I originally wrote this post five years ago, but wanted to repost with updated pictures. My first attempt at costume making through upcycling! I highly recommend it!
I've seen a lot of projects where people alter or upcycle used items, but I've never tried it. Last week my husband had his church music camp where the kids performed "Jonah's Druthers". It was a cute show set in the Wild Wild West. I offered to get costumes for some of the girls and headed out to Goodwill. I found this cute long denim skirt in a junior size 13/14. It just had a little white spot near the ruffle.
I wasn't completely sure how to do this, but quickly decided I was NOT going to cut the side seams. Instead, I took the girl's waist and length measurements and started by cutting the length to equal the length provided plus two inches for an elastic casing. I measured from the bottom (to keep the ruffle intact) and cut off the top. This was a little scary and I'm not sure I would recommend this way if it weren't for the ruffle. The reason is that I was left with an even bigger waist to fit a size 8 girl.
Shockingly, it wasn't nearly as hard as I expected. I made the casing by folding the top of the skirt to the inside and sewing a casing 1 inch wide. I didn't completely close the casing, leaving open about 2 inches in the back so I could insert the elastic. I used 5/8" elastic and a safety pin to thread it through the casing. This is normally my least favorite part, but this time it was a breeze. I just had to make sure the elastic didn't twist. One I was done I pulled the elastic 4" shorter than the waist measurement and sewed the ends of the elastic together in an overlap. I tucked it into the casing and sewed it up. I then topstitched the top of the skirt, stitching a little into the top of the elastic so it wouldn't twist in the casing. Voila - done!
It made for a really twirly long denim skirt and this little cowgirl loved it!
Used skirt = $4.99. Time = less than 1 hour. Satisfaction for two people = priceless. I like upcycling.