DIY Denim Shorts

In my fabric stash post, I mentioned that I’d like to make a pair of shorts out of some leftover denim.  Well, during a small wardrobe clear out the other week, I found a pair of knee length denim shorts I had completely forgotten I owned.  And why make a whole new pair when you can hack a pair you already have to pieces?  These were an ‘emergency’ pair of shorts I bought while I was in Florida a couple of years ago.  I realised I’d only taken skirts and dresses with me – not the most practical (or dignified!) of garments for riding roller coasters.  So, I picked them up in Walmart for a few dollars and promptly forgot about them when I got home.  It was mid-January by the time we got back to the UK, so they weren’t going to see the light of day for a long time!  I forgot to get a before shot of these, but I managed to unearth a photo from our time in Florida.  Here’s what I came up with!  😀

I’m really pleased with how they turned out!  I’m sure these were much quicker and far more successful than if I’d made a pair of shorts from scratch.   After all, shorts are just trousers with little legs and I still haven’t quite recovered from my first trouser-making experience.  I’ve given a new lease of life to an unloved garment.  It’s a nice feeling 🙂  I’m really getting into this refashioning thing.  I have a lovely pair of shorts to take on holiday with me and all I had to do was buy a bit of lace trim (which came from my local craft shop, Dainty Supplies).  I think they might look pretty good with my Silk Cami.  Plus, I can now use my leftover denim for another project – a skirt, probably.

How did I do it?  I drew a line across the front of one leg at the length I wanted them to be with chalk.  I did this in front of a mirror while I was wearing them to get a better idea of where the leg would end.  I laid them as flat as possible and chopped along the line through both sides of that leg at once.  After that, I folded the shorts in half and used the already cut leg as a guide for the other.  I wasn’t being particularly precise!  I then did a line of stitching about a centimetre up from the bottom on each leg.  I was always planning to fray the bottoms, but I wanted to try to prevent the fraying from creeping further and further up the leg.  It may or may not work.  I pinned and sewed my lace along that line.  I used zigzag stitch along the long strip at the bottom of the lace, but hand stitched the rest of it – I don’t think I would have been able to machine stitch it without the stitching being visible and messy.  Then came one of the trickiest parts – fraying the denim.  I thought this would be quite easy, but it actually took me a while to figure out a technique that worked for me, and it basically involved doing very dangerous things with scissors!  I really should have looked it up first.  I ended up with a few small cuts, so I really wouldn’t recommend my on-the-fly method.  Anyway, it all worked out in the end 🙂


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