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October 2008
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20 Year Old Creates Modest Patterns For Princesses

Ashley Smith wants young girls to have spaghetti on their plates, not over their shoulders.

The 20-year-old who lives near New London, Iowa is taking her modest-clothes design business to television as NBC affiliate KWQC in Davenport has invited her to be on the “Paula Sands Live” show today.

What has made Smith appealing to the television camera is Smith is offering an alternative to many of today’s fashions for younger girls.

“Little girls don’t look like little girls anymore,” she said. “Why should your 7-year-old be wearing spaghetti straps and heels?”

Since the popularity of pop-star Madonna’s outfits since the 1980s, some girls clothing designs have shown more skin than anything else. That same look has continued in the 21st century with other female celebrities. Concerned of the image, stigma and connotations such clothing has, Smith was inspired to design clothes that gave younger girls a conservative, but still fancy, look.

“Modesty needs to be in girls,” she said. “They need to be more princess-looking.”

It’s not only modesty Smith strives for in her designs, she is also coming up with clothes for younger girls or boys who need plus sizes. She said she is aware of the latest trends in younger kids being overweight for their age.

“Little girls have to go to junior sizes,” she said. “And girls who are either short and skinny or tall, still look like a teenager.”

Smith is not alone in her venture. While Smith sketches potential designs and fills in the spaces with color, her mother, Teri, provides the labor with her years of experience behind a sewing machine and with needle-and-thread. Teri’s skills have seemed to rub of on her daughter.

“Mom always sewed my clothes,” Ashley said. “She even made my first dress in first grade. I’m learning from her now about sewing techniques, but she still does all the sewing for the clothes.”

Teri is appreciative of Ashley’s interest in modest clothing for young girls. Ashley has a younger sister, Victoria, 8.

“Looking at the stuff in stores, I have two daughters,” she said. “If you are tall and skinny or short and round, there are clothes that are not appropriate.”

Read more about Ashley’s story in The Hawk Eye or visit her website, Lollipops and Polka Dots at www.popsndots.com

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Author, Instructor & Pattern Designer

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