Modern Dotty Tap Pants

I’ve been making rather slow progress on bigger projects lately, but my stack of recently started UFOs was causing me stress and I really felt the need to finish a project entirely. I had a bit of time today and used it to finish up 3 small projects, as well as fitting a final mockup so I can move on with making a pair or two of modern capris (depends on if I can squeeze two pairs out of my fabric or not) and realizing that another modern top pattern I’ve been trying to make work for me just needs to be left alone for now. If I make the conscious decision to let something go then I feel like I can take it off the to-do list and not feel like it’s a UFO, so all of these things feel like progress!

Two of my three finished projects are pretty much the same: two pairs of cotton dot printed tap pants to wear under modern and historical skirts during warm weather. They’re useful for soaking up sweat! I bought the fabric thinking I’d make a top, but then realized that I would never like a top made out of this fabric, so I decided to make these summer tap pants instead. And I really enjoy the result, because having dotty tap pants that no one will see brings me joy. Unless I’m changing at an event… and then some ladies out there might see them!


The pattern is Butterick #4289 from 1976. I made view C and altered it just slightly: eliminated the waistband, lengthened the inseam, lowered the top edge a bit, eliminated the darts, straightened the hips instead of curving them inwards to accommodate the fact that I did not include a fly, and finished the top edge with elastic. I have another pair of cotton tap pants I made sometime in the last few years that are complicated, with a fly and a waistband, but all of that is rather unnecessary, really. I was inspired to simplify the idea after purchasing some tap pants (like these, called petti pants, which are great for wearing over tights and under dresses in the winter!) and realizing how simple these garments could be.

So these are my simplified version, with a pattern that fits perfectly. Hooray! These are all nicely finished on the inside with serged seams. As I pointed, out the top edgess are finished with elastic, though I tried different methods of attaching the elastic on each pair. We’ll see if I notice a difference when wearing these. The only other thing to note, which makes me quite happy, is that I included a little blank cotton twill tape “tag” on the back seam of each pair. Without a tag it’s hard to find the back when getting dressed and this makes it very easy!

(The other project I completed today is an old pair of jeans that I cut off, reshaped the legs of, and hemmed, thereby turning them into capris! If I get pictures of me wearing them someday I’ll share, but it’s not a super high priority. It’s mostly just that I haven’t been able to find ready made capris that I like in years and so I haven’t had any that fit for years, and during the summer that is just not an enjoyable situation. So I’m glad to have some capris again!)

3 thoughts on “Modern Dotty Tap Pants

  1. I’ve been doing many similar projects. Though not tap pants, I’ve been sewing badly needed new shorts. I’ve also been thinking through how to convert old long pants into capris.

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