Sewing, rather than shopping
Our girls also tend to gravitate toward looks that are expensive -- but looks that are totally accessible for me to sew. So I've made a loose commitment to sew most of the new clothes for my daughters and I...probably not jeans and bras, but I may even give underwear a "whirl."
I'm particularly interested in sewing with knits, because they're so comfortable and easy to wear! Sure, they're different to sew, but with a few modifications (and continued learning on my serger), the results are very professional! As I go along I'll share some tips and techniques.
"Sewing ModKid Style." I used some cotton rib knit with Lycra that I had available from former baby headband projects. This fabric is perfect for leggings, because the Lycra, or spandex, helps the fabric bounce back into shape around the knees.
Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store had some cute and inexpensive knit fabric to use for a twirl skirt (pattern also available in Young's book).