Walking Shorts Pattern & Sew-Along – Part One

walking shorts pattern

We've had so many requests for this over the last few weeks.  This walking shorts pattern is the perfect opportunity for you guys to make the shorts many of you requested after we published a compilation of shorts for women and children a few weeks ago.  In that post, there were many types of shorts, with some of them being very short.  These are not that short and even if you find them too short I will show you how to make them longer.  Which is why we are going to start from fitting the pattern than sewing first.

We will go through the procedure –making the patch pockets, sewing darts, sewing a fly front zipper, attaching a facing with a fly front zipper and finally hemming the shorts.  In addition to all this, I will be showing you how to transform this pattern into lovely palazzo pants in a different tutorial.

You will find the hips rather large, this is because of the many ladies who kindly sent their measurements, which means this shorts will look best on hour-glass, and triangle-shaped women.

walking shorts pattern

I'm naming these shorts “on a stroll” because that is what most of you wanted.  Just a pair of shorts to go walking around, hang around the house, do gardening and still look good and age appropriate.  These walking shorts have four pockets, two slant pockets in the front and two unlined patch pockets in the back.

This is the first part of a three-part sew along.  In this part, we will be fitting the pattern to your own body size and shape as well as attaching the unlined patch pockets.  In Part Two, we will be making the front slant pockets and sewing the zipper.  We'll release that within the next weeks.  In the third and final part, we will be attaching a facing to the zipper and hemming the walking shorts.

walking shorts pattern

Skill Level

Advance beginner to intermediate who knows how to use a sewing machine has made a few skirts and knows how to sew a zipper and make a buttonhole using a sewing machine.  This project is for people interested in learning pattern making alterations to fit patterns to their own body.

Warning this pattern is not for everybody, it is for ladies with wider hips who do not want a skin-tight garment.  This sew along requires patience and willingness to try something different.  It is not a quick and easy DIY project.


Recommended Fabrics

Finished measurements:

Size Waist Hips Length
S 28″ (71cm) 56″   (142 cm) 14″            (35.6 cm)
M 33 1/2″ (85cm) 59″   (150cm) 14  3/4″   (37.5 cm)
L 37″  (94 cm) 63″  (160cm) 15 1/4″     (38.7 cm)
XL 41″  (104) 67″  (170cm)  15  3/4″   (40  cm)

Pattern download:

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For help downloading and printing PDF patterns, please CLICK HERE.

Pattern layout

walking shorts pattern

Fitting the walking shorts pattern

Measure your lower body to determine which size you need.  Choose a size closer to your hips, if you have to choose between a larger or smaller size choose the smaller size.  It is always easier to enlarge a pattern than making it smaller.  However, if your thighs are the larger part of your body, choose the larger size.

You will need the following measurements:

  • Waist (bend your body and measure exactly where the waist bends)
  • Hips (wrap the tape around the fullest part of your bottom)
  • Thigh (measure the thicker part of the thigh)
  • Crotch (wrap the measuring tape from the belly button between your legs and towards the back stopping at the waist)

Making the crotch larger

The first thing you need to do is to eliminate the seam allowance in the front pockets and the hemline.  We will add them back on when is time to true up the pattern.

How to measure the crotch on your pattern.  Place both front and back patterns side by side.  Crotch facing each other. Using your tape measure, measure from the back crotch to the front.

Compare these measurements to your own.   The most accurate way to measure your own crotch is to wrap a piece of elastic or ribbon around your waist (where you want the shorts to sit) without the waistband.  Measure using the tape from the front to the back.

You will need to increase the crotch to accommodate a larger tummy.

Cut the pattern in half and tape the top part to a large piece of paper.  Slide the bottom part to the amount you need according to your body measurements.  For example, if you need to increase by 4″ divide this amount in 2 (front and back).

Retrace the new lines and lower the crotch line 1 ” down.

Repeat this procedure on the front part.  However, because we have a slant pocket you will need to increase the top of the pocket so it will be the same size as the front.  Do notice the pockets already have a 5/8″ seam allowance.

How to increase the waist

The following procedure is to increase the waist up to 6″.  Divide the measurement you need in four.  Mark the pattern with the amount you need on each side of the pattern.

Use the first line to use it to pivot the pattern using an awl or a pin. 

Retrace the new pattern.  This way you increase the waist, not the leg size.

How to decrease the width of the thighs

The crotch is too large and the legs are too wide?  The following will reduce the width of the shorts up to 5 .5″ at the thigh and 2″ off the crotch, in total.  Adjust this according to your needs.  The simplest way is to reduce the crotch by cutting away more in the back than the front.  Trace the amount you need to cut away.  The back is always wider than the front and you can reduce it to be just 1″ bigger than the front.   Warning:  keep in mind this will reduce the crotch.

There is an advanced method to reduce the width of the pattern at the legs, folding the pleats all the way down and adding them back on.  This technique is best used after you have done the mock-up Because you need to know how the walking shorts fit on your body first.

Please note!

Before you cut the mock-up eliminate the hem from the pattern.  We will add it back again and we true up the pattern.

Add seam allowance to the pattern.  On a woven project, 5/8″ is the best, because it allows you to make alterations to the finished project if you need to.  However, if you have already made alterations to your pattern use a 3/8″ seam allowance.    I'd recommend using an inexpensive fabric to make the first mockup.

How to make the shorts

The first thing you need to do is to wash and dry the fabric.  Iron and cut the fabric.  Attach fusible interfacing to the zipper facing and the opening of the front pockets.

Step One: Sew the back dart

Sew the two darts at the back and press them using a pressing ham toward the center back.

Fitting the back darts

When you try your first mock-up you might find the darts a little too short or have a dimple at the end. . . if this is your case, you will need to lengthen the darts by 1/2″ to 1″ longer depending on your body.

Step Two:  Sew the patch pockets

Follow this tutorial for a perfect patch pocket.

I hope you enjoyed this first part of our three-part sew-along for making this walking shorts pattern.  If you have any questions about fitting, please leave them in the comments below and I'll be sure to answer them. The whole series is now complete, so just follow the button below or the link here to continue.

See you there, And Until next time and happy sewing!

Walking Shorts Sew Along –Part Two: Slant Pocket and Zipper

walking shorts

Go to Part 2 Now

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Hi! I’ve tried twice now to make the Walking Shorts and both times, they were too small for me since nowhere in the pattern’s instructions (not even in the sew-along) did it say that a seam allowance had not been accounted for in the lines. Then, once you get to the step just after you sew the crotch together on the front pieces, it says something to the effect of ” since you added the seam allowance…” WHEN? and how much of a seam allowance? Also the instructions for the zipper fly I had to look up a bunch of other youtube videos and cobble it together for it to make sense. Please add at least a mention of needing to add a seam allowance at the beginning of the instructions for these shorts. or even write it on the PDF file so when you print it it’ll say it on the pieces. This has been very frustrating.

Tamara Miliken
Tamara Miliken

Is there a way to download and print the instructions? I don’t want to have to take a tablet to my sewing room.


Is there a video to go along with this tutorial?

Rachel B
Rachel B

Hi is there a copy shop version of this pattern?