As I’ve gained more experience as a mom, I’ve realized a few things. One, toddlers will destroy anything and everything they can get their hands on. And, two, not unrelated to number one, is that it’s downright foolish to buy expensive clothes for them. Now certainly there are occasions for splurging on that special outfit, but for everyday play clothes? Why bother!! I could have a billion dollars in the bank and I know that I would still feel this way.
To avoid the sick feeling I get in my stomach when one of my darlings stains a shirt that I bought new less than 24 hours ago, I’ll often pick stuff up for them at second hand stores, like Once Upon a Child. While there are always bargains to be had, at certain times during the year, you can get unbelievable steals at these stores. I was recently there and picked up a skirt and pants for my daughter for about a $1 each. My daughter is still at the age where she has no idea (or concern) as to where her clothes come from BUT she does like them to be “fancy”. Sometimes the clothes at secondhand stores can be a bit plain (or, alternatively, gaudy) so I’ve found it to be a pretty fun challenge tweaking my purchases to make them just a little bit more chic for her.
Take this $1 skirt, for example. Not bad, right? But it could be a bit better.
I found some cute trim that I’d picked up somewhere along the line on sale, turned on Project Runway for inspiration, and got to work. Here would be a good point to mention that I am a pretty mediocre seamstress. So if I can do sewing projects, then anyone can!
First, I ironed the existing hem to make it easier to attach the trim.
Then I pinned the trim into place.
And, using my superstar (NOT!!!!) sewing skills, tried my very best to sew a straight line all the way around the skirt’s hem to attach the trim.
I figured my daughter would grudgingly accept the skirt into her closet, and did not anticipate her excitement over my craftsmanship. She couldn’t wait to model it for me!
Feeling like a budding fashion designer, I decided to keep going on the next item: a pair of H&M navy blue polka dot leggings, which were actually pretty cute as they were. However, I was determined to put my mark on them. I’d recently seen some lace-accented leggings that I’d thought about buying and decided that these leggings would be the perfect piece to DIY the lace accent.
I used a 3 inch wide piece of stretchy white lace. To match the inspiration leggings, I wanted the lace to start wide at the bottom of the leggings and taper in as it ran up the leg. To achieve this, I cut a triangle out of the lace, like so:
Starting at the bottom opening of the legging, I hand stitched the lace to the inside hem of the legging.
I did a few stitches up the legging to hold the lace in place, and then finished by using Fabri-Tac
(permanent fabric glue) to adhere the lace to the legging.
I then repeated this procedure on the other side. (And once I got the hang of the glue, I realized that I probably didn’t need to do the stitches).
My daughter’s response? A big hug. She loved them and thought it was the coolest thing to be able to make her “plain” clothes fancy. She thought it was something her favorite storybook character, Fancy Nancy, would do.
The possibilities really are endless! Have fun with it!