August 05, 2011

You sew, girl!

Hi Friends...

So it seems like forever has passed since I posted a post, but here I am!

A few weeks back, when I posted my Wardrobe Wednesday highlighting my girls, I began thinking...

There are very limited resources out there for dressing our girls modestly. I know we can all shop thrift stores, yard sales and consignment stores but what about department stores?

Don't think so.

Recently, The Modest Mom posted on her Facebook page just how difficult it is to find good quality, dresses that are long enough for her girls. I find this a problem as well. I have to purchase a dress size larger than my girls really are just to make sure the hem length is long enough, but everywhere else, the dress hangs like a sheet...or a curtain...or a flour sack. (You get it.)

Before I give you some ideas on how to fix this problem, let's think a bit more about the why. Why is it so difficult to buy clothes that are decent without making us look frumpy or breaking the bank?

The answer is simple.

The enemy is ahead.

He would find no greater satisfaction in defiling and demoralizing the next generation of women.

In the Monstrous Regiment of Women, Stacy McDonald makes a great point as to what our clothing says to the world. I'll para-phrase here, but she states that when you see someone in uniform, you know their job. Police officer, mailman, chef, etc. When you see a pregnant woman's belly you know she is pregnant.

I will go further...when you see a woman wearing a burqa or hijabs, more than likely she is a Muslim. I live in an area with a large Mennonite community. When I see a Mennonite woman, there is no doubt that she is a Mennonite from her head-covering and cape-style dress.

As Christians our clothing needs to say to the world, I am female and I celebrate and thank the Lord for creating me this way.

As Christians we also need to say to the world, I am not like the world. I am virtuous, meek and pure of heart and body.

Ladies we are in this together. We are like a mini revolution of women who are living counter to what our culture says by fighting a silent battle. Our "weapons" are the clothes we wear. Dressing modestly is our armour, so to speak to shield the enemy. We are examples to our children and our grandchildren. They are going to have an even more difficult battle to face as our culture increasingly lives for self and denies the Lord.

So how do we fix it?

"She makes tapestry for herself, Her clothing is fine linen and purple."~Proverbs 31:22

We sew.

And Pray.

We need to sew for our girls!

Below I'll list some links to making super cute dresses, but I know there are some of you who have know idea how to thread a needle, let alone use a sewing machine.

Don't fret! You can learn!

You can go here for simple and easy lessons FOR FREE!

Or you can go here if you would like to purchase a curriculum. (Great for the whole family and can be used multi-generationally)

You can't afford a machine?

(sing this in the Car 54 Where Are You? tune...) Titus 2 where are you?

Start a sewing group in your home or church. Gather the older women along with the younger ladies and start learning or teaching using eachother's machines!

OK, here are the super cute links I was telling you about...

Just Deana shows you how to make a really sweet t-shirt dress.

Ashley at Make It and Love It  has another idea on the t-shirt dress! Remember to think outside the box! These dresses are fabulous for summer. Come winter, instead of a t-shirt, use a turtle neck or long-sleeve t-shirt!

This next idea is so brilliant, I can't wait to make some for my girls! Whimsy Couture will show you how to take a women's 3/4 length t-shirt and re-create it into a skirt with leggings for a little girl!

Made is my new favorite site. In fact, I'm going to make the potato, broccoli and bacon soup for dinner tonight! (drool)

Anyway, back to sewing! Dana shows you how to make an heirloom skirt using vintage lace and scarves!

If you are not in a place or season of life to sew, here are a few links for purchasing darling dresses for your girls at reasonable prices!

4 Modest Musings:

Blair said...

Great links! I just asked me grandmother on Wednesday when classes were beginning for "Nanny's School of Sewing" because I was ready to sign up! is another good site!

Miss Sarah said...

I just wanted to say thank you for posting a link to my shop on this post! The things you mention here are the exact reason I started sewing for others nearly 12 years ago. So many mamas in our homeschool community desired to dress their girls modestly but just couldn't find clothes for them. It is my delight to be able to step in the gap for those mamas who just don't have the time or skill to sew for themselves and their daughters right now.

The Lord has me in a position right now where I DO have the time to sew, and I love using the talents He has given me to bless my sisters in Christ!

For any of you who may be beginning sewers, I wish I lived close enough to help you all out!! :)

God bless you all!

Charlene said...

Oh, thank you for this post! I believe in dressing both my son and daughter (and myself) modestly. I cringe when I look at some of the clothing I see in the stores. Even before I had a girl I had definite ideas on the standards of dress I would teach her to wear.

It is difficult to find dresses that are long enough that have sleeves. My three year old is tall and thin, plus she's active. A few times I've bought sleeveless sundresses and added sleeves, but mostly now I've resorted to sewing her dresses for church and for the times she wants to wear a dress. There are so many awesome free tutorials out there, along with many patterns for sale that are fairly easy to sew.

Don't despair. If you can sew a straight line on a sewing machine, you can sew a modest dress for your daughters. I am sure we all have mothers, aunts, grandmas, or even ladies of older generations that would LOVE to help teach the almost lost art of garment sewing. Put feelers out there and form networks through church, or community. It's awesome to have support and to be able to ask for advice when needed. :)

Courtney said...

Tons of great info., Stephanie! So many great examples!!
Dressing our little girls is becoming increasingly difficult with each passing year. When I looked in the Sunday paper ads a few weeks ago, my heart sunk and I felt sadness, fear, and anger with what I saw. Not only was I concerned about the girls buying this clothing, but my heart went out to the girls modeling the clothing. What were their parents thinking to expose their little girls like that?? And then there's the androgynous mix up - if you covered the faces on some of the ads, you wouldn't know if you were looking at a girl or boy. They lines were blurred to that extent! I actually felt like calling YOU to vent my frustration. :)
I'm thankful for my sewing machine, garage sales, and consignment stores during especially difficult "fashion years" like this one. When shopping, I've gotten into the habit of looking at clothing in terms of yardage, not necessarily whole pieces. It is so easy to turn inappropriately short dresses or shirts in the ladies section into modest skirts and dresses for girls by altering and/or adding to, similar to these t-shirt dresses you linked to here. And I used to fear short skirts, but now I know it is so easy to add to them to create layered skirts, increasing the length by as much as you want. My daughter is now in the habit of "thinking outside the box" like this, too. (The only problem with this is your "buying power" - purchasing immodest clothing to create modest clothing with tells the manufacturer you "want" this style, which is why it's best to buy second hand.)