Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Standards Night

In raising my daughters and working in YW, I have found that speaking plainly with my teenagers is a policy that works for me.  I do not want them to come back and say they didn't understand what I wanted or expected. I feel that dropping hints leaves too much room for interpretation.  We need to fight the evils in this world with clear-cut boundaries.  Elder Holland gives a wonderful talk, a portion of which is on youth.lds.org.  This, and another video presentation by President Monson, were played at our Stake Standards Night.  These are worth sharing for those who have not seen them.

I love how President Monson reminds us that we are never alone when we stand with our Father in Heaven! 

Heavenly Father is the author of the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet through his inspired prophets.  As parents and leaders, we find our young people are strong-willed.  This is an important characteristic to channel for good.  It can become courage! We can help them find this courage by teaching them and talking with them about the standards their Heavenly Father has set for them.  In gaining a testimony of these principles, these youth can dare to have a purpose, dare to choose the right, and dare to choose the Temple. 

(Many more wonderful videos, talks, and resources can be found at youth.lds.org)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Necktie Skirt

Guest Blogger: Allison from ABitterKnitter.blogspot.com

Greetings!  I'm Allison, and am the daughter of the author of Value-able Ideas.  I'm a new mom and a knitter and am guest blogging today to share about a necktie skirt I made several years ago.

When I was a Young Woman, I had a friend who had a skirt made of neckties and it was the thing.  Everyone knew about LinnĂ©'s necktie skirt!  As a young newlywed, I made one for my younger sister, who was then a Mia Maid.  She wore it until she graduated from high school and then continued to wear it to the single's ward.  And everyone knew about Crystal's necktie skirt!  Want one?  Sure... here's how:

Neckties.  A bunch.
Ribbon 1.5" or wider.  Enough to go around your waist with some to spare.
Zipper.  I used one 8 inches long.
Hook and eye
Sewing machine
Thread to coordinate with ribbon and zipper. 
Yardstick or tape measure.

Step 1: Collect neckties.  This necktie skirt is made using 18 normal neckties.  Some of these ties belonged to my dad, some to my husband, and some were bought in thrift stores.  (I had a friend in the single's ward who joked that she was going to make one by collecting ties from guys she promised to wait for while they were on missions.  Hey, however you want to get your ties is up to you...)  18 neckties made a skirt that is about a size 8, but the size is very adjustable.  Just use more or fewer neckties.

Step 2: Pick the order. Pick out the ties you're sure you want on your skirt and decide which ones you want next to each other.  I didn't want ties that were too similar in colour next to each other, but that's just me.  Line your ties up in the order you want them to be in.  You may end up using more or fewer ties before you're done depending on how big your skirt needs to be.

 Step 3: Sew neckties.  For this step you'll need a sewing machine and thread.  I used black thread as it coordinated with the ribbon and zipper.  Take your first two ties and put them one on top of the other with the fronts together.  Line up the sides of the ties so that the tops of the Vs match up.  (Is there a technical term for tie anatomy?)  Sew the two ties together close to the edge.  I sewed as close as I could to the edge without going off and used a narrow zigzag stitch to better hold together the weight of the ties.  Make sure you sew up almost two feet.  (Well, that's for a skirt that comes down to your kneecap.  I'm assuming you want a modest skirt.)  Then open up those two ties, line up your third tie and sew that one.  Repeat, repeat, repeat.  ♫ Do as I'm doing, follow, follow me... ♪

Once you think you have enough ties, "try on" your skirt by wrapping it around your waist.  Make sure the bottoms of the ties are where you want them to be for the right length of your skirt.  If it goes all the way around your waist, you're done and ready for the next step.  If not, keep adding ties until it goes all the way around and the ties touch or overlap by part of a tie.  If more than a full tie overlaps, remove ties until only one or less than a full tie overlaps.

Step 4: CUT.  It is better to make it too long at first than to make it too short!  Using your yardstick or tape measure, measure up from the bottom where two ties meet.  Start by measuring up two feet and place a pin.  Do this several places around your skirt.  Then cut from pin to pin.  Now that things are more skirt shaped, wrap it around your waist again and hold the two open sides together.  If it's the right length, stop here and move on to step 5.  If it's too long, figure out about how many inches need to come off, re-measure, re-pin, and re-cut.  When it's the length you want, move on to step 5.  (If you find that you have too many ties around once it is then length you want, remove ties as described in step 3 until the right number of ties remain.)

Step 5: Add the waistband.  Take your ribbon.  Fold it in half along its length.  Line it up along the top of your skirt, letting it hang off the edge by about an inch or so.  Sew it along your skirt, folding the edge over to the inside of the skirt.  (I sewed it with the right side out, sewing both the inside and outside down at the same time.)

Step 6: Add the zipper. Line up your two open sides the same way you lined up all the other ties, with the right sides of the ties facing each other.  Sew them together leaving about seven inches unsewn at the top.  Sew in your zipper.  (For more information about how to sew in a zipper, go to Google and search for "how to sew in a zipper.)

Step 7: Add a hook and eye. Just like the instruction says.  Add a hook and eye at the top.

And voilá, you're finished!  Wear with pride!  Next week, learn how to knit a pair of value-striped socks.  (Kidding!)

This project helps meet the requirements for the following Young Women Value Experiences: Divine Nature Value Project, Knowledge #2, Integrity Value Project.