Sewing Projects


katy & laney

If you read Katy & Laney’s blog (whom I discovered last year and quickly grew to love for their fresh style and tag team excellence) you may have heard that they just released their first pattern. They got in touch a few months ago to see if I’d be interested in testing their high waisted, vintage inspired Tap Shorts. While I tested the pattern pre-release, what I am sharing with you now is my honest, personal opinion of the design, and how I made them.

In lieu of last week’s posts and ensuing conversation, I was almost reluctant to join this blog tour. I had to remind myself that this is a personal space to share what I’m working on, and that if I like something I make, I want to share it with you. Because I very much like this pattern. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be writing this post.

How did the testing work? They sent me the pattern, I made up a size 10 and sent them my comments. Nothing major, mostly notes on clarifying certain instructions. I was very happy with the overall design; mine came out a touch big at the waist and I brought that to their attention.  That’s about it.

Katy & Laney Tap Shorts

I made my Tap Shorts using a scant 2 yards of a super lightweight pinstriped linen I picked up in San Francisco last year. The initial pattern I was sent only included the pleated variation; they later added the fly front and angled seam options so I can’t comment on those, but I would very much like to go to town on the angled seam version this summer, perhaps in a heavier weight fabric like cotton upholstery. Construction wise, it was a pretty fast make. I serged all my seams and inserted an invisible zip at the side as instructed. The waistband facing was hand sewn on the inside.

Katy & Laney Tap Shorts-5 Katy & Laney Tap Shorts-4

The pleats are accomplished by basting in a long diagonal dart and then removing the basting thread. Because my linen is very lightweight and uber wrinkly, I found the pleat didn’t hold it’s shape well by the end of the day. I experimented with ironing only part of the pleat, and fell in love with the volume it created.

Normally women avoid any kind of poof around their hips. It’s counter-intuitive, but I think in this case, it doesn’t scream HUGE HIP ALERT as much as it creates a floaty, ethereal summer fun hip party. At least that’s how I feel wearing them.

Katy & Laney Tap Shorts-7 Katy & Laney Tap Shorts-6 Katy & Laney Tap Shorts-2

I skipped the optional back welt pockets which I think I will add next time. It breaks up the butt, visually. I ended up taking in the waist about a half inch on each side so it sits at my narrowest point. Apparently not everyone had the same issue but they updated the finished garment measurements – take a look at that to ensure you have your preferred ease.  I was initially worried they were too short and lengthened them by about an inch, but I found they looked a little dowdy so I ended up going back to the original length, which I’m actually quite comfortable with. I find it’s easy to go short when you have a little volume. Short and tight is where things get problematic for me (cough *cellulite* cough).

Overall, I quite love these tap pants! When I walked out of my dressing room before we took photos, Guillaume said “Wow baby!  I could totally take you to Versailles in that outfit. You look so chic and Parisian!” And that my friends, is why you fall in love with French men.

Katy & Laney Tap Shorts-9

These will likely be my new go-to “It’s so hot I want to tape icepacks to my thighs” shorts. Super floaty and light as air. And don’t think I haven’t thought about pairing them with a Nettie crop top. BECAUSE I HAVE!

Photos by Guillaume Gilbert


  • Cirque Du Bebe

    These are really truly lovely! And yay, the sewing world is crying out for more good shorts patterns, off to check these babies out. Love your pics.

    • Thanks baby! I got mad at G because I just bought a new lens and he didn’t use the lowest f-stop for the bluury background goodness. We got in a funny fight about it after, haha. But we made up pretty fast 😉

  • Emily Ribbons

    I have never heard of K & L before but I am going to buy this pattern right now. Right now!

  • lisa g

    these look awesome! i’m reluctant to wear shorts/pants so high up on my waist, but they look great on you!

  • Jennifer

    I do love a good pair of shorts – these are no exception!! they look great!

  • THESE ARE MAKING ME CRY!! right down to the sandals and the frenchman! K & L might just get me in shorts (same coughing issue over here).

  • sallieforrer

    Love seeing your face!!! Thanks for introducing me to Katy&Laney! I love the girl-duo thing they’ve got going on. These shorts are super cute! The pleat adds just a nice little extra something. I should really do more shorts in the summer, I’m not sure why I don’t… actually…. Maybe this year will be the year!?!

    • Do it dude. You live in hot hell. Shorts are a must.

  • devra

    i think we’re too often afraid of our hips. enjoy the volume! they look great!

  • Helen McFadyen

    These are really really cute. I love the pleats! Perfect summer shorts, especially with the gold hasneens (want!).

    • Thanks Helen! I’ve been living in these Hasbeens and resisting the urge to buy a hundred more pairs.

  • Jen (NY)

    Cute–thanks for the review! I’ve shied away from pleats because of the volume (not because of hips, but because of belly). I recently figured out that they can be subtly tacked down on the inside, minimizing belly-poof. Anyway, having figured that out, I can consider cute patterns like this one. Love the pinstripes!

  • Wow! I absolutely love these shorts on you, Heather! Those pinstripes work brilliantly as shorts. I was terrified of those pleats at first, but volume at the hip can actually be a summery, gorgeous detail, as you prove here. Your dear French one is so right–you look fantastically, beautifully Parisian!


    I bought this pattern yesterday and am eager to get started on a couple pairs! I’m all about view A! Based on the sizing measurements printed in the instructions, it seem like this pattern is accommodating to curvy bottomed ladies- what are your thoughts?

    • I have a big ol’ booty and I had more than enough room. Also happy I didn’t have to adjust the darts at all – sometimes I have issues with bum darts. They have some width/fullness so I think they’d be accommodating even in a heavier weight fabric.

  • I think the pleats are pretty clever – they actually look like they could be hip-camouflaging and tummy flattening in one. Cute outfit!

  • truebias

    so cute. love it in a more flowy fabric. i tested too, but so far have only made them up in a muslin. Can’t wait to finish mine.

  • This are cute. Actually loving the whole entire outfit. I generally avoid wearing shorts in public, which can catch you side-eye in SD. Besides the lovely scar on my one thigh, the whole shorts ride up in the inner thighs gives me nightmares and rage. lol But these look comfy, hmmmm

  • Wow these are a real winner. Love that soft pleat. Think I’ll be getting this pattern.

  • this is the second time I ask you about your shoes. You’re giving me shoe envy!

  • juliana calado

    really interesting shape, looks lovely. and well made.
    and I also love your shoes.!
    and indeed, seems you are in France ^^

  • Jennifer R

    Oh, I think they’re very flattering, beautiful work. Sometimes you can set a pleat in linen if spritz with diluted vinegar and iron, or you can use a rajah cloth. It looks nice softly pleated though. Love your shoes, I tried those but one of my toes was being attacked by the strapping so I decided I shouldn’t keep them.

    • That’s a hot tip, I’ll try it the next time they need to be ironed! The Hasbeens almost killed my feet but I wore them with damp socks one day and it totally stretched them out.

  • mokosha

    such a cute little shorts.. and i love the way you styled it, you super chic lady!

  • These are SUPER cute on you!

  • you are adorable in shorts, Heather!! I love the little pleats, like you say, a little volume is actually prettier and more flattering than we might think. Gorgeous!

    • Thanks Carolyn! They are my new wardrobe staple.

  • Amy

    Awww, you read my mind with those shoes. I love this outfit on you! I’ve come around to shorts volume, too, but it must have heels ;).