Monday, December 08, 2014

Freehand Sewing Project


 It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High:
To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night...Psalms 92:1-2

Hello Dear Ladies.  Today I wanted to try a freehand attempt at making a poets shirt with the big wide, drapey ruffles. I used two inexpensive, thin t-shirts (shown near the end of this post) and cut one of them into wide strips which I gathered by machine into ruffles.  I also zigzagged the edge of each ruffle, which created a curly effect. By freehand, I mean not following a pattern or a design.
This project differs from the one I showed on a post a few days ago, in that the ruffles are wider and arranged in a slightly V- dip in the center of the blouse. There is an added piece of ruffle at the neckline.


I arranged the ruffles on the bodice the way I wanted them to look, pinned them, and then stitched them, adding the small ruched ruffle at the neckline to cover the top ruffle seam. The fabric has a silky look and feel.

Today I would also like to present a talk on the subject of confidence. 

Have you ever allowed your personal happiness and confidence to be upset by something? 

How are you supposed to act when you are preparing for a social event, whether at home or out, and something demoralizes you? Perhaps it is something which sent your mood plummeting, such as bad news, a disappointment, an unexpected bill, a false accusation, or a rude remark directed at you. Maybe it was an unintended error on your part, as recipe that did not work the way it was supposed to, or something ruined in the washing machine. Perhaps some member of your family has troubles, or  there is complaining and unfriendliness around you.

I used to wonder why older ladies could conduct themselves with confidence, though  seemingly beset by  distressing things, while other women would fall apart emotionally and have a melt-down, becoming unable to do normal things. They could not function until a problem had been completely settled. But what does a Christian lady do when problems around her never settle down?

I was told by one elderly Christian lady, who was also a preacher's wife of over 60 years, that when she felt the least confident, she was the most determined to be normal. She bravely dressed her best in honor of those she intended to serve and edify. She minded her conversation carefully, not even giving a hint that there was anything amiss in her life. This seasoned preacher's wife also attended social functions where she knew she was being criticized, and she did it with confidence. While most women would rather stay away from such  tense situations, this lady thought of the heavy cross Jesus carried up the hill of Golgotha, as she went into the social obligations with people she knew were against her.

This next technique the woman told me about, is something that may be lacking in the person who has difficulty keeping life normal for her family when life gets pressurized: the routines of life. During a woman's life, her aging parents may be ill and need extra attention. Her husband may be having difficulty with office politics threatening his job stability.  Her children need her sensible training so that they may have a good foundation in their lives. Her house needs order and she needs to have time to sit at her desk to pay the family bills. She may not have established any routine or daily rituals that make her feel at peace.

 The simple matter of a familiar daily and weekly routine can become a good foundation for a woman surrounded by turmoil. These days it is more  common to dress quickly and rush out the door to go "somewhere else" instead of lingering to observe personal rituals like the brushing of the hair or the morning prayer done with thoughtful contemplation. Women of old used to have daily rituals of washing and grooming themselves before facing their families or the world. Meals were predictable and almost always taken  at the same time of the day. There was a time to set the table, a time to wash the dishes and a time to make beds and clean house and a time to visit.  Children growing up in such homes caught these habits and engrafted them into their own lives so well that they were hardly conscious of it; it felt normal and right and gave them a positive outlook.

Mornings and evenings were often spent in private prayer and Bible study, even if a few verses for a few minutes. Today people are perpetually behind in their work and find it difficult to use a routine that includes meditation.

Weekly routines were also strictly observed, although the activities differed from house to house. Monday may have been letter-writing day and wash day. Tuesday brought forth fresh baked products, Wednesday shopping, Thursday might have been set aside for sewing.  Routines and rituals are not as cherished today, which might contribute to the amount of stress a woman experiences when problems come.

Oh that we moderns could adhere to routines and rituals no matter what the emotional distractions. And let us remember to commit our ways to The Lord, including our routines, so that we may not be distracted by things we can do nothing about that interrupt our routines.

 It takes self-discipline and determination to adhere to a personal routine no matter what the distractions are--barring emergencies, of course.

There is a saying that addresses the problem of loss of confidence in your role and in your life: "Do what you can do, and the rest leave to The Lord."

Build confidence by retaining your dignity in unpleasant circumstances. Be the queen who made an appearance to her subjects when rumors were being spread that her kingdom was failing. Enemies of her country tried to pull her confidence out from under her by repeating false stories. She responded by doing the best she could to show that all was well in her kingdom. She dressed her most royally and rode through the streets to show that all was well. When problems occur and you cannot think straight, a routine can help you and others feel anchored.

Today, I think the simple act of setting a table in a beautiful way can put the homemaker at ease when uncertainty hovers at the door. Creating and adhering to personal routines is reassuring and settling. It is like a queen going for a carriage ride to show that all is calm. Discouraging talk can sometimes be quelled by a woman who has confidence.

Perhaps you have known of ladies who never seemed to worry or become tense amd upset even when it seemed the sky was falling around them. Did you observe their personal rituals?

If you feel the need to develop routines for more personal stability, it will be difficult at first. What really tests your mettle is  whether you can stick to a routine when you do not feel like it. If you can prepare a meal and clean the bathroom even though you feel uneasy about something, you have mastered the character quality of self-control. 

Self-control means that your moods and your sense of duty does not depend on fair weather or fair-weather friendships. It means you will do what needs to be done no matter what discouragements are rolling their eyes at you. Practice self control by doing something that you need to do, when you do not feel like it. Self-control develops routines and dependable things in your life that you will one day be and comforted by. Self-control leads to self-confidence.

Scriptures to build confidence:

Isa 30:15  ?.. in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.

Ecc 4:6  Better is an handful with quietness, than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit.

Psa 7:10  My defence is of God, which saveth the upright in heart.

Psa 59:9  Because of his strength will I wait upon thee: for God is my defence.

1Co 4:12  And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it:

Will your anchor hold in the storms of life,
When the clouds unfold their wings of strife?
When the strong tides lift, and the cables strain,
Will your anchor drift or firm remain?
We have an anchor that keeps the soul
Stedfast and sure while the billows roll,
Fastened to the Rock which cannot move,
  Grounded firm and deep in the Savior’s love.
It is safely moored, ’twill the storm withstand,
For ’tis well secured by the Savior’s hand;
And the cables passed from His heart to mine,
Can defy the blast, through strength divine.
It will firmly hold in the straits of fear,
When the breakers have told the reef is near;
Though the tempest rave and the wild winds blow,
Not an angry wave shall our bark o’erflow.
It will surely hold in the floods of death,
When the waters cold chill our latest breath;
On the rising tide it can never fail,
While our hopes abide within the veil.

Please be sure and comment. I love hearing from you. 


Shani said...

Good Morning, Lady Lydia,

This is an excellent post, and gives me the nudge I needed to regain my lost self-discipline. I have a tendency to get lost in my mind and let things slide around me, but I have saved this post and will use it to remind myself why self-control is so important to me. Thank you, dear lady.

May the peace of God be with you today,
Mrs. Skutt

becky said...

Thank you for this. We had severe trials with a prodigal son a few years back. )He is fine and living for the Lord now,) but keeping to my routines and schedule and eliminating activities to devote more time to prayer were a must in my life.I am pretty much a routine kind of gal anyway, but it a routine helped me stay focused. thank you

Christine said...

First of all, I really like your ruffled T-shirts. It dresses them up and covers you up.

Self Control is something that I have been working hard on. Your words have pushed me and comforted me, too.
I was reading about meekness this morning. Confidence, self control and meekness are great partners for a lady.

Lydia said...

I apologize if you are having to type in word verification. I am trying to get it removed but not having success, even when I follow directions.

The Professor's Wife said...

Such a lovely shirt! I want to learn how to sew, and this seems like an easy project and a great way to use things I already have at home. I love fashionable feminine clothes.

Lydia said...

Word verification has planted itself on a lot of blogs and cannot be removed. I hope blogger does something about it soon.

ChristyH said...

My husband and I call this something similar. I will say that it isn't confidence that is lost but more like joy that is stolen. We have a catch phrase between us to help bolster ourselves and each other and that is, don't let others steal your joy. I think this is another post for my encouragement folder. As always it is a joy to read your blog.

Lydia said...

Thank you Christy. I will put a link to a print page, soon.

Ladies I am still trying to remove the word verification that has embedded itself on the comments

Debbie said...

Dear Lydia, this post is reflective of just what I have been suffering with from the last week. What an encouragement to my spirit. The timing of your wise words are perfect. I have found much hope in the story relayed of your friend who handled the joy stealers with grace and confidence. I have read that section multiple times to receive a deeper meaning of it. In the past I have struggled with how to deal with these same issues and had not thought that it was a confidence problem. Thank you for your presence here. I always look forward to your posting!


Lydia said...

Debbie, I think we concentrate on trying to get troublemakers to see reason or. We want to negotiate with the problem, but learning confidence by developing steady habits might be a more effective way of dealing with stress.