I have started doing something that I really wish I had started earlier. I am making clothing for my little ones for free. I am taking apart adult size clothing that has worn areas and reusing the good parts of the fabric to make the kids clothing. Recently someone shared with me a link to the Handy Home Projects blog that shows how to make a pair of pants without buying a pattern. To make the pants, I am taking an old pair of my husband's jeans that no longer fit and using the jeans legs as the fabric for Micah's pants. I first cut off the pant legs and then cut open the seam. If you want the bulky outer seam on the finished pair of baby jeans, cut the jeans open at the inner seam. Make your pattern as the blog suggests. I cut apart the pants that I am using as the pattern at the inside seam. Following the blog's instructions for putting a decorative cuff on the bottom of the pant leg, add a strip of fabric to the top of the recycled jean pant leg to give you a casting for the waistband. This way you won't have the bulky outer side seam in the waistband. After you sew the strip on the top of the jeans leg, place you pattern on the jeans leg, trace & cut out the pattern pieces and sew as directed in the blog.
Using the same basic principles of carefully cutting apart an article of clothing to make a pattern, you can make an entirely new wardrobe. Don't have anything that you can cut up? Go to a yard sale, garage sale, or thrift store and buy something that has the style you want to make. Use that to cut up for your pattern.
Recycling old clothing to make new clothes for your kids is fun. You start looking at your worn to or no longer fitting clothing as fabric resources. Here are a few ideas I came up with of things you can make from your old clothing.
Old t-shirts: shirts, shorts, training pants, diapers, skirt, dress
Jeans: jeans, skirt, jumper
Dress shirts: dress shirts or dresses (use the botton front for the little's ones front, just adding a few more buttons to make the closure little closer together)
Pants/sweats: pants, leggings, skirt, shirt, jumper
A favorite nightgown can be used as a pattern for new ones. You can also use some nightgowns as a pattern to make full slips.
Old white bedsheets can be recycled into making slips, aprons, underthings, nightgowns.
A pretty solid color or print bed sheet can be made into a little girl's dress, skirt, shirts & short set, sleepwear.
For the home, you can recycle old bed sheets to make place mats & napkins, curtains, quilts, appliance covers, pillows, tote bags, etc.
If you take a look around and let your imagination lead you, there are many ways that you can sew for your home and family without having to buy fabric. Think outside of the box! What ideas can you come up with?