Denim Shorts with a Twist

My teenage daughter has been wanting to make some denim shorts with some personality and flare of their own. She has been scouring Pinterest and window shopping at the mall looking for inspiration and striking up ideas of what she would like. So happy to hear I’m influencing her to find a way to make it herself instead of buying it way over priced, that’s my girl! I thought this the perfect project to do together and hopefully teach her some things along the way, but I think she ended up teaching me a thing or too. I’m still getting used to having kids that are all “in the know” and I’m just getting older and older and farther out of touch with what’s cool. I feel like it all literally happened in the blink of an eye, one day I have it all going on, the next I’m being schooled on “what’s cool now, Mom”!! Anyway, I learned that, apparently, Levi’s work the best and, since that is not an item I happen to keep a stock pile of in my house, we hit up the thrift store. BTW, boys’ Levi’s jeans are what you are searching for and there is an abundance of them at the thrift store. Who knew? Like I said, I’m being schooled. We got our jeans, we got our supplies, we were ready to get crackin”.


  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Sewing machine
  • Tweezers
  • Iron
  • 1 ½” wide lace
  • Lace applicate
  • Fabric patches
  • Pattern fabric
  • Fabric adhesive

The beginning process for all the shorts is the same. It’s how you decorate it that makes the shorts unique and different.

Start by measuring out the length you want the shorts to be, then add 1 1/2" to that length because that will account for the cuff that will be rolled up.


Cut the jeans with scissors to the measured mark.


To get the frayed edge, you will need to use a pair of tweezers and pull at the cut edge of denim pulling out strands from the fabric until you get the desired look.

Version 1:


My daughter and I found these super cute, pink rose patches at a fabric store that we ironed onto the back pockets of the shorts. Just follow the instructions on the package to iron on properly.


Then on each side of the shorts we wanted to add a lace pattern embellishment. There are lace
applicates you can get at the fabrics store that iron on, but we used on old lace collar from a shirt that we cut in half and it worked perfectly. Just saved us a little extra money and it took a tiny bit more work to put on, but the look came out exactly the same.


Lining up the lace on each side of the shorts so they are centered on the seams and they both are the same distance from the jean waist, and 1 ½” from the bottom edge, pin it in place.


Then sew it onto the jeans, first with a straight seam 1 ¼” from the bottom of the shorts securing the bottom of the lace, then sewing a seam following the lace outline so it won’t move from place. *If you have the applicate then you don’t have to worry about this step.


Roll the cuff up 1”, iron it flat, and hand stitch it in a few spots around the cuff on the back side to keep the cuff in place.

Pair of short #1 is finished. How adorable are those rose patches on the back??

Version 2:


Turn the shorts inside out and pin in place the 1 ½” wide lace to the bottom of the shorts with the
bottom of the lace and the bottom of shorts being even with each other. When you have pinned all the way around, overlap the end together just a bit, then cut the excess off. Repeat on the other leg.


Using a straight stitch, sew the top of the lace to the jeans.


Snip off the threads and turn the shorts right side back out. Roll up a 1 ¼” cup and iron flat then hand stitch in place to keep the cuff in place.


To the pockets, we wanted to add some fabric embellishment with a cute bandana pattern. Peel and stick fabric adhesive makes it super easy to do this, its basically just making a giant custom fabric sticker you can put on anything.

Follow the directions on the package for application. We added the adhesive to the fabric, but before sticking it onto the shorts pockets we cut the patch out following the outline of the pocket, so it would fit perfectly around the belt loops and smaller pocket.


2 super cute pairs of shorts my daughter and I made together and she is totally proud she made them herself instead of buying some overpriced shorts retail. Gotta hand it to her, she’s becoming more and more grown up everyday, but in her own way, which makes me proud of her.

Cami TannerComment