How to make denim cut offs.

I love to sew and I often try to rework clothes.

Today I am going to put up a tutorial for those of you who might need a bit of help with making cut offs or a brand new to sewing etc.

Here are my brand new Topshop jeans (only $20 on sale!) that I will be cutting off (sorry, could only get half my legs in the photo):

Vintage Jeans

The reason why I like the ‘mom jean’ style is for the fit and the waist and they make awesome cut offs.

Step 1:

Put on jeans and mark where you want them to be cut off:

You can see in the selfie above where I have marked them, but here is a closer look:


Step 2:

Take off the jeans and measure from the waist band to the chalk line – check to make sure both sides are the same length:


Then cut (it’s a good idea to cut a little lower than the line so if you make a mistake it doesn’t matter): cutoffs topshop

Step 3:

Try the jeans on again and check.


For fraying (no hemming):

If you are letting them fray:

Make adjustments to the cut – cut exactly on the first red line – ensuring they are even.

If you want them more distressed you can use your scissors (Opened up) and ‘draw’ lines over to give them a more vintage look.  Don’t CUT through the material, simple ‘draw’ lines.  I normally ‘draw’ the lines over the pockets.

A good idea would be to chuck them into the wash at this stage so that you can see how frayed they will be.  They will fray more over time.

For hemming:

I’m going to hem mine using my trusty (or not so trusty since it keeps stalling) sewing machine:

Step one:

Fold up to desirable length:


After folding up – line place to fold with chalk (freaky looking photo of my leg LOL):

jean shorts

And once again measure length on both legs from waist to chalk line – make sure they are even.


Cut off on the line (remember they will be folded up to hem):



Fold up the hem and pin evenly across (sorry, I lost that photo!).



Finished product:

Not a very clear photo sorry:

finished shorts


My sewing machine keeps stalling, so I ended up hand sewing the seam (which took ages and I do not recommend it).

And one more note:

I received my vintage 1950s Wrangler shorts from ebay today! So excited to wear them this summer.  Here they are:

I had to bend slightly because I am too tall for the mirror 🙂

1950s vintage wrangler shorts


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