Knit Luna Pants

Tips for sewing Luna in knit

As you may already know, I love sewing with knits (here’s my KNITS page), and I’m always interested in whether knit fabrics will work my patterns. All of my current women’s patterns are designed for woven fabrics, but occasionally I add knits to the suggested fabric list. Originally I wasn’t sure if the Luna Pattern would work in knit fabric, but then Kelli of Cut Cut Sew made one of her test pairs in knit and declared it a win.

knit luna pants

Shortly after that, I found this super-stretchy grey heather knit at a local shop and decided to give it a try. As you can see, it worked quite nicely. They’re shown here with my Nani Iro tee from way back and my newly-painted garage wall.

sewing luna in knit

These have become one of my favorite every day Lunas. I wore them last week to yoga and they were perfect because they stay put when I’m sticking my legs straight up in the air. Woot!!

Luna Pants in knit

Here are a few tips for making a successful pair of Luna Pants with knit fabric, along with some pics of my pair in progress so you can get an idea for what it’s like to make them!

TIPS FOR SEWING LUNA IN KNIT

Consider cutting a size smaller than you would normally wear.
I went down a size and these are still plenty roomy. Keep in mind that you’ll lose a little length both overall and in the rise. I compensated by folding over a smaller cuff elastic casing (1/2″ instead of 1″) at the hems to get back a little length.

sewing luna in knit

Add knit interfacing to the waistband
Knits are easier to work with if you add knit interfacing! My favorite is this tricot interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply; it’s stretchy and adds stability to make the waistband easier to work with.

sewing luna in knit

Try Wonder Clips instead of pins
Some knits can get small holes from pinning (the sharp ends of the pins can puncture the threads and cause the fabric to unravel). Even if you’re not worried about that, pins can come out of the fabric easily due to the way that knit fabric stretches around when it’s being worked with. Wonder Clips (you can get them at most fabric shops or online) are great for holding everything in place!

sewing luna in knit

Use a serger
I know it’s all the rage to say that you can sew knits without a serger, but these pants are SO MUCH EASIER to sew if you’ve got a serger. The seams will be more flexible, better looking on the inside, and the whole project will go four times faster.

One last thing to mention, though it’s pretty obvious: I added a twill-tape drawstring to this pair (it’s a mod you can find the instructions to in the How to Add a Drawstring to Luna tutorial). The buttonholes were a bit tricky to sew in knit. I’m sure there’s some tip for that I haven’t discovered yet, but I ended up sewing each buttonhole twice to reinforce the stitching. Should have used matching thread…live and learn.

sewing luna in knit

sewing luna in knit

Hopefully these tips will have you well on your way to sewing yourself a fun new pair of knit Luna Pants!

Luna Pants in knit

This post is part of the Luna Pantsalong! Here’s a list of all the previous posts:

Let’s have a Luna Pantsalong!
Luna Pantsalong: Inspiration
Luna Pantsalong: Planning
Luna Pantsalong Day 1: Measure, Print, Tape, and Trace
Luna Pantsalong Day 2: Make a Muslin
Luna Pantsalong Day 3: Cutting
Luna Pantsalong Day 4: Steps 1-4
Luna Pantsalong Day 5: Steps 5-9
How to add a drawstring to Luna Pants
(you can find the Luna Pants sewing pattern here if you need it)

If you’re sewing your own pair of Lunas, please snap a photo of your pants when you’re finished and send it to me, or tag them on Instagram or Facebook or Twitter with #lunapantsalong or #lunapantspattern; it also helps to tag me (@madebyrae) so I’ll see them!

Loominous Lunas

Loominous lunas

Here’s another one of my recent pairs of Luna Pants, this one with a drawstring! I just posted a tutorial on how to add a drawstring, so if you want to try this variation you can check out that post.

Luna Pants with a drawstring

These are ridiculously comfortable — almost as comfortable as my double gauze pair — because of the super soft, loose weave fabric from the Loominous collection by Anna Maria Horner. I fell in love with the fabric when I was watching Anna’s scarf class on Creativebug and she whipped out a piece of this fabric and kind of flung it through the air in slo-mo and I was like WHOA I MUST HAVE THAT and the rest is history. I even bought more yardage after making these pants so I can make a matching Ruby Top and maybe experience the jumpsuit phenomenon firsthand by wearing them together (I KNOW. Stay tuned). Anyway, here’s a closeup of the fabric:

Loominous lunas

The areas that have the basket weave pattern are particularly loosely-woven, which made the fabric a little difficult to work with, so I used a serger to finish all of the seams. I also interfaced the waistband, which you can see in the photos for the drawstring tutorial. Totally worth it to have such a comfortable pair of pants.

Luna Pants with a drawstring

Obligatory rear view:

Luna Pants with a drawstring

This here is pretty much my “mom” uniform. Tee, luna pants, Toms.

Luna Pants with a drawstring

Luna Pants with a drawstring

Have you made a pair of Luna Pants? Post your photos with the tag #lunapantsalong or add them to the Luna Pants photo pool. I’ll be doing a round up of all your Luna makes here on the blog soon! You can see all of my Pantsalong blog posts on the Luna Page.

 

How to add a drawstring to Luna Pants

luna drawstring tutorial

One of my favorite things to add to the Luna Pants pattern is a drawstring, so I’m sharing a tutorial here to walk you through adding your own! This is part of the Luna Pantsalong; here’s a list of all the previous posts:

Let’s have a Luna Pantsalong!
Luna Pantsalong: Inspiration
Luna Pantsalong: Planning
Luna Pantsalong Day 1: Measure, Print, Tape, and Trace
Luna Pantsalong Day 2: Make a Muslin
Luna Pantsalong Day 3: Cutting
Luna Pantsalong Day 4: Steps 1-4
Luna Pantsalong Day 5: Steps 5-9
(you can find the Luna Pants sewing pattern here if you need it)

Now for the drawstring: it’s so easy! Here’s a quick how-to:

Step 1: After attaching the waistband in Step 5 of the pattern, I press a small 1″ by 1.5″ rectangle of fusible interfacing directly over the front center seam on the inside of the pants, just below the waistband seam.

Sidenote: I used fusible interfacing to stabilize my waistband facings for this pair of pants, since the fabric (Loominous by Anna Maria Horner) has a very loose weave.

How to add a drawstring to Luna Pants / made by rae

Step 2: Mark and sew two buttonholes on either side of the center seam. I used 3/4″ wide twill tape for my drawstrings, so I made the buttonholes 3/4″ tall.

How to add a drawstring to Luna Pants / made by rae

Step 3: Stitch down the ends of two 20″ lengths of twill tape (or whatever you are using for your drawstring) at each side seam, just below the waistband seam. You can adjust the length of your drawstrings to whatever length you would like; I find 20″ works for me (I wear a size M/L).

This method places the drawstring through just the front half of the waistband, with elastic through the entire waistband. I prefer this because when it’s tied in the front, I can still pull the pants on and off easily. If you’d prefer a full drawstring, just use one long length of drawstring (60″ would probably work for most waists) and stitch it down at the back center seam instead.

How to add a drawstring to Luna Pants / made by rae

Step 4: Thread the ends of the drawstring through the buttonhole openings, being careful not to twist them.

How to add a drawstring to Luna Pants / made by rae

Step 5: Press the waistband back down into the pants, over the drawstring and pin and stitch it in place (this is Step 6 of the sewing instructions), leaving an opening in the back for the elastic just as you would if you were making the pants without a drawstring.

How to add a drawstring to Luna Pants / made by rae

Step 6: Once you’ve threaded the elastic through the waistband and closed the opening in the back, try the pants on and check the length of the drawstrings. Shorten them at this point if you would like. Then fold under and stitch the ends of the drawstrings to prevent them from fraying at the ends.

loominous lunas

Voila! Luna Pants with a drawstring!

Don’t forget to snap a photo of your pants when you wear them and email it to me, or tag them on Instagram or Facebook or Twitter with #lunapantsalong or #lunapantspattern; it also helps to tag me (@madebyrae) so I’ll see them!

Luna Pantsalong Day 5: Steps 5-9

In this post I’m going to cover the second half of the Luna Pants sewing instructions. These steps include attaching the waistband and finishing the cuffs. Once you’ve completed these steps, you’ll have a wearable pair of Luna Pants!

Luna Pantsalong Day 5

Here are the previous Pantsalong posts:

Let’s have a Luna Pantsalong!
Luna Pantsalong: Inspiration
Luna Pantsalong: Planning
Luna Pantsalong Day 1: Measure, Print, Tape, and Trace
Luna Pantsalong Day 2: Make a Muslin
Luna Pantsalong Day 3: Cutting
Luna Pantsalong Day 4: Steps 1-4
(you can find the Luna Pants sewing pattern here if you need it)

Check fit
Before you attach the waistband, I’d recommend that you try the pants on and check the fit, both width-wise and length-wise. If adjustments are necessary at this point, it’s much easier to make them now than after the waistband and cuffs are finished.

Step 5: Sew Facings together
Sew the front and back waistband together at the sides, making sure that the notches are pointing up on both pieces (you don’t want to accidentally attach one upside down). I like to remember that the front will curve downward, and the back will curve upward, so it’s like attaching a smile to a frown.

Luna Pantsalong Day 5

Press the seam allowances apart, then press up ½” along the botttom edge of the facings (the edge without notches).

Step 6: Attach facings to pants

Place the facings over the top of the pants with right sides facing and raw edges together.

Luna Pantsalong Day 5

Pin them together, matching up the side seams and notches, then sew the top edges together with a 1/2″ seam.

Luna Pantsalong Day 5

After the facings are sewn to the pants, press everything upward, away from the pants (seam allowances included). Trim the seam allowance down to 1/4″, then stitch 1/8″ above the seam, through the facing and the seam allowances (so, through three layers of fabric) to understitch this seam. This keeps the facing inside the pants and prevents it from rolling upward and showing on the outside of the pants.

Luna Pantsalong Day 5

Here’s a closeup of what the understitching looks like:
Luna Pantsalong Day 5

Press the waistband facing down into the inside of the pants and pin the lower edge in place, capturing and hiding the tops of the pockets under the edge of the waistband (IMPORTANT: MAKE SURE THEY ARE ON THE FRONT OF THE PANTS AND NOT THE BACK. ASK ME HOW I KNOW).

Luna Pantsalong Day 5

Stitch down the lower edge of the waistband.

Luna Pantsalong Day 5

Remember to leave 1-2” gap at back for elastic! I like to use two vertical pins to remind myself where to start and stop stitching.

Luna Pantsalong Day 5

Step 7: Sew cuffs
Press the cuffs along the fold lines you pressed earlier. Then sew along the top folded edge to create a casing for the elastic, leaving 1″ open at the inseams for the elastic.

Luna Pantsalong Day 5

I find this step is easiest to sew if you turn the pants right side out, and sew “inside the tunnel” created by the end of the pant leg, as shown here.

Luna Pantsalong Day 5

Steps 8 and 9: Add elastic
Thread the elastic through the waistband and cuffs with a safety pin or bodkin. Pin the ends together, ovelapping them by 1/2,” and try on the pants to check the fit for comfort. Adjust the elastic in both locations as needed, then stitch the ends of the elastic together.

Luna Pantsalong Day 5

Luna Pantsalong Day 5

Luna Pantsalong Day 5

Close the elastic hole at the back of the waistband by stitching the bottom edge of the waistband down. Stitch the cuff openings shut as well.

Hint: Add a tag to help tell front from back by sliding a piece of ribbon or twill tape into the elastic hole before stitching it shut.

Luna Pantsalong Day 5

Finally, stitch through all layers of the waistband at the side seams to prevent the elastic from rolling in the waistband when it’s worn or washed. You can do this at the front and back center seams too if you’d like.

Luna Pantsalong Day 5

Luna Pantsalong Day 5

Congratulations! You’ve completed your Luna Pants!! I’m dying of cute over these microscopic demo pants — they’re only 20″ tall — I sort of wish I had a full-sized pair. Good thing I have so many other pairs.

Luna Pantsalong Day 5

Don’t forget to snap a photo of your pants when you wear them and email it to me, or tag them on Instagram or Facebook or Twitter with #lunapantsalong or #lunapantspattern; it also helps to tag me (@madebyrae) so I’ll see them!

Luna Pantsalong Day 4: Steps 1-4

Now it’s time to sew your Luna Pants! In this post I’m going to cover Steps 1-4 of the Luna Pants sewing instructions. You’ll need your cut pieces (see the last post on cutting for some hints and visual aids) and your copy of the instructions handy to complete this portion of the sewalong.

Luna Pantsalong Day 4

Here are the previous Pantsalong posts:

Let’s have a Luna Pantsalong!
Luna Pantsalong: Inspiration
Luna Pantsalong: Planning
Luna Pantsalong Day 1: Measure, Print, Tape, and Trace
Luna Pantsalong Day 2: Make a Muslin
Luna Pantsalong Day 3: Cutting
(you can find the Luna Pants sewing pattern here if you need it)

First, I want to remind you that the seam allowance for this pattern is 1/2″ for all seams (except for the very first step, as noted), and all seams are sewn with right sides together. After sewing each seam, you should press it, and then finish it as desired. You can download and print my free Seam Finishes printable for reference. I’ve also posted about some of my favorite seam finishes in this post.

Luna Pantsalong Day 4

Step 1: Attaching the pockets
For this step, each of the four pant pieces needs to have a pocket attached at the side. To do this, pin one pocket to one pant leg at the notches, and sew each pocket on with a 3/8″ seam, one at a time. Note that this is the only time you’ll use a 3/8″ seam in this pattern; you want your pockets attached with a slightly smaller seam allowance than you’ll use to sew the side seams in Step 2.

Hint: After you’ve pinned each pocket to each pant piece, line up the sides to make sure that all of the pockets are the exact same distance from the top of the pants. This will help make sure that all of your pockets will line up nicely when it’s time to sew the pockets together.

Luna Pantsalong Day 4

Press the pocket and seam allowances towards the pocket, away from the pant leg (so outward, if you’re thinking of it relative to the body once they’re worn).  For the seam finish here, I like to zig zag the pant/pocket edges together from top to the bottom of the pockets, or use a serger. If you would like, you can also finish the entire side seam edges of the pant pieces at this time; it’s somewhat easier if you finish the edges before you sew the next step.

Hint: If your seam finishes make it hard to see the notches (for instance, my serger trims off the edges), use a piece of chalk to re-mark the notch locations.

Step 2: Sew side seams and pocket seams
For this step, you’ll sew each front pant to its corresponding back pant (VERY IMPORTANT: DO NOT SEW A FRONT TO ANOTHER FRONT) along the side seams, and attach the front and back half of each pocket together. Before you sew, first pin the pieces together, and carefully line up the pocket seams so that they are directly on top of each other. It helps to pin through the pocket seams and then turn it over and check on the other side to make sure they’re lined up.

Luna Pantsalong Day 4

Then sew each front and back together along the side seams with a 1/2″ seam, from the top edge of the pants to the first notch and from the bottom notch to the hem of the pants. Since your seam allowance is 1/2″ hear, you’ll notice that this should be 1/8″ inward from the pocket seams you just sewed. Leave a gap between the two notches, and backstitch a few times at each notch. Since your hand will go in the pockets between the two notches, there is a fair amount of stress on this seam, so it helps to backtack, especially at that lower notch.

Luna Pantsalong Day 4

Now sew the pockets together along their curved edges (not the flat top part — that will get encased by the waistband facing later). Start from the top edge of the pocket, go around the curve, and stop at the side seam line (don’t go over the side seam stitches!!!).

I like to finish the edge of the pocket and the side seams all at once, by zig-zagging (or serging) from the top corner of the pocket, down the curved edge of the pocket, pivoting when I get to the side seam, and then continuing down the entire side seam to the hem. It’s not necessary to finish the small edge of the side seam above the pocket, since that will be hidden by the waistband later.

Luna Pantsalong Day 4

Press the pockets and side seams towards the front of the pants. Pin or baste the pockets in place so their tops are parallel to the top edges of the front pants. This will help prevent you from accidentally sewing the tops of the pockets into the top waistband seam later.

Luna Pantsalong Day 4

Now you should have two nice half-pants with a hole where the hand will go for the pockets!

Luna Pantsalong Day 4

Step 3: Sew center seams

Place the two pant-halves together, with the two front crotch curves lined up and the two back crotch curves lined up, right sides together.

Luna Pantsalong Day 4

Sew the front center seam and the back center seam, just along the curved portions (IMPORTANT: DON’T CONTINUE DOWN THE LEG!)

Luna Pantsalong Day 4

Finish the seam as desired. I like to press these seams to one side, use a pinking shears to trim them, and topstitch them down. Another nice option is to press the seam allowance apart and fold under and stitch down (shown below).

Luna Pantsalong Day 4

Step 4: Sew Inseams

Before I sew the inseams, I like to do something that will save a little time later: press up the cuff allowance at the bottom of each pant leg. This will make it easier to fold up and stitch the cuffs in Step 7. First fold 1/4″ up and press along the bottom of each pant leg, and then fold up and press another 1 1/4″

Luna Pantsalong Day 4

Now pin the pants together along the inseams, starting with center front and back (crotch) seams together, then pinning the bottoms of the pant legs together, and then adding a few more pins along the length of the inseam.

Luna Pantsalong Day 4

Sew both inseams downward, starting at the center/crotch and sewing toward the ankle. This is especially important if you’re using a lightweight fabric such as rayon, but no matter what fabric you are using, the direction that you sew the legs together should be consistent; in other words, don’t sew up one leg and down the other. This will help the pants to drape nicely. Another bonus of starting at the center: you can add a little extra stitching to reinforce the crotch, one of the places on a pair of pants that experiences the most Seam Stress.

Once you finish sewing the inseams, press and finish them as desired. You should see already that your pants are coming together nicely!

Luna Pantsalong Day 4

Turn them right-side out, and you’re ready to add the waistband and finish the cuffs!

Luna Pantsalong Day 4

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Are you sewing your own pair of Lunas? Join the Luna Pantsalong! Post a photo of your pants, either in progress or finished, to your blog, Flickr, or social media platform of your choice, and either link back to my blog or use the tag #lunapantsalong! I’d also love to answer any questions or comments in the comments section!