What do you do when your jeans have worn through the knees, and summer is right around the corner?

Make cut-offs.

It’s so easy! The first step is to lay the jeans out so the legs are very flat, next to each other so you can eyeball where to cut.


If you’re Daisy Mae or have a part on Dukes of Hazzard, it’s easy. You just cut the jeans right under the pockets. If you’re a ten year old boy, cut them just above where the denim has worn thin, for maximum length.

With very sharp scissors, carefully cut through both layers at the same time, straight across. If your scissors aren’t up to it, you can cut one layer at a time, but you’ll have to be really careful to get them straight.


Now continue on to the other leg and repeat.


If you’re obsessive (the Damsel freely admits she is obsessive about some things, like chocolate raisins. But some things are worth obsessing over) you could measure up from the hems of each leg and mark a cutting line, to make sure they are exactly the same. But we’re talking about cut-offs.

Cut-offs are correctly worn frayed along the cut line. A few washings will get the fray goodness going. The Damsel’s ten year old sprog favors a rolled look. You just fold a couple of inches up, and then fold the same amount again. (You’ll have to refold after each washing)

IMG_2556Another sprog feels this entire post is heretical because the holeyness of the pictured pair of jeans has only begun to approach perfection, and won’t be truly wearable until giant hunks of his leg shows through the hole.

The Damsel has also had sprog that asked her to hem cut-offs, showing that although her sprog are genetically similar, they aren’t a bit alike.

Hemming crosses the project over into making denim shorts, leaving the land of cut-offs behind. To do this you would do the roll mentioned above, except folding up only 1/2″ each time, and then top-stitching through the folds. This requires a sewing machine with a stiff upper lip and a very slow pace when you cross the seams, but it only takes a few minutes.

Whatever you do, DON’T throw away the cut off legs. Save them for patches or other denim projects. Patches to come in an upcoming episode.


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