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  • Nicole Seafolk

Pattern Hack: Adding a Zippered Pocket to Leggings

This post was written for the PheeFabrics blog! be sure to check out their amazing selection of high end athletic fabric!

Pockets. Oh, pockets.

There great scandal of the lack of pockets in women’s apparel is still raging in the ready-to-wear world but how lucky are we as sewists to get to add pockets to literally anything we desire!? Even to leggings, a traditionally pocketless garment that is so lovely in so many other ways.

Today I wanted to share with you how I quickly, and easily add a zippered pocket to the back waist band of your very favorite legging pattern, perfect for keeping keys safe and secure when you are exercising (or shopping, I don’t judge!). The only thing besides your fabric and pattern you need for this hack is a 7″ zipper in a color of your choosing! Let’s get started!

I am using the Patterns for Pirates contoured waistband for the Peg Leg pattern in this tutorial but this technique would work for any legging pattern you may have. My go-to fabric for this hack is the supplex from Phee Fabrics. It is stable enough to hold a zipper like this but also movable and breathable enough to be a dream to work out in.

Begin by finding the center point of your back waist band both vertically and horizontally. Mark that point with a washable marker (I still use crayola, it has never failed me!).

Draw a box 5 inches long and 1/2 inches tall around that center point with your washable marker and a point 1/4 of an inch in from each short edge in the middle of the box.

Using small fabric scissors cut a line straight down the middle of your box stopping at the 1/4 point marks. From those points, make small snips at an angle toward the corners of your box.

With your zipper open, place the right side of one zipper half against the cut slit and pin in place. Flip the zipper to place the edge of the other zipper side against the other edge of the slit and pin in place. The teeth of the zipper should be facing down and outwards.

Stitch the zipper to the waist band piece using a straight stitch down the middle of the zipper tape. Flip the zipper ends and pull to the wrong side of the waistband, tucking in the end tabs of the waistband as well. Press well (but be careful not to melt any of the zipper teeth).

Top stitch around the entire zipper 1/8 of an inch from the folded under edges. Be sure to secure stitches at beginning and the end.

Continue to assemble both your inner and outer waistbands as instructed in your pattern through attaching them together with a top seam.

Once joined, flip your waistbands so that both the inner and outer waistbands are facing outward and press the upper seam. Use your washable marker to draw parallel lines equal distance from the ends of your zipper, mine are 1 1/4 inches out for reference. using a stretch stitch on your sewing machine (a small zig-zag or the lightening stitch work)sew down those two parallel lines and finish your leggings as your pattern instructs!!

See how easy was that!

I am wearing my new olive supplex leggings (with zippered pocket!) with a winter white Rayon Spandex Madelyn Top, both fabrics are two of my favorites from Phee!

The Madelyn has a straight hem option included but to give it a sportier vibe I added a a multi length curved hem, another super quick hack you can find here!

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