One of the best ways to buy less stuff is to buy fewer, but higher quality items, and to keep them in good repair. This is very true for clothing, and by learning a few simple skills, you can keep your clothes looking and fitting great, longer. These skills are also important to learn if you have kids -- the things they manage to do to clothes are just amazing sometimes. Save money, save your clothes -- here are nine simple skills to learn.

9 Essential Clothing Repair Skills

1. How to Sew a Button

This is probably the most common clothing repair people need to make, and it's really pretty simple. All you need are a button, needle, and thread, and a couple of minutes of time, and your shirt, jacket, or pants will be as good as new.

A good tip to keep in mind is to keep any extra buttons that come with any garments you buy, and keep them where you'll be able to find them. Most simple repairs don't happen simply because we aren't organized enough to take care of them when we need to.

Photo by: Egilshay/stock.xchng

2. How to Hem Pants

If you are on the petite side, or have kids, hemming pants and skirts is a skill you really need to learn. It's often hard to find pants that are exactly the right length, and, rather than passing up a good deal on a good-quality pair of pants (or not being able to use your older child's hand-me-downs for your younger ones) you'll be able to hem them to any length you want.

Hemming can be done both with or without a sewing machine, so don't let lack of a machine dissuade you from learning this skill.

3. How to Patch Jeans Both kids and gardeners are able to wear holes into the knees of their jeans faster than seems humanly possible. Rather than tossing the jeans, you can patch them quite easily and give your jeans a few more months (at least!) of life. 4. How to Fix a Ripped Seam This is another very common repair. It seems that most often, the underarm seam on a shirt or the crotch seam in pants are what fail. These are very simple repairs to make, and require nothing more than a needle and thread. 5. How to Alter a Shirt Altering a shirt seems like it would be a very complicated task, so I love this quick video from Threadbanger. It shows you that it really is easy to custom-fit a shirt - another essential skill for those times you find a great bargain on a top that might not fit quite right, or if you happen to lose weight and find your clothes fitting oddly. Photo by: float/stock.xchng 6. How to Take In a Pair of Pants One of my daughters is tall, but rather thin, so to get the length right, we often end up buying pants that are too big around the waist. Learning how to take in a pair of pants has helped a lot -- we can stop worrying so much about her waist and focus on making sure her pants are long enough. This is also a great skill to learn if you're losing weight and aren't ready to go out and buy a bunch of new clothes yet. 7. How to Dye Clothing with Natural Dyes I should have learned this lesson a long time ago: don't buy white shirts. Me and white shirts just don't work well together -- I'm too klutzy and prone to spilling things. But I have a few white shirts in my closet still, and they're all looking a little worse for wear. I can give them new life by dying them a new color -- and, even better, I can use natural dyes made from plants to do it. 8. How to Remove Stains, Naturally The best way to keep your clothes looking great longer is to learn how to effectively remove stains. You don't need to use a bunch of store-bought chemical concoctions to do it, either. You can remove everything from grease to rust using natural methods. 9. Line-Dry Your Clothing Line drying is gentler on your clothes than tumble drying, and (of course) it is a much more eco-friendly way to go. While it's hard to go wrong, there are a few tips that will result in softer clothes with fewer wrinkles, as well as ways to help you clothing dry faster. Photo by: Copta/stock.xchng These nine skills will help you keep your clothes looking and fitting great, longer.