The Xanele Shorts

This pattern is fondly named after my adventurous friend Xanelé (pronounced Shan-a-lee). These shorts were inspired by (and created for) the 5am Table Mountain hikes that she and I regularly embarked upon, (and the much-needed sanity and perspective that these walks, and our talks, afforded me) as we were coming out of South Africa’s first lockdown.  

Xanelé being badass (just to clarify she is not wearing Xanelé Shorts in this picture)

Although 6 years my junior, she is one of the wisest humans that I have ever encountered, not to mention fostered a friendship with, and her thoughts and insights offered me fresh perspective in navigating our similar life experiences and the shit show that was 2020.

Just being effervescent in the Karoo

The Xanelé shorts are an easy-to-wear summer staple with an elasticated waistband, pleated front and a cuffed hem that ends around the mid-thigh. While they are perfect for the beach and for climbing mountains, they are as equally well suited to days spent working, or lounging, at home.


Light to medium weight wovens such as linen / linen blends, hemp, tencel, and chambray. If selecting medium weight fabric it is recommended that the fabric has some measure of drape.


150 cm / 60” wide fabric – 122cm / 1.3 yards

115cm / 45” wide fabric – 162cm / 1.8 yards


Sewing thread

5cm / 2” wide elastic – minimum length approx. 65cm (25 5/8”), maximum length approx. 115cm (45 1/4”) – length will be determined when fitting on your shorts

Safety pin

Fusible interfacing (optional)

You can check out some of the versions made by my pattern testers here:

I’m including this song because on one of our first hikes Xanelé asked me what my favourite Kevin Morby song was (because we have very important conversations about such things. Although actually, when it comes to music, our conversations are usually monopolised by talk of Westerman). I replied that my favourite Kevin Morby song was “City Music” to which she responded that hers was this one, so it felt pertinent to include it. Also we may or may not have shared a (small) bottle of sparkling wine that morning atop of Lions Head at 6am before going to work 🙂

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