The Lost Skills of Homemaking: Modesty Matters

Affiliate Disclosure

I would like to share a new curriculum that I am using with Anne Mary (9) and Sarah (12) so that we could learn sewing together at home this fall as part of their “Home Economics” Credit.  We purchased a curriculum that is made to teach basic sewing skills.  Each lesson is brief and on video so that it is very visual- an easier way to learn sewing.  With basic instruction and easy-to-follow instructions my daughters are learning sewing machine basics, different types of stitches, fabrics, and other sewing essentials.  Over the course they will learn to sew an apron, a skirt and other projects as well.  We are really enjoying it so far.

Here is an article written by Deanna L. Carmichael, the founder of the curriculum.



The Lost Skills of Home Making

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: Homeschool! I remember well my reaction, “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, 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, baking, cleaning, advanced sewing and more. You can visit us as to learn more.

Deanna L. Carmichael

Modesty Matters, LLC.




  1. Heather

    I saw this curriculum at CHEK and we plan on doing it this year as well! I am “one of those” moms who does not know how to sew and I’m excited to follow this along with my 9 year old daughter as we learn together!

  2. Judi

    I’m not 100% sure that all schools have eliminated Home Ec. My high school still had a Home ec. dept. when my foster sister graduated and that was 15 years ago. I think the high schools here have a foods and nutrition elective if not a sewing class.

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