I owe you all an apology since I promised this post for July 2nd and it is now the 6th. So sorry! I thought I was totally prepared when I left Boston to spend the 4th of July in Oregon. I had all the pictures taken so just a matter of an hour or two to compose this post, or so I thought. What I missed in my calculations was the lack of internet and cell service at the cabin my Grandpa built. Now it seems obvious since there isn’t even a road to this cabin, boat access only. I guess I learned my lesson. It made for a fabulous vacation, but subpar blogging. However I’m back in Boston so you can expect the rest of this sewalong as planned.
In an effort not to delay things further let’s get to it!
Before you start sew you will need to identify the right side and wrong side of your fabric. The right side of your fabric is the pretty side or the side that you would like to be visible on your finished shorts. Often it is very easy to identify the right and wrong side as in the Jacquard above. However as you’ll see the fabrics I selected for this sewalong don’t have a clear right or wrong side. In this case you will need to choose one and just make sure you are consistent with all your pattern pieces. If you can’t tell the difference it may be helpful to mark the wrong side with a “w” or other notation in chalk.
The wrong and right sides are important to keep track of because generally you will be sewing pattern pieces with right sides together so that seams and seam allowances are on the inside of your garment. this means for most of garment construction you will be looking at the wrong side of your fabric because it will be facing outward. This concept can be a little confusing at first, but it becomes second nature in no time.
If you are sewing view B skip to step 14.
Sewing View A Front
1. Cut two pieces of twill tape or piping in your size using the twill tape guide provided in the pattern PDF. (Instructions Step 18) (If you are adding piping skip down to step 7 under Sewing View A Front with Piping)
2. On the wrong side of your fabric use tailor’s chalk to draw the seamline along the angled edge of pattern piece 1. The Tap Shorts Pattern has 5/8 inch seam allowances so the seamline is 5/8 inch (1.5cm) from the raw edge. (Instructions Step 18)
3. Center and pin twill tape to wrong side of pattern piece 1 along seamline marked with chalk (see step 2). If you have chosen a shifty fabric you may notice that the twill tape is shorter than your seamline. This just means the fabric has stretched during cutting and handling. Simply easy in the extra length while pinning your twill tape. Baste (use a long straight stitch 4-6 mm) twill tape to wrong side of fabric. (Instructions Step 18)
4. Placing the right sides of your fabric together, pin pattern piece 1 to pattern piece 2 along angled seam. Make sure notches match and sew. (Instructions Step 19)
5. Finish seam. We suggest finishing seams with a zig-zag stitch (pictured above), serged edge, or bound seam allowance. If you are a beginner the zig-zag stitch is probably the easiest way to go. Simply sew a line of zig-zag stitches inside your seam in the seam allowance. This extra row of stitching will keep your seam allowances neat and prevent fabric fraying. You may also notice that my twill tape has disappeared, but yours should be visible on one side of the seam. I forgot to snap a picture of this step so I used an image from the piped version. (Instructions Step 19)
6. Press seam allowances towards the side (away from the center, towards side seam).
Sewing View A Front with Piping
7. On the right side of your fabric use tailor’s chalk to draw the seamline along the angled edge of pattern piece 1. This pattern has 5/8 inch seam allowances so the seamline is 5/8 inch (1.5cm) from the raw edge.
8. On right side of fabric pin piping along seam line of angled edge. The piping should face the center front and the piping seam allowance should face the angled edge. Line up the stitching on your piping with your chalk mark. The round piping edge should be just inside your chalk line. If you have delicate or shifty fabric your chalk seam line may be longer than your piping. This simply means your fabric has stretched during cutting and handling. Ease in any extra length as you pin.
I made the piping used in this tutorial myself, but most store bought piping will have a seam allowance narrower than 5/8 inch so it is important to line up the stitching on your piping with the chalk mark rather than matching seam allowances.
9. Using a zipper foot baste (use a long straight stitch 4-6 mm) piping to right side of pattern piece 1. Make sure your needle is moved as far to the side as possible so you baste close to the piping stitching.
10. Matching notches pin pattern piece 1 to pattern piece 2 right sides together along angled seam.
11. Sew pattern piece 1 and 2 together along angled edge using zipper foot. Move needle over as far as possible to sew up against rounded edge of piping.
12. Finish your seams. We suggest finishing with a zig-zag stitch (pictured above), serged edge, or bound seam. A zig-zag stitch is probably the easiest of the methods listed and is available on most sewing machines. Sew a line of zig-zag stitching on the seam allowance inside your original seam. The zig-zag stitching will create a nice finish inside your shorts and prevent your fabric from fraying.
13.Press seam allowances towards the side (away from the center, towards side seam).
Sewing View B Front
14. Make sure your pleat markings are transferred to the wrong sides of pattern piece 8. You can use the same process described in Part 2 of this sewalong for transferring dart markings. You may notice that this pleat looks an awful like a large dart – not to worry, we designed it that way! (Instructions Step 20)
15. Fold pleat in half right sides together so that the pleat markings lie on top of one another. If you made notches or clips along the top edge when transferring your markings you will notice that these now line up with one another. You can check that you have folded pattern piece 8 correctly by sticking a pin through both layers of fabric. If the pin is pushed through your fabric on a pleat marking line it should exit the other layer of fabric through a pleat marking. The pleat will end in a point, just like a dart. (Instructions Step 20)
16. Baste (use a long straight stitch 4-6 mm) pleat along markings starting at the waist edge and sewing towards the pleat point. You don’t need to worry about tying off this line of basting as you would in a dart because we will be removing it later. For now the basting will help you to press a crisp dart and keep everything neat while we continue sewing. (Instructions Step 20)
17. Press pleat towards side (away from the center). (Instructions Step 20)
18. Pin pleat along top edge after pressing. Baste top of pleat in place along top edge. (Instructions Step 20)
That’s a wrap! Check back tomorrow for Part 4 Constructing Back Darts and Sewing Fronts to Backs.
PS The Tap Shorts Class is up on Grey’s Fabric and Notions calendar. The class will be two sessions running July 21st and 28th. I think it will be a ton of fun because both Laney and I are teaching together, talk about royal treatment! I can also guarantee the finest in boxed wine for those 21 and over because we are classy broads. Not a bad way to start your week!