Walking Shorts

Here in San Diego, the summers are very mild.  There is little or modest humidity (30% would be really high here) and the days may be wonderfully warm for swimming, but the evenings - are the reason people love to live in southern California.  Evenings are mild and excellent for walking and sleeping, hopefully, not at the same time...

I found a great pair of shorts with a little stretch (love that!) a couple of pockets (I keep my frogs in them) and a nice brown for easy coordination with lovely embroidered tops.  The only problem is, for me, they are a little long.  I suppose they should be covering my knees, but I like them just above my cute knees.  (you must read "Life is Not A Dress Size" by Rita Faro.  Rita was a big hit at the Community Circle this year, she has a terrific sense of humor and we laughed until our faces ached!!

I could have just hemmed them, but that seemed to be so boring that I thought about doing a border as an edge instead. 

I could not find what I really wanted, a FSL which had curves and was like a border AND did not have 15,000 stitches per 6 inch increments.  FSL that is digitized to be a border tends to be floral, at least that is what I found.  I wanted to cut the shorts and have a portion of the design on the shorts and a portion free standing.  But, I had to settle for a border which had a good satin stitch around the edges.  No matter what design I choose, I can see that I will have to use something like "Fray Check" to hold some of the fabric.  I can deal with all of that - - - I think.

I selected 3 designs to discovery sew (my name for the formerly used name ‘sewout').  The second one was clearly not suitable.  The third one is not likely to work.  I tested the first design and it worked well.  Since my design is specifically a border, it does have some advantages including that it was meant to be placed linearly and the design is set to do its repeat specifically.  The length of the border is exactly 6" (aren't they smart) but it does not divide evenly into the width of my shorts.  So, the 2" left over will be inside the crotch area where it won't be visible anyway.


I am using Ann The Gran Medium Adhesive Back Tear Away.  If you have not tried it yet, you need to know that it is the best quality and price available anywhere.  The only cheaper one is one that you win. . . And, you can make that stretch into multiple uses, here is how. 

I had gotten the 11" by 10 yard size, I should have gotten the 14" by 10 yard size, so I do make some small adjustments.  I cut my piece to fit the short side of my hoop (the 5" size in this case).  I then score the top 1" of the stabilizer and add a 3" scrap of any stabilizer.  Since it is only for holding the main stabilizer in place, it really does not matter what I use, I could use a piece of paper if I wanted to.

Now my hooped stabilizer is in place and I am going to make a small score for the design.  I have done my test discovery sew, so I know how large my design is and how much sticky area I need.  My fabric is medium weight so I can do this, however, if you are using a heavy weight, you may need to consider a larger sticky area.  I sew my design and remove it from the stabilizer, leaving the stabilizer in place.

I next score my sticky stabilizer about .5" (12.7 mm) around the design area, creating a fresh area of stick.  I place a 3" piece of the stabilizer to patch the hole and . . . . I have a fresh work area. 

From my ‘discovery sew' I determined that the very first stitch would be my ‘spot' for alignment.  My preference for matching items in a linear manner is to use a ruler that is clear and I make my marks for that first stitch on my ruler to transfer to my fabric.  I can, with my stitch forward/backward button, go to that spot and adjust my hoop so it is on the mark.  I also check to be sure that the design will lie in the correct horizontal position at that point as well. 

Don't forget to use clips of some type to keep your fabric out of harms way!  See my blog on hooping to show the detail of how to do endless hooping.

After washing, I may need to do some trimming, but I don't see it as a problem.


The shorts are a great chocolate brown and the thread is a fantastic salmon.  They are amazing together!!  What do you think?  My photography does not show just how fabulous these really are.  I left one leg as if it would be hemmed, and finished one leg embroidered. 

Comments (11) -


That was a great BLOG.  You are so explicite in your instruction.  I ALMOST think I could do it.

The shorts look great too.  Wheree's the photo with you wearing them?

Keep up the good work,


I still have not been able to do the left leg yet!!!  LOL, I am just so busy with my eHow stuff.  

It is so much fun to write and possibly get a little money too.  It is almost like a game. . .


Just love this artilcle on shorts. Very easy to understand, now I've got to try it. Thank You!

tourlady522 6/27/2009 3:58:45 PM

Pat you always come up with great ideas. I may have to try this one too.


Thank your ladies!!  I felt this was a fun and interesting thing to do with a hem.

Sometimes you feel like a nut - sometimes you don't!!

LOL, Pat

I really like the idea and the design is great.  I am not sure though about whether you hemmed the leg first. I assume you did but wanted to make that clear. I will try when I get back from my vacation.


I actually did not hem the left leg, I just folded it over to see the comparison.  I just need the time to finish this one.

Thanks to all of you for reading my blogs, it is so great to feel like we are having a conversation over coffee!



Another great idea! I'll be checking out ehow, too, to see what else I can learn!

Keep the ideas coming!!!


PS.  I'm looking for a beautiful Calla Lilly pattern. I've found several, but they just aren't very special. Any idea where I can look?

I understand what you are saying.  I have had the same problem, I have an idea of what I want, but comming by the actual design is something else.

I found this one right here at ATG:  


Your avatar says a lot about what you might be looking at and so - - - I am going to suggest that you try the design BUT rather than use the 40 weight rayon, use bobbin thread which is 60 weight (lighter) and see what happens.  I think having that lighter density may just create the desired result.

I would certainly do a 'discovery sew' to determine if it will work.  Let us know how that works for you.



Thanks for the link & the sewing tip! The discovery sew has saved me a LOT of heartache in the past.  Even though it makes the project take longer, it's worth the extra time!

I'll let you know how everything turns out.


Hey, Pat,

That's a great idea to use 60 wt. thread.  It give make a more "open" appearance.


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