The little white sweater

I’m all about second-hand clothes. It takes much more resources of every kind to make something  new. Like Jody from Thrift Shopping Buzz, I always discover amazing finds without having to spend a fortune. When I worked in D.C. on the hill, I bought all my clothes from a consignment shop near Eastern Market. When I lived in Alaska, I worked at a Goodwill type store called Value Village—(my ALL-TIME favorite job, besides packing fish eggs in an Alaskan cannery.)  Most of the clothes I wear now are from Value Village I bought back in 2001. My jeans finally wore through the knee and I ripped them last week while putting them on. Bummer. Guess I won’t be wearing these to dinner.


Ahhh, but I digress. This post is about a tiny, crocheted sweater. Honest it is.

white sweater 2

My mother got it for Little Precious at the Goodwill. It came with a pair of crocheted white pants. The sleeves are a bit too long as the hands that sewed it may have gotten a tad carried away, or distracted.


It’s my favorite article of clothing that she owns. For one, because she looks so darn cute in it. For two, because I think it’s something a baby might have worn in the early 1900’s. But for three, because I don’t know where it came from. Or who sewed it. Or if some other precious baby ever had the chance to wear it.

Was it given at a baby shower by a well-meaning aunt and placed way in the back of the drawer so that all the new, fashionable clothes could be worn first but in the blink of an eye it was outgrown?

Was it worn once for a special picture? Maybe a Christening in winter….


Were the hands that crocheted it arthritic and worn, sprinkled with age spots?Was the woman overjoyed about the new life entering the family as she created each stitch?

Was it owned by an older couple who tried fruitlessly to bear children and ended up adopting?

Did the baby sleep soundly through the night or keep everyone up with colic?

white sweater 1

I’ll never know. And each time I struggle with the buttons, all of these questions flash through my mind. And that’s why I love second-hand clothes. Store clothes are boring. They don’t have a story like that!

It makes for a beautiful mystery.


And I just love those.

What is your favorite treasure you’ve found at a thrift shop?


8 responses to “The little white sweater

  1. She’s so cute in the sweater! My kid’s wore mostly hand me downs from R’s cousins, then worn by their cousins – so they were worn by 3 babies when they came to us. My two girls used them, my friend Kim’s two kids used them, then my sister in law has used them and passed them on to a friend of hers. That’s a lot of use..

    And a lot of stories. We all added to the pile of clothes as we passed them on. We added hand made sweaters from our neighbour and my mom, beautiful outfits purchased in France by my mom-in-law and a few things that I made too.

  2. Aww, this is great. And what a cutie she is! I love her big ole’ eyes. Our little peanut also has that “milk junkie” hat – too funny 🙂

  3. So cute! And I love thrifting. We have a Goodwill on the cusp of a well-to-do area and it’s actually called the “Goodwill Boutique”. Most of the stuff in there still has the tags on!

  4. She is so sweet and growing so fast!!!

  5. maybe the original baby had long arms? Yeah she does look cute in that outfit. 🙂 Nice post Jennifer. 🙂

  6. She is so precious…How in the world can you not fall in love with those big blue eyes. She looks like she just might be an easy baby!

  7. Hello! I’m so happy that I stumbled across this absolutely lovely post (with adorable photos to boot!) while I was writing my own post about clothing. It was recommended to me by Zemanta as a related article, so I linked to it–it appears at the bottom of the post, here: I’m looking forward to reading more from you, especially as a fellow environmentalist!

Tell me what you think. I don't get to answer comments like I did before baby but I read every single comment. And they really make my day!

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