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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

High Waters Turned Shorts

I think I'm the luckiest woman alive to see my kids outgrowing their clothes, and still being in perfect condition. And yet I STILL do not like getting rid of clothes and buying new ones. So Miss Taylor has outgrown her jeans from last year, and her shorts are way too short to be acceptable for school. But these jeans are still in perfect condition, so I'm going to do a little modifying, and fix the "your shorts are too short" problem.

The gist of the project is to end up with shorts that are down to the tips of her fingers when she holds her arms at her sides. In order to do this I have her hold her arms down, measure two inches down with my measuring tape, and make a line. I used permanent marker because my fabric pencils will not work on soft fabric against skin, but that's ok, this will not be visible when we are done.

Mark the fabric with two inches (I will change this next time to maybe just an inch and I'll explain why later) below where you want the shorts to be in the end product.

I used my rotary cutter to cut the marked leg of the jeans. I then folded the jeans in half and set a ruler against the already cut edge, and make a matching cut edge on the other leg of the jeans.

Now we just have cut off jean shorts. You could leave them at this stage if you like the frayed look. I do not, so we are going to go a few steps further.

All of the resources I had found suggested folding up one inch, ironing, folding over again, ironing, and stitching. Well, one inch is WAY too much, so now I have decided to go with 3/4 of an inch (I didn't like the large hem and will try to go just under half an inch next time. But for the sake of just doing a tutorial, I have folded up 3/4 of an inch using a seam measuring tool (I have also used a ruler to mark a popsicle stick, stick the popsicle stick in the seam to make sure it is all even, that is some redneck ingenuity right there). I iron, fold up again the same amount, and iron again. I'm doing this with the jeans inside out so that the fold is INSIDE the shorts (though it would look super cute outside as well).

I'm going to be using the free arm function of my sewing machine, so I have removed the storage trays.

I have just enough room to fit this pant leg on here, thank goodness. I'm going to stitch right on the edge of the fold, to reduce any annoying flappiness on the inside (haha, flappiness).

Once I'm done, I have a perfectly functional set of shorts for my daughter. Do you see how large the seam is on the bottom? That's at 3/4 of an inch! So, next time I will try and do a very small hem, and I will be prepared with some thread that is either gold (like most jeans have) or a blue that will blend with the shorts. Overall I'm happy though, because we got a pair of shorts out of a pair of pants that was no longer usable for her. So now she does have a pair of shorts to wear. And look at those cute jeans...I would hate to waste them! Now that I finally have this done, the weather man is calling for snow on Thursday, perfect timing I'd say!

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