I’ve got an exciting post for you today about our free Luna Tank pattern! This simple design has become a fan favourite in our collection and I am not surprised at all. I reach for my Luna tanks all the time, especially in the hot summer months. It’s also quick to sew, easy to fit, and (it turns out) great in knits AND wovens!
How to sew Luna in a woven fabric
There are a few things you want to do differently when sewing Luna in a woven fabric, but they are all simple and totally do-able for beginners!
- Size up. I recommend sewing one size up (Luna uses jump sizing—so for example, instead of sewing a size 20/22, sew a size 24/26).
- Staystitch. You want to staystitch the curved neck and arm holes on the front and back pieces before you start sewing. These areas are prone to stretching out.
- Hem the top. Luna features a raw hem for knit fabrics, but with a woven fabric you’re going to want to hem it. You may want to add length to the pattern since some length will be taken up in the hem. More details below.
- Finish the edges with bias binding. The knit version is finished with knit bands. With wovens, you need to cut the bands on the bias so they will stretch and curve to fit the openings. More details below.
What fabric should you choose?
We recommend a lightweight woven fabric with plenty of drape. I used a viscose linen noil for my version. Rayon/viscose challis or poplin will work well. Lightweight and drapey linens and cottons can be used as well.
Optional: You can also extend the shoulders up if you want. Some people may find the woven Luna to be tight under their armpits. If you want more room here or think you might want more room here, add some length to the straps to start. You can always take them up when you sew the shoulder seams.
Staystitch ¼” (0.6 cm) from the edge of the front and back necklines and armholes. Sew from the shoulder to the bottom of the armscye and from the shoulder to the center front or back. Stop and sew from the other shoulder to the center front or back. This prevents warping of the neckline while handling and trying on. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP.
It is easiest to hem the top now while the front and back are separate and flat. Note that you may want to add length to the pattern because some length will be taken up in the hem.
Method 1: Sew a line of basting stitches ¼” (0.6 cm) from the edge of the hem and leave long thread tails. Slightly gather the stitches to help make the hem roll towards the wrong side so you can press it in place at ⅜” (1 cm). Turn the hem again ⅜” (1 cm) to the wrong side and press. Topstitch.
Method 2: Turn up the differential feed on your serger and serge the hem edge. It should cause the fabric to curl slightly inwards. Press it towards the wrong side once or twice (your choice whether you want exposed serger thread) and topstitch in place.
Sew all the top seams
Sew the shoulder seams and side seams using a ⅜” (1 cm) seam allowance. Try on the top. This is your chance to take it in at the side seams or take the shoulders up. You can also make the top less voluminous by sewing the side seams at less of an a-line angle. Experiment with these four seams until you are happy with the fit.
Once you are satisfied with the fit, finish your seams using your preferred method and press the seams open or towards the back. Since we hemmed first and then sewed the side seam, you may want to topstitch the side seam to secure it in place and avoid it poking out the bottom.
Finish the edges with bias binding
Cut bias binding strips that are 1 ¾” (4.5 cm) wide and long enough to finish the arm and neck openings. I like to cut them really long and then have extra left over. These pieces need to be cut on the bias of the fabric. See our blog post about making your own bias tape here.
I’m going to apply this bias binding a little differently than usual. This method is quick and fun and it suits the Luna Tank vibe!
First, decide if you want the bias tape finish to be exposed or hidden, just like with the regular knit Luna Tank. I did exposed binding here so you can see what it looks like:
Hidden binding is turned to the inside of the garment and topstitched and it looks like this:
If sewing exposed bias binding, you want to stretch the bias tape out as you pin and sew. Bias tape has some give/stretch thanks to being cut on and angle, and we want to use that to our advantage. Stretch it out to get a nice, flat finish when you leave it exposed.
If sewing hidden binding, leave some slack in the bias tape and do not stretch it out as you pin and sew. You want to leave it slack so it is able to turn all the way to the inside of the garment without causing puckering or misshaping.
Fold the strips in half lengthwise with wrong sides together and press.
Pin the folded bias tape to one of the top openings with right sides together. Pin all the way around until you get to where you started. Mark where the bias tape will meet and join the bias tape tails together by opening them up and sewing them at the marking. Trim the excess, press the seam allowance open, and re-fold the bias tape.
Sew the bias tape to the top using a ⅜” (1 cm) seam allowance. Repeat for the other two openings.
Exposed bias finish: Finish the seam allowances using your preferred method and press them towards the garment. Topstitch the seam allowance onto the garment, sewing just shy of ¼” (0.6 cm) from the seam.
Hidden bias finish: Grade and clip the seam. Understitch the seam allowance to the bias binding. Press the bias binding in towards the wrong side of the garment and pin in place. Topstitch the bias binding onto the top, sewing just next to the edge of the bias binding. I like to sew from the wrong side here so I can see what I am doing.
And that’s all there is to it! I love my woven Luna Tank and I bet you would love one too. This is a FREE tank pattern for our newsletter subscribers and you can sign up to get it here! Available in sizes 0-34 (up to a 60” bust).