Saving money on back-to-school clothes shopping

Skirt #1 for my 4 year old daughter

I have 6 kids, 3 boys, and 3 girls. I’m sure you know that even with couponing, back-to-school can get a little pricey. Usually we can get most, if not all of the supplies for dirt cheap or free, it’s the clothes that kill us.

I can’t follow a pattern to save my life. I can barely sew a straight line, but for my kids, I will try anything. I have a TON of material from when I was making cloth diapers (which, until now, seemed to be the only thing I could make) and figured I’d try to put some to use.

My daughter is in love with this skirt, it fits her well, it has sparkles, and it looks cool. What else could a girl going into kindergarten want? More of them, in different colors, that’s what!

It was fairly easy to make, and this was the first one, so you know it can only get better from here, as I change things up and get more efficient at them.

Along with not being able to follow a pattern, I have an aversion to measuring too, I just wing it, and do everything by eye. I grabbed the elastic that I had, put it around my daughters waist (unstretched) and went from there. The top section is about 2 inches longer than the elastic, giving room for stretch and growth, then going down in rows, each panel is about 5 inches longer than the one before, and hemmed at the bottom.

I sewed each piece into a circle on their own, then sewed the circle onto the dress. Every couple of inches, I made a ruffle, to make it flow a bit.

For the next one, I want to up the ruffles a bit, by making the next panel about 8 inches longer than the previous.

Now that my 5 year old got to try hers on, my 6 year old is begging me to make her one too. Little do they know, I plan on making them about 5 each, in different prints and panel widths. This way, we can just buy a few plain shirts to go with them and save on back-to-school clothes shopping.

I still haven’t figured out what to do for the boys who are going back to school, I am not about to try to sew pants for them, and I already know that I can’t make shirts, so we may only be saving on the girls, but it is better than nothing!

Here is skirt #1 for my 6 year old

Willow Stevens

Willow is a mother of six who begins to feel the empty nest, with faer oldest child living with his long-time girlfriend in another state, and the next three begin their talks about jobs and the excitement of college and living alone. Willow started couponing in 2007 to save their family some money on the grocery budget. That's how Freetail Therapy was born, so that fae could share their knowledge of saving money with others. Though the site has become so much more since then, and now includes homeschooling and homesteading info, Willow still does it all on a budget and shares how. Willow enjoys snagging freebies, snuggling with their dog, Xander, drinking decaf coffee, gardening, cannabis and of course, their large frugal family.

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