Nope, not stocking you up with a gazillion clothes in even more sizes. That takes up entirely too much space, imo. And one thing you will learn here is that I am all about space.
It is far easier to store the implements for making clothing in various sizes than it is to store the clothing itself. Far cheaper for prepping period, if you do it right. This of course assumes that you actually know how to hand sew. Treadle machines can still be found, but are generally in bad shape. You will find that the ones that are still in good usable shape are most likely out of your price range (at least they are out of mine). At any rate, "you will eventually be sewing something by hand so you may as well learn" to quote my mother.
Now, onto the things you'll want to put by or the things I have put by myself.
Fabric: sturdy fabrics like denims, canvas, broadcloth, muslin and GOOD flannels. All of these are by no means cheap. I suggest you sign up for sales bills from JoAnn's. Not only will you get advanced notice on sales, but you get a 40% off coupon on each flier. It is only good on non-sale items, so keep that in mind. You can also do as I do and keep an eye on the clearance fabric at chinamart (should your's still have a fabric department that is). Every once in a while they will get a wild hair and mark some actual quality fabric down to $2 or $1 a yard. I buy the bolt if I have the money. I never, ever buy anything less than 4 yards of anything I buy...mainly because most of the sizes I make call for at least 2 yds of fabric. That is with the exception of the screamers clothing, but I always make duplicates for them. The point of this huge paragraph is to buy sturdy fabrics, by the bolt or in enough yardage that you are certain you can make two or more of what you are making. The better quality of broadcloth, muslin and flannel virtually ensures that the items you make will stand up to lots of wear.
Patterns: My rule of thumb...find a gender neutral pattern or a pattern that has styles for both sexes included and buy multiples of it. I also do this a JoAnn's during the sales. This weekend for example Simplicity patterns are 5 for $5. Those are the times to get them, in multiple sizes and duplicates. Then use your 40% off coupon to buy some pattern-ease for copying said patterns if you want. It last way longer than the tissue the pattern is printed on and even outlasts brown paper or newspaper (you KNOW that some of you have done that...heck, I have patterns that are 90% newspaper now).
Psst...a favorite pattern of mine for the screamers is New Look (aka Simplicity) #6398. Shorts, pants, vests, shirts, jackets and a skirt (not that we need the skirt here, yet) all in sizes 2-7. I've got 4 uncut and one cut. Seems extreme but this is a really good pattern for rambunctious little ones.
Accessories: Needles, in every possible size you can find, you never ever know what size you'll like or need. Scissors, you can get several pair of el cheapos or a couple of pair of good ones (I prefer Fiskars myself) and a sharpener. Let's not forget a pair or two of pinking shears while we're at it. Measuring tapes are really a must because pattern sizing is not standardized and some are just WAY off. Pins, both straight and safety, be sure to good some good quality ones also. They may have to last a long, long time. Pin cushion is optional, I myself have one of those magnetic do-hickies for the pack I'm using and several unopened packs in storage. You can also pick up some tailor's chalk and all those cool little marking do dads, but I don't have them so can't tell you whether or not they are worth your trouble.
Thread and Buttons/Zippers/Cording: Buy lots and lots of them. I have an old glass juice jar (about a gallon) loaded down with buttons that I've pulled off of unrepairable clothing over the years. I have a gallon sized ziploc that is full of cording and drawstrings pulled out of that same pile of clothing, in addition to a couple of rolls of cording in different sizes. Zippers, well...in storage there is a LARGE box of zippers gifted to me by a friend that frequents estate sales. I don't have any clue as to why she bought them, she paid a dollar for them...there is roughly 250 in there. All in lovely shades of avocado, mustard and all those other cool '70's colors. Now thread, well...you can do as my mother and buy some of every shade on the market so that you are guaranteed to have matching thread OR you can be like me...white, black and that lovely clear quilter's thread. I too have thread to match every fabric, lol.
Elastics will eventually dry rot, even in the best of situations. You can choose to replace it with some more (I do have several of the chinamart small packs stored away) or forget elastics all together and go for drawstrings and lacings.
For those just curious about my fabric stash, here's what I currently have:
2 20yd bolts of denim (one semi-stretchy, one not)
2 15yd bolts unbleached muslin (quilter's heavyweight stuff)
2 15yd bolts bleached muslin (again, the heavy stuff)
1 20yd bolt each of black, blue, white broadcloth (heavy again)
way, way too many 4 and 5yd cuts of flannels in various colors and prints
1 15yd bolt canvas (lightweight)
1 16yd bolt canvas (midweight)
1 12yd bolt canvas (heavyweight)
way too many 4-6yd cuts of various woven cotton prints and solids
roughly 20yds worth of cuts of various knitted cottons
1 20yd bolt of cotton gauze (this makes for nice airy skirts and doubles as bandaging)
That's just off the top of my head as I know I have more including corduroy, some odd polyester stuff mom gave me and upholstery fabrics. It sounds like a lot, I know. The bolts fit nicely in those big, plastic storage bins and the others are categorized into smaller bins. All stacked, out of the way, in a closet. It all takes up considerably less room than clothing purchased in multiple sizes for my growing monkeys. I replace as I use, when money permits, and I use often. I also very rarely say no to someone offering up fabric that they "just can't use" as I'm sure I'll be able to use it.
Now, I know there is likely something somewhere that I've missed that someone will find vitally important. Pop it in a comment and share your knowledge.
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