Sewing Blog

Free Sewing Tip #1: How To Line Knit Pants

Enjoy this tip? Learn more about Sandra Betzina’s online sewing class, Pant Fitting Techniques.

Hi I’m Sandra Betzina from Power Sewing, and I’m also an instructor with Craftsy. I thought you might want to see a really cool technique I came up with last year: lining knit pants.

Knit pants are great because they’re comfortable when you’re traveling. But what’s the problem with knit pants? The knee bags out, the seat bags, and pretty soon you don’t want to wear them anymore. So I came up with a technique for lining knit pants that is very fast. Now you don’t have to do a crazy lining like this, but it does have to be a knit lining. Because you see, this pair of pants is wool double-knit, and I made it from my favorite pattern: Vogue 1197. It’s a slim pull-on, but it’s not a legging, and it’s really a beautiful pant. So, I’m going to line it in knit. Now, I have two choices for knits. Well, actually I have three, including the crazy knit that I didn’t make anything else out of, and then there’s tricot.

See, usually, these crazy print knits are polyester, and they tend to be hot. So does tricot. Tricot’s nylon and tends to be hot. So if you have a tendency to be warm, you want to use one of the linings that the outdoor companies use. This is the lining that wicks moisture to the outside. It comes in black and it comes in white.

So let’s talk about how we do it. I made some little miniature step-by-steps here so you can see how this works. So I’m going to cut a pair of pants—a little miniature pant—and I cut that from the pattern, and then I also cut the lining from the pattern. There’s one exception: the lining is cut when it’s shorter. So I sew the bottom of the lining to the bottom of the pant, so that’s going to pull it up in just a second. But I set it up with a little zig-zag so it will stretch.

Now, I take this and I match up the inner-leg seam (it doesn’t have an outer-leg seam), and I sew the pant from the crotch point, which is here, down to the bottom of the pant and then go on further, right on to the lining. Remember, we have a zig-zag stitch (I usually use a small zig-zag, a 1 width, and a 2.5 length and I use a 75/11 knit needle). I just continue and sew right on past the lining and up to the next crotch. So here it is, I sew the whole thing like this. I came right through here, right past there, and now I turn the pant so that it’s wrong-side out like this. Remember, these are little pants. What we’re looking for is a little place to match up the crotch. So here’s the crotch seam. That really was the only seam I had to sew to turn it into the leg. And so I’m going to sew around the crotch. This is called the saddle. The saddle is the front and back crotch together like this. Then I’m also going to sew the top of the pant together, so I’ll sew it here, and I’ll sew it here. When I do this, the cool thing about is that, because I cut my lining shorter, I don’t have to do any hemming because my lining pulls it up.

Now let’s go over to my next step-by-step. So, I have one pant that I’ve sewn around the saddle and across the top, and I have another with the same. So I have one pant leg wrong-side out and one right-side out. So my next step is to take the right-side-out pant and put it down inside of the wrong-side-out pant. Now yours are going to be much easier because you have a full size. But what we’re looking for here is to pin the crotches together like this. So the only thing I sew here is this around the edge. So I don’t sew the top now. Just the saddle, because once I sew that—let me turn that right-side out so you can get a feeling about what it’s like—the saddle is a “U.” Let me show you what I’ve got here. So then I have the little pant, like this, sewn together. And what you would do is just put your elastic in it. And you end up with a little knit pant that’s all lined. And here’s the full-size one. It’s just so great to do this technique. In fact, it’s in a book of mine called Power Sewing Toolbox #2, and I go step-by-step through this. And so many people have written that they love this technique.

So that’s the story of lining knit pants. This is Sandra Betzina, and I’ll be on



As I saw it the lining and pant crotch are sewn as one piece (as if there is not a lining) and the raw edge of fabric(s) in crotch is visible. Am I understanding this correctly? Really I think I’d like it better if the lining crotch seam was sewn separately as would be the outside part of the garment, and then have the waist seam connected as is the hem. That way there’s no raw edges anywhere.
Can it be done that way?


From Sandra:
When I am lining a woven pant I simply finish each crotch separately like you suggested but I find when lining a knit pant that the lining and the outer pant need to be anchored at the crotch so that they do not separate since the lining seam would show through in a close fitting knit. I then usually Hong Kong Finish the crotch seam where they are both joined but we ran out of time to show that in the video. Great question!


I thought it was going to be how to line knit pants that I already have. I really don’t want to make the pants nor do I want to take mine apart to do what she is doing. Not quite what I need.

Eva Suzanne Fuqua

Thank you, Sandra for the excellent information!


What I’ve done more for wool pants than knits, but it works with any pants is to make a totally separate lining. Sort of like a slip is to a dress, this is a pair of pants with elastic waist that I make out of lining fabric. I put this lining on over underwear and under my wool pants. Then I can easily throw the lining in the wash and save having to take my wool pants to the dry cleaners as often. But I don’t see any reason you couldn’t wear this only knit pants, unless the knits fit very tightly. It would probably work for your knit pants too, Bernadette


Hi Sandra, I am taking several sewing related Craftsy courses and when your Pant Fitting Techniques was offered, I jumped at the chance to learn. Thank you very much for sharing all of your experience and this tip is a beauty….like a lot of women in the ‘middle years’ ( I’m 62 on Halloween ) this type of pant suits my lifestyle and shape and is a favorite choice…now I can keep them looking smart as well as practical. Cheers from Adelaide South Australia.


Hi Cherryl, We’re so glad to hear you are loving Sandra’s class! We’d absolutely love to see your finished pair of pants from the class. Be sure to share a project of them when you’re done here:


I just got the link to this video from Patternreview –er “bespokeability” and I LOVE your way of doing this . Thank you for the free lesson Sandra!!! I have been wanting to line some knoits and the patternreview post adapted your method for a knit dress and the dress looks fantastic . I will be using your method !


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