Simple Gift for a Fellow Seamstress

A little while back my friend made some gifts for someone in her life that was going through something hard. She is so inspiring! I realized that my sister was going through a difficult student teaching semester and needed something to brighten her day. I was looking for simple things and something a seamstress would enjoy using. Then I packaged it up and mailed it to her.
I gave her some thrifted fabric because what seamstress doesn't LOVE unique fabric? The colors reminded me of my sister so that's why I sent it. Then I made a simple stretch produce bag for her trips to a farmer's market or using it at the beach for sandals. Lastly, I used a cute knit remnant to make her a pocket. She gets to sew it on a shirt meaning she gets a shirt that fits her and she gets the enjoyment of completing a project. For someone busy finishing a project feels like magic.
Want to know what my sister said about this gift? 
"It came at the perfect and, and it made my day. I teared up a little. Just knowing that you were behind me in some of the hardest times and supported me to get through it. And you know me so well cuz I loved all of it."



I have a different kind of post today. I work with the teenage girls in my congregation, and this past Sunday I taught a lesson about beauty. I'm going to share some of my notes from the lesson. I will tell you up front that it is religious, and it is very close to my heart so be nice if you have a comment. I would love to answer any questions you have.

"If you've glanced at a magazine or turned on the TV in the last decade, you've got a good idea of what media's definition of an attractive woman looks like: she's tall, young, usually white, has long, flowing hair, is surgically enhanced, blemish-free and very thin. In face, academic research tells it like we see it: studies show the women we see in media these days are thinner than ever and very often severely underweight. On top of that, surgical and difital enhancement has become an unquestioned standard. And in a world where a constant flow of media images far outnumbers women we could ever see face to face, this unrealistic ideal has become the norm in our minds. A counterfeit, dangerous, unattainable norm. When we only see a certain type of woman presented positively in media, it's no wonder media is consistently linked to body hatred, disordered eating and an unhealthy focus on appearance. Profit-driven media, hand in hand with the multi-billion-dollar beauty and weight loss industries, rely on us believing a lie. The lie tells us beauty comes in one form that anyone can attain with enough money, time and effort. It tells us that women who don't fit the ideal are doomed to be undesirable and unhappy." Beauty Redefined

This is a lie created by Satan.

I asked the girls a question, and we wrote the answers on the board. What character traits, actions, or talents make a woman beautiful? (They had many more than this, these are just a couple of the answers I remembered.)
  • Treating your body with respect
  • Respecting others
  • Loving
  • Kind 
  • Intelligent
  • Moral
  • Forgiving yourself and others
  • Honest
  • Compassionate
  • Accept yourself as a unique person (weaknesses and all)
We then broke up into groups to read these quotes and talk about them.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland: "Frankly, the world has been brutal with you in this regard. You are bombarded in movies, television, fashion magazines, and advertisements with the message that looks are everything! The pitch is, “If your looks are good enough, your life will be glamorous and you will be happy and popular.” That kind of pressure is immense in the teenage years, to say nothing of later womanhood. In too many cases too much is being done to the human body to meet just such a fictional (to say nothing of superficial) standard. . . . . In terms of preoccupation with self and a fixation on the physical, this is more than social insanity; it is spiritually destructive, and it accounts for much of the unhappiness women, including young women, face in the modern world. And if adults are preoccupied with appearance—tucking and nipping and implanting and remodeling everything that can be remodeled—those pressures and anxieties will certainly seep through to children. At some point the problem becomes what the Book of Mormon called 'vain imaginations'."

Sister Susan W. Tanner: “Happiness comes from accepting the bodies we have been given as divine gifts and enhancing our natural attributes, not from remaking our bodies after the image of the world. The Lord wants us to be made over—but in His image, not in the image of the world, by receiving His image in our countenances.  . . .
Our bodies are our temples. We are not less but more like Heavenly Father because we have bodies. I testify that we are His children, made in His image, with the potential to become like Him. Let us treat this divine gift of the body with great care.”

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland: “The world’s (and Satan’s) definition of beauty tries to convince us that only by using clothing, our bodies, and our looks can we have power and gain approval.”

Elder Holland: “In this same vein may I address an even more sensitive subject. I plead with you young women to please be more accepting of yourselves, including your body shape and style, with a little less longing to look like someone else. We are all different. Some are tall, and some are short. Some are round, and some are thin. And almost everyone at some time or another wants to be something they are not! But as one adviser to teenage girls said: “You can’t live your life worrying that the world is staring at you. When you let people’s opinions make you self-conscious you give away your power. … The key to feeling [confident] is to always listen to your inner self—[the real you.]”And in the kingdom of God, the real you is “more precious than rubies.”Every young woman is a child of destiny and every adult woman a powerful force for good.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland: “One would truly need a great and spacious makeup kit to compete with beauty as portrayed in media all around us.”

Sister Susan W. Tanner: “Satan learned these same eternal truths about the body, and yet his punishment is that he does not have one. Therefore he tries to do everything he can to get us to abuse or misuse this precious gift. He has filled the world with lies and deceptions about the body. He tempts many to defile this great gift of the body through unchastity, immodesty, self-indulgence, and addictions. He seduces some to despise their bodies; others he tempts to worship their bodies. In either case, he entices the world to regard the body merely as an object.“

Elder Richard G. Scott: “Satan has unleashed a seductive campaign to undermine the sanctity of womanhood, to deceive the daughters of God and divert them from their divine destiny. He well knows women are the compassionate, self-sacrificing, loving power that binds together the human family. He would focus their interests solely on their physical attributes and rob them of their exalting roles.”

We opened up to Doctrine and Covenants 18:10 and read it. "Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God." It doesn't say, "Remember the worth of Souls is great in the sight of God" except for my hair color, my skin, my arms, my legs, etc. He created us, every part of us and God does not make mistakes. He made each of us beautiful and each of us unique. Each one of us is different and we have different talents.
The first thing we can do to acknowledge this great gift of love and individuality is that we can begin by believing that we can succeed. Maybe you need to pray to find your purpose or pray to learn to be happy with your purpose. Don’t compare your purpose with somebody else’s.
Then I showed them a $10 bill. I asked who wanted it. Then I asked, "if I spit on it, do you still want it? If I put it on the ground, and stomp on it, do you still want it? If I spill water on it, do you still want it?" No matter what I do to this $10 bill, it's worth the same amount. We are worth an indescribable amount to God. (This story is derived from Elder Uchtdorf's talk "You Are My Hands.")
The worth of our lives comes not in who we are but by WHOSE we are. We never lose our worth. Your reflection does not define your worth.
Challenge for the week:
  • Give non-appearance compliments: Notice others character traits, actions or talents and compliment them on it.
  • Stop the negative self talk: Every time you think of something negative about yourself, stop and think about something kind. Remember that what we THINK about our bodies has a strong connection to how we TREAT our bodies.
  • Go on a Media Fast: Choose a day, days, or a week to steer clear of as much media as you can. That way, you can see how your life is different without all those messages and images, and when you return to viewing and reading popular media, you will be more sensitive to the messages that hurt you and those that are unrealistic.
  • Forget Yourself: Sometimes the best way to improve our self-esteem is to forget about ourselves for a while. Service fills us with love and light that radiate from within.


Sewn Easter Outfits

I planned on making Claire a dress for Easter that would look similar to one I wanted to make for myself. I didn't plan on making anything for Henry. I made him a suit in December for a wedding and thought he could wear that for Easter. Then I remembered some cool plaid fabric I had and decided on a whim to make Henry a blazer. They are the cutest siblings.
For Henry I used the Canaan's Incredible Blazer pattern. It's a great blazer pattern. I used some fabric that was given to me. I had just enough to match most of the plaid at the seams. I cut it all out and then found that I forgot to cut out the collars. So I had to piece together the collar, and it turned out alright. I used real leather for the elbow patches and bright blue buttons. I did a size 4 height and a size 2 width, and it fits him perfectly. There's even extra length in the sleeves to let it out if his arms grow a lot longer. He's wearing mama made skinny jeans and his moon shirt.
For Claire I used one of my dresses to refashion. It's a blush aztec-woven lace fabric and it's gorgeous. I used the free Carolina Dress pattern. I made it into short sleeves and made it shorter because Claire is short. It's a little too short now, but it can always become a shirt in the future. The neckline is a little too deep, but she wears a onesie under it. She's wearing it with mama made white leggings and a thrifted fur vest.

I love these cuties and they sure do love each other. 


Simple Butterfly Drawstring Skirt

Last week I thrifted another great bag fabric. The thrift store near me puts cuts of fabric in small bags, so you never quite know what you're getting. If I can see at least two great pieces of fabric in a bag then I buy it. There were a whole bunch of really great fabrics. I was SO giddy over about half of the fabrics. One of the best was this gorgeous butterfly cotton woven print. It was a really small cut so I was perfect for a little girls gathered skirt.
The cut of fabric was tall, so I cut it into three and sewed them together. It was simple and quick and just so cute. It's an elastic waistband with buttonholes and a ribbon tied in a bow. It's a little big for Claire at this point, but she can grow into it. I made the hat for Henry, and now it almost fits Claire. It was a cold day, so she needed some warmth without hiding the skirt.
The fabric has the prettiest colors, I just love it. It's so girly, and Claire seemed really happy to wear. She kept lifting it up and playing with it. She loves pretty flowers and cats, but she also love sticks and chasing big brother all around outdoors.


Ikat Button-Up Shirt

I've been wanting some cute Ikat fabric for a looooooong time. I've been searching everywhere for Ikat fabric that I like and that isn't too pricey. Then Teresa from Dandelion Drift posted about a dress that she sewed from Target sheets. It was the answer to my long search. Why had I never thought of buying sheets for fabric? I do it at thrift stores all the time. Anyway, I copied her, but I decided to make a button up shirt instead.
The fabric was great to work with. It has a good weight without being too stiff. I really love the navy and white combination. I'm only worried about the color fading quickly. Hopefully it fades tastefully. I was really proud of my pattern matching. The pocket almost blends in except for the topstitching and the matching along the front button placket is basically perfect.
I used the long sleeve blouse pattern from Burdastyle. I made the torso longer and lengthened the sleeves. I was surprised and how well I liked the fit without any alterations once it was put together.
I love wearing it by itself since it speaks well alone. But I'm preppy at heart and often wear it under a sweater. I'd wear button up shirts and sweaters while mixing patterns everyday if I could.
This is technically my mock-up because I got some pretty dotted chambray for Christmas that I'm planning on making next. The fit turned out great with my flat pattern alterations, but I'm going to make a couple more alterations before I cut into my nice fabric.
If you've ever used a Burdastyle pattern you know how limited the instructions are. I was able to do all of the construction easily by myself except for the sleeve placket. I couldn't remember the construction from that last one I did on a button up shirt over five years ago. I was too lazy to look it up online to figure out how to do it, so I just did a simple continuous bound placket. It was a little fidgety, but it worked. I think for the next one I do I'll do a better sleeve placket.
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