People used to buy clothes at stores.

{Yesterday, in the backyard}

Elliot: Guess what, Mom? Did you know that a long time ago, people used to have to buy their clothes at STORES???

Me: Ummmm. What? *Dumbfounded* You mean like at Target?

Elliot: Yeah!

Me: You know, people still DO buy clothes at stores…most people, actually.

Elliot: But WE don’t! YOU make all our clothes!!

Me: Well, actually…I didn’t make those jeans you’re wearing. Or that tee shirt…Auntie Kricket bought that for you. But I do make a lot of your clothes, don’t I?

Elliot: You didn’t make these jeans?

Me: Nope.

Elliot: Oh.

That conversation blew my mind a little bit. First, because he sees making clothes as the norm in our house, and buying clothes as the exception (even though it isn’t…we still buy most of our clothing). And second, that he imagines buying clothes in a store as part of an ancient history that’s been improved upon by home sewing, as though shopping for clothing was old-fashioned or something. Upon further questioning I discovered that this was due in part to “Secret Life of Machines: The Sewing Machine,” which he watched with Mr Rae the other day, and which hails the sewing machine as the “first machine to enter the home.” Hah!

Kids are funny.

41 thoughts on “People used to buy clothes at stores.

  1. Awesome. For Mother’s Day my daughter wrote things about me, she said “I know my Mom loves me because she makes me clothes to wear.” Someday she may not be thrilled that Mom made her something to wear, but I loved that now at 7 years old, it is something she she relates to me doing because I love her.

  2. Cute! I’ll be telling any future children of mine that buying clothes was ancient history too and see how long they believe it for!

  3. Haaa! I hope you really blew his mind with the information that in the really REALLY ancient times, people made their clothes at home instead of buying them at stores. The cyclical nature of it all. Whoa.

  4. lol
    We had a similar conversation, when my 4 years-old girl asked me (rather surprised) if I knew that her colleagues mum’s shopped for clothes! She actually was felling sorry for them πŸ™‚
    I do sew most of her clothes but I take her to the shops every once in a while, mostly bathing suits and shoes, lol

  5. That is really sweet, I just love the way their little minds work. My 5 year old is absolutely in love with my sewing machine, she will say “Isn’t Juki just amazing?! She can do anything!!” In our house Daddy is the only one who buys clothes at the store these days…he’s the odd man out!

  6. This post made me smile real big. πŸ™‚ Once, my sweet boy asked me to make him some shoes. Since I can make anything. πŸ˜‰

  7. My 4 year old son (also an Elliott πŸ™‚ asked me while I was flipping though an Anthropologie catalog if I was going to make ‘that dress’. ‘What about that one? Are you going to make that dress?’ I love that he thought it was a pattern book πŸ™‚

  8. I love this post! What a great conversation! How wonderful to share your sewing in such a way that your child thinks it the “norm”. One day, I hope my kids think the same things!

  9. My kids also think its pretty normal to make your clothes yourself, but are also very proud of their handmade clothes… I sometimes call them my marketing managers – they’re always telling people “my mum made this” πŸ™‚

  10. Aaaaaah this is too great! I love it. I wasn’t sure if my kids knew clothes came from stores at all until the other day, when Em asked “sometime can I buy a dress from a store?” which kind of broke my heart until I mentioned that you can’t pick out the perfect fabric at a store, and it’s harder to get it to fit you just right…i think that convinced her, but we’ll see.

    Love that he thought you could make the jeans too! I’m sure he thinks you can make anything. πŸ™‚

  11. I had something similar with my now 5 yo a while back, when he announced, proudly, in front of his teacher and friends, that “my mom is a superhero since she can take string and make me clothes from it.”
    I knit a lot of stuff for him….

  12. I don’t know about you, but I call that conversation victory. πŸ™‚ …especially since he LIKES and WEARS the clothes you make.

  13. My four year old firmly believes that I can fix just about anything, sewing or tiy related. It is super cute, and makes me feel appreciated. I would say makes all that sewing worth it, but I love to sew, so I enjoy it, even mending.

  14. What a wonderful conversation! I love it when my son sees something he wants and instead of asking for it, he asks me to make it for him! πŸ™‚ Love it!

    I’m also curious about how seeing so many things being made by hand is going to affect them later in life. My parents weren’t so crafty as a kid and I don’t remember seeing things being made. There was one doll house. but I’m hoping it becomes second nature to them to make instead of buy!

  15. That’s awesome! I get asked all the time if I made what I’m wearing since I’ve made a few things. Now most of my clothes are store bought but I’m going to start again. I saw a lot of things that I could make instead of buying it.

  16. I’m way behind in reading your blog, but I hope you read this and maybe there’s an answer in some other blog post I have yet to read later on… anywho, having been someone who was taught to hand sew as a child but never really knew how to make my own clothes, I make clothes for others, but I mostly repair things when I can. I thank my upbringing for that, but most of the skills were taught to me in kindergarten school (Guatemala specifically).

    I wondered if you impart these skills with your little ones and if so, how do you do so?
    Someday, I’d like to impart these skills onto my nephew and niece.

  17. This is great. I love the idea in his head that sewing for your own kids is normal, buying clothes seems kind of awkward to him :).

    Every time my daughter (4) sees a shirt/ skirt/ dress she likes, she would tell me: “Mama, you can sew me something like this, right? With pink. AND purple!” πŸ˜€ – oh, my motherly heart is melting :).

  18. My kids are grown ups with kids of their own now. They brag on Facebook about the things(mostly Halloween costumes) I make for my grandkids. So your little guy probably will never stop appreciating your lovingly made clothes.

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