DIY Cut Off Shorts | 4 Simple Hemming Methods

cutoff short options

Making a pair of DIY cut off shorts is a snap with these 4 simple hemming methods. This is a great way to recycle and save a lot of money! As you know, I like to upcycle and re-purpose items.  Clothing is one of them.

Cutting off a long pair of pants and making a pair of shorts is one of the simplest upcycling projects there is. I am going to show you FOUR different ways to hem your cut off shorts.

I recommend watching the video tutorial which will walk you through

h all four of these methods step-by-step!

 

Play Video
  • Cut Off & Fray
  • Rolled Hem
  • Cuffed Hem
  • Trouser Hem

What you’ll need to make a pair of cut off shorts

  • Pair of pants

Pants of all kinds can be used. Jeans are one of my favorite things to cut off. So if you have a pair of jeans that have holes in them, don’t throw them out, make SHORTS!

If you don’t have a pair of pants you want to cut off, thrift stores, consignment shops, and yard sales are great places to pick up an inexpensive pair of pants.

  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine (optional)
  • Pins
  • Needle & Thread (optional)
  • Chalk pen (optional)
  • Seam gauge
  • Iron

How long do you want your cut off shorts?

Whichever way you choose to hem your cut-offs; the first thing you’ll need to do is decide HOW LONG YOU WANT THEM.

The easiest way is to take a pair of shorts that you already have and like the length of and use them as a template.  Or you can simply try the pants on and carefully apply a straight pin at the DESIRED LENGTH. DO NOT CUT OFF AT THIS POINT!

Once you’ve decided how long you want your shorts, it’s time to decide how you want to finish the edge.

If you are using an existing pair of shorts as a template, simply lay the shorts on top of the long pair of pants you are cutting off. Line up the CROTCH SEAM, NOT THE WAISTLINE. (Some pants have a longer waist height than others). Make sure the waist is lined up horizontally so you get an even cut.

Depending on what hem style you are using, you’ll either be cutting off at the DESIRED LENGTH or ADDING TO THE LENGTH.

CUT OFF & FRAY – Cut off at that length.

ROLLED HEM  –  Add ¾ inch

CUFFED HEM  – Add 2 inches

TROUSER HEM – Add 1 3/8 INCHES

1  Cut Off & Fray

The “cut off & fray method” is the simplest and quickest way to finish a pair of shorts.

  1. Cut off one pant leg at the DESIRED LENGTH.
  2. Fold the pants in half and line up the top of the waist.
  3. Use the already cut pant leg as a guide to cut off the other side.

You can leave the fabric unfinished and just the fabric fray out. I recommend sewing around the leg with a straight stitch ¼ – ½ inch from the cut edge. This will keep the fray to a minimum. This is a preference only.

2  Rolled Hem

Using a seam gauge, measure ¾ inch from the DESIRED LENGTH MARK. Make sure the top of the waist is even and straight. Using a chalk pen or disappearing ink pen and draw a cutting line.

Cut off one pant leg.

Fold the pants in half and line up the top of the waist.

Use the already cut pant leg as a guide to cut off the other side.

Fold the edge up 3/8 inch and press. Roll up another 3/8 and press.

Pin in place.

Topstitch just inside the fold all the way around, starting at the inner thigh seam. Backstitch at the beginning and end of the seam.

Repeat on the other pant leg.Finished cut edge by using a serger, or the zigzag stitch of a single needle machine.

Fold the edge up, wrong sides together, 3/8 inch, and press. Roll up another 3/8 and press.

Pin in place.

Finish cut edge by using a serger, or the zigzag stitch of a single needle machine.

Fold the edge up, wrong sides together, 3/8 inch, and press. Roll up another 3/8 and press.

Pin in place

Tack the cuff in place so it does not come undone while laundering. To do this, simply sew along the side seams of the cuff using the sewing machine or you can do this by hand.

4 Trouser Hem

This hemming method is a good one to use if you want a more finished look. Dress pants and trousers with a lighter weight fabric work well.

  1. Using a seam gauge, measure 1 3/8 inches from the DESIRED LENGTH MARK. Make sure the top of the waist is even and straight. Using a chalk pen or disappearing ink pen and draw a cutting line.
  2. Cut off one pant leg.
  3. Fold the pants in half and line up the top of the waist.
  4. Use the already cut pant leg as a guide to cut off the other side.

Fold the cut edge up 3/8 inch and press.

Now fold another 1 inch. Press and pin in place.

There are a few ways to finish this hem. You can topstitch with a single or double stitch or you can use the BLIND HEM STITCH. The blind hem stitch can be done by hand or by using the sewing machine. You can watch the blind hem video tutorial HERE.

There you have it; four different ways to make a pair of cut off shorts from an upcycled pair of pants. It’s pretty simple and straight forward. Let me know if you have any questions.

Share:

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on pinterest
Pinterest

Connect:

How to Modify A Tie Face Mask Into an Adjustable Ear Loop Mask

Unfortunately, the face mask saga goes on, and for some folks putting a face mask on and off can be a challenging thing. I am going to share another tip with you on how you can modify a TIE FACE MASK into an ADJUSTABLE EAR LOOP MASK. Hopefully, this will make your face-mask-wearing experience a little more doable.

WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM AN ADJUSTABLE EAR LOOP FACE MASK?

  • Elderly people who don’t have the range of motion to put their hands over their heads, let alone be able to tie a mask behind their heads.
  • Little children that don’t know how to tie will also find an ear loop mask more doable. (It is the mother’s who have to continually tie and adjust their kid’s face mask). What a pain!
  • Those who simply don’t want to tie their mask every time they go into a store, Dr. Office, or whenever going out and about.

There are a lot of different types of face masks kicking around out there, and they each have different attributes. I wear several different types of face masks and am finding the ear loop masks are more convenient for quick trips in and out of the store. However, if you have to wear a face mask all day, the tied masks win in this situation. 

This method to modify a tie face mask can be done to all masks with ties. I prefer soft, comfortable ties made from upcycled t-shirts or spandex. You can learn how to make these ties HERE. Such a great alternative to elastic. Not only are they more comfortable, but they also don’t cost any money to make SIMPLE RECYCLING!

I also have some easy and effective FACE MASK PATTERNS and tutorials, if you’re up to making your own.

Watch the video tutorial below or on my YOUTUBE channel

Play Video

HOW TO MODIFY A TIE FACE MASK

1. If your face mask has a nose wire, locate the top of your mask. You will be working with the bottom tie first.

2. Take the tie and make a small loop right next to the mask. Wrap the tie around the loop and poke it through the center of the already made loop.

3. Pull it out and at the same time, pull the knot down to tighten. You will have a loop and a knot.

4. Adjust the knot as close to the mask as possible.

5. Pull the end of the tie to make the loop smaller, but not too small.

6. Now take the top tie and thread it through the lower loop. Cinch the loop to tighten around the top tie. The top tie should be able to slide back and forth, making the loop adjustable!

7. To reinforce the bottom knot, wrap the tie around the base of the knot, and make another knot. Pull it tight.

8. Tie a knot in the top loop so it doesn’t slide out of the loop. (You may want to try the mask on at this point to see how long you want the tie to be). DON’T CUT UNTIL YOU GET IT ALL ADJUSTED.

9. Do the same thing on the other side. Before knotting the other top tie, fold the mask in half and line up ties so you can make the knot match the other side.

10. Try it on and cut off the excess tie fabric. 

There you have it. A SIMPLE, QUICK, and an effective way to modify your tie face masks.

Let me know if you have any questions. 

YOU MAY BE INTERESTED IN SOME OF MY OTHER FACE MASK POSTS.

Stay safe, stay healthy, and keep smiling behind those face masks.

Share:

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on pinterest
Pinterest

Connect:

Spunky 101-Year-Old Woman Gives Advice on Living Healthy Life

June Brown

Last year I interviewed one of my friends and yoga students about her lifestyle. This spunky 101-year-old woman has been a blessing and an inspiration in my life and I can’t let her story go untold any longer. The advice she gives for living a healthy life is very simple and I hope you find it uplifting and inspiring.

In 2006 June started attending my chair yoga class at the local senior center where I volunteer. I was amazed then at her abilities and strength for an 87-year-old; however, what is crazy is that fourteen years later she hasn’t slowed down much and is still exercising daily.

June lives independently, cooks her meals, cleans her home, and does a little gardening. Her mind is sharp and she shows no sign of dementia. She carries on a conversation like someone half her age. 

The only complaint she has about her health is that her hearing is not as good as she’d like it to be. She does have arthritis and can’t crochet and knit as she would like, but she doesn’t complain. Both of her knees have been replaced and she had a hip replacement a few years back at the age of 98. AMAZING! There are not very many 98 years olds fit enough to go through a hip replacement at that age.

I asked June what medications she takes if any, and she replied saying she takes calcium and iron and a few other vitamins. I chuckled inside and got it out of her that the only pharmaceutical medication she takes is a thyroid pill, no blood pressure meds, arthritis pills, etc. AMAZING!

SHOULD LIVING TO BE A 101-YEAR-OLD BE OUR GOAL?

I must admit, I’m not sure I want to live to be 101 years old. There have been many days when I drop June off from yoga class and drive away with tears streaming down my face, tears because I am feeling that life just isn’t fair. How come this 100-year-old feels better than me?

You see, for someone a little over half her age, I do have health challenges and don’t feel so great most days despite my efforts to live a healthy lifestyle, I am still faced with the fact that yes, I do have to rely on some medications because my health is not perfect. This can be a little wearing on the soul.  

I don’t want you to think just because I’m posting about a wonderful 101-year-old, we SHOULD all strive to live this age. The point I want to make is that we should focus on the quality of our life, not how long we live. Not all of us are meant to live this long or are meant to have great health as June has been blessed with. (My amazing husband has to keep reminding me of this on those days when I am depressed and overwhelmed with my health challenges).

I am going to share with you some of June’s advice and I think its good stuff to know and apply whatever your age or health status.

If you don’t feel good or have perfect health at age 50 or 100, that doesn’t mean your defective or that something is wrong with you!

ADVICE FROM A 101-YEAR-OLD

1 -GET UP EARLY

“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise” – Ben Franklin

June wakes up at 6:00 a.m. every day. Not saying you have to get up that early every day, but I will admit, when I get up early I do feel much better and my day goes much smoother. Here is a good article that gives 15 benefits of waking up early.

2 –EAT WHOLE FOODS, NOT JUNK FOOD.

June prepares her meals from whole foods. She very rarely eats out and doesn’t have a lot of snacks and processed foods in her house. She makes a lot of soups and freezes the leftovers for other meals. June makes a green smoothie several times a week and juices celery several times a week. (The juicing and smoothie making is something she has learned about and incorporated just the past 3 years). I love the fact that she is willing to try new things!

3 –CONSUME THE LARGEST MEAL AT LUNCHTIME

June eats her largest meal at lunchtime. She said if she eats a big meal at night, she has acid reflux issues. My grandparents were farmers, and they ate their big meal at lunchtime as well. There are some noted benefits that you can read about HERE.

4 –LIMIT TIME IN FRONT OF THE TELEVISION

June does not watch a lot of television. She gets up early to watch her favorite religious program and does watch the news here and there, but that’s about it.

5 –LIMIT CELL PHONE AND GAMING TIME

June advises on having children and adults to not spend so much time using cell phones and game devices. We all know this can be problematic, right? BALANCE IS THE KEY.

6 –GET TOGETHER WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS

Spending quality time with friends or loved ones is good for the soul. June gets together with her children and grandchildren for dinner every Sunday and other special events. She advises this for others and finds an important part of healthy living. There are other noted health benefits.

7 –READ GOOD BOOKS

9 –DAILY MOVEMENT

June told me one day, “If you don’t move it, you lose it”. This is so true and it is one thing that inspires me about June. She still exercises every day! Before she even gets out of bed she does several exercises and stretches right there in her bed. Some of the exercises she does are listed here in this post and video tutorial.

June does 10-15 sit-ups every morning in her bed. Yep. I think to myself if a 101-year-old can do this, so can I. (Not that I do it every day, I do it more regularly). She is truly inspiring, right? Now I know some of us young folks can’t even do one sit up. The key is to work up to it. Once you can do something, KEEP DOING IT! 

I hope to be doing some of these things as long as I live. Like doing a cartwheel, I want to be able to do a cartwheel when I’m 90.

10-HAVE A GOOD ATTITUDE

Having a good attitude is half the battle. Our thoughts are HUGE. There is a quote that I love and that I have written on my chalkboard in my kitchen.

“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so”. Shakespeare

June has a good attitude and complains very little when I am around her.

Play Video

So there you have it, my friends. Some things for you to ponder and hopefully implement into your daily schedule if you can. Don’t do these things so you can live to bea 101-Year-Old, but do them to improve the quality of your life starting right now!

Don’t be overwhelmed and think just because a 101-year-old can do all these things that you have to do them too. We are all different and experience different things. Listen to your body, and be good to it.

With love,

Share:

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on pinterest
Pinterest

Connect:

Upcycling Love | Thrift Store & Consignment Shopping Tips

upcycled love thrift store items

Upcycling and recycling used items is one of my passions and something I do frequently. Thrift stores, consignment shops and garage sales are just a few places where you can find items to repurpose. In this post I am going to give you some awesome tips on what to look for, and some ideas on how to use the items you find.

Upcycling, recycling, repurposed; what does that mean and what’s the difference?

These words are thrown around all the time and in ways mean the same thing, however there are a few distinct differences. Let’s go over them.

RECYCLING

Recycling is the process of converting waste materials into new materials and objects. This process usually involves breaking the product down and making something else with it.

Some examples include: changing glass, paper, cardboard, metal, plastic, tires, textiles, batteries, and electronics into something else.

UPCYCLING

Upcycling, also known as creative reuse, is the process of transforming  useless, or unwanted products into new materials or products of better quality and environmental value. The keyword here is TRANSFORMING.

I love transforming things! There is something so fun about taking an item that is normally used for one thing and using it for another purpose.

Some examples include:

Taking a wool sweater, felting it down and making mittens from them. The sweater was originally used as clothing to keep you warm, and the new product is still clothing, but now it is used to keep your hands warm. Another example would be to take a piece of furniture and changing the paint color or even altering its size or shape.

REPURPOSING

Repurposing is simply using a product to serve another purpose.  Some examples include:

  • Tin bucket as a plant pot
  • An old tin mug normally used for drinking and using it to put paint brushes or pencils in.
  • Using a metal garden rake to hang jewelry on.
  • A wire bike basket to store and display magazines.

What are the benefits of recycling, upcycling and repurposing?

  • Keeps the Earth beautiful
  • Conserves natural resources
  • Saves money and energy
  • Reduces harmful greenhouse gases

Although there are small differences between each of these processes, they all share a common goal of being environmentally-friendly. Upcyling and recycling will not only save you money and save the planet; you can add some cute authentic style to your wardrobe and your home.

Here are a few ideas and tips on how I go about upcycling and recycling.

BE SURE TO WATCH THE VIDEO FOR SOME GREAT UPCYCLING IDEAS!

UPCYCLING CLOTHING

It’s pretty obvious that you can take a used piece of clothing and instead of throwing it away; you can either give it away or sell it for someone else to use. On the flip side, instead of buying new clothing, you can purchase used clothing at a lower rate and save it from being put in the landfill.

Thrift stores, consignment shops and yard sales are all great places to shop for used clothing.

TIPS:

  • Look for stains, holes and strong smells, and avoid these items.
  • Check the fabric content. I personally avoid clothing that you have to dry clean.
  • If you need a pair of shorts, you can always cut off a pair of pants and hem them. (It really is quite easy to do) I have an old tutorial that shows you how. I will be recording a new tutorial soon, so watch out for that.
  • Look for unique style and colors of clothing. (The knit shirt in the photo above, has the cutest grommet snaps)
  • Thoroughly clean items before wearing.

USING CLOTHING FOR FABRIC

What? Yes, I do this all the time. You can simply take an item of clothing and cut it up and make something else with the fabric. Some examples:

TIPS:

  • The bigger the item of clothing, the better. Depending on what you are making, you are going to get more yardage of fabric if you buy the XL or XXL (if you’re lucky).
  • Check fabric content. If you are making a felted wool project, you’ll want to at least have 70% wool. Get more tips on that here.
  • Large dresses and skirts have a lot of fabric yardage.
  • Check clearance racks at stores for new clothing as well as used clothing. I buy a lot of nice new clothing that are on the clearance rack to make other things with. It can be cheaper than buying new fabric.
  • I recommend getting a large bin to put clothing you will be using for fabric and label the container so you don’t get them confused with out of season clothing.
  • Thoroughly clean items before disassembling for sewing projects.
  • Here are some more ideas for upcycled jeans.

HOW TO GET RID OF THRIFT STORE SMELL

Vinegar

Add 1 cup of white distilled vinegar to your normal wash cycle, either hot or cold water. It will freshen and deodorize all of your clothing in your normal wash. If the clothes still smell, repeat. It may take a few wash loads to clear some smells, but it does work. (No worries, your clothes will not smell like vinegar once they are dried).

BAKING SODA

Baking soda is a great way to get rid of smells everywhere. (This is obviously okay for cotton and polyester, but you may want to do a patch test with other fabrics, such as rayon or cashmere sweaters.).

  • Lay the clothes on a towel or sheet, then sprinkling baking soda all over the clothing.
  • Add the piece of clothing to a large zip top plastic bag. Add baking soda to the bag, seal and shake to coat the clothes.
  • Leave the baking soda on at least an hour. Wash the clothes afterwards.

BUYING CLOTHING FOR ACCESSORIES

You can find some cool accessories on clothing to reuse. I’ve been known to buy pieces of clothing for the buttons, zippers, or even the trim. It doesn’t make sense to do this unless the item is on sale or free.

Before I throw a piece of clothing out, I always check to see if it has any cool accessories that I can take off and save.

TIPS:

  • Look for zippers that are unique. Zippers can easily be removed from items of clothing. Using a stylish zipper can really add a lot of charm to your homemade clothing and accessories.
  • Store disassembled hardware in a box where you can easily find them.
  • Keep button is a big jar. Not only will you have some fun buttons for sewing, but you can use them to embellish a lot of craft projects.
  • You can use the hardware from used purses and bags.

UPCYCLING JEWELRY & ACCESSORIES

You can find a lot of cute jewelry at consignment shops and even thrift stores.

This is a good place to find used belts and hats.

TIPS:

  • Look for items that are unique and good quality.
  • Don’t be discouraged by tarnished silver items because they can easily be buffed with a special cloth or liquid.
  • Thoroughly clean items before wearing or using.

UPCYCLING FURNITURE

I must admit that most of my household furniture is either upcycled or purchased on clearance or from the “scratch and dent” section. We always buy new mattresses, and couches, but almost everything else was a DIY or an upcyling project. I guess that’s what you get when you come from a family of ‘DO IT YOURSELFERS”.

My husband and I have transformed some pretty cool furniture over the years. I’m lucky to have a husband who is so handy.

TIPS:

  • Look for good quality both in materials and how it was made.
  • A lot of new chests of drawers are built so poorly and with cheap materials. That is one item that I like to buy used and refinish.  
  • Look for furniture that has “good bones”. By this I mean, has good form and style. It may not be the right color, but that is something that is can easily be changed.
  • If you don’t like the hardware on a piece of furniture, you can purchase new and change it out. Putting a new set of drawer pulls can really change the look of a chest.
  • My husband took this huge television cabinet and cut it down so it wasn’t so deep and made a cute cabinet for our bathroom. We put new handles on it and cut out a section in the doors, gave it a new color of paint, and look how cute it turned out. (The orange cabinet in the photo above).

KITCHEN GADGETS AND BOTTLES

There are a lot of fun ways to use old kitchen gadgets and bottles.

  • I used this old tin to put my paintbrushes in.
  • I have a thing for tall skinny bottles. They make really cute vases and can also be used to store small sewing supplies and office supplies.
  • Canning jars can be used for all kinds of things. In my kitchen, I use the pint size for drinking glasses. They also work well to store nuts, seeds and other pantry items. A pint size jar works well to store pencils and pens in. I have one on each of my desks.

TIPS:

UPCYCLING SHOES

I’m not one to buy a lot of used shoes. I know everyone has their own thoughts about this one. I will purchase used shoes that have been VERY lightly worn. You can find a lot of good, lightly worn shoes at a much lower price.

Where is a good place to shop for used items?

Some of the places to look for used items are: consignment shops, thrift stores, yard and garage sales.

Here is my receipt for my purchases at the consignment shop. (Watch the video below to see what good finds I found this day at the consignment shop).

  • 3 pairs of nice shoes
  • 2 adorable shirts
  • pair of aqua color jeans that I’m going to cut off and hem for shorts
  • 2 pair of earrings

Not bad! 

What is the difference between a consignment shop and thrift store?

THRIFT STORES

The majority of thrift stores are donation based and center on a charity or non-profit organization. Although donating truly ruined items is discouraged, damaged, heavily worn, and flawed items are relatively common. Items are sorted and priced by volunteers, then sent to the sales floor where they are bought by shoppers.

CONSIGNMENT SHOPS

Consignment stores are where members bring in gently used items for evaluation, and the buyers look them over to determine if they are likely to sell well from that particular shop. If the items are deemed a good risk, the shop will sell them and the shop owner takes a percentage of the sale.  Some shops will pay up front.

Play Video

If you’ve never been in a consignment or thrift store, I encourage you to open your mind and take a step inside. Upcycle, recycle and repurpose, you’ll be glad you did.

I hope this was helpful and that you have some new ideas for upcycling.

Please feel free to share some of your upcycled ideas on my Instagram. Tag it #fibersandtwigs

HAPPY UPCYCLING!

Share:

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on pinterest
Pinterest

Connect: