The speed at which babies grow out of and/or trash their clothes is frankly frightening. But there are lots of ideas on the interwebs for making their clothing last longer, whether your motivation is financial, ecological or (like me) both! So, if your baby is wracking up the clothing-casulaties, here are four of ideas that you might like to try to get more use from them or to make them pass-on-able to other babies.
1) Dyeing and Tie-dyeing
If your baba's garments are looking faded and washed out, or have sustained some serious food/poo stains that stain remover and direct sunshine can't shift, then I can't think of a more fun way to refresh them than to get your dye-on. No matter what the packet says, you can never predict exactly what the shade of colour is going to come out so there's an element of surprise to be enjoyed! Plus any visible synthetic stitching or topstitching, poppers and buttons that don't pick up the dye become cool new contrast features.
Extra tip: ask your parent/carer-friends if they have any baby clothing items that they'd like dyeing too to combine with your own. That way you don't need to dye all your items the same colour just to make the most of the bucket/tub/washing machine full of dye.
2) Lengthening Onesies/Vests
Is it just me, or are some onesies/vests wayyyyy too wide for their length? Dolores takes after her dad and is quite a long baby but not very wide, and I've found that most of these things become too short whilst the width is still totally fine. Slice through the body horizontally and add a band of similar-weight knit fabric (I used an overlocker/serger for that step). Then top-stitch the seam allowances down so that they don't feel uncomfortable round the belly area. So far Dolores has got an extra two months use from these and I think there'll be at least another month or two before they become too small in both directions. Refashioning two of these in this way took me about 20 mins, and with at least three months extra use to be enjoyed I think it was 20 mins well spent.
Extra tip: play about with contrast plain or print knits for the lengthening band to create really fun, unusual onesies/vests. It's a good way to use up scraps of knit lurking in your stash. You could even swap over the top and bottom sections if you were refashioning more than one of similar sizes at a time for a totally mixed up look. The lengthening band doesn't have to be positioned where I have, it could be more central or round the chest area for example.
3) Onesies/vests into T-shirts
This is another option for onesies/vests that have got too short in the body but are still fine width-wise. Or, as in the case above, there's an unsightly poo-stain in the bum area that washing powder has failed to shift! Slice through the body of the onesie/vest horizontally and add a band of knit or ribbing that has been folded double. Make the band slightly narrower in width than the bottom of the onesie/vest itself so it fits snuggly and doesn't gape round the waist/hips.
Extra tip: harvest sections of unwanted t-shirts or the ribbing from old sweatshirts, or use contrast plain or print knit for the bands.
4) Onesies/Vests or T-shirts into Dresses
(image source: Marilla Walker)
When I was planning this post, I had a 'onesie/vest or t-shirt/top into dress' refashion listed but I had yet to get round to actually doing one to photograph. Miraculously, the other day lovely Marilla tweeted me the picture above of her darling little girl in her very own vest-to-dress creation. Marilla was very kind and allowed me to use the image in this post. Follow the above link to check out her explanation of the method used.
Extra tip: different looks can be created depending on where you cut the onesie/vest/t-shirt/top (at the waist like Marilla did, or higher up for an empire line effect perhaps) and how much fabric/fullness you add to the skirt section.