These days, women’s shorts keep getting shorter and shorter. I like to wear shorts with tights, and it’s hard to find a pair that are an appropriate length for us working gals. My solution? Take some longer shorts and hem them to a length you like.
I bought these shorts years ago, at some designer warehouse sale in NYC. It was one of those where they only let women into the women’s section, and only men into the men’s section. That’s because there was no dressing room: if you wanted to try something on, you had to strip in the middle of the racks. Talk about privacy! Anyhow, this is what I came out with from that sale. I like the details on them, but they’re knee-length and baggy, which is not very flattering…which is why I haven’t worn them in two years.
I decided to make them shorter so I’d be able to wear them to work and whatnot. I did this with a sewing machine, but it’s something that wouldn’t be too hard to do by hand, if you don’t have one. And it’s a good way to upcycle clothes in your closet!
How to shorten shorts
-needle (or sewing machine) and thread
Use your seam ripper to remove the cuff from the bottom of the shorts (near the knee).
Decide how long you want the shorts to be. Remember that you will be sewing the cuff back on the shorts, which will add an additional inch to your final length. Measure and place pins that length, starting at the bottom of your shorts. Do this all around both legs of the shorts.
Using your line of pins as a guide, cut the desired length off each leg. I ended up taking 6 inches off my shorts.
Take the cuff that you detached in step one and measure it so that it fits loosely around your thigh. Cut your cuff to this measurement + 1/2 inch. (So if your thigh measurement is 20-inches, cut your cuff at 20.5-inches long). Pin the wrong sides of the cuff ends together, and sew 1/2-inch from the ends. Flip the cuff right-side up.
Pin the cuff to the raw edges of your pants. My pant legs were a little wider than the cuff, so I had to bunch them a little as I was pinning. For me, this helped to add shape to the final shorts, so I didn’t mind.
Sew the cuffs to the pants. For the cleanest look, sew on top of the existing seam on the cuff.
And you’re done!
Hemming your shorts is a great way to extend the life of clothes in your closet. And it doesn’t take all that much time. I bet you turn long pants into shorts the same way too!