Thursday, June 9, 2011

customizing Sister Suzy's shorts

We took Sister Suzy short shopping the other day. She didn't find any she liked; the choices were short shorts or cropped pants. The kid is modest and she wants something right below the kneecap about pedal pusher length. She also is not fond of the low cut either. She wants her waistband at her belly button. So I told her we could buy fabric and I could take her favorite shorts apart for a pattern. We went fabric shopping and I still have to make them. I also told her we could add a strip down each leg of her cut-off blue jean shorts. She was cautiously agreeable to that. So I have remodeled four pair of her blue jean shorts and she loves them.

This is how I did it.

Take a pair of cut-off blue jeans and one cat:>)

Get out your seam ripper and starting with the belt loops take the pants apart. Two of the pairs I only had to take off the center back loop and loosen up the side belt loops because they were not right on the side seams. I also had to take the center back label off. The waistband was next and I ripped from about two inches before the side seams on the front and across the back. If you break the waistband seam right and pick from the right direction the seam is a chain stitch and will pull out fast and clean. Open up the hem about two inches either side of the side seam. On these blue jeans the side seams are not flat-felted so find the correct direction of the chain stitch and zip them out like you did the waistband. Unfortunately the threads for the surging on the edge of the seam allowance just has to be cut and all the tiny threads picked out.

Cut the waistband in two at center back and pick back the top stitching of the waistband a couple of inches. Press the side seam allowances flat.

Cut four strips the length from the waist to the bottom of the hem. Decide how wide you would like the strip down the side. Add 1/2-inch seam allowances. In this case I cut the strips 30 inches long and three inches wide. If you are wondering why four strips, the fabric I used was not the same weight as the denim so I doubled the fabric for wear purposes. Notice that the print is cut smaller at one end than the bottom piece. I will trim the white piece to match the print. Sister Suzy has a very small waist in relation to her hips and she liked the extra room in the thighs and hips.

I cut a four inch square piece of denim to insert in the waistband and pressed a fold line.

Pin right sides together and sew the seams

I used the zigzag on the edges to finish the seams. Trim all the loose threads to clean it up. Obviously a surger with a knife would be handy here.

Put your hem back in.

Pin the insert in the waistband and sew together using a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Be sure your waist band pieces are not twisted! Picking out mistakes is a pain! Press seams open to reduce bulk then reattach the waistband to the pants. Reattach belt loops and labels.

And there you have it Hippie-fied jean shorts!

Have a good day!



  1. My littlej would love a pair just like these, great job!

  2. Thanks! It was a very satisfying project with less than four hours and some fabric scraps that were laying around invested.

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!


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