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