Armor of God

January 5th, 2012

The human sole craves beauty, which is one reason women have an innate desire to look and dress pretty.  When this innate desire is checked, a woman can gladden the hearts and souls of those around her.  The desire to look beautiful, however,  can be easy to become unbalanced and ill friuted.  Selfish traps ensue such as alluring and impressing others by flaunting our God given bodies, developing unhealthy obsessions over appearance, feeling unsatisfied with life when not able to reach a societal ideal, wasting time and money, and finally, creating prideful feelings of false esteem over those with less fashion know how or perfected bodies.   But when this craving for beauty is met in balance and harmony, women bless the lives of all those around them.  We as women realize then, that we give a gift of charity to others when we check the natural man.  When we watch our hemlines, the tightness of our clothing and open our eyes to other alluring factors in our dress and appearance, we lessen the temptations of others.  We give a gift to ourself as we find true ways to build our own self worth.

When modesty becomes  a matter of the heart, our first priority we have when getting dressed and perhaps doing our hair and make up, is that what we wear and how we look, is literally a guard we put on to protect our virtue and subdue our prideful desires.  Modesty from the heart becomes a matter of putting on the armor of God literally symbolically and spiritually each day.  See Modesty: Reverence for the Lord.

Most women are on the path of discovering modesty to some extent or another, and in gaining that understanding a modest by product is that those who have learned modestly forebear in  judging others harshly whom are still learning principles of inner and outer modesty.  They instead gently guide and teach others the righteous benefits of modesty.   In the Latter Day Saint Faith, women are encouraged by a prophet and apostles, as well as church leaders to enhance our godly womanhood by manifesting kindest Christianity that will also radiate in  our outward appearance by sparing other men and women temptations ranging from lust to jealousy, and instead lead them to Christ.

Man. Woman.

January 5th, 2012

To be a Woman

Proverbs 31: 10 ¶ Who can find a avirtuous bwoman? for her price is far above rubies.

Simplicity.  Charm.  Talent.  Feminine.  Personality.  Bold.  Class.  Spunk.  Fresh.  Kind.  Interest.  Delight.  Wonder.  Intellect.  Giving.  Demure.  Grace.  Culture.  Thrift.  Inspire.  Love.  Intrigue.  Soft.  Sweet.  Spice.   Sunshine.   Strong.  Clever.  Quick.  Deft.  Sculpt.  Warmth.  Passion.  And more, beyond Imagination…

She spins, and dances, She leaps in the rain.  Tears brush her cheeks, Determination in her heart.  Her hands are miraculous, their touch and healing the Secret of Eternity.  Her words Determine the future of all Mankind.

Her misson, so unfathomly Important, her impact, so Penetrating, can’t we distract her?

Incongruent:  hiding…withering words…assembly line… fading happiness….short thrills…only a body… shadows…regret.

She Finds.  Jesus Christ.  Repentance.  Vision.  Others.  Teaching.  Guiding.  Master Molding.  Nurturing.  Love.  Talent.  Creation.  Brilliance.  Eternal.  Progression.  Endless.   Beauty.  Incomprehensible.  Joy.  She Finds.  Her Infinite Self.

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Clothe yourself in charity.

Remember the lilies of the field.

Clothe the inner man.

Manhood

Isa. 13: 12 “I will make a man more aprecious than fine gold…”

What are these feelings inside of me?  Powerful, frightening.

What is manhood?  In the mockery I live in.

Sweat, Toil, Bend, Work.

A strong Hand, a gentle Hand, a godly Hand.

Deep, Thinking, Figuring, Building, Discovering, Creating.

Press through my fears,  Freedom is what I seek.

Brave.  Bold.  Straight.

Not to the right, nor to the left, but Eternal is my course fixed….Onto Glory.

flashes, sirens, glitter.  sultry mocking sluffed in the gutter where it belongs.

I laugh, we laugh, but we are Sober Minded.

Mission.  Call.  Forward.  Onward.  Share.  Lift.  Glorify Him.

Your Gift.  Through Christ.  distractions, distortions, Obliterate.  Greater is the Truth.  With Him.

Triumph.  Truth.  Glory.  Love.  So Strong.  So Stalwart.  Boldly Contributing.  Manhood.  Free.


What a bummer

February 26th, 2010

5 outfits later, it seems, I am dressed for the day!  For a bit there I thought my genes didn’t think they needed to counterbalance with my tummy this pregnancy around….but they were inherantly smarter than me and my bottom half did its enlarging thing!  Yes, its literally a bummer.

The jeans that were all too loose and falling off I was saving for my second trimester, are now all hugging my hiney and don’t feel flattering…or modest either.  The tops that I was saving for when I was bigger, either have bss (baggy sleeve syndrome) or are u.s. (unflatteringly short) So my heap of clothes to get rid of now that I know they don’t fit me right in any stage….grew!

Finally I found a pretty blouse (shress) that covers my hiney which feels more flattering and slimming to me with my long torso– even though longer tops make my legs look that much shorter– they never had any gambling range to mess with their length–but still I feel cute in this final find! In defense of my poor derrière receiving the brunt of all this complaint….my bum isn’t necessarily in need of hiding…still I don’t feel everyone needs to know just how it goes.  Lastly, I found a pair of pants recently gifted to me, that were way too big first trimester now have the perfect amount of ease without being balloons….that I don’t need to cover my hiney in because they fit nicely without hugging, which is a nice feeling.  However, I do need to hem up the cuffs, but that can wait.

Accomplishments!  :)

Skirts or Pants

October 12th, 2009

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I mentioned previously the example of my stellar friend Julie, who is filled with grace and loveliness.  (See below post called Femininity for more details.) I want to record some of the lessons the Lord has taught me as I have asked to know his will in all things, including dress and appearance.

Previous Experience in Skirts and Dresses

My soul hungered to obey the principles of modesty and to be aligned in the divine roles the Lord has established through time for his daughters.  In the course of time, I found myself wearing more dresses and skirts, especially after I had a baby; I felt so fat and ugly in pants, and skirts were a heaven send for me to not condemn my own body as it worked through the stages of change. Once I could again wear my jeans with ease in them, meaning there was no tightness to condemn me to feelings of fatness and disapproval of myself, I wore pants again more frequently.

As life ran its course, I began to feel feelings of repulsion toward worldliness, and felt the desire to be separated from the many and changing requirements that fashions bring.  I imagined to myself an image of loveliness, like my friend Julie, where I could walk differently from the world.

I fasted and prayed initially, about a few other very important things as well, but also questioning if this choice would be appropriate to the Lord, or even more than appropriate, most pleasing; to wear skirts and dresses solely.

First Answer from the Lord

The first answer that He gave me made it clear to me, though I was still in a state of confusion, that the Lord wanted me not to toil or spin, or obsess over this single aspect of my life, but that he would dress me as he did the lilies of the field.   The Savior gave this very teaching to the Nephites when he visited America, so it is found in the Book of Mormon as well as in the Old Testament.  (3 Nephi 13:28, Mathew 6:28, Luke 12:27)

This answer was not as specific as I had hoped for, and though the Lord was telling me not to spin about the issue, I thought that if perhaps I tested the principle, I would know of the doctrine and test for myself the fruits. (John 7:17).

Experiment upon the Word

For a month, then, I dressed only in skirts to see how I felt.  The results were a few.  In my own home, I felt lovely and divine.  With my good Christian neighbor friends, I felt like I may have been coming off as self righteous, putting on an heir of some sort, or just cuter because I do feel a lot prettier in a skirt–which made me feel bad.  One day during my 30 day experiment, I flat out prayed and felt I had to wear jeans, when I was inviting a neighbor who hadn’t been to church in years to a food gathering where other church members would be; I felt for sure that the best way to be dressed was inconspicuous, and down to earth, in jeans and a plain blouse.  To certain neighbors I also felt more distinguished or noticed in an undesirable aspect.  But very importantly, I loved how I my own feelings of self-worth tended to be slightly enhanced~I felt like an unwordly princess which was very refreshing!

Study to find Answers

I did a lot of researching within the guidelines of prophets to see what answers I could find.  I studied scriptures ancient such as Proverbs 31 and 1 Peter 3:3-4 or Deuteronomy 22:5.  Because I believe that prophets still speak to us today, I studied prophets modern:  Spencer W. Kimball, in “Give the Lord Your Loyalty,” Tambuli, Feb 1981, 36 that made it sound clear that we were to steer clear of wearing clothing of the opposite sex.  “If we are in our best Sunday clothes, we are not inclined to be rough, boisterous, or violent. If we dress for work, we are drawn to work; if we dress immodestly, we are tempted to act immodestly; if we dress like the opposite sex, we tend to lose our sexual identity or some of the characteristics that distinguish the eternal mission of our sex.” or even more modernly, M. Russell Ballard, April Conference 2002 “Women of Righteousness” “…We don’t need women who want to be like men, sound like men, dress like men, drive like some men drive, or act like men. We do need women who rejoice in their womanhood and have a spiritual confirmation of their identity, their value, and their eternal destiny. Above all, we need women who will stand up for truth and righteousness and decry evil at every turn and simply say, “Lord, here am I, send me.”

Culture a part of it?

We are commanded by prophets anciently and modernly, to dress and act like women.  In our culture today in North America, men and women wear pants.  There are women’s jeans and men’s jeans.  Right now, it is popular for young men to wear women’s jeans–which is a sickening and obvious discrepancy before the Lord.  What I wanted to know from the Lord, I suppose, was if culture as a whole was so polluted that what we deemed as women’s clothing, wasn’t really women’s clothing to Him, or if we could wear what our culture deemed as ‘women’ and remain adhering to the prophets words.

I plummeted deeper for an understanding of modesty.  This simple definition written by the prophets of the church, used a few scriptures ancient and modern to collectively describe what modesty is and clarified another point of modesty for me.

MODESTY: Guide to the Scriptures

Behavior or appearance that is humble, moderate, and decent. A modest person avoids excesses and pretensions.

God made coats of skins, and clothed Adam and Eve, Gen. 3: 21 (Moses 4: 27). Women adorn themselves in modest apparel, 1 Tim. 2: 9. Be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, Titus 2: 5. Many are lifted up in pride because of the costliness of their apparel, Jacob 2: 13. Let all thy garments be plain, D&C 42: 40. We believe in being chaste and virtuous, A of F 1: 13.

From my study I knew that skirts and dresses are very appropriate to the Lord.  But this definition helped me understand the sensitivities I was having toward the culture with being around other women who wore mostly women’s pants; that my feelings inside were described in this definition of not wanting to be excessive or pretentious and inadvertently making others feel somehow inferior.  I decided that modest women’s pants,  are appropriate as well, in my culture, if wearing them would keep me from appearing “pretentious” to the particular audience where I sought to be a tool for the Lord. You would have to know me to realize that although I do feel all the pressures of society, when I feel something is right for me and my family, I adhere to it, no matter the pressure.  An example of this is homeschooling.  For my family, this is the best method for teaching my children properly right from wrong in their sensitive young ages so they can be strong in the gospel and prepared for future difficult decisions the world will offer.  In the Latter Day Saint culture I live in, homeschooling is a small minority, and largely unaccepted.  A large reason for this is because most schools in Utah are very good, and provide social learning experiences.  But for me, when the children are so young and impressionable, I want to teach them vigilantly how to deal with moral issues.  Because I know it is God’s guidance for my particular family, right now in this stage of life, I adhere to it.

Indebted to my 30 day experiment:

In the end, the 30 day all dresses and skirts experiment was priceless for me, because I came to live the teachings I had been taught from a youth by the prophets written for the youth, in the Strength of Youth pamphlet, more fully.  Such as …”Immodest clothing includes short shorts and skirts, tight clothing, shirts that do not cover the stomach, and other revealing attire. Young women should wear clothing that covers the shoulder and avoid clothing that is low-cut in the front or the back or revealing in any other manner…” After an entire month without restriction on my legs, I was very sensitive to every pant that I put on in the amount of ease or tightness it contained.  I realized that before, some of my jeans I felt more flattering, hugged my hips and thighs to what I felt was an acceptable, just flattering amount; but that now, I was uncomfortable in. This led me to get rid of literally four pairs of pants.  The Lord then freely floated into my life eventually four pairs of modest pants, as well as many modest skirts/dresses all for free and very minimal cost, and each pant had appropriate ease in them.  Ever before, though I thought I was living “modestly”,  I steered away from a loose enough fit in pants, because I would have deemed them unattractive mom-jeans, but now, more deeply understanding that the sacred curves of my body were to be kept sacred and should not be targeted even to the amount where the eye would glance there to check out the emphasized curves.  I feel that I had progressed in my modesty journey.  Sometimes I am still tempted to feel frumpy in my looser jeans, especially when I am feeling especially foxy, or with other fashionable friends.  But I feel integrity and class inside of me and that keeps me from regressing in my progress and understanding that an aspect of modesty is hiding some of our physical glory, to protect our sacred body.  “Just as we are to “put on” the armor of God, we are to “put on” our clothes as protection for us and others. Clothing ourselves with modest dress and modest actions—mercy, kindness, humility, patience, and charity—will invite the companionship of the Spirit and will positively affect those around us (see Colossians 3:12, 14).” Elder Robert D. Hales (Apostle) “Modesty: Reverence for the Lord,” Liahona, Aug 2008, 18–23

Practical Tips

A caution I have to offer other sisters concerned with modesty, is that now, jeans are made with a stretchy grain, so that jeans that feel wonderful on the leg, but may not look modest either on your bottom or your thighs.  I found a nice little test written by a fellow Christian, to test the modesty in a pant leg.  She says: “-Please make sure your top is long enough to ensure coverage on your backside when you bend over or sit down.
-Place your hands down by your side. Can you pull your pant leg away from your hip or derriere? If not, they are too tight.”

Re-Evaluating my Answers

I have prayed a few more times, to make sure that my answers have been right from the Lord, in the aspect of if my answer that both modest women’s pants, and modest skirts and dresses were acceptable to Him, in obeying the principle of wearing that which pertaineth to a woman.  I have secretly wanted the Lord to say it was most pleasing to Him to wear exclusively skirts and dresses because it would make decisions easier, because I could feel more separated from worldliness, because they are much prettier on me. Contrarily, I had to make sure that my answer that modest women pants were also appropriate, did not stem from being raised wearing pants, so that I was so comfortable wearing them, that is why that answer seemed “right”.

Confirmations

The answer I received was confirmed three different times.  The first time in the temple while praying about it, was right after my experiment and I really wanted Him to be ok if I wanted to wear skirts and dresses all the time.  But in the film we watch there in the temple that has Adam and Eve in it, I noticed that both Adam and Eve wore shifts/dress type things.  One was a shift for a man and one a shift for a woman, which made me ponder, what is important in the question is that if those in your particular culture look at you, they know for certain whether you are dressing, and importantly acting, like your sex.

Another time I prayed in the temple where my thoughts are the most clear and uninterupted by Satan’s influence; where all are dressed in white (dresses for the women and pants for the males); was just the simple thought, that yes, culture plays into modesty, the Lord  has standards we must obey in that we are putting an armor of God on when we dress, but that we can consider culture too in our decisions and that is an appropriate consideration.

Robed with Charity

Lastly, I received an answer from Him, that Christ like conduct, and the bonds of charity, are the most important “cloaks” we should clothe ourselves with.  Do others feel my Christ like love, do they see, know and feel from my countenance which is a mirror of my soul, that I love Him with all my heart, and that my acts are congruent to His light?

This last important aspect came from listening to this recent sermon given by Apostle Dieter F. Uchtdorf in this October Conference to the world, October 2009:

What do people define you by?

“Brothers and sisters, of all the things we want to be known for, are there attributes above all others that should define us as members of His Church, even as disciples of Jesus Christ?…

How Do We Become True Disciples of Jesus Christ?

The Savior Himself provided the answer with this profound declaration: “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”1 This is the essence of what it means to be a true disciple: those who receive Christ Jesus walk with Him.2

But this may present a problem for some because there are so many “shoulds” and “should nots” that merely keeping track of them can be a challenge. Sometimes, well-meaning amplifications of divine principles—many coming from uninspired sources—complicate matters further, diluting the purity of divine truth with man-made addenda. One person’s good idea—something that may work for him or her—takes root and becomes an expectation. And gradually, eternal principles can get lost within the labyrinth of “good ideas.”

This was one of the Savior’s criticisms of the religious “experts” of His day, whom He chastised for attending to the hundreds of minor details of the law while neglecting the weightier matters.3

So how do we stay aligned with these weightier matters? Is there a constant compass that can help us prioritize our lives, thoughts, and actions?

Once again the Savior revealed the way. When asked to name the greatest commandment, He did not hesitate. “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind,” He said. “This is the first and great commandment.”4 Coupled with the second great commandment—to love our neighbor as ourselves5—we have a compass that provides direction not only for our lives but also for the Lord’s Church on both sides of the veil.

Because love is the great commandment, it ought to be at the center of all and everything we do in our own family, in our Church callings, and in our livelihood. Love is the healing balm that repairs rifts in personal and family relationships. It is the bond that unites families, communities, and nations. Love is the power that initiates friendship, tolerance, civility, and respect. It is the source that overcomes divisiveness and hate. Love is the fire that warms our lives with unparalleled joy and divine hope. Love should be our walk and our talk.

When we truly understand what it means to love as Jesus Christ loves us, the confusion clears and our priorities align. Our walk as disciples of Christ becomes more joyful. Our lives take on new meaning. Our relationship with our Heavenly Father becomes more profound. Obedience becomes a joy rather than a burden.”

Feeling God’s Love for myself

The other day, I felt a special gift of Christ’s warm love for me.  I felt this once before on my mission after hearing previous prophet President Gordon B. Hinkley’s testimony of Christ.  At that point of my life, I was dressed in a missionary skirt, and felt this overwhelming love for me from Christ when I knelt down to pray.  I almost thought I should stop feeling this and get to work.  This time, I said a simple prayer that Christ’s atonement would arch over the many efforts I was attempting in life to spread goodness as a mother and friend.  It was a simple unplanned prayer, and a surprising answer came.  I felt the Lord’s love and approval begin to cradle me like a blanket.  I could imagine myself scooped up in his arms almost like a baby and that he was cradling me.  That particular day I was wearing my looser pair of overalls, something I often choose for my Monday mopping day, (I had gotten rid of my more flattering pair) and I felt no shame whatsoever, but that I was completely fitting to the Lord.  I felt he was pleased with me and wished more of his children would seek Him out so that He could also reach out to them in love, and surround them, as He was surrounding me.

A Reminder from God that I must still be Different

In my answer of acceptability of women’s pants to the Lord, He has also helped me with answers that remind me that He still wants me to be different.   We are counseled by prophets to be different, and to be peculiar. (1 Peter 2:9)  This was an answer that reminded me it was ok to look different, we are even counseled to look different, (Dallin H. Oaks, Unselfish Service April 2009 “We do not serve our Savior well if we fear man more than God. He rebuked some leaders in His restored Church for seeking the praise of the world and for having their minds on the things of the earth more than on the things of the Lord (see D&C 30:2; 58:39). Those chastisements remind us that we are called to establish the Lord’s standards, not to follow the world’s. Elder John A. Widtsoe declared, “We cannot walk as other men, or talk as other men, or do as other men, for we have a different destiny, obligation, and responsibility placed upon us, and we must fit ourselves [to it].”6 That reality has current application to every trendy action, including immodest dress. As a wise friend observed, “You can’t be a life saver if you look like all the other swimmers on the beach.”7)

I am very different.  We homeschool, and my daughters and I frequently wear dresses and skirts, fittingly casual according to the occasion.  Personally, I like us girls wearing skirts in a larger proportion.  I enjoy looking at my girls so darling in their dresses, and feel sweet in my own.  The pants we do wear are flowery or pink (the girl’s) and mine are much looser than what is in style.  But I hope that when people define me from their gut feeling, that they know that “there walks a disciple of Christ”  “I can see God’s love in her eyes” “I can feel her love for her fellowman”, and that the most peculiar thing about me, is that I turn the other cheek (working on that!) and that I love with all my heart; and that what I wear doesn’t draw attention or distract away from that important show of my countenance.  I hope that what I choose to wear, and how I choose to act, will help others feel at ease enough to want to follow the example I make which I hope is Christ-like.  Modesty is something I must ever work on, in being humble, moderate, descent, and restrained.  Modesty of the heart and modesty of the apparel fitting to the occasion are not things I have mastered.  But I look to the past and see how God led me, and see how I have progressed, and I look to the future with hope, that I can continue to modestly bring others to Christ.

Inspiration for each family won’t look exactly alike:

As each family carefully prays over different commandments, and decides the best route that the Lord wants them to take in their lives, it is my hope that we will continue to unite and support one another in the causes of Christ!   (For example a child who is solid in their beliefs of right and wrong, may need some opposition to prepare them for the world under the safe teachings and guiding of their parents, where public schooling might help them learn to be strong and provide valuable examples to others—and only thoughtful, sensitive prayer from those parents can determine such a course)  ….May we each press forward with gentleness, yet boldness, and plenty of love and integrity in the cause of Christ!

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Sun Bathing Beauties

July 18th, 2009

“Modest people are aware of prevailing standards of taste and decency. They know that within the bounds the Lord has established, norms of modesty may vary from culture to culture, from generation to generation, from youth to age, and even from one activity to another. For example, the athletic shorts that are appropriate at a Church basketball game would be inappropriate at sacrament meeting. Similarly, the knee-covering skirt that might have been considered immodest a century ago is generally acceptable today, except in some countries where it still might be regarded as highly provocative and immodest. Modesty requires sensitivity about what our dress communicates to others.”1992, Ensign, To Clothe a Temple by John S. Tanner

“With these old swimsuit fashions of the 1900’s, it was pretty daring for the young ladies to be showing so much “leg” in these pictures.”

Early 1900's swimsuit Old postcard swimsuits dated 1906 1907  old swimsuit picture

1920’s Athletic Tank Suits: Fashion history was shocked into the 20th century with some of the newer all revealing figure hugging swimsuits that revealed the body limbs more clearly than ever before. Liberated from long skirts, young women of the twenties wore a figure hugging wool jersey sleeveless tank suit.


Brother Tanner helps us to understand that modesty varies from culture to culture within the bounds the Lord has set, as well as from time period to time period.  But how is one to know if what is acceptable in one’s popular culture, and defined as ‘modest’, is really acceptable to the Lord.  Brother Tanner explains that modesty is more than specific rules, but is a principle, and that is that our body is a temple of the Lord.  This principle can help us greatly, when deciding upon clothing choices, such as swim wear.  He continues to say….

“A teenage girl, for example, may not have any idea how her appearance in a swimming suit might affect the boy with whom she often goes to the beach.  She needs to be taught by her parents—gently and delicately—about adult emotions…

The same holds true for adults, who may be the worst offenders against the principle of modesty. Certainly their guilt is greater to the degree that they are more knowledgeable. Further, adults who have received their endowments wear a reminder from the temple that the body is a temple, too, for both are sacred sanctuaries of the spirit. The Lord has provided the Saints a powerful shield and protection against immodest dress…

Many, however, seem to be lax and casual about wearing temple garments. Yet strict observance of this obligation still remains a precondition of temple worthiness, just as necessary as observing the laws of tithing, chastity, honesty, and the Word of Wisdom. Though the Church has not developed pharisaically detailed rules regulating our manner of dress, we are asked to declare our obedience in this matter. If we must err, we should do so on the side of caution .”1992, Ensign, To Clothe a Temple by John S. Tanner

Brother Tanner gives us some helpful questions to ask ourselves when obeying the principle of modesty:

—Does my attire call improper attention to me? Do my clothes cause people to focus on my outward appearance in such a way that they might either misunderstand me or misjudge my character?

—Is my attire revealing? Does it properly cover my nakedness? (Here, the temple garments might serve as a guide to the Lord’s standards.)

—Does my clothing suit the occasion? Does it fit the environment in which I am wearing it? For example, we are asked to wear our best clothing (whatever this may be) to the temple and to Church meetings in order to lend reverence, restraint, and dignity to the atmosphere where sacred ordinances are performed.

—Do I feel comfortable with my grooming and dress in the presence of those I most respect and admire? Does my dress set a good example for those I love—my children, siblings, co-workers, fellow Saints? (We might choose different swimming, jogging, or car-washing attire if we knew we’d meet the prophet while we were wearing it.)

—And finally, does my attire and grooming require so much of my time, attention, and means that I neglect more important, weightier matters?

*For me, treating my body as a temple, meant being cautious about making sure that no cleavage showed, whether standing, or bending.  One place to be aware of as well is covering one’s chest at the sides, which some one piece swim suits cut across without fully covering.  And with only a small amount of ingenuity, I was able to buy a swimsuit last year in a larger size, then sew the straps in the back, by folding them to the wrong side and making a seam.  This raised my neck line to a very comfortable, but still flattering place.  Also, I buy ‘tankinis’ that have a one piece attached underneath, so that bending and reaching are not revealing.

This is my swimsuit in the back, and you can see that the straps show no intonation that they have been sewn shorter.

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You can see here in the inside of the garment, the folded portion of the strap.  I left it on to take a picture.

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I cut the folded portion on the inside off, to show you that I took off about three to four inches off in the length, which raised to neck line in front the desired amount.

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For me, board shorts are a fashionable, wonderful and pleasing way to modestly cover, as well as flatter, the legs.

BOARD SHORTS~~

Hawaiin Board Shorts :So many great prints to choose from!  Scroll down for many long women options, and girls.  Click on your back key for the men’s and boys, there are so many pretty floraled fabrics, that you might find something there you like as well, for women or girls, especially if you are looking for a longer girl’s shorts, the boys have some pretty options.

Long Board Shorts at Amazon

NexTag Long Board Shorts for Women

I bought my board shorts here, they gather lots of stores at one spot, and when you select one, it helps you find similar shorts.  I got mine for Christmas off season, so they were 20 on sale, but there was a pair I almost got for 10 (which was out of stock).

And now, comes the important, and some times tricky part, shopping.  May I leave you with this quote to ponder by Brother Tanner:

The word modesty ultimately stems from the Latin term modus, meaning “measure.” Hence modesty connotes balance, proportion, restraint, and (from the same root) moderation. Its opposites would be excess, extremity, lack of restraint, outlandishness, intemperateness, immoderation, and so forth. Thus modest dress is measured, as are modest speech and conduct. Like charity, modesty “vaunteth not itself, … doth not behave itself unseemly.” (1 Cor. 13:4–5.) It does not seek undue attention, does not flaunt itself, but shows respect for the feelings of others. Though it means much more than merely good manners, modesty belongs among the social virtues because it requires sensitivity and tact….

Two divine principles may help guide us in our choices: clothes should (1) cover our nakedness and (2) communicate who we truly are as children of God and, by covenant, disciples of Christ.”

RESOURCES that may help you and your family obey the principle of modesty, in balance, restraint, joy, good measure, etc.  I hope we can all meet the needs of our family, without “requir[ing] [too] much of [our] time, attention, and means that [we] neglect more important, weightier matters.”(Tanner)

Swim Modest :This mother was not satisfied with the swim wear options for her children and designed these suits.  Feminine, and modest design.

Up Stream Girl : Fashionable design, spunky.  Children to junior

CL Swim Designs: Cute fabrics, variety of styles, for Littles to Juniors.

Tamaru Sun: Children to adult

Christa Taylor Swimsuit :One swimsuit, look closely, the board short is classy and the top has high coverage at arms and neck, very sweet

Lilies of the Field :Conservative, Sweet

Hydro Chic :Great swim skirts in varying lengths, variety of different tops and skirts, and shorts to go under, an awesome swimsuit bra to buy separately to go under your swim shirts

Wholesome Wear :Their aim is to draw attention to the bright face and not the body, skorts, skirts, great under coverage

Sew Necessary : Darling swimsuits sold on Etsy for the littles, great sun protection

Stitch in Times :Reasonably priced, quite a few fabric options, helpful vendor

Simply Modest :Children to adult, many fabrics to choose from, custom made, special orders

Ohana Swimwear: Options for young to old with a sporty look, pretty board shorts

Lands End Overstocks: Lands End has many cute styles, (they are cheaper in the Overstocks section), but you have to watch for neck lines being too low, or low when you bend down.  About seven years ago, I bought a tankini that came with a panty as well as skirted bottom.  I took the panty to a tailor to use the fabric to raise the neckline, and add to the chest on the sides.  I was excited about the tankini look, but upon wearing it on my first time, when I went camping with my family, I realized that when bending I was very self conscious as my back or sides would reveal.  Consequently, I sewed the bottom skirt to the top.  Surprisingly, this looked great.  I recieved compliments from those whom would not have complimented me if I did look funny.  The swimsuit pictured  in these pictures, was also from Lands End, and make sure to check out their selection of  Land’s End High Neck Options.

OR MAKE, or MODIFY your own!

Fashionably Modest Patterns: See the testimonials here, you can do it!  Adult pattern includes a built in bra, includes built in panties.  With or with out sleeves.  Reasonably priced.

Why Sleeves this year for me?

When discussing modesty with a dear fellow Christian friend of mine, I began to ponder, due to her example, using a sleeved option for swim wear.  Discussing this with my husband, I knew that he as a high school swimmer, wouldn’t find it a viable option for swim racing.  But I would only be recreationally or exercise swimming, so I continued to ponder.  Though there conservative and modest tank swimsuits out there, I began to wonder if covering my shoulders might be something acceptable and pleasing to the Lord, as they are an attractive part of the body, and the temple garment lends to only clothing that covers them.  However, barring rash guards, sleeved swimsuits are not something you very often see which made me feel awkward about the option.  I thought about the counsel I receive when I go to my interview of worthiness to attend the temple of the Lord.  In it, we are asked if we wear our temple garment at all times.  We are not asked to wear our temple garment during sports or swimming for comfort issues.  But I choose to wear exercise attire that would accommodate the modest underwear that covenant keeping Latter Day Saints wear.  I thought, why not wear swimwear that also would cover my temple garments, even though I don’t actually wear them during swimming, as an added protection to my chastity, and to treat my body more as a temple.  But part of me really didn’t want to do this.  So I prayed about it, and both times I did, the spirit told me that this choice would be pleasing unto the Lord.  So, for me, though I may be overly conservative as to the norms in modest culture in this choice, as Brother Tanner stated, it is better to  “err on the side of caution”.

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I suppose its just a tad bulky and bunchy in the back, where I tucked the shirt under the swim suit, and my swim fabric is not an exact match, but over all, I feel this is an option that won’t attract undue attention to myself, but that I could feel comfortable next to the Lord in.

Constructing the sleeves:

I chose a T-shirt pattern, and used it to draft a pattern.  This is not as hard as it sounds, and you can buy great paper for pattern construction at a medical supply store that sells the paper they put on the dr.’s exam table.

pc190269 Trace around the pattern, and then alter it how you want.  I made it a little longer (I had only half a yard of fabric to work with so I couldn’t  lengthen it too much.  I drew a line that wouldn’t curve too much (harder to hem.) and stopped at the middle of the bottom.

pc190270I then cut this line out, in order that I might fold the piece over, and replicate the curve on the other side, that my sleeve might be symmetrical.

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pc190268pc190272Cut out your pattern pieces (I didn’t include a picture for my facing pieces)

pc190275Using a lot of pins made it fairly easy to sew on lycra.  Without many pins, it slips everywhere and is not easy at all.    This is the bottom edge of the sleeve you see here.  I sewed as close to the fold as my needle setting would go, to be able to follow the foot guide to stay straight.  A BALL POINT needle of 11 or 12 is recommended for lycras.  It is WORTH the purchase, it made it lots easier than when I sewed to adjust my straps higher last year.  The trick is to NOT STRETCH, gently guide the fabric without stretching.  Use about a 2 1/2 straight stitch.

pc1902771Here, I pinned a piece of lycra onto the wrong side, in order to make a casing for my two draw strings.  To make two tunnels, I would need three lines of sewing.

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Once you sew the first line down the middle of the casing, the other two on either side are pretty easy to sew by using your foot as a guide.

pc190282Insert your cords, and sew them shut at the top of the sleeve, as close to the top as you can, but leaving room for your sleeve gather stitch.

pc190284Its extremely hard to tell what is going on in this picture!  Needless to say, just follow your pattern guide in putting a gather in for your sleeve, and setting the sleeve in.  Personally, I like to set my sleeve in by not sewing the side seam of it first, and just laying it down on the garment with the front and back opened up, like I am trying to show here. :)

pc190285Sew up the sleeve and sides.  Now test the sleeve and see if it needs any alteration.  My first sleeve looked great, so I proceeded to the second.  My second however, I accidentally nicked with my scissors at the bottom.  This took a lot of pain staking fixing and needless to say, my right sleeve still doesn’t look as great, but mostly to the eye of a seamstress—I hope!  The thorn in the side, right? :)

After you sew in the second side, take in the side seams till you get the fit you like.  I made mine more fitted so it would fit smoother under my swim suit.

Last, follow your pattern’s instructions for putting in your neck facing, and bottom hem of the shirt~ :) YEAH~  Now if you have made yourself a pretty swim suit shirt, notice that the website Hydro Chic sales some ready made swim bras!  :)

Well, wish me happy swimming!

I would like to hear your opinions on the matter, sewing tips for sewing lycra, modifying ideas for already made products, pictures of modest and cute options, or your favorite swimsuit websites and or stores!  :)  Or if you stop by, I would really appreciate it if you say hello if you stop by!~


Encouragment

March 18th, 2009

I love this.  I watch it over and over.  It empowers me to create and mold the children God would have me create and mold.  It encourages me to create the difference God would have me make in this life.  It encourages me to create the home and learning atmosphere with which God would have me surround my family, and it encourages me to make the effort to adorn my little family as he would have them to be adorned~carefully sorting through department and thrift stores, shopping on line, and being prepared to alter or sew clothing as needed, all with prudence, joy and thriftiness.

“Far from pushing the limits of modest dress or indulging in the vicarious immorality of pornography, we are to hunger and thirst after righteousness.  To come unto Zion, it is not enough for you or me to be somewhat less wicked than others.  We are to become not only good but holy men and women.  Recalling Elder Neal A. Maxell’s phrase[the recently deceased apostle] , let us once and for all establish our residence in Zion and give up the summer home in Babylon.”  Come to Zion, Elder D. Todd Christofferson (Apostle of the Lord)

Can we be too good, or try too hard?  “We cannot be too good.  Patience is heavenly, obedience is noble, forgiveness is merciful, and exaltation is godly; and he that holds out faithful to the end shall in no wise lose his reward.  A good man will endure all things to honor Christ, and even dispose of the whole world, and all in it, to save his soul.”   “Joseph Smith, 1844, Teachings of the Presidents of the Church pg 356

It is hard to dispose of the whole world to do as the Lord wills, but it is something we must be willing to do.  What he requires of us is not easy, nor will it get easier, he will have a zion people, or a people of one heart and mind.  Obeying as he would have us obey, letting go of all sin and selfishness, and loving as he would have us love, is a sacrifice that we each are called to make, which will bring us sweetest joy.

Femininity

February 25th, 2009

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Have you ever met someone who made an indelible impression such that it changed a part of you?  Through out my life, souls have touched my life, and changed the course of my very actions.  I remember how Chelise radiated with love and inspired me to do so, Kara hugged the down trodden with full love and caring in her heart.   Julie and her family radiated peace, kindness, love, obedience and purity.  I met her on my year and a half proselyting mission to Canada.

Engraved as if on my very conscience, was her pure image, unspotted from the world.  How did she effect my own life?  After I was married and began to have babies, I would think on her often as I went to my own closet and as I dressed my daughters.  What could I wear that would be feminine and lovely?

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To me, Julie embodies femininity and traditional goodness.   The world defines femininity in a contrasted perverted way. Loads of makeup, hair product, hair coloring, breast enhancers, diets to produce a certain size, endless jewelry, accessories, and seductive clothing lines paint the outside, but on the inside, we are encouraged either to embrace masculine attributes, conquering, career achieving, harsh, in-your-face mentality…or to be merely sex objects.

Devine femininity is a God given bestowal of a gentle, nurturing, lovely, refreshing and loving role. 

Julie, like many other Christian women, understands her eternal identity.  

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Every six months, the Church of Jesus Christ has a bi-anual conference where in we are reminded of the eternal principles we need to continually live in order to find peace and happiness.   These conferences are fraught with scripture, with goodness, and with love:

In 2oo2, April Conference  Apostle M. Russell Ballard, stated in “Women of Righteousness ”More than ever before we need women of faith, virtue, vision, and charity, as the Relief Society declaration proclaims. We need women who can hear and who will respond to the voice of the Lord, women who at all costs will defend and protect the family. We don’t need women who want to be like men, sound like men, dress like men, drive like some men drive, or act like men. We do need women who rejoice in their womanhood and have a spiritual confirmation of their identity, their value, and their eternal destiny. Above all, we need women who will stand up for truth and righteousness and decry evil at every turn and simply say, “Lord, here am I, send me.”

Though Julie does not affiliate herself with this specific faith, she is in harmony with this apostle’s admonition.  She is uplifting the world around her.  She seeks to adorn her inner spirit and cloak it with meekness, and kindness, and this changes her outer world as well.  This is her very motto:  (1 Peter 3: 3-4  Whose adorning let it not be that outward aadorning … 4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the aornament of a bmeek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. ) 

 By studying her King James Version of the Bible, Julie obediently and humbly follows the commandment of keeping eternal roles with in our sexes:

Deuteronomy 22:5
5 ¶ The woman shall not wearthat which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.

As a Latter Day Saint of the Church of Jesus Christ, I believe God answers prayers, sending revelation specific to our needs so that each family can  guide eachother back to Christ.  As a church, we follow a prophet much like ancient saints. (Amos 3:7Surely God will do nothing save he revealeth 7 Surely the Lord God will do nothing, abut he brevealeth his csecret unto his servants the dprophets.) 

The following published by the presidency (prophet and apostles)of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints helps us to see just how relevant this scripture in Deuteronomy 22 is for our day:  

The Old Testament Student Manual explains:
The way one clothes oneself is important to the Lord. A special prohibition in the law of Moses forbade men and women to wear each other’s clothing. When this practice is tolerated by society, it produces great confusion. The Lord expressly forbade a unisex society. Any attempt to erase the obvious distinctions between men and women is unnatural and an abomination to the Lord.”

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I love this picture of Julie, for it reminds me of a sweet moment wherein my mother caught her two teen aged sons rewinding and re-rewinding  a  scene from “Newsies”.  The girl was old fashioned, with simple hair and dress.  But her smile radiated with sparkles, and purest beauty, and was refreshing and lovely to the teen aged boy’s hearts.  Our world needs desperately, in fact craves, just such women. 

Your family may or may not look like Julie’s.  Mine has its own unique flavor.  But Julie is a mentor for me in modesty and in feminity, she helps me to become closer to God.  I would ask each of you to find your own mentor, a woman who speaks to your heart.  Her countenance will be radiant, her eyes will sparkle.  She may be fun, kindly, spunky, quiet, serious, a listener, or reticent, but whoever she is she will help you to rip away from the world’s requirements in women, and instead help you find the Lord’s will for you, so that you can heroically preserve roles of male and female vital for the moral fabric of our society:

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The Family: A Proclamation to the World:

(The First Presidency and Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints )

“…Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose…Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.

The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners…”

Each Christian family prayerfully makes choices that might lead their family to Christ as they teach their children the traditional and timeless roles of male and female.  Study the scriptures.  Study the prophets.  Pray with all sincerity of heart.  Find fellow Saints to help you in your journey, and most importantly, seek the Savior…pray for the everlasting, all powerful and saving grace of our own Christ Jesus to change our very nature that we can accomplish the immense tasks we are called to sojourn through in this life, and find joy in so doing. 

2 Ne. 2: 25

  25 aAdam bfell that men might be; and men care, that they might have djoy.

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A thank you to Russel and Julie for helping me in my life, and for edifying and beautifying this message I want to share with the world.

OUT of this World!

February 4th, 2009

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Recently, I attended a most enjoyable evening with the husband at the play, Thoroughly Modern Millie.  I dressed myself all up to go, I even did my hair in curlers.  It didn’t dry all the way so fell mostly out, but didn’t look half bad. 

Still, I felt like a fuddy duddy 31 year old mostly.  Once I saw myself in a full length mirror and realized I did look quite pretty, in a very non-worldly, maybe even refreshing way.  But with all the young college students around me, I felt overly sensitive of my appearance, which I wish to address here.  

The director of the play wrote a beautiful inscript in the play program.  Said he, “As you follow Millie’s journey through this play you should be able to see how the truth of the importance of fidelity in love and marriage shines through the sophistication of her day.  The happiness she and all of us seek is not found in the indulgences of the flesh or in that which is deemed vogue.  Rather it resides forever in the simple and sweet truths that have been lived and defended by the faithful in every generation”.    George D. Nelson

As I went home, I couldn’t help but remember the flashy costumes of the 1920 flappers brightly on stage, and my mind just marvelled of how compelling the world truly is, and always has been.  There is no written law that says, if you are not up to date in style, you shall feel frumpy, and dowdy.  I can enjoy myself,  just as I am, and hope that my clothing does not distract from the message I want my eyes to give, that I embrace that which is happy, bright, good and edifying, and that I strive to love my fellow man in a very real way.   There were moments holding Riley’s hand on our beloved date, that I felt my own identity, a gaining experience, motherly lover of life, husband and children, pretty in her own rite, little sprite.  But the world truly is compelling.  As I felt dowdy, I tried to stand extra tall in my posture. 

Margaret D. Nadauld, “A Woman of Faith,” Ensign, Nov 2002, 73(Referring to those looking upon a woman of faith) They not only hear her discuss her commitment, but they see her commitment in her daily living—in the way she dresses, what she reads and watches, how she spends her leisure time, what she loves and laughs at, whom she attracts, and how she acts at all times, in all things, and in all places. She has a certain style of her own that is attractive and joyful and bright and good. Our little girls and our young women can safely trust in her example. We pray that they too will be fearless as they seek out and promote that which is uplifting and happy and decent, for they are our future.

 I got home and took some pictures of myself, and enjoyed myself fully just as I am with the kindly looks that the good Lord has given me.  I especially joyed in the fact that my hair was actually done special for once!  Which can be a mother’s rare treat.  Let us be bright and good, each in our own way. 

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I want to keep in harmony with the Lord’s standards, that I might feel my own divine worth and know whom I represent, my Savior.  But as such, where ever I am, I hope that I will think more on the experience and feelings of others, and forget self, forgoing all self doubt and finding pure joy in living.

Some thoughts to ponder given by George D. Nelson, director of Thoroughly Modern Millie,

“How guilty are we of this same practice of “making the word of God of none effect through our traditions” (in reference to the Pharisee’s dismissal of Christ’s good word) What labels or words do we invoke to excuse ourselves from that which is our duty?  Do we allow ourselves to avoid the weighty matters of our faith by hiding behind statements like “I’m too busy, Its complicated, That can’t apply to me, or I can’t handle it?”

Am I out of this world when it comes to living a Godly life?  Are you?  Is it too uncomfortable?  Or can we really be as Sister Nadauld described,  She has a certain style of her own that is attractive and joyful and bright and good. Our little girls and our young women can safely trust in her example. We pray that they too will be fearless as they seek out and promote that which is uplifting and happy and decent, for they are our future. After all, the future generation is counting on our OUT of this world example!
You ARE out of this world! 😉 Wink!

Adding another year to dress life

January 11th, 2009

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(Don’t mind son in back ground, crying, and carrying sharp object)

Bravely, my friend with a little son, invited me to the park with my teaming brood of three.  Our more experienced friend, Sister Mullens also joined us.  She reminded me of an existing conviction, by telling us about her stalwart daughter.  She mentioned the integrity her 18 year old had in modesty, so I asked how this daughter developed it.  Sister Mullens explained that she taught modesty before it was an issue, by creating a good habit.  If a skirt went above the knee due to her daughter’s growth, it was time for a new skirt.  Now I am all about avoiding conflicts before they come, so I have chosen the route of keeping sleeves on the girls when they were tiny so they would be used to that feeling of a covered shoulder, and to teach them the principles of modesty way before it was a temptation.  This is the lazy route, because I don’t think little ones look immodest per-say in cute summer dresses without sleeves.  But I know a toddler is much easier to teach than a teen, and that toddler will soon grow up.  A toddler is completely devoted to a mother’s teachings, and that devotion stays deep inside.  You wouldn’t believe how much my daughter already cherishes modesty, understanding that her body is a beautiful sacred temple.   We’ll see if my plan works in a few years.  But length in modesty has been my weakest area, because children grow so fast, and I have had a hard time letting a cute garment go to the too small pile when its a bit short but fits around the middle just fine, besides being just a little bit lazy.  I did NEED this valuable example from Sister Mullens to be vigilant in teaching all aspects of modesty at a young age.  So we added a layer to this just above the knee dress, and invested because now this dress will work for two seasons!

MODIFYING CLOTHING is often much EASIER, and CHEAPER when you buy the original on great sale price, or used.  Just be careful.  If you are adding in an insert for a too low neck line, the insert won’t erase the womanly seductive neck line of a low dip.  More coverage won’t take away this grown up wordly look, and therefore your child won’t look truly modest.  If the garment has a child like sweet innocence in its coloring and patterning, then it is worth MODIFYING and will truly look modest.  Keeping your child looking young while they are will protect them from disgusting male predators, allow them to be a child the one time their childhood is with them, and finally teach them sexuality is sacred and  does not define their worth which thereby allows the child to truly develop their character.  The world, and some of its adult sexual clothing, sends opposite messages which subtley but surely teach opposite things to your daughter.

 

 

Tips on how to.  Look at your dress and try to go along with the style of the dress.  Here’s what I did.

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Cut out your strip a little wider than you want, and long enough to wrap around the garment and a half ( This is not a very gathered ruffle.  Give yourself plenty of room, better to make the strip too long than too short.)

 

 Hem the bottom edge.

  I turned the hem over twice, but realized this was rather bulky in such a heavy chord, so I did the next hem, as you will soon see, differently.

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 Looking at this little jumper, you can see that the seams don’t come together on the inside of the garment like normal, but instead it has ruffles sewn on the seam line.. 

I therefore hemmed the top of this piece (SO that BOTH top and bottom hems are turned toward the INSIDE of the garment) but because I wanted it to be more delicate and less bulky, I am turning it under here with a small hem, and zig zagging the stitch so that it will keep fraying from happening. 

(Or I could have zig zagged the edge, and then turned the hem very small, for a hem without a showing zig zag, but this fabric didn’t show the thread much.)

 

 

 

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Looking at the garment you can see that each tier has a slight ruffle.  I really don’t like working with gathers using a baste stitch, especially for a very loose gather, so instead I thought I’d see what I could create with elastic thread.

 

I LOVE THIS STUFF.  You wind this elastic thread tightly on the bottom, it creates a smocking look.  On a cotton blend summery fabric, it works fabulous.  On heavier corduroy, you have to do a few rows to get some gather.  I have sewn rows of it at the top of a stretchy chord to create a skirt or pant top that will work into the first months of maternity.

 

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To create the amount of gather I wanted, I had to sewed in 3 or 4 rows.  I sewed them as closely together as I possibley could. 

 

Sewing tip:  To keep your sewing straight, make sure to sew slowly enough that you can control your garment, and watch the edge, making sure it follows a chosen line on your machine, the whole time.

 

 

 

 

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Now, sew your ruffle on. 

Begin so that your end seam will either end on a side seam, or at the middle of the back.  Sew on the RIGHT side of  the dress, and the RIGHT side of your added piece.  I could have pinned, but instead, while sewing I continually watched that the last row of my elastic thread sewing (the line of stitching furthest away from the needle) matched up with the bottom of the dresses’ hem. 

(To do this, from about 4 or 5 inches from the sewing, I matched with my fingers the last row of elastic stitching,  to the bottom edge of the tan dress.)

I had to be careful not to stretch the dress as I sewed, if I did it would have pulled out the gather I was trying to crep6140268ate.

Before you get exactly to where you started, stop a few inches so you can have some room to make a seam. 

Pin the unsewn parts on to the dress so they lay flat, without stretching out your gather, and  turn the garment to the inside, sew a seam (You can see here that I made my fabric strip maybe 6 inches longer, so that is why I have such a fat seam.

 

 

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I cut off this extra fabric, and zig zagged the edge.

 

 

Although, to play it more safe, it may have been better to do this step after I checked that the two layers matched correctly on the other side.

 

 

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Sew the rest of the seam down.  You can do this on the RIGHT or WRONG side of the garment. 

 

As you can see, I have a lump.  (The lump looks bigger because of the elastic nature, as it stretched it was actually a small lump.)  This small lump means that my top piece was a little smaller over all than my bottom.  Which means I am going to have a tuck.  I could pick the seam out and make the seam bigger.  Instead I sewed in the tuck, checked the other side, saw that the tuck was so small it wasn’t noticeable, and was satisfied. 

I didn’t pin the seam, like I told you to, and for eyeballing it,  I created a small tuck.

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Now, EMBELISH!!

Make your added length match the style of the dress.  I had a ribbon that matched the dress’ ribbon pretty well.  I didn’t go to thousands of stores to find just the right thing.  As my mom put it “Its good enough for who its for” :) Most likely if the dress were for me, I’d still not search the ends of the earth.

To make this easier, set your ribbon down, pin 6 inches or so ahead, sew to that pin and pin again. 

 

 

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The garment has a maroon line of thicker sewing and a pink line of thicker sewing.  I found a setting on my machine that back tacks so it makes a thicker stitch.  I put maroon thread in, sewed a line of sewing, and then put in pink thread and sewed a line of sewing.

 

 

 

 

 

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Walah!!!!  My darling daughter!!!

My latest study on modesty

January 4th, 2009

Robert D. Hales, (Apostle of the Lord) “Modesty: Reverence for the Lord,” Liahona, Aug 2008, 18–23
As the General Authorities and auxiliary Church leaders travel across the earth, it is apparent to us that the world is becoming increasingly casual and informal. This is manifested in many ways but particularly in the way people dress. This is also true among some members of the Church. Such informality may come in part because of indifference. It may come from a lack of understanding or a lack of proper example. We are now two to three generations into wearing casual apparel, and we may not all have had good parental examples of appropriate and modest dress. Popular culture generally has not provided good examples either. The declining trend may also come in part because it is difficult to buy modest attire in today’s market.It is with these observations and these challenges in mind that I wish to emphasize the need for reverence for our Heavenly Father and for keeping the covenants we have made with Him, particularly as relating to modesty and appropriate dress.
Modesty in Dress for Church Meetings
When we attend a Church meeting, our purpose is to worship our Father in Heaven and His Son, Jesus Christ. Our clothing should show our reverence for Them. We do not dress to attract attention to ourselves, thus distracting others and causing the Spirit to depart.It is the responsibility of parents to teach their children how to dress and prepare for worshipping in the houses of the Lord…
Modesty in Dress for Temple Attendance
Imagine yourself approaching the temple ready to enter the house of the Lord. In your mind’s eye, are you wearing flip-flops, blue jeans, and a T-shirt with your hair casually unkempt? Of course not. But is it appropriate to wear casual clothes of any kind to the temple? If you are coming to the Lord’s house, shouldn’t you be wearing your Sunday best?The next time you approach the temple, pause to look at the temple grounds. Have you ever considered why the temple is surrounded by beautiful plants, reflecting pools, and architecture? They give an outward presence and feeling that prepares the patron for the sacred ordinances that await inside the temple…In the classic fairy tale, Cinderella wore a magnificent gown to the royal ball. Even her slippers reflected the significance of the evening! It would have been unthinkable for her to come in her working clothes. In fact, no one arrived at the ball dressed in inappropriate, casual clothing. They were all elegantly dressed for the occasion.There will be no more significant occasion in your life than your wedding day. Your marriage will be one of the most sacred events of your life, and hopefully it will take place in the holy temple—Heavenly Father’s most sacred edifice here on earth. If you truly understood the nature of the covenants that you will be making, you would reflect that in your dress. Brides, you would choose a white temple dress with a bodice and sleeves that are appropriate for the wearing of temple garments. You would do this because of the endowment ceremony and covenants you took upon yourself in preparation for your sealing ceremony. Grooms, your clothing and appearance would be modest and clean. You would not wear a rumpled shirt or slouchy pants in the temple.When that day comes for you, you will make holy covenants with Heavenly Father. You will want to look your very best as you reverently kneel at an altar before God.
Outward Appearance—the Messages We Send
Imagine that you are watching a play. Now think of how inappropriate it is to go out into the world or come to church dressed in An actor comes on stage dressed as a clown but starts playing the serious part of the lead. You might react by thinking that this is inappropriate—there must be some mistake in the costuming or casting. Now think of how inappropriate it is to go out into the world or come to church dressed in clothes that do not represent who you really are in spirit. Our outward appearance and behavior give a message. What message are we sending? Does it reflect that we are children of God? When we go to church or the temple, it is important that we dress to demonstrate that we are prepared to worship and to indicate that we are mentally and spiritually ready to invite the Spirit to be with us always….When we dress for attention, we are not inviting the Spirit to be with us. We act differently when we are dressed for the world’s attention. Moreover, what we wear will influence the behavior of others toward us.Consider why missionaries dress conservatively in a skirt and blouse or in a suit with a white shirt and tie. How might someone respond if the missionary had unkempt hair and if he or she were dressed in blue jeans, flip-flops, and a T-shirt with a tawdry printed message? That person might ask, “Is this a representative of God?” Why would that person want to engage in a serious conversation about the purpose of life or the Restoration of the gospel with such a missionary?Of course we don’t need to dress like missionaries all of the time. There are certainly times when modest casual clothing is appropriate. The point is this: How we dress affects how people react to us. It also demonstrates where our heart and spirit really desire to be.How we feel on the inside shows on the outside. We show love and respect for ourselves and others by our attitude, speech, and dress. We show love and respect for Church leaders and ward or branch members by speaking, dressing, and behaving in a manner that does not bring inappropriate attention to ourselves. We show love and respect for friends and associates when our language, dress, and behavior are not provocative or unduly casual. And we show love and respect to the Lord through humble dress and behavior. “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:35).
Putting on “the Whole Armor”
…Just as we are to “put on” the armor of God, we are to “put on” our clothes as protection for us and others. Clothing ourselves with modest dress and modest actions—mercy, kindness, humility, patience, and charity—will invite the companionship of the Spirit and will positively affect those around us (see Colossians 3:12, 14).Are we determined to be Saints in the kingdom of God, or are we more comfortable in the ways of the world? Ultimately, how we dress will greatly influence our obedience to commandments and devotion to covenants. Dressing modestly will guide our attitudes and behavior as we conduct our daily lives. In time our dress may even determine who our friends and associates may be, thus influencing whether we live worthy of enjoying the blessings of happiness in this world and for eternity.It is my fervent prayer that we will hold to our covenants and be modest in our dress and behavior as we attend church, visit the temple, and go about our daily lives. As we do so, we will show respect for ourselves, our parents, our Church leaders, and others, and we will show reverence to our Heavenly Father and invite the Spirit to be with us always...