for Plain and Modest Dress
I highly recommend that anyone wishing to adopt plain and modest dress consider learning how to sew their own garments. A good place to start is foundation garments. Candle on the Hill offers a variety of plain and modest patterns for foundation garments including King's Daughters and Friends Patterns.
This page is designed to offer some basic information on the foundation garments I use and that I use for my daughter. I list a number of reliable resources for such garments at the bottom of the page.
Infant and Toddler Foundation Garments
A diaper cover is worn over tights without bloomers before toddler is walking. I've also paired a diaper cover with leg warmers rather than tights. Tights can make diaper changing difficult, and can become unwearable with one diaper change, but leg warmers that run the whole length of the leg without binding the diaper solve that problem while keeping baby warm, protecting crawling baby's knees, and providing modesty.
The toddler slip and bloomers are worn with tights in winter and socks in summer. I show photos of the slip and bloomer from Graceful Threads and Gehman's Country Fabrics. The bloomers from Gehman's Country Fabrics have the elastic at waist and knee encased in fabric. They also have a little bow to indicate the front.
I also have a photo showing toddler bloomers before gardening and bloomers after gardening. If going with white for foundation garments for children, one cannot be shy of using bleach. I have found that soaking in soap overnight gets a very great deal out, but sometimes bleach is the only solution. It is also why I prefer 100% cotton. Some white poly-cottons cannot be bleached, or they turned noticeably and irretrievably yellow.
Although my daughter's wardrobe only includes three slips, she has five bloomers. They bear the brunt of all sorts of mess and trouble, and so I find it helpful to have quite a few available. Another good source for infant and toddler slips and bloomers is Katie's Mercantile.
Women's Foundation Garments
I show a photo of a natural cotton slip from Gohn Brothers with a "shadow panel," a double-layer of fabric, a useful device for preventing sunlight from showing the outline of legs through dresses. It is good for slips to be less full than the skirt, for the straighter and slimmer the line of the slip, the more it will help keep full skirts out from between legs.
A petticoat is larger and a little more full than a slip, and it is useful both for warmth and to help prevent a dress from "clinging" too much to the legs. I have found I prefer petticoats in dark colors, particularly black, though I must wear white or a lighter color when wearing poly-cotton dresses that are light in color. When wearing tights, it is useful to wear a nylon slip to prevent grabbing, but the nylon slip will get static-y and "grab" the skirt. A good petticoat prevents that annoyance, providing an extra layer of movement. It is good to avoid wearing too many layers of elastic at the waist, as it can pinch. Only my slip has elastic. My petticoat does not. Quaker Jane Reader Pen writes that, "Petticoats like these can be purchsed very cheaply on ebay as sari petticoats, either in 100% cotton or cotton/polyester mix. Sari petticoats have drawstring waists which tie firmly ensuring they don't slip, but elastic can be put in to replace the drawstring if preferred."
I have also included a picture of a slip and petticoat together, showing their relative size. The petticoat is worn over the slip. I tend to prefer half-slips, though full slips can be a nice extra layer in winter. Katie's Mercantile has nice slips and petticoats.
These women's bloomers are from Graceful Threads. Another online resources that sells women-sized bloomers is Katie's Mercantile. Bloomers are warm in winter, and as I have discovered, nice for modesty when playing with a toddler. I have the Graceful Threads bloomers, and replaced the elastic at the waist with cording so that I could wear them while pregnant, but Katie's Mercantile offers women's bloomers with a maternity panel.
Resources for plain and modest foundation garments:
TO all the Elect, Chosen and Faithful, who . . . are the Gold tried in the Fire. Who have been tried by Goods spoiling, by Bonds, by Whippings, by Mockings and Reproaches . . . and some have been tried unto Death; and ye have proved to be the pure Gold, that hath come out brighter and brighter. Who have not feared the Waves of the Sea, nor the Winds; who fears not the Storms nor the Weather; whose Anchor holds, which is the Hope, the Mystery, which anchors the Soul which is Immortal, to the Immortal God. . . ...