Tutorial: Cutting Jeans into Shorts for the Thick-Thighed

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You may remember the pants above from this post. A total catastrophe chronicling my realization that light colored jeans should be bought with more care than I gave these jeans purchased on sale. But, with every fashion mistake comes a solution. In this case: chop off the bottoms and make shorts! Shorts are notoriously difficult for anyone with thick thighs to pull off. They allow your legs to rub together, creep up your inner thigh, and highlight the widest part of you. Never have I found a pair that fits or flatters, until I started making my own years ago.

With that said, a few steps on how to create the tighter-fitting denim short:

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Step 1: Start by laying the pants flat on the floor and mark an area of the jean where you will make the first cut. I used a simple pen and scissors. Be sure that this marking is much below the knee, we want to just get some of the excess material off so they are easier to work with

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Step 2: Take a piece of paper, fold it in half, and lay it on the jean, tracing the paper so that you draw a straight line. Then cut. This line is going to make it easier to cut a straight line.

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Step 3: Put the cut jeans back on, and take note of where they hit you.

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Step 4: With the same pen, mark where you think you want your next cut to be. Again, be sure it is much lower than you think. You’ll want to leave extra fabric to fold over (if that is the look you’re going for). Then, take the pants off, draw a straight line with the paper and cut again.

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Step 5: After you have made this cut, the shorts should be around the length you want them. I am going for a tighter-fitting not too short look, so I decided to leave some extra fabric at the bottom (2-3 inches) for a folded-over asthetic. Because the jeans were tight to begin with (see above), and I didn’t want my thighs to look squeezed, I gently ripped the inner and outer seams of the pants to give my legs a bit of extra room. Be careful when you do this so that you don’t rip up the entire leg.

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Step 6: Put the shorts back on, fold up the extra material and cut/edit as needed. These are, of course, unfinished. I plan to add a few stitches to the rips so that they don’t lose shape, and sew on some embellishments for added interest. The full “After” shot will be revealed soon!

Just a few simple steps to create the perfect-for-you jean short! Again, this was just the style I was looking for. Cutting a pair of Boyfriend jeans would result in a looser fit (i’m thinking of doing this next with this pair).

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  • fleurdelyss

    Great tutorial, especially since they can be done without a sewing machine!

    • lhaber

      thanks! they were So easy

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