Getting the MOST from Kids Clothes

I have a confession: I don’t spend any time pre-treating stained clothing. Everything gets sorted, washed, and dried, if it ends up stained oh well! I know that a lot of you are probably appalled, but the reason I am like this is because I almost NEVER buy new clothes for the kids, almost everything is used or home made. Once in a while I will buy a “character” shirt or they will receive new clothing as gifts. The majority of their (and my) clothing comes from the Goodwill ($.99 sale) or yard sales.Just because I don’t worry about stains doesn’t mean that I want them looking like they are wearing second hand clothes, so thank goodness I can sew.
Now that spring is here it’s time to dig out all of the holey jeans, (second hand pants do wear through the knees a little quicker) and make some shorts. While one or two pairs of actual cut offs are okay, I will not just hack the legs off of all of their pants and let them fray. Today I re-did two pairs of jeans in two separate ways with almost the same results. The finished shorts look like they have always been shorts and will last through the summer (and may even be resold when they’re outgrown).
jeans to shorts P1I have three pairs from Little Miss to fix, today I’m going to do a simple hem.  Her pants were easy, cut off the legs and cut the hem off of the bottom of the legs. Sew the old hem to the newly cut shorts edge and topstitch over old stitching.
jeans to shorts P2 On the right you can see the finished pants compared to just cut on the left. Sewing that hem back on really makes all the difference.jeans to shorts D1Little Sir’s pants were in the same shape. I like to make his shorts longer, it’s just a better look for him. I cut the pants off right at the holes and cut the hems off of the pants, but OH NO, these pants are tapered at the bottom and there isn’t enough to just match and sew!!! (This happens a lot) First I turned under the raw edge and hemmed the pants, then I cut the hem apart and sewed it on like trim. Once it is sewn on I trimmed the raw edge close to the stitching, there will be a little fraying, but it should just look like wear.jeans to shorts D3I know that it looks odd when I point it out, but if you don’t look closely (and most people don’t) it looks fine.jeans to shorts D2 See? Hard to notice, right?
So this is how I really get my money’s worth out of pants. The top pair I got for a dollar AND she wore them all winter before I made them into shorts. Little Sir’s pair I got at a bag sale, a whole bag full of clothes for $2.00 (pretty sure there were at least 8 items in the bag), so $.25 for all winter wear and now all summer too!
I have a stack of pants to finish up today, Little Miss will be getting some stenciled (to hide some stains) shorts and Little Sir will have some patch-y (to cover some holes) shorts. Look for finished pictures on the Facebook page. Now I just need to come up with some shirts!
How do you get the most value out of your kids clothes?

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