kathy’s lisboa shorts

Kathy is sharing the hiking shorts she made using the Lisboa Walking Shorts pattern. She discusses the trial and error process to create a fantastic pair of shorts that will see many hikes.

Liesl + Co Lisboa Walking Shorts-Kathy modeling her hiking version of the Lisboa Shorts

When I saw the Lisboa walking shorts, I first thought: how will they work for hiking? Good hiking shorts typically provide sun protection, snag resistance, dry quickly, and have enough zippered pockets to store my phone and car keys. My favorite hiking pants have zippered pockets on the outside of the thigh, which is my preferred placement for storage. Most of my favorites are also made of stretchy but very tough fabric.

It turns out that performance outdoor fabric is really difficult to find! I found only three or four sources, and the one with the most stock is in Canada. If you have found a good place for buying such fabric, please leave it in the comments. I finally found some of the “durable stretch woven” I’d been looking for, but it was too expensive for an experiment. Given the wide legs of the Lisboa shorts, I decided that I didn’t need stretchiness and bought some lightweight non-stretch nylon with UPF 50 protection for about a third of the price.

Before making the nylon shorts, I made a wearable muslin out of crinkle cotton that had been in my stash for a long time. After making the Montauk trousers, I cut a straight size 14, even though my waist is nominally an 18. Due to the elastic, it was very comfy, and there wasn’t much extra fabric. I’ve been wearing them all the time since I made them.

Adding a Welt Pocket

I used the zipper welt pocket tutorial from an earlier Oliver and S post, which was easy to follow. To decide on the length of the zip pockets, I pulled out my phone and draped the fabric over it. So the pockets are the same width as the regular welt pockets, with just enough depth to hold my phone. (It’s really no fun to have the phone rattling around while you walk.) The biggest error I made was in forgetting the interfacing under the zippers, so I will just have to hope they hold!

Liesl + Co Lisboa Walking Shorts-Demonstration of the welt pocket placement

The other error I made was not to narrow the pocket; the phone tended to lean sideways and flop around. My husband helpfully suggested that I put a vertical seam in the pocket bag as a divider and that I could use the tiny leftover compartment for a pen! It worked great.

Liesl + Co Lisboa Walking Shorts-Demonstration of Pocket Size

One issue I didn’t think about was how crowded the inside of the shorts would be with “dueling pocket bags” as I came to call them; the two pocket bags overlap when hanging down. However, I think it will be ok – I just won’t fill all the pockets at the same time! Another issue was that at the last moment I decided that ruffles and hiking shorts were an oxymoron, and trimmed the waistband to be shorter, thus eliminating the ruffle on top. I forgot that the belt loops are supposed to be sewed into the ruffle, so I had to stitch the upper ends of the loops into the elastic. But that wasn’t a big deal either – I just distributed the gathers until I liked them. They won’t move now!

I’m very happy with the shorts. The phone does flop a little just because the shorts aren’t fitted against the leg, but not too badly. In fact, they will make excellent traveling shorts because they pack up quite small.


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  1. Enbee

    They look awesome!

    As for outdoor fabric, I’ve ordered from Rockywoods (in Colorado) several times. They have a reasonable selection of DSW and sun-protective fabrics, although their in-stock selection tends to be narrower than the range they advertise (they seem to always be out of many colors). Shipping has been fast and reliable.

    1. Kathy

      Thanks! I have looked at Rocky Woods, but haven’t actually placed an order yet. As you said, there were fabrics that I liked, but the color selection was so limited.

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