Cut off shorts, instead of nasty, holey jeans

Short shorts are all the rage here in Texas.  Anyone over 28 is scandalized by the tiny things girls wear now.  We know we sound like a bunch of 80-year-olds, but these things are seriously short.

I had a couple of pairs of worn-out jeans, so I figured I could make them into a couple pairs of comfortable, casual shorts, instead of wearing them around my apartment and feeling embarrassed when I go walk the dog or take out the garbage. I have used jeans to line bags instead of canvas, but wanted to go the shorts route this time, since I needed more things to wear in warm weather.

I decided that slightly above mid-thigh would be an acceptable length for me.  Short enough to not look matronly, but not scandalously short.  This length is also short enough to encourage me to make sure I exercise,  so yay healthiness!

cut off shorts
Lay out the shorts so they mimic how they actually fit on your body.

To get this length, I put on the jeans, stood in front of a full-length mirror.  Making sure to allow for a fold-up hem, I marked where I felt I should cut.

Once decided on my length, I laid the jeans out on my cutting mat and got out my rotary cutter.  I made sure to lay them out flat, doing my best to make sure the crotch and inner thigh seam lay flat and to the front, so that the front waistband mimicked how it actually sits on my body.

I didn’t cut straight across, instead I cut at an angle, making the seam of inside thigh about an inch shorter than the outside thigh. To make sure I was cutting at the right  area at the right angle, I put a measuring tape in line with the front waistband and ran it straight down the seam I was cutting.

Cut-off shorts inside seam
Run the measuring tale straight down the seam from the front waistband.

To me, it seems like cutting at an angle his helps my legs look longer, and helps to disguise my chicken legs by making my thigh look smaller. I tried them on to make sure I was happy with the length before doing anything else.

When I knew I was happy with the length, I used my overlock foot to stitch the edges so they wouldn’t unravel.

I wanted the shorts to look nice and neat, so I made a hem by folding up the edges by one inch, ironing, then folding the edge inside the fold and ironing again. Now that I have worn then, I realize ironing was more or less a waste of time unless I am willing to sew a real hem.

Since I made two pairs of shorts, I immediately got an excuse to harp on one of my favorite annoyances- artificial fabric.  One pair of cut-offs is 100% cotton, while the other is 80% cotton and 20% polyester.  Ug, there is such a difference between the two!  The 100% cotton shorts will hold the fold and get a crease with ironing, but the ones with polyester will not.  So annoying, especially because manufactures are adding more polyester to jeans lately.  Do they live in the Arctic? Do they not know what wearing polyester in the summer feels like, and how it makes you smell? Ug. So annoying.

Anyway, my cut-off shorts were a success!  Instead of gross, holey jeans, I have casual shorts that aren’t a complete embarrassment.

Finished cut-off shorts 2
Finished cut-off shorts 1



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