Part of being self reliant is being prepared for Emergency situations whether these be personal or widespread emergencies. As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints we have been counseled to consider making the storage of clothing and bedding or fabric to make these items part of our long term storage items. The following excerpt is taken from a Relief Society Lesson Manual from the 1970's. This counsel still holds true today.
"Storing clothing is essential for families with active, growing children, because their present clothes will not fit them later. All family members’ clothes may also wear out. Extra clothing should be stored where climate changes greatly from one season to another. Some families, especially those with growing children, may be wise to save the clothes that one child outgrows for the next child to wear. Outgrown clothing for both children and adults can be remade into clothing for younger family members. Storing extra fabric to make new clothing can also be useful. Needles, thread, and other sewing items should be part of every home storage so that torn clothing can be mended.
We have been counseled to store food, clothing, fuel, and other necessary items, such as those needed for first aid and sewing, to take care of our families’ needs for a year. Even though we may feel it is impossible to obtain the needed items at once, we can begin a home storage program with a small goal, according to our families’ circumstances, of purchasing a few extra items each time we shop. When our families are prepared with a home storage program, we can expect to receive great temporal and spiritual blessings. The Lord has counseled, “If ye are prepared ye shall not fear” (D&C 38:30)."
I definitely try to follow this counsel as I store both clothing and fabric. I never get rid of children's clothing until they are worn, and sometimes after they are worn I will even re-purpose them or re-size then for a smaller child. For example, I have made skirts out of worn out jeans or cut jeans into blocks for quilts. Even small scraps of fabric are saved to make quilts and adult clothing can be made to fit a child. I have an attic full of children's clothing and shoes just waiting to pass on to the next child and I can often be found at my sewing machine making dresses, p.j.'s, shorts, etc. Doing this not only helps us to have these things stored for future use but also helps us to save money and keep our children clothed on a limited budget.
Yard sales are actually great places to buy used clothing, especially children's clothing. They can also be a good place to find fabric. I picked up this fabric at a yard sale last week. It was a great deal that I couldn't pass up. I got 25 yards plus of fabric for $10. I was thrilled with my purchase. Not only did I get 25 yards but there isn't one piece that is less than a yard. In fact, one piece is over 6 yards and very heavy duty. It will work great for the back of a nice, heavy quilt. There is also several pieces that are 3 and 4 yards that will make cute dresses for my girls and a darling Pooh Bear piece that is over 4 yards that will make a great baby blanket. Of course, you can also pick up inexpensive fabric from the fabric and craft store at times if you shop the sales, utilize the half off coupons, and be sure to check the clearance tables.
I plan to post some tutorials on re-purposing clothing in the future so be sure and check back for those.