Friends - For more than a year now I have been dressing variations on Quaker Plain. I have gone past the stage of feeling self-conscious and uncomfortable generally, but I am still a bit at a loss when people ask questions. Most commonly they will ask "Are you Amish? (or Mennonite?)" I reply, "No, I'm Quaker." Now one problem is that I'm immediately aware that this does not answer their question, which really was "Why are you dressed that way?" They then either say something like "Oh. I have a friend who is Quaker and she doesn't dress like that," or "What is that?" The first question requires a complicated answer that I am never completely satisfied with. I could explain that not all Quakers dress plain, but then that still leaves them wondering why I do. So I then fumble and mumble about leadings and individual choice, and no, it is not required of Quakers etc. And though not complete this is okay cause the person is really just curious, not deeply interested. The other question gives me more trouble: "What is a Quaker?".....Okay, go for it!

I have given some very unsatisfactory answers to this question which always leaving me wishing I had gotten their email address so I could correct whatever I said! One girl, who really wanted to know, said "So, is it a religion?" after my long-winded and confused attempt to encompass the life-changing importance of Quakerism in a paragraph or two - so you can see what a botched job I did.

So my question for you is, what do you say to these inquiries? I feel we have an opportunity to witness here, and also to spread awareness of Quakers, which ups the ante and the pressure on me to make sense! Do you have good answers ready? Do you feel you are communicating something?

And, by the way, I really only get these questions if I am wearing a cap and not a veil or snood.

Best to all,

Barb

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Replies to This Discussion

I went to QJ's facebook page but didn't see your Query. Perhaps because she has not yet "friended" me? Maybe I didn't look far enough down the page? I will try again.

    I think its wonderful, Patrice, that you have a book about Living the Quaker Way and I will try

to find it.  That is wonderful you can make your jumper. I have to order my clothes to be made and go

to Gehman's dept. store online. They will make you dresses. My cape dresses are coming from there, and

another place sends me the Amish dresses I love. You can get all kinds of things from online if you know where to look. I applaud anyone who is good enough with  sewing to make your own outfits. A lot of the purples, burgundies, etc.  are so good for this time of year.

  Do you like to keep a lot of dresses, or a few? I keep a lot for various reasons. Weight can change and

other things. Here we have hot weather most of the year and a short winter so everything is about the same weight with the difference being having a few long sleeved dresses for the coolest weather. We just

add layers. Is that how you ladies do it too? Thank you and have a blessed day!

 

Carolyn

Carolyn, the book Living the Quaker Way is available at Amazon.com, I got it on my Kindle, but I am sure that any bookstore could order it for you. My mom taught me to sew when I was a girl, but it's been a long time since I have made my own clothes. I am dismayed at the lack of good, basic patterns, and the high price of fabric. It truly is cheaper to buy ready made clothes, however they are made in overseas sweatshops, and of poor quality. I have 2 skirts that are made of a knit fabric, one black and one grey, they are very comfortable, and one flannel dress I love, and the flannel jumper I just made. I like to wear leggings under them and a pair of my handknit wool socks. I am just starting this journey so I am not too "well quipped" yet. But really I don't need a lot of clothes. I work as a nurse and all my scrubs are brightly colored prints, and that is ok with me for now! I am not sure what I am going to wear in the summer, I HATE to be hot! But I will figure that out when I need too!  I live in a cold climate, we dont have much hot weather. I bought a pattern today for a type of kerchief, I could not seem to leave the store without it! I told my husband that I can't stop thinking about this head covering thing and that it is starting to really annoy me! He said, "that's a good thing! because you will have to research and study it, and God will give you what you need in that" I love him so! I am so blessed to have him!

Patrice - You are indeed so blessed to have your husband! See, this path is already bringing out appreciation in you... interesting eh? barb

 If you want clothes made here in the U.S.A. the seamstresses are all right there to do this for you, Patrice.

 They make beautiful, quality, durable clothes. There is a place to get Amish dresses made right here in the U.S.A. also, by Amish seamstresses. This is where my clothing comes from.  Ask Isabel for more leads, there is Mennonite Maidens and lots of others where you can buy U.S.A. made apparel hand made for YOU.

  Try Gehmanscountryfabrics.com   They have a lot of ready-made dresses made by their own seamstresses . They are making me a complete outfit as I write. They will custom make whatever

you want that they carry. I do like cape dresses for coverage and another place is Katie's Mercantile. If you want custom head coverings try PlainandSimple Prayer Coverings.  Some of the other sites also sell

head coverings. I love my kapps.  You must do what is right for you.

 I read books, do not use a Kindle. I will order the right book, thank you for telling me that Amazon has it.

My new German/English Parallel Bible came from there.

Blessings,

Carolyn

oh, Sprechen Sie Deutsch Carolyn? I studied it for many years and now can hardly speak a word of it :(

I will continue to attempt to make my own clothes for now! But supporting local seamstresses would be wonderful if I ever need to!

Oh Barbara, I SO don't want to go there! (head covering) Which is why this newfound fascination with it is scaring me!

And yes, it is very interesting....the saga continues...but what will she do about her red lipstick, LOL?



Barbara Smith said:

Patrice - You are indeed so blessed to have your husband! See, this path is already bringing out appreciation in you... interesting eh? barb

Here is the link Patrice. Sorry it took so long - i thought I had sent it.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Quaker-Jane/120513927966323

the second post down on the left it the one I referred to, but all are good! Check it out.

Barb

Patrice Wassmann said:

I went to QJ's facebook page but didn't see your Query. Perhaps because she has not yet "friended" me? Maybe I didn't look far enough down the page? I will try again.

Thanks Barb, I found it!

 If this helps anyone, I am now buying my plain dresses from Gehman's Dept.Store online. Sometimes

they have readymade dresses in my size and they will also custom make my dresses and matching aprons.

This has been a real blessing for me and may be for those among you who might not sew for one reason or another. They also have the proper unders for what you may desire to wear. Katie's Mercantile does too. I like my seams serged and they do that at Gehman's, the dresses are of exceptional quality. They also sell

fabric.

   My forays into the world in plain dress increase. My husband decided we are buying a very large house and so there have been many meetings for things like inspections my husband wanted done, etc. I had to go meet new people. I just prayed about it and have been wearing my usual plain clothes and guess what, now I have new friends! We are moving in a week and something hit me, our new house is big enough to

have a Friends meeting in it when they take turns meeting in each other's homes. So it feels like God is blessing us even though I haven't been to a meeting in many, many years. I don't drive, for one thing. And my husband is not too eager to try something he feels might be out of his comfort zone. But I am going the second Sunday next month, February 2014 if I have to take a taxi. Where there is a will, there is a way.

I might be the only plain dressing member there but it will be fine. Gehman's dresses can come your way in plain colors or in pretty prints. I like the plain colors and the small prints. They are cape dresses, I prefer those for coverage. Anyway have a look and see what you think if you need help acquiring your attire. The lady who helps me is "Esther".

 Thank you very much.

carolyn

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