Introduction: From Jeans to Shorts With No Sewing Machine (For Men)

I have made this project for several reasons:

-I had a pair of jeans I was not wearing since a long time ago;

-those jeans have both wholes in the back from stepping on with the shoes because the jeans were a little long;

-I have a lot of jeans and not that amount of shorts to go out;

-lately I just want shorts;

-I have learned to customize my clothes to better fit my body and I just love it.


-One pair of jeans;

-one pair of shorts you like as template (optional);

-needle and thread;



Step 1: Trying and Measuring the Short.

First thing you need to do is to try your jeans and fold up one of the legs to know more or less how short you want it. Once you have done that, you need to mark with pins, again more or less, where do you want to cut the jeans. Take your pants off and put them in your work zone.

This process is necessary just to see if you can convert the pants. Maybe you have a pair of trousers that you want to make shorts, but when you try to do it you do not like the result. So, doing this you will get sure that you like them shorts.

If the fabric is thin enough this could be the end of the process, but if the fabric is thick, as in jeans and in my case, this will give you the idea of the highness of the shorts, but you will have to adjust it later. Or maybe as I did use a template—next step.

Step 2: Using a Template—or Not—to Cut the Jeans.

If you are brave enough you can try to cut the jeans without template, but I recommend you to pay attention to the shape of the cut because if you cut too much of the crotch the process will be more tedious.

Remember: use a template and if not possible just look at the pictures I provide with the instructable and take time to understand them, and then cut.

Then start cutting. If you started in the exterior zone following the shape of the shorts you need to cut slightly downwards. Do not worry about leaving too much fabric in the interior zone, you will adjust that later. Also, as you can see in the fourth picture you do not need to cut as the exact same size of the short because you are using it as a template. If you can fold the cut one into the other one you can get rid of the template, you will end with a more symmetric cut and easier to perform.

Note: Where to cut? Well, you decide. In my case I wanted the shortest size but I wanted the back pockets too, so I decided to, at the beginning, leave them intact. I used the lines of the side pockets to start getting rid of fabric because I did not want those so that was the starting point for me. Other tip will be that you need to leave a little more fabric behind the garment as you can see in picture five.

Once you have done the aforementioned with the two sides of the jeans you will end with the final product that is just the start of the project. Last two pictures.

Step 3: Adjusting the Crotch.

To adjust the crotch follow these instructions:

1. put your pants after you cut them;

2. with your fingers take the fabric from the crutch and adjust it to your tight. You need to perform this operation in both sides;

3. pin both sides until you get the result you want;

4. take your pants off carefully.

In the end you will have something like in the picture. This is a tricky process but not difficult. Remember adjust both sides at the same time before pinning to get more or less the same size in both tights. Then pin one and the other.

Step 4: Sewing the Crotch.

Now you need to turn the pants inside out. After you do that you must sew following the pins towards the crotch.

Notes: I sew the whole thing but once finished I had to adjust again because there were parts without sew in the bottom. So I put the pants and pinned those parts. I needed to do that several times until being sure of the result.

While you sew over one pin you can take it off and place it towards the crotch following the line that you are sewing, picture four. Take out the pins after you have sewed everything.

Step 5: Cutting the Crotch.

Now is time to take the scissors and start cutting the fabric that is under the line you sew. In picture one you can see a red line, you must sew under that line—the sewed line—in order to get rid of the fabric in the crotch.

Note: in my case I cut the closer I could but without breaking the sewing line. You will see a couple of centimeters or inches of fabric, but if you cut close enough you will see that you can not tell. Try to do it in the final step and you will not see it.

Step 6: Adjusting the Cuff.

Instead of cutting I decided to adjust the cuffs. In case I need to enlarge the shorts I have the fabric intact, but you can do otherwise if you want it. So, put on your shorts and start folding the cuffs until you get the result you want, and then pin both sides. Take off your pants carefully.

In order to sew the cuffs I recommend you to start in a piece of fabric you will not see, for example in the seam, as you can see in picture two and three. Once the first stitch is done is easy to follow up; take little stitches without piercing the fabric in the behind of the short close to the border you folded. Then just do another stitch in the folded part and repeat the first stitch, continue the process until all the folded part remain "glued" to the behind of the short.

In picture four you can see the black stripes, those are the stitches. The thread is gray, so I decided to enhance some of them so you can better see them. You will not want the thread appearing in the front side. So while sewing you need to check now and then or in every stitch if you are doing it right. You may check some YouTube videos with better techniques than mine too. And finally you can opt for no sewing cuff and just cut the excess of fabric.

Note: if you do not want your cuff breaking often is better to leave little separation between the stitches, if not it causes to break the fabric when you put the shorts on. Remember that it is better for the garment to do the stitches in single thread, besides is easier and apparently is the correct technique. Again, you can check other techniques.

Step 7: Final Product.

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