‘Waialua to Wellington’ tap pants
When the ‘City Inspiration’ came up as an upcoming theme, I knew exactly what I wanted to make. It was brilliant, it was perfect. Also, I didn’t have the time to make it. Neither did my wardrobe have space for another garment like this. And I’m determined not to add stuff to my wardrobe for the sake of Sew Weekly, nor to stress myself out. So, darn! Not making that right now.
So I dithered about the challenge all week, and made something I did need, and then realised that it was actually a perfect city inspiration, I just made it subconsciously. So here, sadly belatedly, are my ‘Waialua to Wellington’ tap pants – from deepest country, to coolest little city in the world. The only problem with them is that I’m not willing to put pictures of me wearing them up. The internet may be full of images of me in what is technically underwear, but these are really underwear!
I love tap pants.
You might think that is because I live in Wellington – one of the windiest cities in the world, where the Southerly gales lift your skirts over your head if you are lucky. If you aren’t lucky they are lifting your feet over your head!
Or you might think it is because I am into vintage clothing, and dress like an early 20th century fashion plate half the time.
However, my love of tap pants goes back much further than this, to my childhood.
I’m kama’aina – Hawaiian born and raised. And in Hawaii, people love shorts. People love shorts so much that little girls wear shorts under their skirts, and bigger girls do too.
You know those emails that go around that go “You know you are from _____ if…?”. The one for Hawaii says “You know you are from Hawaii if you always wear shorts under your skirts.”
Yep. Tap pants are a part of my culture!
These are my favourite tap pants pattern – they work perfectly under any skirt, are super comfortable, and are (if I do say so myself) pretty darn adorable.
This particular pair are also the perfect melding of Hawaii and my life today – the fabric is a sumptuous stretch silk crepe given to me by Mrs C (of Made Marion) shortly after we met. The palest blue vintage lace and the contrast binding are things I inherited from Nana. The pattern is one I’ve been tweaking for myself for years. They tie together my childhood, the amazing group of friends I’ve assembled, my New Zealand family, and my work.
Just the facts, Ma’am:
Fabric: 1 metre of stretch silk crepe
Pattern: My own
Year: ca. 1938
Notions: blue bias tape, vintage domes (snaps) and hooks, vintage lace.
Hours: 2. Super fast and easy.
Techniques used: French seams, lace insertion.
Will you make this again? Yes! I make tap pants all the time.
Total cost: Free! Fabric was gifted, lace was inherited, so were the domes and hooks.
And the inside?: French seams all the way.
And I love them. How could I not? The fabric is ‘the colour of a sigh’. The lace has bows on it! I got to use contrast binding on the outside! And every single seam is perfectly finished. Happiness!