Because why not?

Upcycling - Jeans To Shorts.

4 October 2013
I love me some denim. I tend to develop a deep love for my jeans because it's so damn hard for me to find pairs that fit right. I, unfortunately, tend to wear them to death and even when they are torn and ratty I will try to resuscitate life back in to them because there is nothing in the world like denim that you have broken in. Nothing. Like. It.

So when a favourite pair of mine developed a rip in a section that was worn thin I didn't mourn, I looked outside at the clear blue sky and thanked my lucky stars that summer was on it's way and shorts would soon be an acceptable way to cover my butt cheeks.

Let's discuss the art of turning your jeans in to shorts.

You're going to need:
  • A sharp pair of scissors.
  • Piece of chalk or a pencil. 
  • Measuring tape.
  • A pair of shorts that are a perfect fit and you already love the shape of. If you don't already have a pair this is still doable, it's just a million times easier this way.

First you want to measure the shorts that you like. Make sure you write them down of course.

Something to keep in mind
A good thing to keep in mind is how you want to finish your legs, if you want them rolled you will probably want to add about 6cm on to your lengths (for a double roll, more if you want to triple roll) and about 5cm-ish if you want a sewed seam. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do when I was measuring mine so I added 5.5cm to my measurements. In the end I settled for a frayed end so I cut off the excess and left an extra 1cm for fraying. If a raw edge is your cup of tea too, I'd recommend adding 2 or 3 centimeters to your initial measurements. Why? Because once you have cut the material off there is no going back, if you aren't sure about length, go longer and take off more as needed.

Prepping for the cut
Next on the agenda is marking your old jeans and drawing your cutting lines. The thing you have to know about cutting jeans in to shorts is that a pair like mine, (good for pulling on at the beach to run over to the shops for a snack), won't be a straight cut, it will be diagonal and the front will look way shorter than the back until you put them on, when you measure out what your are aiming to keep it's gonna look funny but you have to remember that your butt needs more material to cover it up while your front is generally a smaller area of space and therefore needs less material. If you grab a pair of jeans, line up the waist band and cut away the legs they are going to look stupid. The moral of the story is that you have to measure out what you are doing!

If you are trying to cut a pair of high waist jeans you can not use a pair of low rise shorts for measurements!! Read the no shorts guide at the end of this post.

The big chop
Next we cut. What you want to do is pinch the material and make a small nick along the line you marked so you can slip your scissors in, you don't want to try to do the cut in one go, it's extremely difficult to make sure the lines meet up right and you will end up with weird shorts, even if you are a lover of weird things like me, you don't want weird shorts.. been there, done that, never looks good.

The moment of truth
Once you have cut your legs off you are possibly moments away from new summer shorts! Try them on, see how they look at the front, back and sides, if your measurements were done carefully and correctly they should have the appearance of raw edge denim shorts, now is the time to take them off and either hem them, roll them or fray them. I really wanted to roll these but the rip in them made it impossible so I opted for a raw edge, I pulled away some of the fibers to start the fraying process but most of this happens with wear and washing, You can hurry it along by playing with the raw edge but I like mine to happen naturally. If you want to hem your shorts there is a plethora of information on the web.

See how the waistband at the front dips down a bit and the leg rise at the front looks really short? This is normal for shorts like this and a good sign that you are actually on the right track. Comparing how they look to shorts that fit you well will help!

Something wrong?
First time cutting jeans in to shorts? Things looking not quite right? That's ok, it happens. This is why we add a little extra length to our measurements at the start so we have room for mistakes.

If your shorts are looking a little long but otherwise awesome never fear! You can carefully measure another centimeter or two and cut away the material. If they are looking wonky then you have to double and then triple check your measurements. To finish you should chuck them in the washing machine to remove any leftover chalk or pencil marks or if you chose to finish your edge with hemming or rolling you can pop them on and go to the beach!

No shorts guide: 
If you don't have a pair of shorts to compare for measurements or the jeans you want to cut have a high waist, dry your crying eyes. Put the jeans on that you want to bring back to life, grab a piece of chalk, stand in front of a mirror and start marking them. You only need to mark one leg because you will be measuring this out when you take them off.

On the front of the jeans:
Mark the length you want at the side seam (outer side of leg).
Mark the length you want for the leg (inner side of leg).

On the back of the jeans:
Mark the length you want for butt cheek coverage.

Take the jeans off and lay them on a flat surface, measure from the waist band to your markings and note them down, once you have all of your measurements you can continue on with the rest of the directions as described above.

Love Thy Denim.

All Products were purchased by myself and I'm in no way affiliated with any of the companies mentioned unless otherwise stated. Links provided are for shopping examples only, I have personally purchased from some (not all) of these online stores but I highly recommend researching before buying.

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