Make Your Own Children's Clothes For Free

Make your own children's clothes for free by recycling old clothing, includes tips on where to get free materials and step-by-step instructions and diagrams.

| September/October 1977

Make your own children's clothes for free by obtaining free materials and building new clothes out of recycled clothing.

As any parent who's been to the clothing store lately knows, children's wear has become discouragingly expensive. Keeping your young'uns in duds doesn't have to spell economic ruin, however . . . not when you know Joan Dickenson's secret to making children's clothes for free.

Have you shopped for children's clothing lately? Try it sometime: Price a five-year-olds outfit. Jeans — you'll find — are about $9.00 a pair, shirts maybe $5.00 each . . . not to mention socks, shoes, and underwear. By the time you get out of the store, chances are good you will have demolished the better part of a $20 bill.

Of course, rather than buy everything pre made you could purchase the necessary fabrics and patterns and sew the same outfit (minus shoes, socks, etc.) yourself. In this case, you can count on paying $1.00 each for shirt and pant patterns, $4.00 for a yard of denim, $2.00 for one yard of cotton . . . a total, so far (not counting fasteners, thread, needles, etc.), of $8.00. A savings over ready mades, to be sure . . . but still a lot of money.

Well, despair not. Because I'm here to tell you that there is a better way to keep your children in duds. All it involves is a little scrounge-and-make-do ingenuity, a little time, and (happily) no money at all. It's called recycling old clothes into new.

Where to Get Free Raw Clothing Materials

One day, I happened to hear (through the grapevine) that a neighbor was afraid to offer us hand-me-downs for fear we'd be insulted! Once I set that neighbor straight — and let others know, too, that we would be ecstatic if we received unwanted clothing — the garments began to pour in: shirts, pants, coats, dresses, pajamas . . . you name it! The moral: You can get free clothes from your friends and acquaintances . . . if you let them know your needs.

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