Tuesday, July 18, 2017

DIY - Upcycling Denim Cowgirl Skirt Costume

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.


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

A (Reluctant) New Look

I've been writing Straddling the Gap for over six years.  I have lots of posts with recipes and patterns and craft projects.  I have lots of posts of places I have visited and family events.  I use lots of photos.  I've been on vacation all this week and returned to write about a dessert recipe my daughter and I created, only to find lots of these:

When I started writing this blog, I was hosting my photos with, you guessed it, Photobucket.  That included a photo pattern that was the background for my entire blog design.  UGH.  If you haven't heard about this scam, for years Photobucket has been hosting pictures, most of which were subsequently used on blogs, Ebay, Etsy and other sites requiring photos.  They have always provided URL links (in several formats) for each photo, so 3rd party hosting was ALWAYS part of the appeal.  This week, without warning (at least to this 10+ year customer), Photobucket decided to change a free service to a $500/year service.  What?!?  So, if you are visiting older blog posts (mine or others) or just older websites, you might be seeing a lot of this image.  (I still hope they will change their corporate minds and I will find a pretty picture of a magnolia here someday.)

I decided maybe it is time for a new look, so I did a quick reconfigure of my blog template.  I wish that was the only thing needing a fix.  Unfortunately, some of my content included pictures hosted on Photobucket that I now must manually retrieve, download to my computer and upload to Blogger.  I was actually pretty surprised, because I haven't visited this Photobucket account in a long time and haven't been using it for more recent posts.  So, I will be updating a lot of classic posts and reposting them.  While I really don't want to go through this process, maybe it just proves that not everything lasts forever on the internet.