Is there anything more blissful than jumping out of bed on a sunny summer morning and throwing on a perfectly worn-in pair of cut-offs?
The short answer is a resounding “No.” Ideal in their simplicity and versatility, cut-off shorts can be dressed up or down, and — if you make them yourself — are easily customized to suit your personal style. Today we’re showing you three different cuts you can make to breathe new life into a tired pair of jeans, whether they’re old favorites you just can’t bear to part with or a vintage pair of dad jeans you picked up at the thrift store.
What you need:
Small circular cup or jar
Fray stop (optional)
To create a scalloped hem, first try on the jeans and use the chalk to mark the desired length in the front and the back. You’ll want the inner seam to be slightly longer than the outer seam, and the back to be slightly longer than the front.
Once you’ve determined how short you want them, remove the jeans and lay them on a flat surface. On the front of the pants where you marked the inseam length, draw a slightly angled line from the inner seam up to the outer seam. This line will be the guide for your scalloped edge.
Starting in the front, use the chalked line as a guide and trace halfway around the cup, lining the scallops up as you go. Once you’ve created a line of scallops on the front of the jeans, cut them out. Repeat in the back. To prevent the scalloped edge from fraying, use the Fray Stop along the inside edge of the hem.
What you need:
Old jeans (100% cotton works best for this – no stretch)
As in the tutorial above, first try on the jeans to determine the desired length. Mark with the chalk. We kept this pair longer for a more relaxed look.
Remove the jeans, lay them on a flat surface, and draw a slightly angled line up from the inseam to the outer seam. Remember that you’ll want the back hem to be slightly longer than the front.
Use the scissors to cut along the line. Once you’ve made the cut, try on the shorts to make sure you like the length. The best part about cut-offs is that you can always make them shorter, so if you’re unsure, always cut long and trim them down afterwards.
Once you’ve cut the jeans to the length you want, use the X-Acto knife and this tutorial to destroy them. If the bottom of the legs feel too tight, you can cut a notch at the outer seam of each leg. The more you wash and wear this pair, the better they’ll look, so wear ’em often!
What you need:
Determine the length by first putting the jeans on. Because you’ll be creating a dolphin hem, which comes up higher on the sides, use the chalk to create an upside down V on the outer seam of each leg where you’ll be making your cuts. Remove the jeans, and on a flat surface, cut along the chalked line, curving slightly downward from the marked V. Try on the shorts to make sure both legs are even and make adjustments as needed.
Which way would you customize your cutoffs? Let us know in the comments!
More DIY projects from the BLDG 25 Blog.