Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Denim cut offs (that are actually city gym shorts)

Something magical has happened to my 'too baggy' jeans and they have blossomed into these perfect shorts!


I had these jeans in my pile to refashion and was wandering if I could squeeze a denim shirt out of them, but then the city gym short happened and the jeans were cut! I'm fairly certain that by now it's no secret how much I love this free pattern (if you follow me on Instagram), but this is my favourite pair to date!

How did I do it? Well, I cut the inside leg seam and lay them flat with the outside leg seam completely flattened out as per below. Although, before that I actually unpicked the back pockets, so I could re-use them rather then cut through them. I played around with laying the pattern pieces and this seemed to be the best solution! The dark patch where the back pockets were is kind of annoying as I had to cut it on the centre back, so there's a small really dark patch on the centre of my bum!


Rather than bind the edges with bias tape as outlined, I cut the leg edges with an extra 1cm seam allowance so that I could turn under and topstich. Another quick note was that I lengthened the leg seam by 2cm, as I'm not overly comfortable in shorts, so just wanted a little bit extra, but not so's to ruin the look.


I was concerned about the worn bit of the denim that used to be the knees now being near my bum, but they have ended up near the edge, so I'm not bothered.


This style is so far out of my normal comfort zone it's untrue. I have never (before this summer) worn shorts in this country and would not have thought of going this length and actually stepping outside the house in them, but all these things have happened. I am definitely converted to the way of the short!


 I did not gather the front, I just added a pleat either side whilst adding the waistband, which is salvaged from the original jeans.


 I originally put an elasticated panel on the back waistband, so that they would still pull on and off, but have since changed this after wearing for a couple of days as I felt that it looked like I was wearing a nappy!


See the strange dark patch in the centre back!


BTW, it's really difficult taking pictures of your rear in the mirror!


 So, this is the FO before alteration...



Inside detail which still retains some of the finishings of the original garment



Really pleased at the small amount of scrap left over, but also surprised that this was all after turning a whole pair of jeans into a small pair of shorts!!! How does that work?


This is what the back looks like now. I removed a big wedge from the centre back (including dark patch), made concealed pleats where the existing top stitching is and added the original button enclosure to the waistband. That is also the original zip, so barely anything has gone to waste! I just wish that I had gone to the trouble now of adding the belt loops back. I didn't show the whole back as I'm being lazy and they have just come out of the wash so need a good iron.


Much sleeker and less nappy like!


I can totally see myself wearing these in the winter with some tights too (another first!). Here's me playing with that idea....


How many more pairs will I make before summers over?

5 comments:

Alice said...

That's so clever! I love the idea, and I love the way the legs are a little full (unlike so many actual cut-offs which are like a second skin), so it almost looks like a denim mini skirt! I have some bright yellow corduroy men's pants that I got for about two dollars on sale and have never known what to do with them... maybe this!

JustSew Jenna said...

You are an inspiration! Whenever I have repurposed old jeans I have tried to cut around the seam, I never thought of using it as part of the fabric!

Marilla Walker said...

Thanks Alice! They are a lovely width in the leg and also like the skirty look to them. I did go up a size though for this, so rather than cut the 38-40", I must have cut the 42-44" and did alter the waist completely 9just bear that in mind). Yellow mens cords would work great as shorts! I'll look out for them on your blog ;-)

Marilla Walker said...

Thanks Jenna! I have done something like this before to make a pencil skirt, but this does not normally enter my brain, so I usually do the old make your jeans into an a-line skirt thing. Must remember to do this again in future!!!

Kathryn said...

This is such a great way of refashioning - though it's hard to work out how there's so little fabric left isn't it?! These look great & after seeing all your lovely versions on Instagram I'm planning some of my own. Taped the pattern together last night - now just need a free evening, or long morning baby nap, to sew!