WIW: DIY boho cutoffs

I cut off these shorts a couple of years ago, and this year I updated my DIY cutoffs with some embroidery. I wanted to try embroidering on jeans, and decided that doing some old cutoffs would be a good experiment. Unfortunately, the cutoffs are a bit tight this season, but I'm hoping they will loosen up again at some point. ;)
I'm not sure I would embroider on a "perfectly good" pair of jeans, but on a pair that is less expensive or that I've gotten plenty of wear out of already, I am willing to take the risk.

Today I changed into this outfit after work:
Cutoffs (Lucky jeans, shortened and machine-embroidered by me); pink tank top (OSKA); stone linen knit drape-front cardigan (Nick & Zoe); pink sneakers (Ellen DeGeneres).

I look forward to any thoughts or suggestions you may have!

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • lozz_oz replied 3 years ago

    Wow - how clever are you! Think you passed the experiment with flying colours.

  • Emily K replied 3 years ago

    I can't see the embroidery as well as I would like...but it is such a treat to be able to embellish exactly as you wish!  I like the cut-offs and the outfit.  

    Also, I keep meaning to stop in at OSKA (although it is a little outside of my budget) as there are many things I admire in the online catalog.

  • karen13 replied 3 years ago

    I love love love the embroidery! They don'k tight at all - they look fab. What machine do you have? I looked at a few fully featured embroidery machines at a local shop last year, but could not justify the upgrade. I have an ancient, beloved Elna that was my mom's, but it only does very simple embroidery with cams. I'm still tempted to embellish, but haven't found the time, or right garment to experiment.

  • Firecracker replied 3 years ago

    Thanks, lozz_oz!
    Emily, I should take a closeup of the embroidery. Maybe after I take off the cutoffs! You could PM me when you think you might stop in to OSKA, and I'll let you know when I'll be there! It would be fun to meet you.
    Karen, I have a Pfaff Creative Sensation. It's 3 or 4 years old now. I really like sewing with it (and I used to sew with an Elna with cams, maybe like yours!), but am less enamored with embroidery overall. Still, I do like to have the option, and lately I've been in the mood to embroider.

  • Emily K replied 3 years ago

    Firecracker, I'll do that sometime!  :-)

  • Joy replied 3 years ago

    How pretty in pink and right on trend! It makes an otherwise tomboy look more feminine. If I had your machine capabilities, I would embrace this embroidery trend and go crazy. All my experience has been by hand and I don't think I have the patience any more.

  • Firecracker replied 3 years ago

    Joy, thanks! I embroidered by hand as a kid, and I don't think I'd have the patience now, either! Though I will say machine-embroidery takes a patience of its own. . . let's just say the machine doesn't always do what it's expected to do.

  • Dianna replied 3 years ago

    Lovely. You have terrific sewing skills and also creativity and good taste.

  • skylurker replied 3 years ago

    Good job ! I love it !
    It looks way better than the embroidery I've seen in stores (most look like faded tapestry glued on denim).

  • Style Fan replied 3 years ago

    I love the embroidery!  Very pretty.  I use to embroider by hand when I was a teenager.  It does take some patience.

  • Mirjana replied 3 years ago

    Lovely, great idea I also embroidered by hand when I was a kid and teenager and know to do that but no more patient. You did it perfect as usual super cute outfit.

  • ultraviolet replied 3 years ago

    Wow! Blown away by the gorgeous embroidery. You've outdone yourself (again).

  • Joyce B replied 3 years ago

    You did such a great job with the embroidery! I would also love to see a close-up of it. I love the outfit, too.

  • Angie replied 3 years ago

    SUPER CUTE. Very clever, and your long hair looks beautiful too. 

  • Tanya replied 3 years ago

    I think you did a great job.  Love both the shorts and the whole outfit.

  • Firecracker replied 3 years ago

    Thanks, all!

    Here's a closer view of the cutoffs. . .

  • Joyce B replied 3 years ago

    That is a beautiful design.

  • madeline replied 3 years ago

    Love the embroidery. Looks great!

  • Janet replied 3 years ago

    What a great DIY! The outfit looks fun and casual, and the shorts are a terrific length and I like the embroidery a lot.

  • Emily K replied 3 years ago

    The embroidery is so good!  

  • Jane replied 3 years ago

    Beautiful embroidery, so elegant and unique. I love the pink accents.

  • JAileen replied 3 years ago

    The shorts look perfect! Great job on the embroidery. I had that same sweater but returned it because it didn't look good on me. It looks very nice on you.

  • Xtabay replied 3 years ago

    What a great summer look, Firecracker.  We should all look so good on the 4th!  I continue to envy your mad sewing skills.

  • CocoLion replied 3 years ago

    Fantastic!  I love seeing your creativity and skill in your WIWs.

  • Runcarla replied 3 years ago

    LOVE this whole outfit! My idea of a perfect after work outfit!

  • Ryce replied 3 years ago

    You are so talented - not just your technical skill, but your ability to choose what will suit you well.  Great shorts and outfit!

  • Karie replied 3 years ago

    I like your machine embroidered jeans! My machine doesn't do embroidery, but I've been thinking about doing some hand embroidery on an older pair of jeans. I did it on a denim purse, and I like the way it turned out.

  • Aquamarine replied 3 years ago

    Wow! The shorts look fab! I'd go crazy if I had a machine that could do that. I can embroider by hand but I don't think I have the patience anymore (or the eyesight).

  • shevia replied 3 years ago

    I love the embroidery you added and your hair looks magnificent!

  • karen13 replied 3 years ago

    The close up of the embroidery is wonderful - so professional! Technical question - how do you embroider over the outseam with it being flat? Just carefully? or is there a special technique? Or does the machine handle embroidering "sideways" if that makes sense? I feel craftiness coming on and my family knows to take cover when that happens.

  • Firecracker replied 3 years ago

    Thanks, everyone! What an overwhelming response!
    Karie, I'd like to see your embroidery on your purse. That sounds challenging.
    Thank you, Angie and Shevia, for the hair compliments, too.
    Karen, unless you have a free-arm embroidery machine (which I don't), you have to rip open the inseams of the pants to lay the legs flat and embroider on them. And then sew them back up when you're done. The stitching won't look quite the same, because I don't know how you'd topstitch the inseam, once the outseams are sewn (and embroidered over) already.

    JAileen, maybe you tried the wrong color in this cardi? I'm imagining the style would work well for you. I wear it often with the front just hanging open.

  • Ledonna N. replied 3 years ago

    Dang that is just lovely. I hopeyou do more. Maybe on a jacket. How great to have suck talent.

  • Staysfit replied 3 years ago

    I want to kick myself! I wish my Pfaff had embroidery functions! LOL! I only quilt with mine....... :-)

  • Murph11 replied 3 years ago

    Fantastic!! love, love, love the thread choices! You are so talented and lovely in these!

  • anne replied 3 years ago

    Really beautiful embroidery, Sharan.

  • Firecracker replied 3 years ago

    Staysfit-- "only quilt"-- ha hahahaha! (Only meticulously manipulate tiny bits of fabric into massive sized works of art. . . .)

    Ledonna, yes, I would like to try doing a jacket!

  • FashIntern replied 3 years ago

    This is great! How does your speed with the machine compare to doing it by hand? I imagine the contemplative part of the craft vanishes?

    I have a beautiful embroidered blouse that has special memories for me. Unfortunately, it also has a rip. I've thought of trying to creatively repair the rip by extending the embroidery. If I start practicing now, I could give everyone dishtowels for Christmas, and maybe wear the blouse in the spring, lol

  • Laura G replied 3 years ago

    The embroidery is beautiful. And the shorts don't look tight.

  • Firecracker replied 3 years ago

    fashiontern, the machine embroiders far faster than I could do it by hand. But yes, it's a completely different pursuit. Watching the machine embroider can be mesmerizing, and it can be boring. Sometimes I do crossword puzzles while I'm babysitting the machine.

    thanks, Laura.

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