Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Vintage DIY: Who wears short shorts?

This summer's casual style is overflowing with vintage-style jean shorts.  I love my vintage high-waisted shorts, but they are so hard to find, and I have found it literally impossible to find a pair of truly high-waist shorts in any modern stores.  Thankfully with a little creativity, you can make your own stylish summer shorts using a few tools and jeans from your local thrift store.   The first step in making your shorts is to go shopping! Hit the local Goodwills, vintage stores, and thrift stores, pile your cart with jeans and jean shorts in your size, and hit the dressing room.  Find a few pairs of shorts that you love the cut, rise, and fit of, mostly paying attention to the waistline.  Many of the 80's high-rise styles will be really long and billowy, but just ignore the length because it will be the first thing you change.  Next decide what styles you want to emulate.  The above pictures show a cutoff style and a rolled style.  If you want a plain pair of cutoffs, just use scissors to cut off your jeans at the desired length.  Try on your jeans first, and mark with a few pins or a marker where you want to cut off your shorts (always go a little longer first and you can cut them shorter if needed).  For the rolled up look, just roll up your jeans as-is to the desired length.  If the roll ends up being to bulky or uncomfortable, unroll them, cut off a few inches, and then roll them up again.  After you have created your essential jean short, you can embellish an additional pair using fabric paints, trims, and fabric.  Most of the looks below can be achieved simply by hand sewing or painting embellishments onto the shorts. If you aren't keen on sewing, check out this link for directions on how to create your own iron on embellishments.

So perfect for 4th of July! Use painters tape to mark off the stripes and fabric spray paint to add the color.  Cut out stars using thick paper, lay them on the other side, and use a contrasting color of spray paint on that side.  You could also freehand this style with fabric paint and a paint brush.

Dip dye the top or bottom (or both) of your shorts with one of your favorite colors or with bleach for a white wash look!

Add crochet, lace, or eyelet fabric to the pockets or front panels of your jeans.  Just use a needle a thread to stitch it on as desired. If you can't sew, you can purchase iron on adhesives at your local fabric store that you can iron on to your fabric, and instantly make your own iron on decal!

Add a touch of cute fabric to the front or back panels of your jeans.
Lace on the pockets
Instead of regular cut-offs, cut a scalloped hem at the bottom of shorts.

More cool fabric added to the front of shorts.  This one is done with a sewing machine using a thick black stitch to make the colors pop!
Just a little lace trim added to the top of pockets.  You can use a needle and thread or fabric glue for this look.

Cut small slits in the side of shorts and sew lace or cute material to peak out underneath. 


  1. OMG! I want the flag and leopard ones!!

  2. I'm so glad i found this! I'm gonna go crazy at goodwill haha


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