HOW TO MAKE OLD JEANS INTO SHORTS!
How to Make Shorts out of Pants
You've got an old pair of pants you no longer wear lying around, but you don't want to throw them out, and summer is coming up—why not turn them into a fashionable pair of cutoff shorts? Converting your unused pants into shorts is a quick and easy project that can lend new life to old clothes.
Measuring For the Shorts
Try the pants on.See how the pants fit. Pay particular attention to how they feel in the different areas of the hips and legs. It may be that they're comfortable in the waist but too loose or snug in the thighs. Make a note of this: it will help you get the cut right later.
Decide what length you want for the shorts.Are you going for a more casual knee length, or a super-short summer fit? Decide how long or short you want the shorts to be. Plan on cutting the shorts at least a half inch longer than your desired length to allow for a hem, unless you want to leave the edges unfinished.
- Take a look at your favorite pair of shorts for reference when choosing a length.
- Cut the shorts a little longer than desired on your first attempt and try them on. The dimensions of the shorts will look different when worn and they may come out looking right and ready to hem. You can always cut them shorter if you need to, but you can't add material back once it's gone.
Mark the length.Use a pencil or washable marker to mark where you intend to cut the pant legs. This will guide you while you cut for a cleaner finish, and any remaining marks will wash out later.
- Make a small dot where you want to cut the pant legs while you're wearing them, then mark them the rest of the way while the pants are lying flat so that the marks will be straight.
Cutting the Shorts
Choose a cutting implement.Scissors are the obvious choice and allow more manual control, but a box cutter can provide a straighter, more precise cut, and tearing will create a more rugged, distressed look.
- Exercise caution when using any cutting tool, particularly the box cutter; these have extremely sharp exposed edges that make cutting a breeze, but can pose a danger to the user if not wielded safely.
Cut the marked pant leg.Lay the pants flat and smooth out any wrinkles or folds. Use the scissors or box cutter to cut the pant leg. Follow the measuring marks you made carefully to ensure you get the right length.
- Once you've cut the first leg, place the removed portion over the second leg to make sure that they're both the same length.
- Longer strokes with the scissors work best to keep the edges from becoming choppy.
- If you're using the box cutter, make sure you have a suitable cutting surface underneath the pants. Otherwise, the blade can scar surfaces when it slices through the fabric.
Tear the pant leg.Alternatively, if you want your new shorts to have a rougher look, you can tear the pant legs by hand. Make a one- to two-inch incision with the scissors or box cutter to open a small hole and tear the leg the rest of the way. Place the pant leg across your lap and tear toward yourself slowly to keep the tear even; if you mess up, it can be difficult to salvage the tear.
- For a more even tear, you can make multiple smaller holes and "connect the dots" by tearing between them.
- If you do happen to make a mistake while tearing, make a straight cut in the uneven part with the scissors and try again.
- Torn shorts with unfinished hems tend to look better when using rougher materials like denim, as the thread is coarse and tends to fray in a more visually appealing way. The tearing method can also work with especially old or worn pants to go along with the rugged look.
Look for adjustments to make.Try the shorts on. If they're too long, cut them again about half an inch at a time until they're the preferred length. Remove any loose threads, frayed edges or uneven nicks made by the scissors until the leg openings are clean and level.
Finishing the Hem
Measure your hem.Decide what length you'd like the hem to be and mark the shorts again. Shorter hems will produce a neater, more uniform look, while a longer hem will create the appearance of folds.
Stitch the hems.Fold the hem under twice (or over, if you want the folded look) and use a sewing machine to stitch the hem at the proper length. You can also sew the hem by hand, if you prefer. Take care not to stitch the leg opening shut by mistake.
- If you don't have access to a sewing machine and want a completed hem for you shorts, take them to any alteration shop to have them stitched for a small price.
- Place a rounded object in the leg opening and stitch around it to avoid sewing the leg opening shut.
Try on your finished shorts.You're finished! See how the new shorts look. If the hem is too long or too short, the stitching can be snipped and redone. Experiment with other lengths, hems and styles and add a fresh new dimension to your wardrobe.
- Make sure all folds and edges are even before sewing.
- Use fabric glue to stick on sequins or jewels, or sew on patches for added customization.
- Fabric glue can also be used to secure edges if sewing isn't an option.
- Be careful when using the sewing machine or needle and thread. Accidents happen.
- Do your best not to make any mistakes in measuring or cutting. Remember—once it's cut or torn, it can't be undone.
Video: DIY: 3 Easy Ways to Turn Jeans Into Shorts || Shorts from Old Jeans
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