Luna Pants: why fabric makes a big difference

I made two pairs of Luna Pants with the exact same pattern pieces and ended up with pretty dramatic fit differences, so I thought I’d show them together in one post so you can see the differences, too. The first one is cotton double gauze (pretty loose weave, some drape, not much stand):
Luna Pants Luna Pants

And this one is cotton lawn (pretty tight weave, almost no drape, lots of stand):

Luna Pants

Luna Pants

See what I mean? These two fabrics make for a great illustration because they differ significantly as far as how they behave once they are sewn up into a piece of clothing. In fact, now that I’ve worn the double gauze ones around a few times, I might even go down a size if I make them out of double gauze again. The weave is so loose that you get a few extra inches of ease just because of the way the fabric moves around.

luna duo 3

So how do you figure out how to get the pants (or any garment for that matter) to fit right the first time without your precious apparel fabrics becoming an expensive experiment? My advice is always to first make a muslin (“test version”) out of actual muslin fabric (see this post to get a good overview of my garment-making process if you’re unfamiliar with making a muslin), which has zero drape and a very stable weave. This means that you’ll get a very true fit on the pattern pieces in the muslin. Then once you know what size is a true fit, you can try it out in looser fabrics (which most apparel fabrics are; cotton lawn is the one exception I can think of right off the top of my head. The fit you get with lawn is very similar to the fit you would get with muslin). Remember, you can always take in the seams to go down a size (for all of my women’s patterns, if you take 1/2″ out of each seam, you’ll get the equivalent width to the next size down).

Another option, as I mentioned above, is to go down a size. If your fabric is pretty drapelicious or loosely woven, you’re probably going to be fine with a smaller size, but remember that the length of the pattern pieces will be shorter, so you might need to add a little length. AND be sure to check the finished hip width on the next size down before you try this to make sure you’ll still have a little room left for your hips!

Luna Pants

For some reason the lawn ones look bigger in the above photo…I think  it might just be the angle. I like the olive-gold pants with a little pop of red too.

Luna Pants

Even before I started working on it, I knew that making a pattern like Luna would be a little risky: the design walks a fine line between wow-those-are-awesome and wow-are-you-really-wearing-your-pajamas, and don’t worry, I understand that people will either like it or they won’t, and I’m OK with that. My mom was dubious when I showed her those green pants; I can’t remember her exact words but let’s just say she wasn’t the target audience for this pattern. I’m not going to try to convince those of you who aren’t on board that these will look great on you; your confidence in a design is just as important as the design when it comes to feeling good in your clothes, and Luna is definitely one of those patterns that is a matter of personal taste.

For those of you who love the look of Luna and are excited about the pattern but aren’t exactly sure if you will be able to pull it off and end up with something fantastic, hopefully you can see that the fabric you choose is really important. If you can make these out of a fabric that will drape the way you want it to, that’s half the battle. And I think you will love these most if you find a fabric that is either pretty lightweight, or has quite a bit of drape. Heavier fabrics are probably not a great idea, and the same goes for fabrics that are mid-weight with no drape (quilting cottons, for example, might not be the most flattering or comfortable, depending on the manufacturer).

Are you getting excited for this pattern?? I am! We are on the home stretch with this one so it should be ready soon.

Update: Luna Pants Pattern is now available!   buy now

Pattern: Luna Pants Sewing Pattern

Fabric: Cotton and Steel Bespoke Double Gauze and Cotton and Steel Mesa Lawn by Alexia Abegg

20 thoughts on “Luna Pants: why fabric makes a big difference

    • Yes I love that pair too, so glad you like it!! That pair was made with quilting cotton from Tsuru by Cloud9 — I’ve always felt that the QC’s from Cloud9 and Art Gallery in particular were more garment-friendly than other manufacturers!

  1. Love them! I’ll be trying a cropped version without elastic in the cuffs. Is it wrong to plan a variation to the pattern before it’s even released yet…?

  2. Approximately how much fabric do they take? (Not that I’m already planning a pair and watching sale prices of my fabric prospective fabrics…)

  3. What’dya think about fleece for these? I wasn’t really thinking of making them for stylin’ so much as I’m thinking of making them to feel comfy-womfy. That, and matching my daughter when I make her some more Moon Pants in fleece – a la sweat pants for home.

  4. I love this look! This might be a silly question but what would you wear for footwear in the dead of MI winter with these? Perhaps their house pants until Spring 🙂

    • Laura – We’re working on some style posts to get us through the winter in Luna Pants. Short boots are at the top of the list! stay tuned.

  5. I’m always looking for more “secret pajamas” I can wear to work. What do you think about a silk shantung for these? Has a little stiffness, looks fancy…

  6. Love these Luna Pants, they’re definitely on my to do list. Would you mind letting me know what pattern is used for that gorgeous yellow sweater, I would really love to make one as well…Thankyou

    • Hi Meryl,

      The sweater was an Anthropologie purchase, sorry to disappoint! I’m sure there’s a pattern for this somewhere, though… 😉

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