Hot! Toeses & Roses tap pants


I really liked the way this week’s challenge was worded.  “Use at least two different prints in an outfit“.  (emphasis mine).

“Ha!”  I thought.  “That’s easy – that means I don’t actually have to make a garment with two prints in one item – just wear two items that are both prints!”. (I know, totally cheating).

So I consulted my list of things that I actually need to make for myself (because I believe in making anything just for the sake of fulfilling a challenge – even for Sew Weekly), and top of the list was tap pants.  I love tap pants.  I’ve made them before for a Sew Weekly challenge, but with the amount of swing dancing I do, and how often I wear skirts in windy Wellington, I can never have too many pairs.

And top of my list was a pair to wear under my ‘Not Actually a Circle Skirt’ dress, and I thought “Ha!  The dress is already a pattern – I’ll just make patterned tap pants to go under it.”

So I pulled out all the pattern possibilities in my stash, and sat on the floor with the circle of the skirt spread around me, and the fabric sitting on it.

Skirt fabric (bottom), and (from left), weird paisley, rose trellis, muted paisley, bright paisley

I like the bright paisley on the far right best, but the rose trellis second from the left was a much nicer, finer, smoother cotton, so it won the pattern battle.

I’d got everything but the hemming done on the tap pants when I decided that patterned tap pants under a patterned dress was a bit of a cop-out ( I mean, it’s not often that you get to see both of them together!), so I did a pyjama hem on the tap pants in this sweet green and white checked voile.

Little checked bias pyjama hem

Voilá!  Two patterns in one item.

Problem: How to actually photograph the darn things?

Other than on the wall, of course!

For my first Sew Weekly tap pants I chickened/stuck by my morals (it’s all about perspective!) and just photographed them on Isabella, my dressform.  But these tap pants are much less lingerie-y, so I got brave and creative about finding a way to show them off.

Also, Mr D teased me into taking this picture, and I saw it and had a “River Song discovers that she has Alex Kingston’s derriere” moment:

Ho-lee Guaca-squacka-waka-mole!

Are those my legs?!?  If my legs look like every day that I’m going to wear short shorts all.the.time!  (they don’t, but all the dancing I do is sure paying off!).  So this time I’m photographing the tap pants on me under my dress.

Ooh la la!

Roses and tap makes me think of the ‘Moses Supposes’ number from Singing in the Rain (love that film, love that song!).  So these are ‘Toeses & Roses’ tap pants, because calling them ‘Let’s Kill Hitler’ is something only Steven Moffat could get away with.

Toeses and roses

In my nod to the film I wore a cardigan over my dress – love Donald and Gene’s cardigans in that scene!

Making a Donald O'Connor funny face

Just the facts, Ma’am:

Fabric: 3/4 metre of rose-trellis patterned cotton, and a scrap of green and white checked voile for trim.

Pattern: My own, based on a vintage pair of tap pants that I own.

Year: 1950s

Notions: 28″ of elastic for the waist.

Hours: 1.5, including dithering over fabric.  Not bad for me!

Wear again?: Yes!  Even after I give away the ‘Not Actually a Circle Skirt’ dress.  These are super comfortable and practical.  They would make great summer pyjama bottoms too.

Total cost: I think I paid $2 for 2 metres of the rose patterned cotton at an op shop, and $5 a metre for the green and white voile, so for the amount of each I used, $1.50.

Kitty toeses and roses




Leimomi Oakes - The Dreamstress

Leimomi Oakes learned to sew as a child in Hawaii, and hasn't spent a day without doing it in the-more-years-than-she-would-like-to-admit-to since. When she was 18 she was nicknamed 'The Dreamstress' and bought the domain name, and now she's stuck with it. After getting degrees in Art History, Costume Design and International Relations she worked in a number of fabulous museums before going freelance as a textile and fashion historian and historical seamstress. She lives in Wellington New Zealand with a lovely husband and a world-famous cat.


Comments are closed.

  1. Very clever, you! :) Love both pieces and your pictures are so much fun!!!!

  2. Love them! And these pics are great – check out the legs!

  3. Very cute Leimomi! Love the photo of all the prints together actually. Yes, great legs, if I had legs like that – I would be wearing shorts like that all the time!

  4. Way to get Tim into the photography! A little flashy flashy keeps the photography engaged.. heheheh.


  5. *photographer. dang.

  6. that’s a beautiful outfit! I need some of these tap pants too!

  7. I hadn’t heard of tap pants before seeing posts from lazystitching and you. What a great idea.

  8. Very cute! Love the way you combined the prints and the post and pictures were great!

  9. Love love love the tap pants…

  10. Great tap pants! Also great photos, and your kitty seems MOST alarmed by the goings on. He must be afraid you’re going to start dancing on your vocal coach’s desk.

  11. Gorgeous and very flattering on you. I like the trim around the bottom edge. Kudos to the photographer!

  12. Sweet! – I love the idea of tap pants and your pair is super-cupt.

  13. Super super super cute love your post and piccys this week. Great job.

  14. Very cute! And I agree with the other ladies, great legs! I noticed the pattern was modeled after another pair of tap pants. Have you ever thought of doing a tutorial on your blog for said tap pants? I would love a pair.

  15. Thank you Clarissa!

    I am actually working on a pattern and tutorial for these tap pants – it will eventually be available (probably through Craftsy) for a small price.

  16. I’d never heard of tap pants before….I might have to make me some! They look very cute.

  17. I already love you for a bajillion Doctor Who reasons, but the fact that you’ve named this after one of my favorite movies of all time (Gene Kelly – swoooooooooon) means we are true kindred spirits. Your tap pants are so very very lovely!!! And perfect for windy days and dancing :)