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STRAIGHT SKIRT & PUSSY BOW BLOUSE

For every person on this earth, there will likely come a time, if it hasn’t already happened, when you will come face to face with a devastating life event.

When that time comes, you will make a choice. You will either lie down and quit, or you will stand up and overcome. How you choose to respond will determine where your future finds you.

Most of you already know that my husband of 22 years died almost a year ago (April 17, 2018) from brain cancer. This was the second time in my life when I’ve had to choose between quitting and overcoming. The other time was when we came very close to divorce, but chose to fight for our marriage. That which was intended to harm us, God used to increase our faith, love and commitment to each other. The breakdown in our marriage became the foot stool for the BUILD-UP and LEVEL-UP. We overcame together and were stronger because of it.

Straight Skirt & Pussy Bow Blouse
(Photo Credit: The Master’s Plan Photography by Pam Balch)

His death has been the most devastating thing I’ve ever had to face. Nevertheless, I’ve chosen to overcome. However, this time it’s just me and God. My CEMO isn’t here to help me through this one.

Overcoming requires both GRIEVING and GROWING.

THE GRIEF PROCESS

The grief process is a deeply personal journey that must take place if we are to find ourselves healthy and whole on the other side. It’s an unpredictable roller coaster that affects each person differently in both expression and timing.

On the other hand, one thing that is the same for everyone, is the fact that it must be endured. There are no shortcuts in grief. One may try to avoid it, hide from it, or put if off. However, in the end, it will find you, and demand its course.

THE GROWTH PROCESS

In the meantime, while grief is being embraced, the second part of overcoming is being manifested simultaneously, which is growth. God doesn’t allow us to go through anything in life without placing before us an opportunity for growth. Once you embrace the grief, healing begins and growth becomes attainable.

Having said that, as I move through this process of grieving and growing, God has made it clear (through an unbelievable chain of events) that I am to SPEAK. He is calling me to do the one thing that has always evoked heart pounding, knee-knocking, hand trembling fear. Nevertheless, my immutable faith will not allow me to ignore the call. Through obedience, His message of hope will shine through, as I stand before His people and open my mouth for His glory. He’s the potter and I’m the clay, surrendered to be moulded into His instrument of encouragement to women. I’m the vessel and He’s given me a voice. I must SPEAK! Pray for me!

I was invited to visit a local Toastmasters meeting in January. After three visits, I decided to become a member in order to learn, practice and improve my speaking skills.

Each new member is required to deliver an Ice Breaker Speech, which brings me to today’s DIY outfit. I wanted to look the part for my speech, so of course I had to make something to wear. I made this Straight Skirt & Pussy Bow Blouse for the occasion. Looking good helps me to feel better and I felt GREAT that day!!!

Straight Skirt & Pussy Bow Blouse

STRAIGHT SKIRT & PUSSY BOW BLOUSE

For the skirt I chose Butterick 5466 and this beautiful brocade that I purchased from a vendor at the Sew Much Talent Sewing Retreat last year. Here are options for BROCADE FABRIC from Joann Fabrics.

Straight Skirt & Pussy Bow Blouse

The Pussy Bow Blouse is Vogue 8772 with a gold, slinky knit that’s been in my fabric collection for a very long time. I don’t remember where I purchased it from but here are options for similar SLINKY KNIT FABRIC from Michael Levine Fabrics.

Straight Skirt & Pussy Bow Blouse

I love both pieces and look forward to lots of wear mixed in with other DIY separates, like the gold turtleneck sweater I made this winter. Also, the blouse would look so cute with a pair of jeans, which I plan to start working on soon. WooHoo!!! I’m finally adding more separates to my DIY wardrobe.

Straight Skirt & Pussy Bow Blouse
Straight Skirt & Pussy Bow Blouse
Straight Skirt & Pussy Bow Blouse

The Ice Breaker Speech went very well. Although I was nervous in the beginning, I actually did an amazing job. My agenda was to capture the attention of the audience, draw them into my story, and move them to action . I showed up looking smart in my DIY outfit, and spoke from the heart. They LOVED it!

Straight Skirt & Pussy Bow Blouse

May I encourage you today? Life happens to all of us and we have no control over some of the things that will come upon us. Here’s the truth. You are resilient! You’re a survivor! But you will have to make a choice when faced with life’s trials. You can choose to lie down and quit on life, believing it’s over for you. Or, you can STAND UP, in the midst of your circumstances, choose to OVERCOME, and thrive in life. I urge you to choose the latter.

I’m Anita Morris, and I’m an OVERCOMER!!!

Straight Skirt & Pussy Bow Blouse

Thanks for stopping by!

Anita Morris

Anita is the Author of STEP Into It, Overcoming Trials That Lead To Purpose. She is also an Online Sewing Instructor for beginner sewists. She is passionate about helping women to step into their purpose by walking in the calling on their lives. She hosts a popular YouTube channel where she helps women to become confident in their sewing skills.

This Post Has 117 Comments

  1. Yvonne Fleshman

    Love you and strong woman of God

  2. Verla Kerr-Bidos

    You are an amazingly strong woman; thanks for your strength, grace and uplifting words.

  3. mandy Saunders

    You are truly a remarkable woman. All the best for the growth and your future. Life is about picking yourself up, dusting off and walking forwards.

  4. Deborah Kreiling

    Anita my friend, You are an inspiration. First, the words you write are beautiful. Your strength and devotion since the passing of your husband is tremendous. For me, my personal crisis these days, I need your strength and wisdom for sure. I thank you.
    Love, Deb

    1. Anita Morris

      Oh Deb, I think about you sometimes. You’re resilient and you’re stronger than you imagine. I love you.

  5. Michelle

    All I can say is amazing. I do agree with you on the choices we have when faced with trials. Sometimes it can paralyze us but we have to keep pushing forward.

    Will you be doing a tutorial on sewing the skirt with Butterick 5466. I do have that pattern. :0)

    1. Anita Morris

      Hi Michelle. Although I have a tutorial for a skirt like this, the other one doesn’t have a waist band, so I’m actually thinking of creating a sew-along for this one.

  6. Sharon Knott

    Ms. Anita. I can relate to your testimony on many levels. So first and far most, thank God for the Jesus in you to live again. It was not by power, nor by might, but by His Spirit. I use to sew and teach others how to sew, but due to life turns all of that has been placed on hold as I had to return to outside employment. I STAND TO SAY..GOD IS TRUNING IT AROUND AND I AM WILLING TO FOLLOW HIM!! Thanks for your inspiration and I pray we meet face to face one day.

    1. Anita Morris

      Yeeeesss, Sharon! Follow His lead and you’ll be exactly where you need to be. I pray that we meet one day too.

  7. Bernadette

    Hello Miss Anita I can comprehend with you when you said you had to speak I had to speak a few weeks ago at my church on a Friday night and a Saturday morning I’ve only been a member for over a year but I’ve been saved since I’ve been 15 years old and I just turned 58 in April God is so good and I know he put challenges in our lives sometime and you are right we lay down or we get up and we fight and your courage being in God it’s what’s keeping you going God bless you I love you my sister

    1. Anita Morris

      Oh Bernadette, thank you so much. I love you too.

  8. LaDonna Hamlin

    What a beautiful entry for your blog. It inspires me and I need that today. I know that when God calls you to a specific ministry, you have to submit and follow. I am looking forward to watching you follow this new chapter of your life. God bless you for your courage to walk this path and to be an encouragement to all. I can’t begin to tell you how much your words were meant for me to see them today, at this moment in my life.

    1. Anita Morris

      Oh, Ladonna, I’m so grateful you stopped by to visit the blog. God has purpose for everything. I send blessings your way, sister.

  9. Sandra

    You are so beautiful starting from within and glowing outward to share with everyone you come in contact with. You have inspired me to stand strong to whatever comes my way. I feel an “Anita by Design” book coming soon!!! May God continue to bless you and your family!

    1. Anita Morris

      Thank you so much, Sandra! Keeping my heart open about the book, as many have shared the same sentiment.

  10. Tasha

    You are an OVERCOMER!!! I am literally speechless and in tears. Since I first started following you on IG I have been wowed at the Spirit of God in you and upon your life. Today is no different! And it is that Spirit that continues to cause me to admire you and your faith more and more each day!! God is truly amazing and it is an honor and blessing to me to see the hand of the Lord upon you. Thank you for being so transparent.

    1. Anita Morris

      Tasha, Tasha, Tasha!!! Thank you for calling out what you have observed, the Spirit at work. Before I started this blog, I asked God to help me honor Him. If anyone can be encouraged and see Him at work within me, I’m beyond grateful. God amazes me every day.

    1. Caroll

      I’m so grateful that God is given you such strength! I’m encouraged to get up again! You have no idea how much this has spoken to me! Sister, you are on ? for the Lord! Blessings, to you and your family! I can only image how proud your boys are to see their MOM with such tenacity.

      1. Anita Morris

        Oh my GOSH! Caroll, thank you so much for sharing. Thank you for getting up, sister. Keep getting up. We all fall once in a while, but what’s important is the GET UP!!! The GET UP is what strengthens us. The GET UP is what prepares us for what He has ahead on the path He’s prepared just for us. You GET UP will be your testimony and help someone else who’s watching you. You GETTING UP will motivate another sister to GET UP too. I applaud you today. Blessings my sister.

  11. Shontell

    You are an amazing woman and when I get the opportunity to read your blog I truly enjoy it! I’ve followed you since you first launched your blog and I must say God is allowing you to use this platform for His glory. May you continue to sew beautiful garments, smile brightly and share your voice to women all over.

    1. Anita Morris

      Shontell, whew GIRL! You just pumped more Holy Spirit energy into me. Thank you for staying with me for this long. When you said, “…God is allowing you to use this platform for His glory,” chills moved from the top of my head to the tip of my toes. You see, that was my desire from the beginning. Yes, it’s a sewing blog, but because God is the center from which every area of my life thrives, it encourages me when others are moved by His radiant light when coming here. I really appreciate you.

  12. sherrelle gilchrist

    I love it and the color looks great on you. Please do a sewalongs for the shirt.

  13. Julia B

    It’s time! It’s time for black women to speak! You are a great role model for your sisters and also wimpy WASPs like me who most days want to crawl under the covers. After you entered my life with your blog and videos, I realized I needed to get my act together and use my talents to reach out. I am involved with our local chapter of Girls Inc, which is very well led by strong, bold women, such as yourself. It’s making a difference in young girls’ and young women’s lives and I want to help. So, in a way, you’re affecting women around the globe! We want to be CEMO and Anita strong!

    1. Anita Morris

      Julia!!! Oh my HEART!!! Girls Inc. sounds like an amazing organization. May His light and love capture the hearts and souls of the young ladies and women who are being served. You will be blessed beyond your greatest imagination if you get involved with this ministry. Trust me! I’ve experienced the beautiful growth and awe that’s associated with pouring into the lives of young girls. It’s priceless beyond words. GO! Do it! Many blessings to you sister.

  14. MonicaAD

    BUT GOD!!!! It’s always a blessing to see your posts and to see what God is and has done … To God Be The Glory for He specializes in things that seems impossible and He can do what NO other POWER CAN!!!! Be all that God has you to be Anita!!! GREAT THINGS I SEE IN YOUR FUTURE <3 <3 <3

    1. Anita Morris

      Oooohhh!!! “He specializes in things that seem impossible…” Okay, you just preached a whole sermon with that one line. Yes, ma’am. “With God, all things are possible.” Goodness, I want to get up and dance now. My God is INCREDIBLE! Thank you so much for sharing.

  15. Lee

    Bravo! xxx

  16. LaTanya Coleman Curtis

    Yes, yes, yes! A while back I wrote to you about grieving. Just when you think things are good, grief knocks you in the knees. I’ve been there. My family and I, always thought I was the strongest person they’ve known. I could handle anything. I would always tell them, Psalms 23:4. But grief ! My grief opened up a can of depression. I’ve always had a sense of humor. So I covered my pain, with comedy. So along with Fibromyalgia, chronic back pain, I added grief and depression. My pain management physician gave me meds to help try relieve some of the pain, along with pain block epidurals. I started taking extra pain pills because sleeping was a good way not to think about things. My son told me that he and his son has ADHD so I read a few articles and thought I had it too..lol called my Internal MED doctor made a appointment and she said I’d have to go see a psychiatrist.. I decided I didn’t have that.. lol.. I started changing everything that depressed me. I moved in March. I through away all my old furniture, including the bedroom set. And bought all new stuff. I changed friends. They were toxic. Every time they called me on the phone, when they hung up, my whole body was in pain and heavy from trying to carry their problems on my shoulders along with mines. I started walking. As I walked I talked to GOD. At night when it’s quiet, I sit in my backyard and pray. I could hear this song playing in my head, and everything would get quiet. Peace be Still. When I was a young girl I never understood that song. Seems like the choir would sing that song every other Sunday at church. I now know what that song means.
    I no longer take extra meds. I made a mistake, the new house has stairs and both bathrooms are upstairs.. eww. But I’m happy inside. I closed the door on grief and depression and locked them outside.

    Keep your head to the sky! #mrscemostrong

    1. Anita Morris

      OoooWeee! You ladies are on fire this week. “Peace, be still.” Straight from the Word of God. I love how you recognized that change was needed and acted on it. Sometimes we don’t even realize that the very things we’re trying to hold on to the most are the major contributing factors to our unhappiness and illness. I applaud you for taking control of your own life. Many blessings to you LaTanya.

  17. Michelle

    Hi Anita
    Such a powerful and inspiring message. I believe you have been ministering to all of us through your blogging and sewing of projects. Now you are taking the next steps that are ordained for your.
    Nice to see you on social media and lovely outfit.

  18. Ellen

    Anita , I am so proud of you ,I know god has his plan for your love life you are helping so many people learn to sew and now with your husband passing away you will be anne to minister to so many ladies ..god bless you and remember god doesn’t waste a hurt ❤️??

    1. Anita Morris

      Amen, Ellen! He does not waste a hurt.

  19. Janine Helligar

    Hi, Anita.

    For years, I had been coping with debilitating migraine headaches that lasted 2 to 3 weeks out of every month AND excruciating irritable bowel syndrome episodes!

    Then, I developed a new symptom, facial numbness on one side of my face — you know, that horrible feeling you have and can’t wait for it to pass after visiting the dentist and getting a shot of Novocaine. To say I was unprepared for the latest bad news is an understatement. Now, I had a brain tumor too.

    Once I received treatment, I thought, I can live with the facial numbness and an assortment of other horrible symptoms for JUST six months until I was “cured.” Six months.

    Well, I am now eight years into this journey that has taken away my peace, my hearing, my ability to function outside the home, my concentration, my way to be, and so much more!

    No, I wasn’t “cured.” And I will never be cured — I’ve embraced that now. In fact, over the years, my symptoms have morphed and worsen with age. For me there is really no relief unless I am sewing or sleeping with the help of my meds!

    Suffering with chronic migraine headaches and having a brain tumor are killjoys for sure! But they have gifted me one thing: They are proof that I am so much stronger than I thought.

    I am having a particularly difficult and low month! Thanks for the reminder of my strength today!

    1. Anita Morris

      Janine, you have completely floored me. With everything you’re enduring, to still be able to STAND, in your pain, and say “THEY have gifted you…” and “They are proof that I am so much stronger than I thought,” is evidence that our trials truly do grow us. Wow! I have chills to my core. Thank you so much for sharing your story and blessing my heart. You have encouraged me even further. I pray earnestly for you this evening.

  20. Stephanie

    What a powerful message! And right on time for me…time for me to saddle up and ‘git to doin’ what I’ve been called to do!

  21. Tree

    AMEN!!! #cemostrong

  22. Kelly Cook

    Beautiful outfit and message! Thanks for sharing !!!

  23. Peggy Johnson

    Hi Anita. Such an inspiration, but little do you know you’ve been speaking by inspiring and encouraging all along. The time has come (God’s timing of course) for you to move to another level so He has opened your eyes to see and your ears to hear Him so that you will know that it’s Him that’s calling you. You have my prayers but this is Jesus directed and Jesus led so you will not fail. Thanks so much for allowing Jesus to lead you to what He have not only for you but for those He’s directing you to so that He will be glorified. In Jesus name!

    1. Anita Morris

      Oh Peggy, yes! Thank you so much for this godly encouragement. I’m humbled and in awe. Yes, when He’s in control, it can only prosper.

  24. Lesa G

    This awesome and sooooo inspiring. I’m going to print it so I can have it when tragedy and grief comes. Thanks for being wonderful and always sharing with us. I will continue to pray for you amd your family. God has a plan. Be blessed.

  25. Sue

    Beautiful lady, beautiful outfit and beautiful message. Your precious Cemo is very proud of you!!

  26. Deborah

    Thanks for sharing that Anita. I too am striving to be an overcomer! Your way of sharing your testimony is wonderful and so helpful.

    1. Anita Morris

      Hi Deborh! Keep moving forward, sister. Speak the word, take the steps and move to action. You’ve got this!

  27. Latonya

    Loved the message you shared and you look beautiful as always. What an inspiration!

  28. EILEEN PAYNE

    Nicely done and from the heart. I had to overcome a few things in my life and it has made me a stronger person. You are a true inspiration!

    1. Anita Morris

      Thank you Eileen! Congratulations on overcoming.

  29. Marie

    I just love you. The very first time I read your blog you reminded me so much of Jacqueline Kennedy and you still do. The way you dress just says classy and now that I have just finished reading this article, I stand by my words, yep, you are one classy lady.
    Your words couldn’t have come at a better time. A few minutes ago I asked God why, but then I just said to him give me the strength to go through. Thank you for these words classy lady, may God take you places you thought only your heart could go. Have a great and blessed day

    1. Anita Morris

      OooWeee! Marie, you just made me smile from the heart. I’m so glad you were able to read this post. We never really get the answer to our “why” questions, which is why I never once asked God, “Why my husband?” You were so wise to flip it and pray for strength. Pay attention to what’s going on around you and you go through. Even the smallest details. He’s so present. All we have to do is slow down and pay attention. It really is incredible when you see Him in a whole new way as a result of your trial. Be blessed, my sister.

  30. LaToria

    You look FANTASTIC!!! Congratulations on on your first speaking event. I know you did great.