How to refashion clothes for kids and teens.

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I’m a bit … frugal. Ha! We’ve made the choice to be a one income family, so I’m always stretching my creative muscles in the area of “making do and mending”. One thing I’ve always loved to do is to find clever ways to make my kids’ clothing last longer. Especially at these ages when they grow out of things before they wear them out.

Natalie had hung a few things up in my sewing room that were too small for her and we spent about one hour making three new garments out of the old ones.

Natalie is very slender, so when she grows out of things, it’s almost always in length only. We bought her this Christmas dress at Target in December and she only got one wear out of it before it became way too short on her. She wore it once more with leggings, but now that the weather is getting warm, she decided she’d like to turn it into a top.

Here’s a before and after!

Turn a too-short dress into a top!

We created a hi-lo hem, it looks super cute. This was as easy as trying on, measuring, cutting the skirt and hemming.

Upcyle your clothes!

Next up, she had a black knit dress that had also become too short for comfort. This time she wanted to turn it into a skirt, so we cut it off under the arms, made a casing and added elastic.

Turn a too-short dress into a skirt!

Third, we had a romper that we thought would be cute as pants, for Layla this time. It already had an elastic waist, so we just cut it off about an inch above the waist and hemmed the top edge into a ruffle.

Refashioning clothes

More ideas for refashioning:

  • For little ones, turn winter pajamas into summer ones by cutting the sleeves and legs off into shorts and short sleeves. They will have outgrown them by the next winter anyway!

  • Turn leggings with holes in the knees into bike shorts to wear under dresses.

  • When overalls get too short in the crotch, cut off the pants and add a gathered skirt out of cute fabric! Like this.

  • Turn jeans into jean shorts. Here’s a great tutorial!

  • Cut shirts or sweaters open down the center, hem the sides, maybe add some cute buttons, and wear them as cardigans.

  • Add a ruffle to the bottom of shirts and dresses that are too short.

  • Use my tutorial to turn a sleeved dress into a sleeveless one.

These are all the things I can think of right now that we have done in the past to make the kids’ clothes last just another season or two! If you have anything to add, let us all know in the comments :)

Refashioning clothes for kids and teens
How to upcycle clothes for kids and teens.
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