Thursday, July 26, 2012

Making (new) + Maintaining (old) Cut Offs

For the next few days we'll do some easy summer re-fashions. What's more summery than cut offs? I'm really not sure!
The inspiration for these came when I tried on my favorite pair and realized that, courtesy of the fray line, they were becoming booty shorts.
Not really my thing.
I wanted to save them because they were pricey and I really don't own many pairs of shorts, so I decided to show you a quick, 2 minute fix to keep your favorite old cut off shorties rolling through a few more seasons.
I also thought I'd show you my favorite way to make frayed cut offs from old jeans, too, in case you haven't been so successful in that area.
Let's start with fixing old favorites. It's so easy- all you need to do is run the bottom edge through a sewing machine. I used a tight zig zag stitch (pictures below) and ran it from one side seam all the way around. Make it as close to the fray line as possible to stop further fraying. Lastly, trim the fray down to your desired length of fringe-y-ness :) (if you want to make a pair *just* like these, I included instructions in step 4)
Now- the best way to create new cut offs? Here we go. I like to start with a pair of jeans that are either loose or one size too big. I didn't have any so I had to use some old skinnies, I may add in a panel next week (tutorial) to make them more loose. My favorite cut offs that I saved were one size too big and I just like the way it looks.
(1) Trace it. Lay your favorite pair of cut offs over the jeans. Cut along them (one leg only), adding in *at least* 3/4ths of an inch. I added in an extra 2 inches because my other ones are a tad short and I want to fold the edge over to look like my favorites, too. I also like to angle mine (which you can see) so that they're shorter on the outside of the leg and longer on the inseam, it looks more flattering on the leg line. 
(2) Copy it. Fold the cut leg over on top of the uncut leg and cut to match. I do it that way so that both sides are identically even. After this, try them on to see if they're the right length or if you'd like to angle them more.  I wish I had angled mine more.
(3) Hem it. Decide how much of a fray you want, I wanted about 1/2 inch so I hemmed 1/2 inch in all along the edges using a zig zag stitch (same used for top pair). You can let them naturally fray to that hem on their own over time and with washing OR you can attack the edges with a bristle brush/teasing comb to help them along. Another way to do it is to use a seam ripper to pull up the white cross threads and then pull them off. I helped my fray along a little bit, but I'll probably let machine washing and time do the rest. 
(4) Wear it. Old favorites on top and new favorites on bottom. I hope that the new ones break in to be as fab as the old ones-- BUT-- they're the correct size, so that may not happen. Hence the possible inclusion of an extra panel :)  It isn't pictured, but I turned the edges of the legs up so that these would be more identical to the "originals". If you want to make a pair just like my original pair, start with jeans that are one size too big/loose (goodwill?), follow the above steps and then turn the edges over 3/4 inch and iron the crease to make it stay put. If you're serious about them staying folded, you can add in a single hand stitch on the sides where the seams are, or you can run just that side seam through your machine. You can also add frayed sections on the leg by rubbing the jeans with a steel wool pad. 

If you're wondering about the look of consternation on my face- it was *extremely* windy when we were doing photographs. I generally like the wind, but not when I'm trying to take pictures and it's blowing the knot off my head! I turned my head into the wind and squinted in an attempt to stabilize the hair. I don't know. That's a lot of explanation about a facial expression...
Tomorrow's post is just as easy! I really love refashions, they're a great way to grow your sewing skills if you're just learning the art. I hope the rest of your day is lovely, all the best and as always- thanks for reading!

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for the tutorial! Although I'm old, I'm new to sewing! Teaching an old dog new tricks is a real feat! So far I understand and I appreciate you sharing your skills with us! Have a good day!

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    Replies
    1. Marie- oh good grief- never too old to learn, right?! I'm so glad that you're having a good time! <3 <3

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