Pockets…for Snacks!!!!

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.

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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.

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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:

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In this pic, I am also marking where I would like my pocket placement to begin and end.4w9E+nHyQxe22KG%sS4EmQ

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.
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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.
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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:

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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.

OMP! Sinclair Patterns’ Penny Classic Leggings are pure perfection!

This week, I had the pleasure of testing a pattern for Sinclair Patterns (https://goo.gl/S7LKWK): the Penny Classic Leggings pattern. It is a pattern for either cropped/below-the-knee (capri) length or full-length leggings. The waistband is available either in a classic waistband or a comfort (wide/yoga) waistband. As with most of Sinclair Pattern’s offerings, this pattern comes in 3 size categories: petite (5’1″-5’3″), regular (5’4″-5’6″), and tall (5’7″-5’9″), in US sizes 0-22. The Australian-based pattern company hints at an expanded range of plus-sized offerings in the near future, which is an exciting possibility!

As usual with Sinclair Patterns, the fit was spot on for my body shape and size. It is an instant classic for me! I actually cut and sewed up both length options for the leggings (cropped and full length). I stuck with the classic waistband, as I am not a fan of the comfort waistband style, and there were so many others who were in the testing group.


These leggings are better than any others on the market that I have tried so far. I am a plus-sized woman, and my size 16 (in Sinclair Pattern’s sizing) fit without any need to try to adjust the seat, rise, or length. I didn’t even have to grade my pattern for the perfect fit, as I was pretty spot on with the dimensions for my size. I didn’t even have a problem with the legs turning on my calves, as some patterns require you to adjust and make sure that your front and back are cut out at a perfect 180* from each other.  This wasn’t necessary on the Penny, as the legs are cut out as a whole, which is AMAZING.  As many of you who have tried to make leggings before know, these are common issues, and sources of hours of tailoring that must be done to muslins/toiles/trial runs on cheaper fabric. With the Penny, I, personally, could have cut straight into my $16/yard athletic knit fabric with no looking back (but I took the cautious route, just in case, and did a muslin pair out of plain DBP. hahaha). I loved that I didn’t need to spend 3 hours tailoring them to my seat, to avoid the pitfalls of too much or too little fabric in delicate areas. THANK YOU, SINCLAIR PATTERNS!!! These are Pure Perfection!!

I chose to do the full leggings in double brushed polyester (DBP) from Southern Belle Fabrics (https://goo.gl/c5Uw6F) and the cropped length in a gorgeous athletic knit from Mily Mae Fabrics (https://goo.gl/mmpKpu), which made the best workout capris that I have ever owned.

The pattern suggests using your hips measurement to establish you size, but that grading might be needed for your waist, knees, and legs to get the fit that you are looking for. I went with the hip measurement which was 1/2″ below my actual measurement, assuming correctly that the negative ease found in the stretch amounts of my fabric choices would offset the difference in pattern size, when compared with my actual measurements.

The pattern calls for 1-1.25 yards of fabric for the cropped length, and 1.50-1.75 yards for the full length version. Both DBP and athletic knit/supplex worked beautifully and rivaled any off-the-rack activewear. Cotton lycra or any mid-weight fabric with 50% stretch that has good recovery would be lovely to make into your own personalized pair of perfect leggings, too. If one was wanting a higher rise in the leggings, the comfort waistband offers a slightly higher rise than the classic waistband does.

These were an incredibly easy sew, and you could be done with your leggings in under an hour, especially if you had the pattern already cut (as I had with my second pair). It is rated as 2/10 in difficulty, placing it firmly in the “easy” category.
The pattern comes with  Letter, A4, and A0 version files, meeting almost any printing need.

I did not have to trim off any excess fabric from the bottom, which was a first for me, when leggings are concerned, which was a pleasant surprise.

Don’t wait to pick up your copy today! There is an introductory sale on this pattern, making it only $6.99 now through February 28, 2018 at (https://goo.gl/S7LKWK).