Featured Image Credit: @StarWarsIRL

This Cara Dune pants tutorial will cover making a pattern for the panels on the pants and sewing them to the legs. You will also be adding a waistband to the pants.

Supplies I used:

Stretchy teal colored pants
Hexagon Fabric
Piping (make it yourself or buy premade)
EZ Steam fusible tape (or something similar)
Black thread
Copy Paper
Water soluble marking pencil
Seam Ripper

Seam Allowance: it varies throughout the tutorial


Drafting the leg panel pattern

For the pattern, I created 2 pieces to create one leg panel (front and back). I created this pattern from the existing pants I bought.

Step 1: I laid the pants face up with the inseam, side seam and the waist flat on one pant leg. From the top of the waist at the side seam, I drew a straight line downwards (in a diagonal direction) and stopped it 1 inch below the crotch line in the middle of the leg.

From that point, I drew another straight line diagonally to the bottom of the pant leg 1 inch away from the bottom of the side seam.

front pants line drawing

Step 2: Flip the pants over so the back is facing up. Flatten the same pant leg you drew on in Step 1. At the top of the waist, 1 inches from the center seam, draw a line downwards to the bottom of the pant leg, ending 1 inch from the side seam.

back line drawing for cara dune pants

Step 3: I transferred both sides of the leg panel to copy paper by following this tutorial on making a pattern from existing clothes.

Leave the lines on your pants! This will come in handy when you sew the panels on.

I ended up with 2 separate pattern pieces that looked like this. I added a 3/8″ (1.3 mm) seam allowance to the side seam and waist because that’s what size seam the pants seem to have.

My trim only has a 1/4″ (6 mm) seam allowance so that is what I added to the pattern on the side where the piping will be sewn.

The bottom has a 1/2″ seam allowance so I can easily fold the excess to the inside of the pant leg.


Sewing the leg panels on the pants

For pants, I selected a pair of stretchy dress trousers from Wal-Mart that were dark teal colored. They did not have any pockets, front zippers or buttons and were easy to slip on. However, they did have an invisible zipper on the left side. The image below are what my pants looked like.

dark teal dress pants

You will need pants without pockets! This is a must. A zipper closure and button are okay since the screen used pants obviously have a zipper fly. You’ll just have to accommodate for the button and zipper when adding the waistband or skip the waistband all together.

Step 1: Cut 2 of each pattern piece from the hexagon fabric.

Step 2: Sew piping down the inside length of all the pieces. Press the piping seam allowance under the hexagon fabric.

If you’re using faux leather trim, please test a scrap piece under your iron first! If it melts, use a pressing cloth over the trim and keep your iron set to synthetic fabrics or lower (medium to low heat) without steam. I used a piece of cotton fabric over my trim.

piping illustration

Step 4: With a seam ripper, I removed the zipper from the side of my pants and opened the leg all the way down the side seam.

Step 5: I fused some EZ Steam tape along the lines I drew on each pant leg in Step 1 and 2. Then I placed the panels on the legs sitting directly on top of the lines, right side facing up. This helps me keep the panel in place while I sew it without having to use pins. It just works so much easier and it allows you to sew the panels straight.

Step 6: To permanently secure the panels on the pants, I stitched “in the ditch” between the piping and hexagon fabric all the way down the leg. Then I top stitched 1/4″ (6 mm) away from the piping on the hexagon fabric side.

When I got close to the bottom of the leg, I folded the excess hexagon fabric under the hem and made sure my top stitching caught it to secure it in place.

Repeat this process on the other side of the pant leg.

Step 7: I turned the pant legs inside out, pinned the side seam together, and sewed it shut with a 3/8″ (1 cm) seam allowance. Use whatever seam allowance your pants already have so you don’t alter the pants size. If your pants fit a little big, you can increase the seam allowance to suit your needs.

Step 8: Repeat Steps 4-7 on the other pant leg.


Adding the waistband

I found my pants to come a little too high on my torso so this process worked perfectly for my pants. I cut the waist band off, added the hexagon fabric over the waist band, and then sewed it back onto the pants.

This will make the waist sit a little lower on your torso because you are reducing the height when you sew the waist band back onto the pants.

If your waist is already at a suitable height, you can forego cutting the waist and apply the fabric directly on top of the pants. Use fusible table to secure them to the pants and then top stitch at the top and bottom parts of the waist band.

Step 1: I made a waist band pattern from my current pants. To do this, I cut the waist off 3 inches below the top of the waist.

I then traced HALF the waist band onto some copy paper, trued the lines, and added 3/8″ (1 cm) seam allowance on the left side and bottom. On the top I added 1.5″ allowance so I could fold it over the waist. The right side (which is the center front) has no seam allowance since it will be cut on the fold.

waist band pattern and seam allowances

Step 2: Next, I cut out 2 pieces of hexagon fabric for the waistband with the right side aligned to a fabric fold.

I sewed the 2 pieces, right sides together, along the side seams with a 3/8″ (1 cm) seam allowance.

Step 3: I slipped the hexagon waist band over the pants waistband I cut off in Step 1 and aligned the bottom edges. Right side facing out. With a basting stitch (longest stitch setting), I basted the hexagon waist band to the pants waist band very close to the edge, about 1/8″ (3mm) away.

Step 4: Then I folded the top edge of the hexagon fabric over the edge and top stitched with 1/4″ seam allowance.

Step 5: To sew the waistband back on the pants, I aligned the bottom of the hexagon waistband with the pants raw edge, right sides together. I then sewed all the way around the waist with a 3/8″ (1 cm) seam allowance.

This is where the waist gets shortened because adding this seam takes 3/4″ off the height of your waist.

I pressed the seam and that’s it! PANTS ARE COMPLETE.