Shorts inspiration, and the very fast DIY cutoff jeans shorts

Want a super easy project to do this weekend?

World's fasted DIY project coming up, largely because I decided to do it, did it, took the photos, and started this post in a span of about 25 minutes. Back story is, we're taking a little vacation this weekend (first time in ages! Whoo!) to visit family in New Mexico, and it's gonna be hot. (Actually, it's gonna be hot here, too, up to 86 and sunny, but still, I'm predicting being outside in warm weather more than I have since last summer while we're on our trip.)

I tried on all my shorts the other day while packing and was not thrilled with any of them. The vibe I'm looking for is longer, a little on the loose side, denim--different than what I currently have. Anthropologie has a TON so you see what I mean. Here's some in action in a recent pin...



Cute, very different from what I own! So Wednesday night I ran over to Goodwill, because it's 3 minutes away and I only realized I needed these now and am not ready to invest... picked up a few things, and on a whim without even trying them on bought these. Target brand, definitely on the long side. They didn't have any cute looser ones.

I figured they'd be fine for the trip, but then I tried them on again last night and decided NO, they are not flattering. Too long, cuts my legs in half! Bad bad. So, I figured, how about making them into cutoffs? (I've done other types of shorts tutorials before, the perfect cuffed cutoffs here and the once-cuffed cutoffs here.)

Here's the "before." Bleh. Too long.

So, how to turn these into casual, better-proportioned cutoffs?

(I know this is NOT the most original project, but hey--maybe you needed one of the world's easiest DIY projects to do this weekend, to get you out of a creating rut or to get you ready for warm weather. Go for it!)

How to make cutoff shorts


Try them on, pin where you want them to end on one leg. Pin at inseam and outseam.

Draw a straight line from one pin to the other--to be safe, draw it a little below the pins. Less than 1/2", definitely, but give yourself a little room in case you want to make them shorter or in case they fray a lot (jeans without spandex will fray more than stretchier jeans).

Cut 'em off! I do this one layer at a time, just to be extra careful. Try them on after this point, to make sure you like the length. Cut them shorter if you want them shorter!

Pin the legs together and match the pinned/cut length.

Use the first leg as your pattern and cut.

To fray them, I like to rough them up with a nail file. Putting them through the washer will also get the frayed jean shorts look going more, although again, stretchy jeans will never be quite as frayed as a classic 100% cotton denim short.

Done!

"After"!

Not as cute as the perfect Madewell or Anthro soft-washed pair, but they'll do!

How about it? Got any shorts to make this weekend?!

P.S. On the refashioning front... Elizabeth Kline was on Fresh Air yesterday. She wrote that super interesting book last year about the garment industry, Overdressed. Check it out, and the interview!

6 comments

  1. Awesome! I've always wondered how you get those frayed edges. Nice to know you can do it yourself!

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  2. I've been digging the slouchy and slightly longer jean shorts too. I hope you have a great time on your vacation!

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  3. nicely done! especially at the price compared to those anthro prices. scary!

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  4. I feel like you are reading my MIND! I was just looking at my apricot-colored jeans this morning thinking, "I'm going to turn you into shorts." I love them and they're really comfy, but they're getting so thin - and (because I might as well be a six year old klutz) there are faint stains all over the legs. Heh heh. Oops. I like the idea of fraying with a nail file! Brilliant; I've never thought of that!!

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  5. I just LOVE classic denim anything! I have some shorts that are a smidge too long, but have been cuffing them. Thanks a twist on that! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

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  6. Maybe you need to make cutoffs out of a pair of "boyfriend jeans" to get the wider look?

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