Pattern Review, Shorts

My Two-Piece Setacular (and a Tap Shorts Pattern Review)

When Sophie over at Ada Spragg asked for company in her Two-Piece Setacular month, I jumped right on that bandwagon.  I am oddly drawn to the matching two-piece sets that I see all over fashion magazines and the blogosphere lately.

Two-piece set with Katy & Laney Tap Shorts sewn by Katie @
Two-Piece Setacular!

Maybe it’s because I just can’t get behind the other big trend I’m seeing lately — rompers.  They’re everywhere and I just don’t get them.  I can’t get behind any garment that requires me to get almost completely undressed to pee.  Maybe these bodily functions are at the forefront of my brain because I currently have 3 children 5 and under and potty access is a top priority.  Or maybe it’s just my down-to-earth Midwestern sensibility kicking in…who knows.

Anyhoo, one of the reasons Sophie’s Two-Piece Setacular was so appealing to me was because I could pseudo-participate in the whole romper craze while maintaining the convenience of separates.  I call this my non-romper.

For my two-piece set, I used the new Katy & Laney Tap Shorts in view B and paired them with the top from the Named Vanamo Two-Piece Cocktail dress.  The result was exactly what I was going for!

Two-piece set with Katy & Laney Tap Shorts sewn by Katie @
My non-romper.

The Vanamo top is definitely a crop, but the Tap Shorts are so high-waisted that little, if any, of my post-3-baby belly is visible, for which I am very grateful!

When the Tap Shorts pattern was released, I hemmed and hawed over whether to buy it.  One the one hand, I’ve never thought that the super-high-waisted look was very flattering on me.  I’ve always had a few curves, even when I was kid, so I always thought styles like this weren’t for me.  But on the other hand, everyone’s Tap Shorts just looked so cute!

Obviously, I decided to take the plunge, and I’m glad I did!  I was so surprised when I finished these shorts and put them on that they are SUPER flattering!  I don’t even know how they accomplish it, but I feel really good in these shorts.  And sexy, somehow.  It’s a nice feeling!

Two-piece set with Katy & Laney Tap Shorts sewn by Katie @
I’m too sexy for my shorts!

These shorts were surprisingly fast to sew.  I opted for View B with the front pleats and invisible side zipper.  I omitted the back welt pockets since I never use back welt pockets, and I didn’t feel like fiddling around with them.  I might try them on my next pair though (oh yes, there will be more) because the construction is a little different than other welt pockets I’ve done, and I think I might love it.  Without the welt pockets, there are only 4 pattern pieces to these shorts — score!

The fabric is a Premier Prints home dec weight fabric that I’ve had in my stash for months. Last week I put out an Instagram plea to help me decide between a basic brown chambray and a wild and crazy ikat print for my two-piece set.

Two-piece set with Katy & Laney Tap Shorts sewn by Katie @
Showing off lots of legs in my Tap Shorts.

While the ikat was the clear winner, I obviously decided to go with neither and went stash-diving again instead!  This navy blue polka dot is much more me and I think I’ll get some decent use out of the two pieces, though I will likely wear them separately most of the time.

I totally feel like a pin-up girl in this outfit, so Albert and I had some fun with the pictures.  It would have been even more fun to take a field trip to a cool locale for these pictures, but alas our only time was after the kids were in bed.   And Child Services does frown on leaving 3 sleeping children alone in the house 🙂

Two-piece set with Katy & Laney Tap Shorts sewn by Katie @
Pin-up girl pose.
Two-piece set with Katy & Laney Tap Shorts sewn by Katie @
We had fun with this one. Albert insisted on a picture with the military helicopter wind-catcher.

So what do you think?  Did you join in the two-piece fun?

Pattern: Tap Shorts by Katy & Laney

Size: 6 at the waist, graded down to a 4 at the hip.

Fabric: Premier Prints home dec fabric.

Modifications: None

Fit: Great. The waist is snug, but not tight, and the fit is great in the hips.

Pattern Format: PDF pattern.  These shorts come with 3 views and to cut down on the paper you have to tape together, each view is a different file.  Views A and B each had 18 pieces of paper to tape together.  View C (front slash pockets and functioning zip fly) had a few more.


  • Really easy construction, especially for shorts.  These were seriously fast considering they are bottoms and I had to install my first zipper in almost 2 years!
  • I love the pleated front on View B.  I thought it would add volume to my hips, but it’s actually the opposite.
  • Pretty easy to fit, at least for me.  I didn’t have to tweak the pattern at all, other than some mild grading at the pattern cutting phase.
  • Can be made with relatively little fabric.


  • Let’s face it, this style isn’t for everyone and it’s not going to look good on every body type.
  • The waist is a pretty snug fit.  That could be an issue for some.
  • Views A and B don’t have front pockets.

Overall Grade: B+.  As much as I love this pattern, I don’t think it has the universal appeal that some patterns do, and I don’t see it as a TNT basic.  I love the silhouette for me and I plan to make more, but I know that there are many, many sewists out there who wouldn’t be caught dead wearing this style.  Still, I definitely think the pattern is worth the investment.

16 thoughts on “My Two-Piece Setacular (and a Tap Shorts Pattern Review)

  1. Love it! You look smokin! Too cute. Really. I’ve been loving my short sorts with wedges this summer too. Puts a spring in your step.

  2. I love these shorts and they look amazing on you! I have been really tempted by this pattern as well (or I was until summer abruptly ended about a week ago and now I am wishing I could knit!) maybe next year…


    1. Thanks! I’m glad I decided to get this pattern, I love how they turned out and with our climate it will still be shorts weather for another couple of months.

  3. What a gorgeous outfit, you look great! Yes, I don’t get rompers either, why would you want to make it so tricky to go take a pee?! These photos are great too!

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