have an amazing career in the sewing industry, writing scores of amazing sewing books. I loved finding her work and really connected with her entrepreneurial spirit, in fact, it inspired me to write my book Vintage Notions: An Inspirational Guide to Needlework, Cooking, Sewing, Fashion and Fun.
How/Why did you come up with the concept for Indygo Junction?
I had left Des Moines to go to the University of Kansas where I majored in fine arts. When I graduated in 1991, my mom, who had started licensing sewing patterns, suggested that I try to create and license some of my own. That year I took my patterns to Quilt Market, which just happened to be in Kansas City, where I was living. Indygo Junction has been in business ever since!
What is your mission statement?
For Indygo Junction, it's Handmade style for the Creative Spirit. The Amy Barickman Studio uses Vintage Made Modern.
What is your vision for the future?
I am so excited to see what is coming for Indygo Junction! We make many different types of patterns at Indygo, but I really love making garment patterns and interest in garment sewing seems to be growing exponentially, thanks to the internet. We are working on a new line of garment patterns, Indygo Essentials, which I think will really appeal to the modern seamstresses. We are also working on some new projects which I’m really excited about - to be announced soon!
In 2016 we will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of Indygo Junction as well as the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts & Sciences! We have a lot of exciting plans to share this celebration with our community. We invite everyone to join the celebration on our Facebook groups, the Indygo Junction Pattern Group and Amy Barickman's Vintage Made Modern. We will have many giveaways, promotions and sneak peeks in the coming months. Be sure to check us out online!
Facebook Ι Facebook Group Ι Instagram Ι Pintrest Ι Website
Tell us about your new thread collections, Crossroads. How did you choose the name? How did you choose the colors? Will we see new patterns using these threads and the Crossroads Denim?
In growing the Crossroads brand we wanted a thread line that would coordinate with our denim fabric line, Crossroads Denim. Three years ago I developed this line with the James Thompson Co. to fill the gap for durable and beautiful garment fabric in the industry. I spend a lot of time considering the best colors for the denim for use in both fashion and home. When we realized how amazing the denim is to embroidery with, I knew that I had to make a coordinating line of thread, and looked to the original Crossroads colors to inspire the thread.
The Crossroad of Beautiful Thread & Denim
I love how the Crossroads 12 weight thread looks on the denim, I am finding it incredibly inspiring and so are my designers! We are busy working on many new patterns where we can combine the denim and thread. Keep up with all our new patterns by subscribing to the Indygo Junction newsletter!
Petite Stitched Purse featuring
Crossroads 12 Wt. Cotton thread
See it here.
Amy’s book Vintage Notions is an
inspirational guide to needlework, cooking,
sewing, fashion and fun.
Buy it here.
Crossroads Denim Thread Collections
These 12 wt. cotton thread collections were hand-picked by Amy to perfectly coordinate with her Crossroads Denim. We love the way the colors work together. The beauty of 12 wt. cotton is it is perfect for hand embroidery or machine embroidery! For hand embroidery, Amy usually uses 2 strands of 12 wt. thread so you hand work will really shine.
Check These Out
Here is some good ol’ eye candy to enjoy.