Thursday, July 31, 2008

One More Reason to Love Japan

Ah, Japan. Home of tempura, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Hello Kitty, and all thing cute. Now we have one more reason to love Japan: the haramaki. Apparently, as I discovered while randomly stumbling craft blogs, the haramaki is a new fashion trend over in Japan, and one I think we should import over here to the good ol' U. S. of A. and use for our own purposes. It's also been called a belly warmer or a tummy warmer, which is rather descriptive of what it is. Basically it's a tube of fabric or knitted material that wraps around your stomach, waist, and hips to provide a little extra warmth and coverage. This can be especially useful since sometimes the only pants you can buy are of the low-rise variety (a fashion pet-peeve of mine). Here are some pictures of some cute haramaki I found online:

As you can see, there's a lot of potential for spicing up an outfit, providing color, adding modesty, or just adding texture to whatever you're wearing! I gotta get me one of those. It's been a bit frustrating, because I can't seem to find anywhere to buy them on the internet, but I did find a tutorial for how to make one on Planet June (a fun, crafty blog to visit in your free time). Go here to access that.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Quick Fixes for Formal Dresses

I found a neat little rundown of some things you can do to fix up a tube top, sleeveless, low cut, or backless dress over at in their section on modest makeovers. They even have downloadable, printable patterns that you can use to modestify your dress or top. I'm way psyched. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Memory Skirt

Well, I am happy to say that I put another one of the tutorials I've posted on this blog to the test--and it turned out moderately successful. I used the men's shirt t0 skirt tutorial to make a skirt out of three shirts I wore on my mission. These shirts were very dear to me, but they had really seen better days. I wanted to hang on to them and had some sort of half-planned ambitions of making a quilt, but I don't think I have quite enough old mission clothes to pull off a real quilt. So this tutorial was a great solution for my what-to-do-with-these-shirts-I-don't-want-to-toss dilemma. So, here's the finished product:

The front:
The back:

My favorite detail, the lace:

Unfortunately, even with the lace it's still a bit too short--guess I have pretty short arms. As you can see in the following picture, I have to sag it way down to get it to the right length. I've got to figure something out, because I think it's really cute and I don't want to have to abandon it. Any ideas?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Easy Fix

Ok, so I bought a really cute dress, um, last year, but haven't been able to wear it in a while as my husband pointed out that it is too short in the back and shows my garments. Whoops. So, taking some inspiration from vintage hem, I made my own lengthening underslip. Here's what I did.
First, I gathered my materials:
One, an old, knee-length slip I probably stole from my mom somewhere between 5 and 7 years ago. :) Love you Mom!
And two, about two yards of thick lace I bought for 67 cents a yard.

Next, I busted out the handy sewing machine and just sewed the lace to the slip, basically just using a straight stitch to tack the lace right onto the slip. And ta-da! Now I have a modestifying slip for whatever occasion :)

So now I'm happy cuz I get to wear my cute dress again, and maybe take a second look at some dresses that were not-quite-long enough. :)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Modestify in Action!

Someone really did it - and did it well - she used one of the ideas on the site! My excitement is unparalleled. I hope she doesn't mind, but I'm going to share some of the pictures of the awesome skirt that my sister in law's sister (aka my brother's sister in law, aka my neighbor, aka a very nice person, aka a friend, aka she has an awesome garden, aka she's cool!) made using the men's shirt sleeve idea. Yay for her!

Any one else try anything lately? Or want to try something and don't know where to start? Leave a comment, email a picture, tap a message in morse code on my front door (and as soon as I learn morse code I'll get back to you), anything! :) Thanks for reading.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

On the Red Carpet

I love looking at red carpet pictures. Generally I try to avoid obsessing over celebrity lives (they're just people after all), but I'm still pretty interested in what they choose to wear for the very public events that require them to walk down the red carpet. So, I was very happy to find that among all the extremely revealing dresses celebs tend to wear to these events, there were some modest gems.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Featured Site: Beautifully Modest

This is both a site ( and a brick-and-mortar store (Allyse's Bridal) (which happily happens to be in my area) that really just puts a twinkle in my eye. I always loved their all-modest selection and their customer service, but now that I know a little more about their company and how they came about, I love them even more. Apparently their story started with a dad going prom dress shopping with his daughter and experiencing the frustration and disappointment of not being able to find a modest dress anywhere, even in Utah, the mecca of mormondom. You can read all about their story at Meridian Modesty. Their pictures are copyrighted, so I couldn't add them straight to the blog, but click on the links to see some of my favorite items from the store.

My wedding dress

Cute semi-formal

Gorgeous brown sheer

Simple day-dress

I'm in love with this one

What I would wear to prom if I could go back in time

Monday, July 21, 2008

DIY Skirt Idea

Here's a fun and really simple idea for making a skirt out of some old men's button-downs. Looks like a great way to make something unique and modest to add to your wardrobe without much pain in your wallet. :) Enjoy.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Patterns! Continued

So, continuing with the sewing theme this week has mysteriously taken on, I've decided to post some of my favorite patterns I've found on Burdastyle. The ones I've picked to someday make myself are all in the very easy to moderately easy category, so if I can do it you can do it! Just gotta get some ink for my printer... Anyway, here they are:

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


With all the amazing sewing sites out there these days, all you really need to make your totally unique, personal, modest wardrobe are some sewing skills and a pattern. My favorite source of patterns is Burdastyle - it is "open source sewing" which means most of the patterns are available to download for free AND there are tons of people all working on the same or similar projects to help you out when you get stuck. Here is an awesome video in which my two favorite internet craft addictions - Threadbanger and Burdastyle - have teamed up to teach us all about patterns.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Sewing Tips: Hemming

For the longest time when I was sewing things, I left the hems unfinished or tried to fudge my way through that part of the project. Well, to save you the sadness that comes from having a nearly perfect clothing item ruined by a botched made-up hem, I am posting this awesome video from Threadbanger that teaches you not one but two ways to hem. Good luck!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Ten O'Clock Monday Night...

So. It's ten o'clock on Monday night and I still haven't posted. I know everyone is just distressed and distraught with grief at my lack of posty-ness. No? Well, just to assuage my own sense of guilt at not meeting a goal, I will post, even at this late hour. Just a short one to link you over to this interesting article giving some very good recommendations for how to sew and where to find modest clothing from a pattern. Hope you enjoy it.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Keep Cool Secret #4

Ok, so it's not much of a secret, but another way to maintain modesty and keep cool in the summer is simply to find yourself a great pair of shorts. I love me a pair of cutoffs from an old, ratty-but-extremely-comfortable pair of jeans. There are also a few companies that sell adorable long shorts that will help you feel happy in the heat. Here are some of my favorites:

First off, from the Gap (these are a little more pricey, but they are very cute, especially the denim):

Next up, Great Lengths Shorts. Shorts are their specialty, so they have some great selections. I dearly love those plaid ones. (They also have a whole page of denims!):

Last, if you're feeling a little adventurous and would like to make a pair of shorts, this is a pattern listed on Burdastyle that I fell in love with the moment I saw. (By the way, you have to become a member to download the patterns, but it is free and so totally worth the trouble):

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Keep Cool Secret #3

Choose the right shirt. A great modestifying tip is to layer your shirts - if the shirt is too short, add a long tanktop underneath; wear a shade shirt underneath a cami; add a ModesTee to your slightly revealing attire. These are all great ideas - when it's not a hundred degrees out. Sometimes just the thought of all those layers is enough to make me sweat. So, one way to avoid that is to carefully choose a shirt that is both modest and cool, without having to add any extra insulation. My favorite shirt is a black tuxedo top style that I found at a used clothing store (Plato's Closet) - it's made with a thin fabric so it's deliciously breathable, it's modest, and it's cute. I love that thing. So, I went on a little search and found a few more modest, one-layer-covers-all, cute, breezy shirts for summer:

From Chadwick's:

From Delia's:

Hmmm, I think I have a thing for white. Most of these come in other colors as well, but I'm partial to white (which isn't so great when you somehow manage to spill all over yourself every time you turn around). I think it is key, though, to choose a light color and a light, breezy fabric. Stay cool!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Keep Cool Secret #2

I think during the summer a lot of people underestimate the power of skirts. We think, it's so (so, so, so) hot outside, the only thing I can do is wear shorts - short, short shorts. That'll keep me cool. But the short shorts expose your skin to the sun and don't honor the beauty that is your body. Something I realized when I had to wear a skirt every day for a year and a half was that these things are AWESOME! They are like little, wearable air conditioners. As you wend your way through the world, they waft the air softly around your legs. And they are adorable and attractive. Here are a few of my favorites from Christa-Taylor:

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Tips for Staying Cool

Ok, it is hot. Really hot. Sweat running down the back of your legs when you step outside hot. Hot. And around this time of year, it can be frustrating finding ways to stay modest and stay cool. Well, I think this week I should have some good ideas for you. The first is this little article from Cotton Incorporated on which fabrics are the best for promoting happy breeziness in the heavy summer. Sticking to fabrics like these will help keep you from melting--without having to sacrifice your modesty. Yay, cotton!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Another Adorable Shrug

Time for more shrugs - and more "I made this!" joy. Using a video tutorial from Threadbanger (below), I successfully made the adorable little shrug shown below. It worked perfectly. The sweater I used was a Christmas gift from a few years ago; I didn't want to get rid of it because it was cute and I am sentimental, but the darn thing squeezed my arms mercilessly and had some sort of vendetta against me that involved constantly showing off my stomach. And so, I revamped it and have been terribly pleased with the results.

Improvements: 1.) Now it's supposed to be short. 2.) Cutting the sleeves and doing a zigzag stitch really opened those sleeves up and now they don't make me feel like I'm about to bust out like the Hulk. 3.) The button. I heart buttons.

Make yours:

Friday, July 4, 2008

More Modest Swimsuits

Once again, I did some Internet window shopping and found some adorable, modest swimsuits from Lime Ricki. They have so many options on their site - fun colors, great styles (even some actual one-piece swimsuits!), and more or less modest prices. Here are my favorites, but go check 'em out and find your fave.

P.S. Happy Independence Day!!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

For Instant Modesty: Part II

For instant modesty,

Add one of these:

To any of these:

Check out the ModesTee, wearable under any current fashion, here.