The EASY Way To Update Old Jeans Into Cropped Ankle Jeans

Sew Much 2 Wear
by Sew Much 2 Wear
5 Materials
15 Minutes

When I heard skinny jeans were no longer in style, I panicked.

I wasn't comfortable in most straight leg or wide leg jeans mostly because I thrift all of my clothes, which meant finding a well-fitting pair was difficult.

Especially because I'm on the shorter side!

I decided this was a problem with an easy fix, especially since cropped ankle jeans are in style.

This is an EASY tutorial that anyone with a sewing machine (or even just a needle and thread!) can do in less than an hour to make too-long straight leg jeans into trendy and breathable crops.

I found a pair of Hudson Jeans at the thrift store. The brand sells quality denim so I was very excited to only pay $7 for the pair that retailed for nearly $200.

The only problem was they were incredibly long and unflattering on me.

I decided they would be perfect with just a quick makeover.

To decide exactly how I should crop the jeans I referred to Hudson's website. I noticed this style is super popular so I decided to alter the jeans I purchased to a cropped length.

To make the easy crop I simply put the jeans on, and then flipped up the bottom hem inside out as if I was wearing them cuffed.

I rolled them up until the bottom hem of the jeans sat about where I wanted my finished crops to hit.

I did my best to make them even on both sides but ultimately used a measuring tape to make sure they were even once I had taken them off.

Once I had the cuffs where I wanted them, I took the jeans off and used pink unicorn sewing pins to tack the cuffs into place.

I then went over to my sewing machine (using dark blue thread), and sewed a straight stitch right next to the seam of the bottom hem.

To give you a better idea how this should look, your needle should be located right outside of the bottom hem of the jeans. you want this to be *as close* as possible to that bottom seam without actually sewing through the seam.

Once I finished making a straight stitch all the way around the pant leg, I changed my sewing machine to a zig zag stitch and sewed around the entire pant leg just about 1/8th of an inch the right of my straight stitch.

This is what the zig zag stitch should look like. I did this stitch to prevent and minimize fraying of the raw edge I was about to create.

After that I simply took a pair of scissors and cut as close as possible to the zig zag stitch to remove excess material.

This is how much length I took off of these jeans! I put this extra material away for future use on refashioning projects.

I then flipped the bottom hem back down, and used an iron to press open the seam I just created by essentially sewing that bottom hem to the ankle of my jeans and trimming the excess.

Pressing this helps that bottom seam stay down and not flip back up.

This is the finished product! Now my jeans are much more flattering and current.

By keeping the original bottom hem, it looks like these weren't even altered.

I've worn these non-stop since this thrift flip and love how they came out.

Let me know how you think I did below. Isn't it crazy the difference a crop can do for a pair of jeans?

If you'd like to see more easy refashioning ideas, please visit my YouTube channel, Sew Much 2 Wear.

Disclosure: Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.

How to fray jeans

Have a pair of jeans that need a makeover? Check out this post on How to Fray the Bottom of Jeans in 7 Easy Steps!

Suggested materials:
  • Jeans
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
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Sew Much 2 Wear
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2 of 12 comments
  • Lis4529409 Lis4529409 on May 07, 2022

    I always wondered how to shorten jeans. Brilliant idea! Could do the same thing with shirt sleeves!

  • Vivian Vivian on Jul 07, 2022

    Do this or just roll dp but since when did the skinny jeans go out of style? I'm still buying them along with the bell bottom sytle. I think anything goes now a days!

    Hopefully the distress and ripped style stays in for a while.