DIY: Scalloped Hem Lace Jean Shorts

It usually takes me awhile to warm up to a trend, at least enough to try it myself. I’m more of a classic kind of person who relies on flattering cuts and simple lines. But two particular trends that have surfaced recently remind me of vintage clothes I adore, but with a modern twist:

The Scalloped Hem and The Lace Short.

As I was looking for simply DIY projects yesterday, I stumbled upon Sweet Verbena‘s amazingly cute scalloped jean shorts DIY and knew I would try it out on a pair of dark Gap jeans that were too short. As I got working, however, I realized I could combine both of these trends into one pair of super cute shorts.

I’ve never made a scalloped hem OR sewed on a curve before, so the seams are a little crooked, but practice makes perfect :) So here you are,  Scalloped Hem Lace Jean Shorts! I am obsessed with them, and I hope you like them, too!


Here’s what you’ll need:


Follow this youtube video or see my directions below.

Step One: Try on your pants/shorts and safety-pin or mark where you want your hem line to be.

Step Two: Turn your pants inside out and measure your length, using a ruler. Draw a straight line across using a washable marker or tailor’s chalk. Notice I do not match up the waistbands because the back side needs to be slightly longer to accommodate your bum :)

Step Three: Take a scallop pattern (You may download my PDF here: scalloppattern) and pin it to your hem line. Trace the pattern with a washable marker. Only mark the front side of your pants at this time.

Step Four: Cut the front side of your pants, following the scallop pattern.

Step Five. Trace the scallop pattern on the back of the pants, keeping in mind that the length from the waistband to the hem will be slightly longer. Make sure your scallop line matches up with the front on the side seam. Repeat step 4 on the back. Turn right side out.

You’re finished with the scalloped hem part! I would suggest using Fray Check to keep the edges from fraying. Or, you could continue and sew the edges with a sewing machine (I did this because I don’t have any Fray Check). If I were doing this project again, I would use both methods.

Adding the Lace:

Step Six: Turn shorts inside out and pin the lace to the hem line. I chose a nice simple lace pattern that would stick out nicely above each scallop.

Step Seven: Turn shorts right side out again if you’re like me and you need to see the scallop better. Sew the hem, following the scallop pattern. I used thread that matched the orange/yellow thread of the jeans.

Step Eight (Optional): Sew lace on the edge of the back pockets, like I did, for an added touch.

That’s it! It’s a great facelift to any boring pair of jeans or shorts.

Here’s how I styled my shorts today. Next time, I’d love to bring in a bright color like yellow, orange, or pink. Can’t wait to wear them to the beach! I have a super cute neon pink one-piece that would be perfect with these.

I’d LOVE to see your variations of this DIY. Make sure you link back to me if you’re posting on your blog, or join the fun and post your picture on Instagram (@themodernausten)!

This post was featured on’s 101 Handmade Summer Tutorials!

Books I’m Bringing to the Beach

Today I went to the library with my mom to check out some books for vacation. I LOVE that I have the time to just enjoy a simple beach read. You’d think that as an English major that I would have had loads of time to read, but I didn’t really(outside the many texts I was already assigned to read!). This will be such a treat for me.

I came to the library with a long list prepared, but of course, they only had a few of them. I also picked up a few I hadn’t originally anticipated, but I’m looking forward to them. Here’s the five I checked out:

  1. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
    This book’s synopsis reminded me of Water for Elephants a little because it’s about forbidden love and how it affects the entire circus. There is fierce competition between the two magicians in the show, Celia and Marco, who eventually fall in love; what they don’t realize is that only one can remain standing.
  2. Then Came You by Jennifer Weiner
    Unfortunately, I had to get this book in large print, but what can you do? This book seems like a nice relaxing read about four struggling women who come together to learn about life and love and what it means to be a mom.
  3. One Day by David Nicholls
    I guess I didn’t realize this was the recent Anne Hathaway/Jim Sturgess film until I saw the cover of it at the library. Since I was intrigued by the movie trailer, I am looking forward to it even more. It’s about two people who met in 1988 and continue to see each other on that day once a year.  Over twenty years, their relationship grows and they must decide what this day really means to them.
  4. Miles to Go by Richard Paul Evans
    This author is among my FAVORITE and I was excited to see that I hadn’t read some of his. This book is probably more serious than the previous ones (I was going for light reading), but I couldn’t help myself. Miles to Go is about an ambitious man who loses the ability to walk; throughout the recovery process, he meets a mysterious woman whom he realizes he must help first before he heals himself.
  5. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
    I know, I had to. I have already seen this film (even though I wanted to read it first) and even though there was one part in particular that was excruciatingly painful to watch, I still really enjoyed it. I think it will be easier to read, but I will save this for last, most likely. I do want to read the sequels as well.

I have plenty more on my Summer Reading List, but this should do for now :) I hope you will join me in reading these books over the next few weeks! I’d love to discuss what you liked/disliked about each one!

If you’ve already read any of them, what are your thoughts?

Picture Frame Whiteboards

During my senior year of college, I was one of the few lucky enough to live in a townhouse with three amazing roommates. Our kitchen had significant wall space so we knew we had to fill it with something cute and crafty. We were inspired by my roomie Ali’s friend and her amazing blog, Coda, Wellesley, and Paco, and decided to make whiteboards out of picture frames!

(photo courtesy: Ali P.)

Check out Ali’s tumblr post from August 2011 to see the step-by-step instructions!

It was the perfect way for all of us to keep in touch with our busy schedules and to write fun messages and draw pictures. Guests loved writing on them, too.

Show me your skills by uploading a photo of your Picture Frame Whiteboard on my flickr pool!