kids' clothes · life in Korea

Quick Project

Children’s clothes in Korea tend to be expensive.  Most Koreans do not buy things that are made in China because of unethical labour practices there.  In principle, I agree with that, but paying $20 or more for a pair of pants hurts, especially when I have four kids to shop for.  In Canada, I bought most of their clothes second-hand, but here I can’t figure out where I would do that.

Also, buying children’s clothes is confusing.  I still can’t figure out sizes.  G2 is size 100 in some things, 70 in others.   Some things seem to be labeled by age – 5, 7, etc.  So it is hard to buy without having my children with me to check sizes.  If they are with me, salespeople do not like you to buy anything big.  They want to sell you the size that will exactly fit.  Yes, if they think it is the wrong size, they may refuse to sell it to you.  I guess they don’t work on commission.

B2 is running out of pants – his all have holes in them from crawling around on the ground.  I really did’t want to buy him new ones since he will soon be in shorts for the summer and they may not fit him next fall.

Imagine my delight when I saw a bin of winter clothes for clearance for 2,000 won (about $1.80) each at the department store when I was buying groceries.  I was soon disappointed when I realized that it was all adult things, not children’s clothes.  Then I realized that there were a bunch of long corduroy skirts.  They easily had enough fabric for a pair of pants, and if I lined the pattern up right, I could use the hem in the skirt, and I wouldn’t even have to hem them.  I grabbed a bunch of skirts for my son.

Here he is in his new pants and a funny pose.  I adapted a sleep-pant pattern that has only one leg seam, so it took under one hour, start to finish.

I figure that I would have paid $20 for a pair of cord pants in his size, so making then in an hour for $2 is like getting paid $18/hour.  Most of my projects are done for the love of making things, not to save money.  Really, if you think of the hours put into a hand-made quilt, it doesn’t make sense from a strictly financial standpoint.  But sometimes, having the necessary skills does pay off.

I made him some pajama pants from some cotton to test out the pattern.  I know the scale is a bit big for kids, but he liked the colours.  Cost for them – $4.


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