1980
Clothing and Fabric Storage
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“Clothing and Fabric Storage,” Ensign, July 1980, 60–61

Clothing and Fabric Storage

How well prepared are you with your family’s year’s supply of stored clothing? “We’ll get by with what we have” may be sufficient answer for today, but it is not the answer to unexpected financial reverses, rising prices, or even catastrophes of nature. Early winters, for instance, can cause a run on the stores for mittens, sweaters, blankets, and other clothing items which could be soon unavailable in sizes you need. In emergencies, people have found themselves writing to relatives for needed items.

Then, too, children and teens are growing emotionally as well as physically each year. Can you dip into your storage supply for satisfactory clothing or fabrics in emergencies? Of course, personal tastes and fashions change quickly, so fad items are not good for storage, but the happiness of your family is important, and youngsters who can dress to feel comfortable with their age group are more apt to be happy and well-adjusted than those who cannot. Adults dressed in clothing which boosts their self-esteem are more likely to be confident and productive.

Do not try to meet all clothing needs in storing, only the basics, but base your choices on the ages of family members, as well as their personalities and activities. Give some thought to storing clothing that can be worn by either boys or girls: sweaters, jackets, T-shirts—in simple styles and popular colors such as red, navy, beige.

When you estimate sizes for the coming year, carry a list of sizes and needs in your wallet. A swatch of fabric for color matching may be helpful. It will help you avoid “wardrobe orphans” that hang unloved and unused in the back of the closet because they don’t fit or match. Long-term storage of fabrics is wise, because they can be used to fill needs of the moment. Remember to store thread, buttons, trimmings, and notions for all sorts of repair and clothing construction.

One young couple got a head start on clothing storage when the bride-to-be was showered with an assortment of fabrics in prints, plaids, and plain colors. Now, regardless of what their budget allows for clothing, or how soon maternity and baby needs present themselves, this couple is prepared—and without financial hardship.

Storage places? Bins, boxes, suitcases, shelves, or plastic bags. To prevent color fading, mildewing, or softening of plastic coverings, a cool, dark, dry storage place is necessary for fabrics.

In emergencies, ready-made storage items can be used for clothing creations: blankets make robes or coats; sheets can be used for curtains, dresses, blouses, shirts, quilt tops, or even bandages; bath towels may be converted into robes, nightgowns, or slippers.—Judith Rasband, with chart by Doris Wright, instructors in clothing and textiles, Brigham Young University

Fabric Needed for Basic Clothing, in Yards
(45-inch Wide Fabric)

Items of Clothing

Infants

Children

Youth

Women

Men

Suitable Fabrics

3–5 yrs

6–10 yrs

12–15 yrs

Small

Medium

Large

Small

Medium

Large

Diapers (one dozen)

9

diaper flannel 27″ wide.

Receiving Blanket

2 1/2

print flannel 45″ wide—Double

Sleep set

1 1/2

stretch knit, terry, brushed nylon

Dress
(long sleeves)

1/2

1

1 1/2

1 3/4–2

2 3/4

3

3 1/2

broadcloth, blends, polyester knits, prints

Petticoat

1/2

1/2

3/4

3/4

1

1

1

cotton, muslin, tricot

Underpants

1/4

1/4

1/2

1/2

1/2

1/2

cotton knit, tricot

Nightgown

1

1 1/2

1 3/4

3

3 3/4

4

4 1/4

flannel and tricot, brushed nylon

Coat

1

1 1/2

2 1/2

3

3 1/2

3 3/4

4

3

3 1/2

3 1/2

Wool, double knits, corduroy

Shirt
(long sleeves)

1 1/2

2

2 1/2

1 1/2

1 3/4

1 3/4

2

2 1/4

2 1/4

cotton and blends, flannel

T-shirt

1/2

1/2

3/4

1

1 1/4

1 1/2

1 3/4

1 1/2

2

2 1/4

knits, cotton, and blends

Robe (long)

1 1/2

1 3/4

3 1/8

2 3/4

3 1/8

3 1/4

4

4

4 1/2

terry, flannel, corduroy, quilted fabrics

Pajamas

1 3/4

2 3/4

3 3/4

3 1/2

3 1/2

4 1/2

4 1/4

4 1/4

4 3/4

flannel, cotton blends, prints

Pants— slacks

3/4

1

1 1/2

2

2 1/2

2 3/4

2 3/4

2 3/4

2 3/4

2 3/4

denim, polyester knits, corduroy, kettle cloth