I decided to go for it.

Girl in the world…but mostly Illinois

Turning your ex-boyfriend’s pants into shorts

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Repurposing people is bad. Repurposing their old pants is awesome. Especially if those pants have bleach stains on the bottom and Goodwill won’t accept them.

I’ve turned many a pair of jeans into shorts over the years but this was the first time I tried altering trousers. Not that hard! Here’s how to do it yourself: Start by taking a look at a pair of shorts that you already know you like the length of.

shorts and pants

Measure the inseam of your old favorites. This is how long you want you want your new shorts to end up being.


Measure the waist band of the trousers (so the cuff can have same thickness).

measuring the band

Now you have to do  a little math. From the crotch of the trousers, measure out the length of the desired inseam + the thickness of 2 cuffs. So for me, that was 4″ (desired length of shorts) + 1.5 (cuff length) +1.5 (cuff length) = 7″ total.

Draw a line to across the trousers at a right angle from your new, longer shorts length. Make sure you’ve got it right and trim the pants along the line.


Roll the bottom of the now-shorts up two times and pin them in place. At this point the shorts should look just like you want them to. Start sewing!


You may not have this problem (totally depends on the type of pants) but my trousers tapered towards the bottom so I made a little pleat on the outer seam to deal with the extra fabric. I also had to shorten up the pockets a little bit so they didn’t hang out the bottom of the shorts.


Presto change-o! New, kind-of-fancy shorts.



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