5 funky sewing ideas to stretch your children's clothing budget

Your sewing skills can give a new lease of life on your kids' clothes, and help you stretch your clothes budget. With these simple sewing tricks, your kids will have funky fashions for longer.

5 funky sewing ideas to stretch your children's clothing budget

1. Sewing up a storm

  • Because sewing machines have little resale value, you can usually pick up a used one cheaply.
  • Consider a reconditioned model from a sewing machine shop or check out newspaper ads and garage sales, but bear in mind machines bought this way will probably need an overhaul.

2. Give old clothes new life

Bring old clothes right up to date with these quick tricks:

  • Cut off cotton pants below the knee to make them cropped.
  • Turn a summer dress into a skirt and a crop top.
  • Cut the arms to three-quarter length on a top or cardigan and add a ribbon trim.

3. Dress for success for less

  • If you sew, you could buy a remnant of fabric that matches or contrasts with the dress fabric and stitch an additional panel to the hem.
  • Unless there's a grand occasion such as a family wedding, your daughter won't need a proper party dress. Simply jazz up an inexpensive plain dress, skirt or cropped pants and a matching T-shirt with some sparkly sequins. Glue more sequins to a pair of canvas sandals and she'll have a designer outfit.

4. Clothing cover up

Cover stains and tears with a store-bought motif such as a skateboard or a butterfly. You don't have to sew them on — use iron-on bonding fabric to hold them in place.

5. Extending your kids' clothes

  • If the sleeves on a shirt or sweater get too short, but the body still fits well, transform the shirt into a short-sleeved version of the original.
  • To add length to girls' pants, buy a selection of braid, ribbon or trimmings and sew several strips of different ones to the hem on each leg.

It sometimes seems like kids outgrow and out-use their clothes long before you got your money's worth. But if you can sew, and have an eye for fashion, you can transform these clothes into new pieces that look great, and save you buying new ones.

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