Tap Shorts: A Love Story

I’ve always hated shorts. I managed to avoid wearing them most of my life (granted, my penchant for skirts has helped with that), and only grudgingly purchased a pair a year or so ago because they were Princeton orange and it was reunions season :P. For a while this was because I hated my legs, but a few years ago when I was dancing fairly regularly I decided they weren’t so bad – but I still disliked shorts.

That is, until Katy and Laney did the impossible: they created a shorts pattern that I don’t just like, I love! Their very first pattern, the Tap Shorts, is a real knock-out, and one I plan to make again and again (and again!). I was first drawn to the pattern because, even though it’s a shorts pattern, it still fits many of my favorite design features – a high waist and a silhouette that brings the eye away from the waist and down to the hips. As I’ve mentioned before, I have a pretty square figure, so I actually like drawing some attention to my hips (and shoulders, too), since it creates the illusion of an hourglass figure. These shorts are perfect for that!

For my first pair, I chose the somewhat controversial view B, with the wide pleats running from the waist to the hem. Some folks have been bothered by the attention it brings to the hips, but as I mentioned above, I’m fine with that. In fact, I think that extra fullness helps mask my tummy, and I’ll take all the help I can get there! The fabric I chose was another gift from my Princeton fairy godmother. I think it’s a linen/poly blend, because it didn’t shrink at all when I tested a swatch. It’s a nice, hefty home dec weight, which was perfect for this project.


Voilà! I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty thrilled with them! I had a ball constructing them as well. The instructions were impeccably written – honestly, these were the best instructions I’ve ever seen, hands down. I had originally planned to wait for the sewalong to attempt the welt pockets (I’ve never sewn welt pockets before, so I was nervous!), but I got impatient and decided to chance it on my own. And I got it right on the very first try! The instructions were very clear, and the illustrations took a lot of the mystery out of the process. These ladies are clearly talented teachers as well as designers.


As far as fit goes, I consider this to be a great first try, but I am planning to make some adjustments to the next pair. The waistband sags just a bit in the front, and I think this is because the inseam is a tad too short. You’ll notice that the ladies in the Tap Shorts photos have gorgeously flat tummies, but I sure don’t!! I need a little more room for my rounder bits, so I plan to add a bit of length to the inseam next time. (Have any of you had that problem before? What would you recommend?)


Here’s a pic without a cutesy pose so you can see the fit – the wrinkles are mostly (if not completely) due to the fabric, not the fit. However, you can see the waistband dip down a bit. Also, when the pleats were still basted in place, I noticed that the fit was quite snug, so I will definitely need to make some alterations if I ever plan to make the other views (view A fits like view B with the pleats sewn down – I asked 🙂 ).


(Obligatory side view for fit purposes)

So what do y’all think? Any fitting suggestions? I have literally no pants fitting experience at all, so I’ll take all the help I can get! My goal is to muslin the Colette Clovers (which I will do with fear and trembling…) after I’m comfortable with the Tap Shorts inseam.




7 thoughts on “Tap Shorts: A Love Story

  1. EEEE! Cute, cute, cute. You know I love that stripe placement!

    I’d try lengthening the inseam as you mentioned. While you wear the shorts do you think the side seams ride up on your hips? Another thought I had is that the waistband wants to sit just a touch higher. To solve this you could drop the crotch seam an inch or so or maybe ad just the slightest bit of room in the waistband so they sit lower.

  2. These look so great on you! I have the pattern and keep meaning to make it up- I have similar figure concerns (square, don’t mind giving the illusion of hips) so it’s nice to know that this totally works on ppl like us! I really like the effect of the stripes, too. Great job, dude!

  3. To add a little bit of room for a full abdomen you can adjust the pattern at the top. Start at the sideseam and gradually raise waistline from there to CF (1/2” max). For a larger adjustment you can cut through the pattern horizontally at the fullest part of the abdomen. Create a hingepoint at the side seam and raise the CF. You then need to redraw the crotch seam and waistline seam. Extend the crotch seam so it stays the same shape as before you made the cut (it should still be straight). Blend the waist seam so it meets the new crotch seam (this probably makes more sense when you try to do it yourself). You may also have to reshape the sideseam a little bit.
    Looking at your pictures I’d probably first try the small adjustment to see how much effect that has. The larger effect not only increases crotch lenght but also widens the waistband which I don’t think you really need.

  4. I’d suggest looking at the measurements of the finished project and adjust from there. Maybe squeeze a size in between what you have sewn , and the next size up.

  5. I love the shorts! You did a beautiful job and you look just great in them. I love the way you used the stripes, and the pockets are lovely.
    Did you test the fabric? Take a scrap and fray the edge. Set a match to it (over the sink or bathtub). If you can crumble the ash in your fingers like burnt paper, it’s cotton or linen. If it’s sticky while hot and hard and plasticity when cooled, it’s synthetic or maybe a blend.

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