Monday, 2 September 2013

High-waisted jeans to shorts tutorial

I wanted some navy high-waisted jeans that go with everything and fit me perfectly, so I don't need to faff around with belts. Most shorts I saw in shops were too short or not high-waisted or just too expensive.

So, with the express intent of chopping them up, I bought some £4 high-waisted jeans from the children's sale rack in New Look. The legs fit me awfully - I think they were supposed to be skinny, but they really weren't - but the waist and crotch was perfect.

Shorts look better when the legs aren't too tight, so to make them seem a little looser I've put some little slits at the sides. If you've found non-skinny jeans to cut up, then you won't really have that problem. Let's get started.

You will need:
  • high-waisted jeans
  • fabric scissors
  • seam ripper
  • berry pins
  • needle and thread
  • sewing machine (optional)

First, chop the legs off your jeans 5 or 6cm longer than your desired length. If in doubt, always cut less rather than more, because in real life, there is no Ctrl+Z.

To make the side slits, use the seam ripper to unpick the stitches of the seams that are on the outer side of your thighs. Unpick up to 3cm higher than your desired length. Pull out the oose threads to neaten it up a bit, and if needed, sew the edges of the denim back in on itself.

Roll up the legs twice, as in the photo above, to your desired length. It may be easier to put the shorts on and then do the rolling so you're sure it's the length you want, and everything's all straight. Then pop in some pins to hold it in place, then very very carefully take them off again.

If you're lucky enough to have a sewing machine, now it's time to sew it in place. If not, it shouldn't take too long to do it by hand. Take out the pins as you go along and do your best to sew parallel to the edge.

Finally, manually sew a few stitches right above the slits where I've drawn the pink zig-zag, inside and outside for good measure. This will stop the slit from ripping further and further up the shorts. That's it! Not bad for £4.

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