The Lost Skills of Home Making

July 1, 2010 at 7:48 AM 2 comments

In 1985, the year I graduated from high school, my school had a department named “Home Economics”.  It was equipped with two teachers, a kitchen and a sewing studio.  Inside these walls students learned nutrition, cooking, baking, meal planning, many levels and facets of sewing, budgeting and shopping for a home.

I confess, I rarely stepped foot into this department.  Then again, I didn’t need to.  Unlike most of my friends, I had a mother and sister that practiced these skills and willingly shared all of their knowledge and talents.

The year I graduated from high school I also learned of another way to educate children: Home-school!  I remember my reaction well: “That is great, I’m doing that!”  A few years after my graduation, the high school Home Economics department closed forever leaving decades of girls (without domestically skilled mothers) out in the cold; or at least out of the kitchen, sewing room and often out of the home in general.

As time went on, I went away to college where I sewed on-the-side for friends and to make a little money.  I graduated from college, met my husband, got married and began having children.  Roughly 2 decades after my high-school graduation I found myself still sewing for friends.  Now, however, these were other home-school moms who had NO idea how to sew.  They often would lament to me about how immodest clothes in the stores were.  I was surprised at how few of these ladies thought of sewing as a viable alternative or even an aid in altering clothes off the rack.

One day I was sitting outside with my neighbors watching our children play in the cul-de-sac.  My dear friend Jen was telling me how annoyed she was that she could not find feminine dresses for her daughter like my girls wore.  I suggested she try to sew them.  Her response was “SHOW ME!” So she came over and I made a dress while she watched.  She agreed that she could do it, especially if I came over to her house and showed her again while she sewed with me, like on a video.  Hmmmmm…    

Over 20 years since Home Economics was removed from public schools, Modesty Matters, LLC is striving to provide home educators with the means to teach themselves and the next generations these valuable skills through video, text and patterns.  From an array of single titles including teaching dresses, swim wear, bloomers and more, to an entire 65 lesson video course, with text and projects called “Home Economics, You CAN Sew!”  Modesty Matters can teach YOU too!

In the future Modesty Matters plans to develop video courses on cooking and baking, cleaning, advanced sewing and more.  You can visit us as to learn more.

Deanna Carmichael, Co-Owner

Modesty Matters, LLC


Entry filed under: Curriculum, Girls, Ladies, Sewing.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Danielle Wallace  |  July 9, 2010 at 3:10 PM

    Great story. I am definitely one of those lost moms that can not pass on the sewing genes. I do okay in the kitchen out of necessity to eat healthy, but am lost beyond that. I definitely think it would be great to have a course on all those other topics as well. It’s sad, but you really feel like you just don’t know the “right” way to do things around the house. Thanks to my cul-de-sac friends I am learning lots of helpful skills to use greener, less expensive products that are healthier for my family. I’m still not grinding wheat yet, though. :o)

  • 2. modestmomma  |  July 10, 2010 at 9:54 AM

    You do make your own soy milk, though… Wheat is just a matter of time! It tastes SO much better than ANY processed “whole wheat” product. Those processed foods give REAL whole wheat (wheat berries that you grind/mill yourself) a bad rep.

    I love getting to know how it all used to be done – back before we were brainwashed by commercials.


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