Boardshort Hack Attack

If you follow my blog, you may already know I freakin’ love boardshorts. I will also wear them while surfing too, since few people appreciate me duckdiving a wave in a thong. Their loss.

Christmas in July

Anywho, I picked up this pair of Quiksilver Waterman Boardshorts a while back. I love them except for the thicky-thick tie that came with it. It’s bulgy, doesn’t stay tied, and hurts when I lay on my board to paddle. Time for a makeover.

Nice except for the crappy tie

This tie NEVER stays tied

I gathered some 1/4″ flat elastic, a needle and thread, some scissors, and a seam ripper (if needed).

My supplies

The tie was sewn into the shorts, so I had to use my seam ripper to remove it:

Removing the original tie

Taking just a small length of the flat elastic, I laced it through the grommets of the shorts’ fly from the TOP DOWN. This is important since I want to join the elastic together at the BOTTOM, where the elastic won’t get as much action. I pulled the sides of the fly together flush, and pinned the elastic ends together where it’s comfortable.

Laced through, ends come out on the INSIDE of the fly

Sewing the elastic ends together

Looking inside the fly, the ends have been clipped and sewn


Pull on and off!!

This now stays flat, pulls on and off easily, and there’s no need to worry about my shorts staying tied finally.

I’m so happy that the biggest pressing concern is chafing my belly button when I surf. It can ALWAYS be worse, brah….

Get him a ticket to Tahiti NOW

Baggies, Jams, Boardies….Just DIY ‘Em

The “history” of surfing shorts varies depending on the surfer you ask. Some may say the original surf short began with Duke Kahanamoku and his scratchy wool swim shorts. The original big wave Hawaiian surfers of the 50’s and 60’s may tell you that Mr. Nii’s in Makaha was THE place to get a pair custom made- even personalized with your name.

I remember the “Jams” of the 1980’s…the tacky,

Clearance Bin Find!

comfy, long and super baggy shorts that EVERYONE had to have, from the Hawaiian beaches to the innermost cornfields of Iowa. That’s the version I’m down with. So, appropriately, I chose a SUPER easy pajama pant pattern I picked up from the clearance bin for 39 cents that I cut to a knee length short. Score.

The fun flamingo cotton print I got from, with some contrast print I got from my cotton fabric scrap bin. I won’t go through the entire process in detail, but I did add custom pockets I designed myself to the front of the shorts, as well as a simple square patch pocket on the right rear. I also added the contrast fabric as a hem facing to the bottom of the shorts, as well as the lining of the pockets. It doesn’t readily show, but I know it’s there, so… Here’s a breakdown of some of the process in pics….


My custom made pocket pattern- checking for placement


Making the front patch pockets with lining


Top stitching the pocket onto the front part of the shorts


Making the back square patch pocket and lining


Positioning the back patch pocket


Attaching the hem facing


The hidden elastic waistband!


Threading the waist tie through the front buttonholes


Finished hem detail


Finished front pocket detail

Done! This was a very easy level sewing project, and a great first sewing project for anyone if you forego the pockets.


Front of the shorts


Back of the shorts

Here’s the modeling shots by a non-model. It makes things a lot easier when you don’t have to Photoshop my face out of the pics. Yikes-a-Rama. Try to find Max Chill….


Where’s Waldo???

So flamingo, so tacky, so FLORIDA. I don’t know if I’ll surf in these cotton boardshorts, but I’ve said it before- Jams like these are Florida’s version of sweatpants.

But the Kentucky Derby IS coming up fast, so I will need to bring out the big guns pretty soon….


This would be acceptable any time of the year in Key West….

DIY Boardshort Pillow

When I was young,  I would bug my patient grandmother to teach me to sew. She was a talented seamstress, and sewed for me the most beautiful dresses when I was younger, one of which I still keep with my wedding dress and formal wear.

Back then, I also remember her making me the coolest “Jams” out of ANY wacky printed cotton combo fabric I wanted in Hancock’s Fabrics. I loved my crazy ass pairs of Jams, and even today, I find myself wearing boardshorts with crazy prints just about every day. Honestly, they’re coastal Florida’s version of sweatpants.

I’ll totally admit that most of my boardshort collection is storebought, since surf companies use this schweet, stretchy, silky material that an average home sewer like me can’t get reasonably. Fortunately, most boardshorts like these are fairly long-wearing if you don’t put ’em in the dryer after washing. Good, since you may need to skip a car payment to buy some of these pairs lately…yikes.


Loved these

One of my favorite pairs of boardshorts was ready for retirement, but I loved the surfboard print, and wanted to hang on to it in a unique way. So I made it into a squishy pillow that I could use indoors or out.

The stitching is pretty straightforward, I attached the inseam of the shorts up about 2″ from the bottom to make the pillow look more square after stuffing, but the legs are still somewhat distinctive.


Stitching the inseam up to the mark



2” of inseam sewn together

After this step, it’s a matter of closing up the holes. Just leave the top middle section open to stuff, OR you could stuff through the fly, then sew those openings up. The fly section was going to be too bulky for my machine, so I hand sewed the opening shut.



Sewing the fly shut on the machine was tricky!

You can handstitch this Pillow or machine stitch it, neither way takes very long. Just make sure it’s stitched up tightly enough to be moderately stuffed, and machine washable. Don’t overstuff this, or it might start looking too much like an ass pillow.


Stuff a little at a time



Handsewing the top shut





Husband calls it the Butt Pillow


Another I made for one of my BFFs


I like my Ass Pillow


I have the awful feeling the pillows only get bigger from this point on though….



Yeah, hold da meat



Surf Leggings with Custom Digital Photo Print

If you checked out my last post, I had purchased a yard of sport Lycra from with a digital photo I took and uploaded. The fabric came out great, and I was pleased with the quality and weight. For my project, I decided to make some simple, comfortable leggings I could surf in. I used a pattern I picked up in a clearance bin at WallyWorld:

The only drawback was that the fabric was printed on white Lycra, so with a dark print like I had, some white may show through on the seam lines. To minimize this, and to prevent distortion of the photo, I went with the largest size on the pattern- just in case. But, because I only had a yard, I cut the pants short into capris by cutting on the lengthen/shorten line (hehe!).

Hey, as good a line as any!

I cut one for each leg

This pattern was nice because of the minimal seams. One seam on the inner leg, and a seam up the crotch. Schweet.

This needle worked well

Simple zig zag stitch to allow for stretch

Using a walking foot on my machine helped

Inside seams finished

Bagging one leg into the other and clipping to sew up the crotch

There’s no need to finish off the seams since Lycra doesn’t fray out, but I did serge the seams with a two thread overlock to reduce bulk.

Next, I made the waist casing by folding down the top 2 inches and clipping around. I used 1 1/2″ non-roll elastic, leaving a scant seam allowance around the bottom. I also made a little Lycra hanging loop for the inside back of the pant to let it drip dry if I want.

Makin’ the waistband casing

To make the hems on the legs, I used a twin needle to fake a cover stitch. These work great on Lycra, and look awesome on hems.

These are da bomb

Use a long straight stitch with your double needle

Love the look of a double needle


So I was happy I went with the Medium size, because I didn’t want to overextend the Lycra. Yikes.

These held up well

Water cam!!!

Here’s some surf legging action shots by Ted Schultz from last Thursday:

Next time, I think I’m going to try this:

I can do that face. Totally.

Pimp My Boardshorts (Part II)

So last time, I took the nasty Velcro out of my fave pair of boardies. Now, I wanted to upgrade the fly opening to a Lycra one to prevent any gapping when the fly is open. Luckily, I had an old rash guard I wanted to de-sleeveify…..

Using my trusty rotary cutter, I folded my old rash guard in half to trim the sleeves off.


This allows me to make an even cut on both sides at once. I’ll follow up with finishing up the armhole seams later. For now, I’m after the sleeve leavins’.

I only need a triangle of the Lycra from the rash guard sleeves, so I’m going to take the piece from the bottom of the cuff, since the wrists already have nice finished seams.

So, since I needed a triangle, I used the rotary cutter to make one, with the wide base being the wrist seam.

With right sides together, I sewed the triangle of Lycra to each side of the fly, stitch from the top of the fly down into where the fly comes together (yes, this is tricky!). I also top stitched across the base of the fly on the outside to secure the bottom of the fly.

As as you can see, I just used a straight stitch set at 3.0. I’m using a longer stitch since I’m working with Lycra. Make sure you remove the waist ties before stitching- mine were already stitched in to the shorts, so I wrapped the ties up in rubber bands to get them out of the way.

Now that the fly has been set in, I’m going to add a little extra pimpage. Some waist ties on boardies have little grip dots to prevent the tie from backing out. To do this the cheap way, I used some leftover fabric paint in had in brown and made tiny dots just a few millimeters apart for 2-3 inches on each side of the tie, then I let it dry for 24 hours before taking it out into the water.


Even after a couple of months of surfing in them and washing them, they’ve held up great! So much better than surfing with my baggies down around my ankles in the whitewater.

And now…here’s some hotness from back in the day from the fine makers of Sundek baggies. Mmmm..that’s some groovy surfer meat.




Pimp My Boardshorts (Part I)

Finally, it’s become warm enough to be able to wear boardshorts around here. For me, I love to wear men’s boardshorts since the women’s versions are too short for me.


My favorite pair!

Plus, men’s boardies come in all sorts of crazy prints, so the crazier, the better for me. The fabric they’ve come out with now is absolutely incredible- it feels like wearing pajamas.
My fricken favorite pair right now is these Quiksilver Editions I picked up from the local outlet store. The downside is, it had all sorts of stiff Velcro in the fly and on the side pocket. Blech. I hate Velcro on boardshorts- it snags in the wash and it pokes me in the stomach when I’m paddling. So, I decided to give these shorts a bit of a makeover.

imageUpon closer inspection, you can see what I can’t stand: Velcro in the crotch!

I used a seam ripper to remove the Velcro- the majority was pretty easy, until I got to the very bottom where the fly came together.

I could have just cut straight across he bottom and left the rest of the Velcro encased in the stitching in the fly.

Instead, I removed the anchor stitching on the front of the fly and took out ALL of the Velcro.

I’m removing the stitches.
Tough job, but worth it.

Next, I tackled the Velcro on the pocket. You can even see where the inner pocket is imagesnagged on the Velcro!

For shame!

I had a thought at this point- for those who are new to seam rippers, here’s a few tips:

When I start to remove the Velcro, I start on the Velcro side and use the sharp point to find the stitch to break it. Be careful not to stab the fabric:
I’m starting on the outside track of stitching first.

Once that stitch is broken, you should be able to start to separate the Velcro from the fabric. At this point, I took my seam ripper (with the ball tip side down) into the seam imageand moved the ripper forward along the seam between the Velcro and the fabric:
With the ball tip down in the seam, this prevents any snags in the fabric. All that nice fluid fabric is finally free to move!

Ok- now, yeah, the Velcro issue is solved, but, the fly is open.


On some of my other fancy boardshorts, there’s a nice solution I’ve found to take care of that, and I already have the materials here to recycle. Stay tuned for Part II!
Don’t get me wrong….there’s always great uses for Velcro.


On the Bucket List