Thursday, July 14, 2011

DIY: Distressed High Waisted Shorts

Wowsers our first DIY post! Well without further adieu...


  • paint
  • paint brush
  • scissors
  • straight edge
  • dog/cat brush
  • straightener
  • high waisted jeans
  • sewing machine
  • pins
  • handsewing needle
  • thread

The Jeans:
Let's start with the jeans. You know what I mean, those high waisted numbers we all saw (well most of us) our Mum's wear in pictures when we were kids. They have a ton of these bad boys at Goodwill and thrift stores. Get a pair that are pretty thick. I got two pairs, one was half off so it was 3$ and the other pair was 6$. So if they don't work out hey, you're only out 9$. Try them on in the store! Mine were actually really high quality considering how old they probably are and how many times they have probably been washed. They are Tommy Hilfiger and DKNY. Anyway, obviously wash these first before you do anything, you don't know where they've been.

Once they have been washed, try them on and get a gist for where you want to cut. I cut them about 2-4 inches longer than I knew I wanted them. Fold them so the pant legs are lined up, and cut. You can be a perfectionist about it and measure but really it doesn't make a difference, just make sure you cut them together so they're the same on each side, this is much easier than trying to cut separately, they'll be uneven.

Then try them on again and get an idea about what you want to do with the bottom. Cuff or no cuff. straight cut across or more of a scalloped edge (higher on the sides). Then cut or cuff accordingly. Just be careful! You can't put it back on once you cut! This is why I cut them way longer than I want them at first so I can go back and adjust or add a cuff.

If you choose cuff, pin them (if you have pins) and cut a slit on the piece folded up, down to the fold line. This helps in even-ing out the cuff so it doesn't pucker the fabric on your tush. Then iron with an iron or straightener. I used a straightener because our iron is broken and surprisingly it worked out great. Repin as you iron. Then I sewed a line (with the sewing machine) down the sides of the "slits" and on the inside leg seam just to tack down the cuff. Then I tacked down the cuff in three spots on the front and three spots on the back of each leg by handsewing a little stitch all the way through the cuff to the inside of the shorts. I used a light blue thread and did a tiny stitch so its completely invisible on the outside but works to hold up the cuff.

There are many methods on the internet to distress jeans. My preferred method due to look and ease is with a straight edge. Make horizontal slices (sometimes all the way through, sometimes not) across the jeans where you want it to be distressed. Make sure you plan out where you want to distress. You don't want to flash anyone your undies if you know what I mean. Once you have made your cuts and slices, brush the area in the same direction as your slices with the dog brush. This is the kind that has those prickly bristles, typically for fine hair dogs such as idk long hair chi's? ;) Anywho, brush it until you get the desired affect. NOTE: Air on the side of less distressing than you would like because remember it will continue to distress with washing etc. And know that this is messy because the jean "fluff" gets everywhere. I also put a piece of cardboard under the layer of jean I was distressing so it wouldn't go through to the pocket or the other side.

To distress the "lip" of the pocket, make small cuts along the edge and then rough it up with the straight edge.

To distress the cut edge, make vertical slashes along the edge with the striaght edge. This frays the fabic.

I like the look when there is a little paint splatter on jeans. So I watered down (just a tad) some old white paint we had laying around and splattered some paint on the shorts. I used a paint brush by dipping it in the paint then using my finger to "fan" the bristles so it would do just little splatters.

And Walla!

Cuff Version

Cut offs

You can't really tell from the pic but the cut offs are cut in a scallop shape. I also did a little cut on each side just to make them roomier. Once I did that I pinned them back to make them in a V shape and sewed them down.

I hope that was easy enough to understand, but just be creative and use this as a guide. In the future I plan to sew on some patches on the pockets so you can see it through where the rips are. I also plan to use bleach on another pair.

By the way I made these because all the high waisted shorts I found were SUPER short and I don't like my butt cheeks hanging out. So this was the perfect solution, well really only solution. But I'm happy with them! Also make sure you do these steps in the order I have listed, it's much easier that way. I did mine all out of wack so it took forevs.

Good Luck, Happy Crafting!


PS: The countown begins to Deathly Hallows part 2...

1 comment:

  1. The shorts turned out great! I just found your blog, and fell inlove with it! I hope you take time to visit my blog too :)