Hack n’ slash

Well you could vaguely call it that, but what I really did on Saturday was more of a pin and cut. Hi! I’m really excited to show you what I cooked up for myself over the weekend. Without further adieu (and misguided mild gaming references):

Super sugoi!

I made myself a pair of shorts from thrifted jeans. Well not exactly made but rather with some slightly scientific measuring and extensive (read: 30 minutes) research into “how to make a pair of jeans into cutoffs” I emerged triumphant with that work above.

There’s a bunch of tutorials on the Internet, so I won’t bore you with a rehashing. However, I used Refinery29‘s slideshow as a general guide, and it was useful. My criteria for looking for a proper base jean were the following:

1. A high waistline covering the belly button, but not so tight to cut off circulation

2. A nice even degree of fading throughout the jean–nothing unrealistically bleached. Preferably a lighter wash, since I am trying to accrue more light wash denim options

3. Base jean should not be too destroyed/distressed at the important areas: hips, front pockets, back pockets. I already know that my base style is a little cleaner than extreme rips and tears, so look for the least dinged-up pair of denim.

Here’s a quick before-and-after:

Note extremely scientific “pinning” and “marking.” We take things quite literally at Maison Uniformly Dressed. #fashun

One of the things I read in the cutoff tutorials was to find a good length of an inseam by taking a pair of well-fitting shorts and measuring that. I don’t have any well-fitting shorts, hence me embarking on this project. But I also know I didn’t want Daisy Dukes (possibly mildly NSFW. It’s a Google Image Search link, so have SafeSearch on or something.) One of the other suggestions was to decide a length by having your arms hang down and marking the point where your fingertips rest at the sides of your leg. Sounded good enough to me, and I added a little bit of extra length to ensure I wouldn’t cut off the pockets. Lastly, I flipped the pants inside out to mark and cut it up.

Good thing that the wabi-sabi aesthetic and idea is very much desired here, because I do not have laser-beam cutting skills.

Finished product and Gratuitous Picture of Herself Preening (GPOHP?)

I’ve worn the shorts out once (not with a crop quite yet–need to molt off my winter layer for that.) They’re great. The butt is a little loose, but we’re going to go with that since it’s thrifted and all; can’t expect a skin-tight fit. I would have left them uncuffed but the length I cut them to accommodate for the pockets is an awkward length for my proportions. For now they will stay cuffed.

There you have it! Barring any catastrophic (modesty-challenging) rips, I seem to have snipped me a pair of summer shorts. Still slow on the uptake with the trends here–I’m sure I’ll be into culottes in about a year and a half. Have you ever done any DIY denim projects? I still kind of want to bedazzle something.


18 thoughts on “Hack n’ slash

  1. I did the same few weeks back. And now I wear it every weekend (not that I don’t have other shorts…). Thrifted jeans are the best for this kind of project! – I Ying

      1. Good question, I don’t know! In this sewing department, I only know how to mend loosen button! I fold it and store with my kitchen linen. What’s your plan?

      2. I’m not sure. there’s so much leg left that I feel like I should TRY to do something with it. It probably would be good to remake as a pouch if I ever found a machine that could handle the thick cloth.

  2. Ooh this is awesome Kristina! I’m definitely over low slung denim at this point and it just occurred to me after I read this that I don’t actually have a pair of highwaisted shorts – time to look for a pair 🙂 I think the length is great and definitely prefer the cuffed version – it’s nice to have pockets peeking out too. This was the last denim DIY i did awhile ago, involving some studs after something I saw on good old tumblr — http://www.absolutely-fuzzy.com/diy-studded-denim-shorts/

    1. Try your local thrift shops again! I just ducked into one and found those. I hesitated but figured if I waited any more, the color and cut might get away from me.

      I hope you kept those shorts! Did you snip off and peel away part of the pocket and studded the inside?

    1. Jane, if the pockets were a little shorter, I could have cut up a lot higher on my thigh. I think this is a good length to be at–when I sit down the crotch doesn’t ride up and the standing length is proportionate to my legs.

  3. These look great! Love that look of the pockets peeping out from under the hems. I’m so inspired to try this for myself now – off to the thrift store I go! 🙂

    1. Good luck Fen and post up if you do luck out!

      Btw, reaaaallly dying to look at your Project 333 revamped closet. You’re my navys and greys inspo!

    1. Post up if you do! I want to see how you’ll cut yours. If I had the lifestyle to sustain this kind of piece as a daily rotation item it would be pretty fun in the hotter months.

      1. I definitely will! I think for me, it’d be mainly a weekend piece. All I have in my summer weekend wardrobe are dresses that are doing double duty for work too. I need shorts in my life.

  4. These look AMAZING and I feel like a sucker for buying a pair almost exactly like this a few weeks ago rather than just making them myself. Did you have to spend a lot of thrifting time finding a pair that had the right shape / wash / etc?

    Looks like you’ve inspired quite a few of us to give it a go judging by the comments above – so I’ll add myself to that list haha!

    1. Hi Alison!

      I wasn’t thrifting too long until I found this pair–I would duck in and check out shops but Levi’s sell out the quickest. I decided I wouldn’t bite until I found a pair that matched my criteria.

      Buying them would have been my next option. I went to the usual fast-fashion suspects and tried on their versions but there was always something wrong: too much cheek, inordinately loose waistband, or unrealistic damage. There were a few Uniqlo/Pure Blue Japan shorts that went on sale but the color and fade wasn’t quite what I wanted, plus poor fit.

      I think if you have room for a thrifted pair in your budget/closet it could be a fun summer scavenger hunt! And I was surprised how easily they fringed (why shouldn’t they fringe, right?) but it was just as the Internet said, throw it in the wash and threads appeared. 😀

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