Friday 1 June 2012

D.I.Y Bow Shorts!

My first tutorial on how to customise an old pair of jeans into a pair of unique shorts. This only cost me £4 to make!
Find out how!
You will need:
  • A pair of jeans
  • Scissors (Fabric scissors will make things easier)
  • Chalk/An easily washable means of marking fabrics
  • A needle
  • Suitable thread (Although none of the thread should be visible so colour is not entirely important)
  • Pins
  • And if you’re a perfectionist a tape measure!
Firstly, i bought a pair Abercrombie & Fitch jeans off of eBay for £4 - they were flared and frayed at the bottom but that didn’t matter, all you need is a pair of jeans in good condition (flares/bootleg are actually easiest to work with i think). 
Once my jeans had been delivered i first had to make them into basic shorts by cutting off the ugly flares, i used the chalk (white, so unfortunately does not show up with the flash of the camera) i marked about halfway down my thigh because i wanted to roll-up the shorts. You should always fold it over at least twice so as to complete a full roll or else the cut edge of the jeans will still be on show. I am not lucky enough to own fabric scissors so i had to make do with the pair in the sewing kit.
Now you have the basic shorts! Already the jeans look 100% better and almost unrecognisable (plus buying off eBay means you can get the designer labels for dirt prices)
Making the bows is simple enough, using the cut off flared parts of the jeans you want to cut two rectangles for each pocket (two back pockets = four rectangles, two for each one). These need to be cut larger than the actual pockets, so measure the size of the pocket and add two or three inches to the length and two to the height.
As you can see in the picture above i have placed two of the rectangles on top of each other and they are the same size, i placed them with the outside of the denim touching/facing inwards like so:
I pinned the two pieces together (not to the shorts) and i made the head of the pin align with the corners of the pockets, so i could have a mental image of the pocket shape. 
Then sew the two pieces together like so:
Clearly neatness is not an issue, but don’t be too careless either! VERY IMPORTANT DO NOT SEW ALL THE WAY AROUND! you need to leave a wide gap at the top or bottom (not sides!) See where my fingers are? You still have to sew along the line, just not the middle. This is vital because otherwise you can’t turn the pocket inside out. Which is exactly what you have to do next, just turn it inside out:
Now that looks a lot more professional and neater, next step is folding it into a bow shape, this is really easy you just pinch up the middle, then fold in the top and bottom towards it so it should look like this:
I pinned it with a… pin, and then roughly and untidily stitched it together (how neat you want to be really depends on you!) For the middle part of the bow you need to resort back to you cut off jean legs and you need a small section of the seam that runs up the side. cut a thin-ish piece and a suitable length to wrap around the middle of the bow. Again you want to sew this so add an extra inch or two to the length and fold it inside out! You want to sew it the ‘wrong’ way so you can turn it the right way and no one will be able to see your sewing!
Just slide this onto your bow and viola you have a denim bow! Now you have to make another one!
Next is simply sewing the bows onto you pockets. If the edges of you bow fall in line with the seams of the pockets you could use a sewing machine but mine sadly fell short, so using a sewing machine would mean sewing the pocket to the short back… hand sewing it was. Because the bow is two layers of denim i found a way to sew just through one layer so the stitching is invisible from the outside! I pinned the bows to where i wanted them on the pocket then just sewed away until i was finished :)
When both are sewn on you’re finished! I hope this was helpful and easy enough to understand and follow and if you try it let me know, i’d love to see! :) 


  1. No way! This is so cute I'm going to give it a try.


  2. I just made these shorts and they turned out so CUTE!!! I posted a picture to Instagram. tata_13 is my username! :)

  3. ah, i just saw them and they look lovely! i'm glad it worked out for you :)

  4. Thank you so much for making these! I love bows and hand on crafts so this is perfect for summer!


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