DIY: I Chop Up All My Clothes Edition

3 mins read



(Insert scissors emoji here.)

I tend to chop up a lot of my clothes. Often that means cutting something in half or slicing off a seam. Sometimes I get the urge to do so because of how something fits (or fails to), while other times it has to do with a cut that feels outdated or just not fashionable in the first place. Cutting clothes up is not a particularly complicated process, so I’m not going to tell you how to wield scissors and apply them to the fabric. I am, however, going to wax poetic about the process. 🙂

Things to keep in mind:

-Denim is pretty strong. (Intentionally. Thanks, Levi’s!) So if you’re using weak-ass scissors it will totally annoy your hand when you go to turn your pants into shorts. You don’t want to develop a callus or anything. Just get some strong-ass scissors, they’re better.

-Denim is also messy. So are many other fabrics. The act of cutting a direct line in fabric does not always wield a clean cut. It can make a huge mess of teeny tiny fabric fibers that sprinkle all over your bed or whatever surface you might be using as a cutting table. Or if you feel like being reasonable about it, you could actually use a table. Let’s pretend I suggested that from the get-go.

Things to cut up:

Denim Jackets

Denim stuff might be messy and hard but it is the most fun to cut up! Cropped denim jackets and super popular at the moment, and, I know this is a shocking concept, but you can just cut your old normal length denim jacket and make it into a cropped one. Mind blown.

If you want an even cut and would prefer not risking a hi-low/mullet creation of a jacket, use a piece of chalk to draw out the line you want to cut above. Or, since you almost certainly don’t have any chalk, use some makeup. You don’t have to draw a solid line or anything, just make some dots. What else were we preparing for doing all those connect-the-dots over the years? You are ready for this.


I would suspect that at some point in time you cut up some jeans. Maybe made some shorts. It’s a great way to turn outdated fits into something much less embarrassing. Keep in mind that the edges will fray a bit when you wash them which can make them look slightly shorter than where you actually cut them. Sort of like trimming your bangs while wet.

In addition to turning jeans into jean shorts, I also like to cut up the sides a bit to split the leg open. This is partly because it looks cute but also because it fits better. Jeans are often made to be fitted on the thigh but you probably don’t want your denim shorts slicked to your thighs. I don’t know maybe you do, but I don’t.

Another trendy trend is pairing slightly cropped jeans with booties and boots so that you can actually see the shoes without having to tuck in the pants. This gives us the option of wearing boyfriend jeans and other non-skinny styles with boots. Why were we not doing this before? Who knows. Anyway. I pretty much hate all my skinny jeans now so I cut off the bottoms to make them slightly cropped. You don’t have to go crazy with the length reduction, even just taking off the ankle seam can freshen up the pants. It will also allow for a little fray if you prefer to look a little vintage-y or worn in.


I went through this phase where I bought like all the black jumpsuits. All of them. IDK OKAY. Instead of giving up on the ones that no longer work, I like to…cut them up!!! A lot of jumpsuits and rompers have elastic somewhere on them, generally the waist area. The thing about having that elastic is that you can cut on either side of it to cut the outfit in half and still have one working piece. Like if you want to turn the jumpsuit into pants, cut right above the elastic. If you’d prefer to save the shirt side, cut right below the elastic. You feel me?

It’s not a perfect science since a lot of fabrics will look unfinished if you just go chopping at them. (Not all fabrics can be as cool as denim in.) But that’s okay. Elastic also offers a slight bunching effect where the fabric is connected to it, so if you do a decent job of cutting in a straight line that bunching effect can hide some of the unfinished element. I can’t promise that this will create a beautiful creation every single time, so use your common sense when you’re deciding what to try it on. But I can tell you that I have successfully done it like 43 times. RIP black jumpsuits. You make cute pants.


This might get redundant, but similar to how cropped denim jackets are super in right now, cropped sweatshirts are too. They’re even easier to cut up than denim, which means you should move a little more cautiously as you do so. I’m currently working on a little something fun as far as sweatshirts are concerned. Stay tuned…


I'm Kate Ferguson, an L.A.-based Writer, Filmmaker, Photographer, Social Media Strategist, and Blogger at, right here, That's Random Kate! (Previously Divvy Mag.) I love storytelling in its various forms, growth, shooting 35mm film, learning super random facts, building community, and admiring palm trees. Find me on Instagram: @KateFerg. (Where there will definitely be 35mm photos of palm trees.)