Although I’ve been sewing for a couple of years now, trousers and shorts are still very much outside of my comfort zone… In fact my only previous attempt was a pair of pleated harem trousers, which I’m still deciding if I hate or not… BUT, a girl cannot live on dresses and skirts alone! So I decided to use the momentum of Indie Pattern Month to throw myself at a new-to-me garment by a new-to-me company: the Tap Shorts by Katy and Laney.
These shorts are aimed at beginner/intermediate sewists and come with three front and two back options. I went with view A, the diagonal seam front with a simple back (no welt pockets). This was partly to keep things easier for myself and partly because I wanted to try and emulate the clean lines of some of the two-piece playsuits I’d seen popping up around the interweb:
Fabric wise I went with a recently-purchased waxprint cotton. It’s a little stiff, even after washing, which I thought would hold the shape well. Design-wise I decided to jazz things up (because that’s what bright, busy prints need – jazzing up), with the addition of GOLD PLEATHER PIPING!! Yes you read that right. I can’t even remember when I bought this piping, nor what on earth I thought I was going to use it for, but when I saw those diagonal seams, a voice inside me said DO IT… I think that might have been the voice of the 80’s. The finished items are definitely channelling a little Wham/Madonna.
I am long-bodied and always have the same, erm, discomfort with RTW shorts and trousers. I made a muslin and sure enough was getting telltale “smile” lines, so added approx 1.5″ depth to the crotch front and back… I say “approx” because it proved a bit tricky with the two-part front. I started by slashing each of the pieces horizontally and adding the same amount everywhere but then had to
fudge it a bit artfully readjust to make the diagonal and side seams match.
Once I’d got the fit sorted, construction was remarkably straightforward. This was largely thanks to the well-written pattern instructions, plus additional tips on the sewalong. This was my first time adding piping to anything and I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. One thing I learned is that your needle can go a lot closer to the cord than you think it can. On my first go I thought I was right up to the edge (using a zipper foot with needle in central position) but it wasn’t nearly tight enough. On my next go (with the needle moved over) it felt like I was sewing down the centre of the cord but it turned out just right.
I’m really pleased with the finished items. I don’t usually wear shorts, but the shape of these is both comfy and flattering. To achieve the two-piece playsuit look, I made a simple little cropped shell top out of matching fabric. It is a bold look but I kind of love it. For less dramatic days I think the shorts look great with a simple t-shirt too.
So that’s my new-to-me make – I’d definitely recommend this pattern as a really good jumping off point into the world of shorts and trousers. I’m excited to have another go, maybe at the version with the fly front and welt pockets next time.
I have to say I’m loving Indie Pattern Month this year. It’s so inspiring to see everyone’s crazy talented makes, and it has definitely pushed me to make something I might otherwise have been scared to try 🙂