Here is the last item from my March undergarment goals. I didn’t manage to complete this in March because, quite frankly, I almost gave up and threw it in the recycle. I’m glad I came back to it, since I’m now extremely happy with my final garment.
I had been wanting a shorts type slip for quite some time but had never heard of tap pants until my googling of slip-shorts led me to them. Despite telling a friend of my plan to make myself bloomers (I knew she would instantly envision gigantic poofy drawers and be horrified..hehe) I wanted something more streamlined. Just loose enough to be comfy and light enough to not show bunched up under a dress or skirt
This hunt led me to Colette Pattern 1011 – Nutmeg which seemed like exactly what I wanted. The pattern includes knickers, a bralette and the tap pants. The description indicated the tap pants would “sit at the natural waist” and that should have been my cue to avoid the tap pant. I have a very short waist and anything with a higher rise always makes me feel like Steve Urkel with my pants up to my chest. I should have gone with the low-rise knickers but I was oh so drawn to the lovely pointed yoke on those tap pants…
I cut the pattern as is, though expecting I would likely need to lower the waistband to have it hit at my natural waist. They were cut and sewed up very easily to the point where I was ready to attach the band elastic. As expected I tried them on and had to chop off 3″ to have them hit my waist rather than my under bust. No big deal, off came the excess and I attached my elastic. Then I tried them on only to discover unattractive balloon hips! Really my hips do not look like that.
After trying them on under clothing seemed alright functionally but, for me anyway, undergarments are 50% function and 50% how they make me feel. I knew if I saw balloon hips every time I put these on they wouldn’t be getting much wear. So there they sat, for a week and a half, waiting for my patience to return.
After re-trying them this weekend I realized they could be saved merely by shortening them further, to sit at the top of my hip rather than my waist. By rolling the elastic down 3 times, roughly 1.5 inches, they looked much, much, better. With no more balloon hips they became worthy of some pretty lace around the hem.
Now I have some lovely tap-knickers, as shown above in some pictures my dear N relented and took for me. I’m no model (as demonstrated by my awkward flamingo pose above, haha) and he’s no professional photographer but at least I have a couple of shots showing how these look when worn.
I upgraded to french seams but the lace is just zig zagged on then the fabric trimmed around the curves with applique scissors. I was slightly worried about the fraying where the lace attaches but after a machine wash it still looks fine and they look lovely on the inside too!
As you can see hints of there is a matching camisole…but that is a different pattern for a separate post.
Garment Cost $14.05 CAD
- Ivory Cotton Voile $9.85 – Blackbird Fabrics
- 1/2″ Band elastic $1.40 – Bra-Makers Supply
- 2.5″ Stretch Lace $2.30 – Sew Sassy
- Thread $0.50
*** Prices for Sew Sassy items are from an order I made in 2014, when CAD to USD exchange was much better than current rates.
Pattern cost $16.45 CAD for PDF pattern which
Pattern’s skill rating – Intermediate
- I agree with this skill level rating since bias cut fabric is trickier to work with though with the detailed instructions I think a confident beginner would be fine.
Size chosen and modifications made:
- Size 12 chosen based on my measurements.
- After assembling I ended up removing 5″ of height from pattern lowering waistband to sit 1″ below my navel.
- Used french seams to enclose seams.
What I liked
- The instructions gave specific details on how to work with and sew bias cut material.
- Details included on how to add lingerie elastic at the waistband.
- Pieces fit together perfectly and construction steps were clear.
What I disliked
I searched the instructions repeatedly and could not find the seam allowance stated anywhere.**Update** I finally found this (on page 7 in a coloured border like section, in case anyone else is as blind as me) when I was hunting another Colette pattern then went back to this one and it had the same format! Smack to forehead – I literally went through the entire instructions 3 times and missed it!!
- No cut line on the pattern for adjusting the rise.
My rating for this pattern is 9/10
I was quite impressed with the level of detail in the instructions. Even with their intermediate rating, they included a whole page of details on working with bias cut rather than assuming this was known information.
Lost marks due are due to
the missing seam allowance information and the fact there were no details or pattern markings to assist with adjusting rise (or other fit issues) on the pattern. I noticed the pattern did not state fabric requirements for the knickers alone, without the bralette, however the fabric I used for the tap pants was only over by .25m so I did not deduct marks for this.
- Try the original knickers style pattern to see if I like those or if the curved seams of the tap pant make a difference
- Make a pair in black silk.