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  • geriberman

Wrap Me Up In A Papao

Updated: Nov 2, 2020

Meet my "fraternal twins" in the form of the Papao Wrap Pants (#papaoreadytosew):

The Papao is by Ready To Sew as part of its new collection of three patterns specially designed with no fasteners or closures required to be installed. That's right - no snap, buttons or zippers!. Hurray! How convenient and considerate for beginners. The other two designs are the Pekka Jacket and the Patsy Overalls.

I want them all, but decided to start with the Papao to be frugal. However, I used some of my best fabrics in my stash for the "twins". The two pairs were birthed one after the other because I was having so much fun with colour-blocking them.

Both were made with a good quality blue linen from Sin Mui Heng in Singapore's Chinatown, and my most expensive (most delicious) Indonesian batik from Singapore's famed retail institution, Mustafa in Little India. Don't bother getting anything online at Mustafa because I seriously doubt anybody is tasked with cataloguing their stock there. The beauty of this ginormous department store is how overwhelming and chaotic it is, and can only be experienced by physically being there. That is a shame because they have really good deals for fabrics there, especially Indonesian batiks and Indian saris. And I suffer thinking how it'll be months before I make my next visit for another fabric haul.

These pants are inspired by Thai fisherman pants, which I used to buy by the dozen because they are so comfortable to wear. The Papao is an upgraded version of fisherman pants with a closer fit. They have 4 darts in the back and one in the front left leg. The right front leg wraps over to the left side and is secured by waist-ties off-centre or to the side. There are two views for this pattern - one with a large front pocket on the right, and the other without.

The first "twin" out of the womb was made with the batik as the main fabric, and the contrasting blue linen as the front right leg, one waist-tie, back pocket and back belt loop:

The second Papao to emerge has the blue-linen as the main fabric, and the batik contrasted in the left front leg, back pockets (I added one more) and belt loop:

The adjustments I made were minor ones. First, I shortened them by 2 inches, because I'm a shortie. Second, shortened the back pockets because they seemed disproportionately long. In addition, I lowered the placement of the back pockets by an inch. Lastly, the back belt loop is a tad short for my fingers to try and stuff the ties through them. So I lengthened the height of them by half an inch.

These were made just in time for warmer weather, or whenever I feel like going fishing in Thailand. I had great fun making them, and even more fun taking the pictures with my son. Sometimes, it's difficult for me to decide which "twin" is my favourite. Which one is yours?

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