New Dotty Tap Pants

I finished a simple project!

The story behind these is that back in 2015, I made cotton tap pants to wear under my dresses and skirts in the summer. Here is the link to the original post. Wow, I can’t believe it’s been five years!

The original tap pants have been great and seen tons of wear! In fact, the original pairs are pretty much threadbare on the inseams. I’m kind of surprised they’re still holding together, as there’s not much left!

I made another pair with slight pattern tweaks about two years ago, but I felt it was time to add a few more pairs into the rotation. I found great satisfaction in the theme of all three of my older pairs having dots on them (in addition to the dots on the pairs in the original blog post, the third pair was made out of scraps left over from my Bubble Dots Skirt). So when I had this idea to make more tap pants over the winter, I was on the lookout for new dotty fabrics that I could make into shorts to stay with the theme.

I would have made multiple pairs out of the green fabric if I could, but there wasn’t much left on the bolt, so I had to pick a second fabric. The white background fabric has allium flowers printed on it. I love the round shape of allium flowers in full bloom, so this fabric was what I decided on.

After being washed a few months ago, the new fabrics sat around until April, when I was inspired to tweak my pattern (again–this is the third time) and cut out the pieces. About a month after that I finally got inspired to whip these up.

As with the other tap pants I’ve made these are entirely machine sewn with the seam allowances finished with an overlock machine. The waist is zig zagged to a bit of loop edged elastic. And really, that’s all there is to them!

Sometimes a quick project is just the thing to feel successful. And it’s great to fill a wardrobe need with handmade items, especially when they bring extra joy, as these do by continuing the dotty theme.

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!)