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Woman who ran away from her Amish community at 19 reveals ultra-strict process she had to go through to get dressed for CHURCH as a member – including pinning perfectly straight pleats in her outfit every time


A woman who ran away from her incredibly strict Amish community as a teen has shared the long process of how she used to get ready for church as a member.

Lizzie Ens, 38, from Ohio, fled the Amish lifestyle when she was 19 years old, and hasn’t looked back. 

The former Amish member-turned-nutrition coach now shares fascinating insights into her childhood with her more than 172,000 followers. 

And, in a recent video, which has so far amassed more than 1.3 million views, Lizzie lifted the lid on how Amish girls got ready for church — and the precise way she was forced to pin her dress. 

A woman who ran away from her incredibly strict Amish community as a teen has shared the long process of getting ready for church while a member

A woman who ran away from her incredibly strict Amish community as a teen has shared the long process of getting ready for church while a member

Lizzie Ens, 38, from Ohio, ran away from the Amish community has revealed the three things that always shock people about how she grew up

Lizzie Ens, 38, from Ohio, ran away from the Amish community has revealed the three things that always shock people about how she grew up

And, in a recent video, Lizzie has lifted the lid on how Amish girls get ready for church

And, in a recent video, Lizzie has lifted the lid on how Amish girls get ready for church

And, in a recent video, which has so far amassed more than 1.3 million views, Lizzie has lifted the lid on how Amish girls get ready for church

Lizzie’s former life: The strict rules of the Swartzentruber Amish

  • No indoor plumbing, milking machines, and community phone booths
  • No daylight savings time
  • Buggy transport only
  • Women must wear dresses that reach the brim of their shoes 
  • Wood ovens are only to be used for cooking and heating
  • Windmills and old-fashioned hand pumps are used for securing water
  • No flowers

 

‘I have a surprise for you. It’s time to get ready for church as an Amish girl,’ Lizzie said at the beginning of the clip. 

While donning an ankle-length blue gown, Lizzie added: ‘This is the typical dress that I wore when I was Amish.’ 

She explained that the dress had to go ‘down to your ankles’ and that it was two pieces. 

Although the blue dress is what the members wear on the daily, Lizzie notes that for church, you can add an apron and a cape.

She then showed the ‘super tiny’ pins she had to use to create pleats and folds on the dress. 

As she pinned the dress down the middle, she added: ‘This is how we would get dressed. We would have to use straight pins and obviously try not to prick yourself full of holes.’

Lizzie explained that they would then fold the top of the dress in to create a ‘collar’ and pin it. 

She then pinned the top of the outside of the dress.

‘This is the dress I wore when I ran away,’ the ex-Amish member said as she continued pinning the back of the dress. 

Next, Lizzie showed people how she pinned the cape over her dress. 

While donning an ankle-length blue gown, Lizzie added: 'This is the typical dress that I wore when I was Amish'

While donning an ankle-length blue gown, Lizzie added: ‘This is the typical dress that I wore when I was Amish’

Although the blue dress is what members wear on the daily, Lizzie notes that for church, you can add an apron and a cape

Although the blue dress is what members wear on the daily, Lizzie notes that for church, you can add an apron and a cape

‘This seems really complicated but bear with me, just imagine yourself getting dressed on a Sunday morning for church,’ she added. 

While draping the cape on top of her, she noted that it wasn’t allowed to go over your shoulder or you would get in trouble — before adding that she was a ‘rebel’ so she let it sit on her shoulder. 

Lizzie then folded one side of the cape over the other — making sure they met in a ‘very straight line’ before pinning it again. 

‘The back had to have three pleats. You have to do a center pleat. You had to do three pleats – one big one in the middle and then the ones on the side that go all the way down,’ she said. 

After tucking the front of the cape into the right place, Lizzie revealed it was time to put on the apron. 

Lizzie pinned the apron onto the dress — showing that there had to be room in between the cape and apron, and that they couldn’t be directly under each other. 

After finishing her pinning, Lizzie took a step back and showed viewers the finished product.

Lizzie then folded one side of the cape over the other — making sure they met in 'very straight line' before pinning it again

Lizzie then folded one side of the cape over the other — making sure they met in ‘very straight line’ before pinning it again

After tucking in the cape into the bottom section of the second part of the blue dress, Lizzie revealed it was time to put on the apron

After tucking in the cape into the bottom section of the second part of the blue dress, Lizzie revealed it was time to put on the apron

She giggled and said: ‘Oh my God, the Amish girl going to church.’ 

People flooded the comments and expressed their shock at the amount of detail that went into getting ready.

One person said: ‘Two hours and 300 pins after, you’re ready for church!’

Someone else added: ‘Why was Amish God so strict about pleats?’ 

Another user wrote:  ‘That is a lot of work. Thanks for showing us.’ 

‘Getting dressed for church looks so complicated,’ a fourth commenter wrote. 

Lizzie grew up in a Swartzentruber Amish community, which is known to be the most conservative branch.

Members shun indoor plumbing, milking machines, and community phone booths. 

People flooded the comments and expressed their shock at the amount of detail that went into getting ready for church

People flooded the comments and expressed their shock at the amount of detail that went into getting ready for church

They also refuse to adapt to daylight savings time, depend on buggy transport, and only use wood ovens for cooking and heating, while windmills and old-fashioned hand pumps are used for securing water. 

Women must wear dresses that reach the brim of their shoes. 

In the past, Lizzie shared they were allowed to date, but only saw their partner once every two weeks and could never be spotted together in public.

She noted that traditional dates involved the pair cuddling for hours.

Lizzie initially attempted to escape the Amish world when she was 17 years old with her twin sister, however, they both returned shortly after. 

Two years later, at age 19, Lizzie left for good just before her sister’s wedding, which she was no longer allowed to attend after leaving the community. 



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