My daughter was the best-dressed little girl in her class, or so I was told. The funny thing is we weren’t rich, nor did we have much income at the time. I learned to be a creative mom. So can you. You can make or remake beautiful clothing for children (I had a boy too and he was just as well dressed) by following the 12 easy tips I have outlined below.
- First, check out the latest fashion trends for kids. Look at department store sale flyers or catalogs. Shop in person to get a feel for texture, color and design. Look for what’s in style and what’s out. You can make things that look just as good, if not better.
- Visit a fabric shop to get patterns and material to sew clothing yourself (always look in the sale aisle and sign up for flyers to get amazing discounts).
- Think about adding trim or embellishment to clothes your child already has if they still fit.
- Attend local garage sales and thrift shops to look for buys – some trends stay current and children outgrow them. There are lots of great bargains to be found this way and often they only need to be hemmed.
- Think about used clothing in terms of other uses (i.e. buttons, trim, using for patches or parts of other projects). Keep zippers that are in good shape even if you throw a piece of clothing out. They’re perfect for little boy’s pants.
- If you sew, be miserly when you are cutting something out. Often by placing pattern pieces in a different manner than what is suggested you can save enough fabric to make a child’s dress, pants or shirt. If there’s not enough for a whole garment it can be put with another fabric to create something new.
- Just have a strip of fabric left? Use it for a ruffle! There are many ways to use almost every remaining piece. I made book bags out of scraps and it turned into a way for me to make extra cash.
- Small pieces of fabric can be used for contrasting cuffs, collars, or pockets. Use it to make a headband to match the outfit.
- Redesign the sewing pattern by adding seam allowances and making the bodice and skirt of different fabrics (leftover pieces if you have them).
- Add fur, yarn, fringe, pom poms, fabric paint, beads or anything else to make the clothing unique. Put your signature on it.
- Mix and match patterns to create your own design. Just be sure the fit is correct by matching seam allowances (this is an advanced technique, but I jumped in with both feet and learned by doing – it’s easy!).
- Take garments apart and re-sew, adding different sleeves, skirts, cuffs, bodices anything you can dream up.
This type of project is fun and rewarding. My children loved modeling their new creations and were the envy of their friends. The best advice I can give a mother? Learn to sew – it’ll save you hundreds of dollars and give you a sense of satisfaction you never thought possible!