Children's clothes can be the best place to start as long as you have a child willing to wear your lovingly crafted garment! After seeing it done on the Great British Sewing Bee a while ago, I thought I'd try shirring, which is actually a really easy way to make a dress or top- and it's pretty good fun too!
A dress uses about half a metre and there are some great tutorials out there. I followed the one on the Martha Stewart website which was very easy to follow.
Another way to keep the costs down is to mix more expensive fabrics with cheaper ones. This gorgeous Michael Miller cotton jersey was about £8 per half metre.
Combined with some plain cotton jersey fabric which was well under £5 per metre, I made two dresses for the girls:
And a top for myself:
And there's still a bit left over for headbands too!
I got this book recently and I have to say, I totally adore it. It's called 'Feminine Wardrobe' by Jinko Matsumoto. If you check it out on Amazon, all of the garments are shown in the 'look inside'. The layout of the book is a little different to most as the photos are at the front with the instructions at the back. The sizes are pretty small too- I'm classed as XL and I'm a size 12, but as all of the clothes aren't fitted and quite floaty, it wouldn't take much to size them up.
I have made two things from this book already, but it is worth checking the width of the fabric stated. In several instances its 1.1m, so if, like me your fabric is 1.5m wide, you need less length. It obviously helps bring down costs if you're given the fabric, which in this instance I was:
And this top was make from some cheap chiffon from eBay:
eBay is of course a great source for cheap fabric, although you can be taking a gamble on quality. Also never forget the charity shops for old sheets and duvet covers, and the offcuts bin at the fabric store.