Tag Archives: upcycle

You in Those Little High-Waisted Shorts

There was a time (you know, a pre-Macklemore time) when I would get really weird looks from people when I told them I’d purchased my dress/skirt/shoes from Salvation Army or some other thrift store. I still get the occasional look, but I can definitely tell there is far more thrift acceptance than there used to be. Some people even think it’s kind of cool. I like shopping at thrift stores because A.) it’s cheap, B.) you can find some very unique articles of clothing, and C.) I sometimes think of them as big craft stores. I am always on the lookout for things that can be altered to be a bit cooler, fit a bit better, or go through a total transformation. When I was a kid, I used to make trips to Salvation Army with my friends and come home with bags of white clothes which we would then promptly tie-dye. (I actually had a problem back then where ANYTHING I purchased that was white–no matter what it was–would end up tie-dyed, but that’s another store.) Now, I look for things that I can take in or add to in order to achieve a certain look or in order to have a fun project. Whatever the end goal, I don’t have to feel bad if it doesn’t work out since I’m getting my starting materials on the cheap!

I recently became inspired by Jillian Owens of the Refashionista blog. For those of you who aren’t familiar, she takes thrift store finds (sometimes really ugly ones) and upcycles them into cute dresses/tops/etc. It made think back to a few pieces of clothing I purchased last year that I had meant to alter and never did. Here is one of the gems I dug out:

Ugly Green Jeans

Ah, yes. Green “mom jeans” with a high waist. Hellooooo, 90s. I bought these last fall with the idea that I was going to cut them into high-waisted shorts since those were becoming such a big thing. It seemed like a great way to get around paying $20 for a pair. PLUS, they were green! And don’t forget the special bonus surprise in back…


Yes. A bow. So, they sat in my closet for months, but I recently sat down and finally carried out my plan for them. I apologize in advance for my inability to properly take photos along the way to show the steps. Bear with me!

I started out by cutting off the legs. I did two cuts before I had the length I wanted (better safe than sorry!). I put in a line of stitches at the bottom of each now-cut leg to keep in from fraying, and then I rolled each leg up a couple times. I threw on some tights, boots, tank top, and BAM. I’m quite pleased with the finished product:

"New" shorts!

BUT THAT’S NOT ALL. If you remember from the picture of the butt-bow, these jeans had no pockets in back, which is entirely unacceptable for me. So, I decided to make some!


I cut pocket-sized shapes out of the cast-off legs. I used the bottom hem of the leg as the top hem of the pocket and sewed the pockets onto my new shorts.


Finished PocketsSo, that’s it! Here’s a fun side-by-side à la Refashionista.

Before and After!

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