Like most of us, I find a lot of activewear to be pricey and often ill-fitting, or perhaps not passing the squat test. Even though I am plus-sized and disabled, I do work out to maintain my fitness levels and live my healthiest life. And like many, I use monitoring apps on my phone for fitness tracking, and also for providing distraction by listening to music, podcasts, or audiobooks. I love nothing more than a good fitting pair of squat-proof workout leggings with pockets to hold my phone. Also, pockets can carry very important items: SNACKS!!
Unfortunately, these days, I am left with only one alternative in order to get my unicorn leggings with the bells and whistles that I want: I make my own. This way, they fit all of my plentiful curves, even in a grand plié or deep squat…and hold all of my necessary things.
My favorite-fitting leggings have been the Penny Leggings (aff) by Sinclair Patterns. Unfortunately, these awesome leggings do not come with pockets. So, I decided to hack them in.
Before the hack, the Penny Leggings fit me perfectly and work for so many different occasions and fabrics.
Since it is SO hot here in the summer, I decided to hack the shorts and capri length of the Penny Leggings. I started by printing and assembling the pattern as it is. The Penny Leggings are written so that they are a single seam legging pattern with a waistband. Next, I label the front and back areas of the pattern, to make sure that I don’t lose my place, nor sew up the wrong areas together.
Next, I measure on my body where the sides of my hip are compared with the layout of the pattern and mark that. I want this point to be the center-point of my newly created Side Stripe that will double as the back of the pocket. If this is a bit difficult for you to do, you can always do a muslin with a rough guess as to where you want the pocket to be. My measurements fell with it almost being directly in the middle of the pattern, but slightly a bit to the front (but every body and pocket placement preference is different). You can also choose to make your Side Stripe wider than the 4″ that I chose. Whatever size you choose, you need to then add 1/4″ seam allowances to each of the parts that are cut and next to the newly created Side Stripe (so that when you sew the Side Stripe in, you aren’t losing 1/2″ on the width of your leggings with the 2 new seams that have been created on the sides of the new Side Stripe).
Here are my markings and cutting of the Side Stripes:
In this pic, I am also marking where I would like my pocket placement to begin and end.
Now, I made a pocket template that would be the same width of the newly created Side Stripe and approximately 7″ long. You can choose to make this pocket as long as you wish, but I chose my length, based on the size of my phone.
Next, I cut out a pocket that I will sew Right Side to Right Side with a cover stitch/zig zag/twin needle/stretch stitch to lock the pocket onto the Side Stripe piece (it might feel weird sewing the pocket in a way that feels upside down, but this it forming the bottom of your pocket, so when you flip it up, it actually forms the pocket area). I chose for the pocket to sit on my mid-thigh area, but you can choose how high or low to seat your pocket.
Then, fold the pocket back so that the Wrong Side of the Pocket is facing the Right Side of the Side Stripe. Topstitch it in place to add more structure to your pocket and also to keep the pocket anchored while you sew.
Then, fold down the top of the pocket and topstitch the very top to that your pocket has a finished top edge (Wrong Side to Wrong Side of the Pocket piece…to/from itself), making sure that you are not sewing your pocket shut by sewing the pocket to anything other than itself (NOT the Side Stripe).
Next, pin or clip the Side Stripe with the anchored pocket to each of the pieces of the pattern (Front and Back pieces with their newly added 1/4″ seam allowances), Right Side to Right Side. Then, sew each, sandwiching the new Pocket in between the Side Stripe and the Back or Front Piece, and then the other).
This is what it will look like when one side is completed. Then, complete the other side.
Since the Penny leggings require one panel per leg, you will need to do this process twice, but they will be mirror images of each other.
When you are done, you are ready to move back to the tutorial for the Penny Leggings and follow the instructions for assembly. When completed, they will look like these:
Please feel free to ask any questions, and I will do may best to answer them.
Thanks for joining me in my snack pocket hack of the Penny Leggings (aff) by Sinclair Patterns.