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Lace trimmed Tap Pants & Vest/Cami Top – Simplicity 8486

In Summertime I prefer to wear a divided petticoat under my cotton or jersey dresses. I make my own using Simplicity 8486 (a pattern first published in 1988) which is really for nightwear but serves the purpose beautifully. Infact, I have previously used the pattern for the short slip (view B) to make a sundress that worked out really well.


Simplicity 8486

Pattern description: This pattern is for a woman’s slip or nightgown, camisole, tap pants and robe. Details include …
* view A & B ~ fit and flare slip or nightgown has princess seams, thin shoulder straps, elasticized back, length variations and optional lace trim
* view C ~ camisole has princess seams, thin shoulder straps, elasticized back and optional purchased lace motif
* view C ~ pull on tap pants has elastic waistline casing
* view C ~ robe in long or short length has front band, side seam pockets, carriers, self tie belt and optional lace trim.

The Tap pants take 1.10m of 114 cms wide fabric. For this incarnation I used a soft Pale Pink Crepe de Chine purchased from Minerva Crafts. All seams are worked as French Seams and there is a narrow casing for the ¼ inch wide elastic for the waist. The hems are trimmed with a pretty ribbon and lace trim bought on Saturday in the Salisbury branch of Fabricland.

As I had just a bare 1 metre left of this fabric I decided to make a co-ordinating camisole/vest top using the Gretta pattern by Seamwork.

Gretta Tank Top by Seamwork

I had already drafted a copy of the pattern (when making my 2 sundresses) with the fit adjustments required for my measurements. I laid out the pattern pieces for the front and back and noticed that there was insufficient fabric to cut the facings. That’s OK, using my overlocker, I would make a rolled hem around the neckline and armholes. I cut the body pieces as long as possible to use all the remaining yardage and would extend the length of the vest/cami top by adding some more of the ribbon and lace trim.

The bust darts were stitched and then the shoulder and side seams were completed as French seams. I completed the rolled hemming around the neckline and armholes before adding the trim at the hem. The trim is stitched twice with a narrow zig-zag before the ‘backing’ (approximately 1 cm) is trimmed away.


So now I have a matching set. The tap pants can be worn as a divided petticoat and if worn with the vest/cami top they convert to a pretty set of Summer PJ’s.

I also have more of this soft Crepe de Chine in Black to make another set which will stand in good stead for the remainder of the English Summer!



Back at the beginning of the month I posted some sewing plans for 2017. Amazingly, despite lots of going off on a tangent, I have actually made up one of the garments from the plan!

Using the scant 1 metre length of bold floral print jersey fabric in just about 1 hour I produced this great ¾ length sleeved tee top.

The pattern is a hack from the bodice of the TNT shift dress. I simply cut the bodice 6 inches down from the waistline, ignored the body darts and made the sleeves from whatever length of fabric that was left after cutting the front and back body. Apart from the shoulder seams (stabilised with a length of 1 cm wide ribbon) and the bust darts, the construction was completed on the overlocker. The neckline, sleeve hems and garment hem were overlocked and then machined with a jersey twin-needle.

I love jersey sewing!!

Toile for a Friend

One of my Patchwork & Quilting friends is to attend a Ball at the beginning of October and she has asked for assistance in making a dress to wear. After much discussion we first made a toile of a Princess-seamed dress with a view to making a cocktail dress – possibly with a lace overlay – not too dissimilar to ones that I have made in the past to wear on formal nights when on a cruise. Neither of us was particularly pleased with the resultant toile and in hindsight I realised that princess seaming was not ideal for lace overlay as it would “interfere” too much with the design of the lace.

Back to the drawing board. Pat reviewed the current pattern books and decided on a very different design. Using a fine printed jersey fabric she proposed the view that was sleeveless, with a cowl neckline and full length.  I brought the pattern home with me and prepared an amended paper pattern before making a shorter version toile using some Peach jersey fabric from my stash. My first impression was that it is a nice design, relatively easy to sew but the cowl may be too low, we shall have to wait and see what Pat thinks. closeup cowl neckline                  full front short length