Monday, August 8, 2016

The Brown Dress

During the middle of the summer Amish stores would begin to have their back to school fabric sales. It was always an exciting day when the fabric samples arrived in the mail and I would carefully inspect all the choices before me.

Most years I was allowed to choose one color for a new outfit from the select group of colors Mom was willing to buy, while she chose what color my other outfit would be, as well as the shirts my brothers would be wearing.

Blues and greens were so predictable, and it took several years for Mom to realize I really meant it when I said I want a warm brown dress for one of my school outfits. We only got two outfits each. We'd wear one for an entire week, and Mom couldn't imagine anyone could possibly enjoy wearing brown every other week for an entire school year.

I was twelve the year Mom agreed to allow me to have my dream dress. I watched with interest and excitement as she spread out pages of The Budget to use to create the pattern for my dress. When it had been completed it was even more exciting seeing those patterns being placed on top of the brown fabric and pieces of my dress being cut out.

I had always enjoyed watching Mom sew, but watching my long anticipated brown dress take form under her skillful fingers was a dream come true.

I couldn't wait for my first day back to school when I could finally wear it.

I loved that outfit, and wore it happily every other week for the entire year. I didn't mind being the girl in brown, in a sea of girls wearing blues and greens.

That was the only brown dress I ever had until after I got married. I still love soft, warm shades of brown, but nothing has come quite close to being loved as much as that dress had been.


  1. Your mom could write a book on how to be a good homemaker. She knew how to do everything! Fortunately, she taught you how to do it all, so perhaps you should write the homemaking book?

    1. Hmmm..... maybe I should think about that. I don't think there's an Amish housekeeping book on the market yet. :)

    2. Yes do it! I would buy it! There is a lot of stuff we women have lost/forgotten with regards to housekeeping for a whole host of reasons. It would be helpful and a great addition to the Amish book community.

  2. --Catching up-- Had some computer glitches.
    I just finished The Miting. Thank you for the reading suggestion on your blog recently. Question: Are there really Amish counselors and Amish hosptials for eradicating wayward thoughts? What would the counselor's training be? I am curious b/c I had never heard of this practice.
    I hope everyday of your school year is a great one.
    You should enter your rose in the photography show at the county fair.
    I wore wool uniforms to school, but I did have a brown pant suit I got to wear for "Dress Up Day." I really liked it. There's something about brown--maybe the chocolate connection :)

    1. Yes, there really are Amish counselors and "homes" where they send people they think need help. I haven't talked about it here on my blog, but I know way too much about them :( I have no idea though what kind of training, if any, the counselors have.

  3. I love your story. Thanks for sharing it!

  4. What a wonderful story. I have very few clothes and I love it that way. I used to have two closets full. I have only 5 summer dresses and 5 winter dresses now and it makes life so much simpler. I never get tired of them and it makes getting dressed SO much easier with less thinking about it.

  5. We always had three new outfits for the school year. Every Thursday morning we changed into a clean dress and apron. Our colors were blue and green and the third one was purple, gray or brown.


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