As any mother with a young child will tell you, babies grow very quickly. So for new mothers, making the most out of baby clothes is of the utmost importance. So what do you do when those onesies just don’t quite snap anymore? How do you get an extra month out of those jeans that are a little too short for the winter months?
The great thing about onesies, is that they’re a very workable cotton fabric, and there really isn’t any hemming necessary to turn a couple of onesies that fit at five months into a couple of shirts that fit at eight months. Simply cut them off right at the leg holes, and gently pull the material around the edges so that it rolls a tiny bit. This way there are no exposed threads for baby to pull at or chew on. The same can apply to footsie pajamas. By simply snipping off the feet, you can easily get another month’s wear out of the sleepwear.
Adding extra buttons to overalls or snappy shirts makes them naturally grow with your child. Perhaps one of the best investments a new mother can make is in a mid-priced sewing machine. This makes alterations and additions a breeze, and gives you a new hobby for when baby naps (Just make sure there is enough wall between you and the crib so that the whirring of the machine doesn’t make undue stress for you!)
Things like adding extra material to the bottom of a dress or skirt can be done in just minutes, as can letting out the hem of a pair of jeans or overalls. Buying clothes initially that are mid-priced and made of a cotton material with a lot of elastic and snaps makes transitions that much easier. Shoes are always going to be a problem, but buying a canvas sneaker in the spring can convert into a mule for summer wear, as long as the baby is not walking yet. Socks without built in heels is key—that way the baby can grow a little bit longer in the socks. Also, even though socks with ducks and elephants are cute, sticking to a plain color can help extend the life of individual socks if one gets lost. In the summer a grey or white sock is less likely to irritate a sweaty baby’s sensitive skin because they don’t contain dyes.
Think of ways that you would extend the life of your own clothes. T-shirts that come three to a pack can easily be downgraded to rags or dust cloths. Jeans and pants that have become worn or are too short can be cut and hemmed for summer shorts. Sweaters can become blankies. Things like first outfits and special occasion’s clothes can be put into a special chest to pass on to your child for when they have children of their own. For the most part, making baby clothes last, laundering aside, is about ingenuity and personality. Learn the basics of stitching and hemming and let the designer in you shine through!