Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Notes on Children's Fall/Winter Clothes

When the cold weather settles in,
 we begin to get out all the snuggly, warm clothing I have collected for the children through the year. 
 I am always on the lookout for wool articles,
 homemade sweaters,
 flannel lined pants, 
quality fleece garments and such. 
 Knowing the Littles are cozy, warm, and comfortable in chilly weather is a very satisfying thing for me.  
I guess I am just a cozy-comfy sort of gal. 
 Making up the children's beds in 
layers of loveliness
 for winter is also a joy to me. 
 I relish the puttering that comes as we prepare for the change of seasons, 
it is a kind of nesting that is soothing, relaxing and satisfying.

Some time ago, as we were thrift shopping, 
I came across two pairs of used, 
hand knit socks. 
 I thought they were charming, and brought them home.  
They have now been through two winters with us, and are still in great shape. 
 Since we live in  a cold snowy region, we usually purchase a pair of boot or ski socks
 for each of the children every winter. 
 Last year I noticed, as I put the winter clothes away, 
that the hand knit socks were in great shape but the boot socks were very worn,
 or completely worn out- needing to be thrown away. 
 Therefore, this year, I hunted around until I found hand knit socks for the children,
 made by a local lady, since I haven't acquired that skill
 (yet..I am picturing me rocking in a chair, knitting with a great white bun of hair on my head-smile-). 
I had a pair of hand knit socks made for each of the little ones, 
then, having fallen in love with the look and charm of hand knit, 
 proceeded to purchased mittens and hats as well.
The hand knit socks cost the same as the boots socks we were getting,
 but last two to three times longer.

We buy most of our clothes in thrift stores,
 but on the occasion that I really need a particular item and cannot find it there, I shop on ebay. 
 If we are still in need, or, if I find time and creativity to sew, we fill in the various wardrobe needs thus. 
 I really love to sew, but rarely do. 
 This summer, I did manage a few days to whip up a few skirts and blouses for Olivia. 
 Such little items are frugally and easily accomplished with left overs or repurposed articles. 
 My favorite garment ended up to be the little gray wool skirt with a flannel lining. 
 These skirts take about 30 minutes to make start to finish and need no pattern. 
 It is just a simple rectangle measured to the wanted length, then finished with an elastic casing. 
 I also made a flannel lined denim skirt for her that she has already been wearing quite a bit this fall.
Even if one bought fabric from a small one's skirt such as this, 
the cost would likely be less than $5.oo. 
Since I like to thrift shop, I keep my eye out for garments of good quality fabric 
that are on the tag of the day sale. 
 My last trip out I bought a large wool skirt for .99 just for the fabric,
 which can be used for two or three small skirts. 
 Sewing does not always have to be costly.
My grandma sewed this way, and first  introduced me to the idea.
There is a great satisfaction from making
out of nothing, 
and even more so if it was done in a frugal way.

For girls, dresses can be difficult to find, 
more so the older they get.
 Mothers often ask me where we find our dresses. 
Thrifting or yard sales often provide a variety of showy dresses for special events and church,
 but for everyday,
 I favor Land's End long sleeve knit print dresses.  
These dresses are comfortable, of good quality so they wear well,
 and they have that wholesome look that I really prefer to see on our girls. 
 We have done well finding ours on ebay.
I should also say that we always pray over our family's needs before we begin shopping, 
and God is so good to meet those needs time and time again.

Over the years, we have come to realize that high quality clothes last,
 and can be passed down still looking good from one child to the next.
  When Joe was a little tike, 
we bought him a new pair of Carhardt Overalls.
 Joe wore them, 
then Jim,
 then Ben, 
as well as Bethany,
 and now Gabe.
  They still look good.  
Cost more initially, but last by far longer,
 and so are really the more cost effective way to go in a big family.

I guess that why I enjoy this process so much
 is because I think that meeting our family's clothing needs 
really is of great value beyond putting fabric on their bodies.
  I see it as an avenue of life giving, 
 and an opportunity to nurture
as well as train them (while they are still young) about good clothing choices. 

Herein is a chance to take the mundane act of shopping,
 and cultivate beauty with it for the benefit of our family,
 instead of passing by without notice, or considering it just a task of drudgery. 
We can make the ordinary task special, and by doing so,
 we enrich our family life.


  1. I love the pictures of the kids and their socks! :) We love Lands End dresses, I found 3-4 of them at the thrift stores this summer :) I have also got a few in their fianl clearance mark downs for about $6-8 each, with free shipping! :)

  2. I agree with you about finding good quality items to pass on....when we can no longer wear an item we pass them on to others that we know can and will use them!

    God is so good to provide what we need! Your handmade knit socks are awesome! What a great idea! We have wood floors and the kids don't like slippers....

    Thanks for this post and the great ideas!


  3. I love the socks :) Makes this Nana want to get the double pointed needles out and help my grandbabies stay warnm this winter.
    Thanks for the inspiration.

    Julie Hoffmeyer

  4. Julianne,
    Good job on all those lovely wool socks, keeping little toes toasty is so nice during those cold winter mornings.
    I absolutely love the soft, cushy beds all piled with blanket; so inviting.
    It's so nice to be able to re-purpose clothes and to find great deals for cheap at thrift stores and garage sales.
    Proverbs 31 women you are!!
    Enjoyed this post soooo much, may stop by my favorite thrift store in the morning.


  5. Dear Julie,
    How sweet to hear from you. You know, you are quite possibly responsible for my attraction to knit socks!

  6. Mrs. Rabe,
    Thank you ever so much for all your sweet encouragement. Across the miles I do believe we are kindred spirits. blessings to you!

  7. Hi I live in Wales UK and enjoy reading your blog. I am knitting socks for my family this year to go in their christmas stockings. There are some great tutorials on you tube if you want to have a go your self, toe up is easier on the heel part. I made some for my younger boys and they keep asking for more as they are their best!


Your comments and input are very much appreciate
- Blessings!

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