Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Refashion Jeans into Side-Tie Shorts Tutorial

Craftiments:  Learn how to refashion a pair of jeans into side-tie or knot shorts.

I am slowly sorting through my girls' winter clothes.  Miss Juju had a pair of jeans that were quickly becoming flood pants and my plan was to turn them into cut-offs for the summer.   I measured and prepared to cut, then stopped to examine the extra denim that would soon be tossed in the trash.  I didn't want to be wasteful and challenged myself to incorporate the extra fabric to add a little pizzazz to an otherwise boring pair of shorts.  I decided that side-ties would be a cute addition to the bow pockets on this particular pair of jeans.

Want to refashion your own pair?

Tools and Materials
  • pair of straight leg jeans
  • thread matching the stitching on the jeans
  • ruler
  • fabric marker
  • scissors
  • straight pins
  • iron
  • point turner
  • seam ripper
  • sewing machine with denim needle


1.  Measure and cut the jeans to the desired finished length. I chose to make these mid-thigh length because of school dress code.

Cut jeans

2.  For the ties, cut four 4" wide strips from the jeans legs. Sew them together at the short ends to make two strips, then trim to the desired tie length. I made my ties roughly twice the distance around the leg opening of the shorts. If you aren't sure, just wrap the strip around the leg opening and eyeball it, keeping in mind that you will lose 1" of length to seam allowances.

Cut strips

3.  Fold the long edges of the strips 1/2" to the wrong side and press with an iron.

Iron long edges

4.  Fold the short ends of each of the strips in half with right sides together and raw edges aligned. Pin and stitch with a 1/2" seam allowance.

Fold in half and stitch ends

5.  Turn the ties right side out. Push out the corners with a chopstick or point turning tool and press the ties flat with an iron.

Turn right side out and press.

6.  Next you will prepare the shorts for adding the ties. On the outer seam of each leg, measure up 3" from the leg opening and mark. Stitch back and forth several times over the mark, starting and stopping about 1/4" on either side of the seam.

Mark 3 inches from opening on side seam.

7.  Pick the seams open, stopping at the reinforcement stitching.

Pick seams open.

8.  Fold the seam allowances back along the original seam line. Stitch them down close to the folded edge, getting as close as you can to the reinforcement stitching.

Stitch down seam allowances.

9.  Time to attach the tie. Find and mark the midpoints of the tie and leg opening. With midpoints aligned, sandwich the leg inside tie, butting the raw edge up against fold. Pin all the way around.

Sandwich leg inside tie.

10.  Starting at one end of the tie, sew the upper edge all the way around the leg to the opposite end of the tie. Stitch approximately 1/8" from the folded edge.

Stitch along upper edge.

11.  Sew the the lower edge of the tie all the way around, stitching approximately 1/8" from the folded edge.

Stitch along lower edge.

12.  Repeat with the opposite leg. This is what the finished ties will look like.

Finished tie

Put on the shorts and tie the knots.  So cute!

Craftiments:  Refashion Jeans to Side Tie Shorts Tutorial
Craftiments:  Refashion Jeans to Side Tie Shorts Tutorial


  1. Such a great idea! Thanks for sharing. Found you from Tatertots and Jello

  2. I love this idea! Great job! I am sharing on my FB page. This week on my blog is the Sewing Challenge. Come check it out and link up any sewing project starting Thursday. Each week is a new challenge so check it out!!!
    So glad I found you!

  3. Those are adorable! Great job!

  4. I love this idea to jazz up the shorts a bit more!!
    I would love if you came and linked this project to my clothes upcycling project page. It has a long term linky, so your project would stay there for more than just the week of a usual linky. We have over 400 projects linked up now – some fantastic ideas.
    Do come and take a look!

  5. thanks for sharing....i love finding new DIY ideas to try. am a new follower (found you on the link up) hope you can follow back

  6. These are fantastic! What a great way to use old jeans! I'll be featuring this on my blog on Saturday!

    Thanks for linking up!

  7. What a great tutorial! Very clear. I'm about to hem my own jeans, so I might just steal some tips!

  8. Super cute! Thanks for linking!!