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DIY Cut-Off Shorts

As a girl of substantial stature (ringing in at 5’11”), I have constantly dealt with the problem of high waters. Whether my legs embarked on another growth spurt, or my dryer shrunk my pants, things were always frustratingly short. All through winter I would coax my pants to lengthen just a little, but come summer time, I became scissor happy. I was finally able to lop off the year’s shortest jeans and revel in shorts cut by yours truly at the perfect length.

Years of gleeful cutting has afforded me many wonderful pairs of shorts, and now that the season is right, I’d like to pass on my methods to you.

  1. Find yourself a pair of pants you’re ok with cutting. Realize, scissors have no undo button and any change you make will be permanent, sewing will not fix anything.
  2. Decide what length shorts you would like to cut. If I have a pair of shorts whose length I would like to emulate, I often put them on first and hold one arm flat against the side of my leg, marking where on my arm the shorts end.
  3. Next, if you have model shorts, lay them over the jeans and mark on the jeans where the shorts end. If you want to have a cuff on your new shorts, mark about an extra inch down for a thick cuff and half and inch for a smaller one.
  4. Use a ruler to draw a straight line across each pant leg based on your previous marking to guide your cutting. Don’t worry too much about being exact, but keep it close, when one short leg is shorter than the other, it tends to ride up extra quickly.
  5. Whip out your scissors and cut across the line you’ve drawn. Cut carefully to avoid jagged I-obviously-did-this-myself edges by keeping the bottom blade of the scissors on the table. If you want some fraying, pull at the edges after you cut to free some of the edge fibers. Fraying will also increase with wash and wear.

  6. If you opted for a cuff, fold your allotted extra material up and iron to keep in place. To avoid having to re-cuff before each wear, try sewing a small seam up the inner and outer sides of your cuff to secure in place.

Flaunt your new duds on campus, at parties, and as an awesome bathing suit cover up at the Rec pool. So, collegiettes™, save yourself some summer dough and make yourself some new shorts at home!

Edited by: Jacquelyn Little

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