As I mentioned last week, “re-purposing shorts” has been on my to-do list for two summers now. I bought all the supplies last year, but I never quite got around to making them. This summer, I was determined to finish (and start) the project. Before we go any further, let me be frank. This isn’t really going to be a detailed tutorial on how to embellish your denim shorts. I forgot to take too many crucial photographs along the way, and honestly, my mom did most of the sewing for me. Sewing isn’t really my thing. I wish it was, but I just can’t do it and I don’t really know why. This post serves as inspirational rather than instructional. That being said, you may be able to pick up a few tips along the way!
First, gather your supplies. You will need an old pair of jeans, (or capris, or shorts!) fabric, and embellishments of your choice. I chose these capri pants I’ve had since maybe about the eighth grade. A good tip from my friend China (we’ve been friends since before the eighth grade) is to get your jeans (if you’re buying them from a thrift store) a size larger so they will fit like shorts in the legs, instead of tight like jeans! I also chose a tribal-print fabric for an extra summery vibe, silver studs, and giant gold rick-rack that I ended up not using.
Next, cut a considerable amount off of your pants. Cut them longer than you think you’ll want them, because you can always cut off more, but you can’t add it back! This is also the time to decide whether or not you want to hem or cuff the edges, or leave them to fray, because this will have an effect on the length. I cut one side, then folded it over to cut the other side, to make sure they were even.
Next, cut your fabric to fit where you’re going to place it. I chose to do a panel of fabric on the front right side, and on the back left pocket. You’ll want to cut it a bit larger on each side so you can iron a small fold to avoid fraying ends. You can see on the pocket picture that it doesn’t fit-this picture was taken before I enlisted the help of my mother. I re-cut the fabric for the pocket, using parchment paper to trace the pocket as a pattern. Basically, if my mom didn’t help, I probably wouldn’t have finished these.
Next, sew it on! I have little to no advice when it comes to working a sewing machine, so you’ll have to find someone else to help you with that if you don’t know how either. Godspeed.
Here’s the finished product! You can see on the opposite pocket that I inserted a few of the studs. I might add more later, but it was kind of hard so I gave up.
I chose to roll the ends, but you could either hem them, leave them to fray, or add trim! If you do roll them, I would suggest tacking them so they don’t come unrolled.
I’m really pleased with how these turned out, and I’m excited to wear them! I think they would look cute with either a solid tee or a flowy tank.
Hopefully you gained a few tips or a little inspiration for your own denim upgrade!
That’s all for meow!