Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Adding Pockets to a Workout Shirt

Cycling jerseys, while admittedly not the most flattering of garments, have one enormous practical advantage over standard workout tops: pockets. Deep back pockets, with elasticised tops, that can hold all kinds of doodads safely tucked away but still within easy reach.

Since I love to take my camera on my walks (in addition to keys and occasionally a cell phone), I decided my favourite workout shirt needed some pockets too.

Attached pocket made using a Lycra print from my stash

Here's how I did it:

I marked the back of the shirt with chalk lines as placement guides...


...then measured the marked rectangle and did a bit of math to determine how large to cut my pocket fabric.

You can add any seam allowance you like -
I chose 3/8" because that's how wide
my presser foot is on one side. : )

I cut the rectangle (on the cross-grain as it  happens; length-of-grain would also be fine) and basted a line up each side edge to use as a fold guide later:


Using a standard zigzag stitch, elastic was applied to the top edge (wrong side) of the pocket. (A serger would work even better.) I cut the elastic a bit shorter than the edge and stretched it slightly while stitching...


...then folded the edge over and stitched it down, catching the elastic in the stitches.


Then I realized that I'd forgotten to mark the center of the pocket. Oops! (It would have been much easier had I done it before applying the elastic. A lesson for me.)


I pinned the pocket to the shirt, right sides facing, placing the raw edge of the pocket 3/8" in from the bottom line, and matching the edges and the centerline:


...AND being careful to fold the side edges in before pinning, as I planned to topstitch them down later:


Then I stitched across the bottom, 3/8" in from the edge, using a tiny zigzag. Here's the pocket, stitched across the bottom, and flipped right side up to hide the seam:


Next I pinned the pocket down the middle (matching the center marks), and topstitched it to the shirt with a medium zigzag stitch...


...then pinned the sides under and to the shirt (lining them up with the chalk lines), and edgestitched them down with the same medium zigzag. (Sorry, no exciting stitching pictures.)


Lycra is a bit squishy and slippery, and  likes to bunch up under the presser foot sometimes - so my side edge stitching did not come out as perfectly as it could have. (But it was good enough for me.)

And here's my shirt with its new pockets ready to hold my camera case and cell phone.


It's hands-free walking for Mrs. M from now on. : )

P.S. If you'd like to add pockets to a workout shirt, any stretch fabric will do - you could even cut up an old t-shirt. If using a fabric with minimal stretch, I would recommend making a few small tucks across the bottom edge of the pocket before attaching it to the shirt. This will give the pocket some room at the bottom (think of the difference between a flat paper bag and one with a square bottom), and will help prevent stress on the seams. Since I was using a very stretchy fabric I omitted the tucks.

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22 comments:

  1. Great idea, when I go out dog walking I always have multiple things with me, and got fed up with having my trouser pockets stuffed full of keys, phone etc... I must admit to buying a healthy back bag, although if I had the wherewithal I would have made one....it is brilliant though.

    I'm liking doodads, I'm definitely an oojamaflip sorta girl!

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    1. Oo, oojamaflip is an even better word, if I can just remember it....

      Thanks, Faith! :)

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  2. Brilliant. I have a couple of jerseys I bought on clearance (probably because they have no pockets) with the intention of adding pockets, and I've yet to get around to it. You just made my job easier. :)

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    1. Wow, I didn't know anyone made them without pockets. Seems almost a contradiction in terms. :)

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  3. Good idea. And a great tutorial. You've really got this lark nailed Sue. have you thought of adding a tutorial page with links to them all so they're easy to find :D

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    1. Thanks, Annie - I have thought of that. It's on my long mental list of blog improvements and tweaks. I may call on you for tips. :)

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  4. PS I know they're in your Things I Natter on about, but giving them their own page would really attract folks attention to them :D

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  5. Sue: the clever comer-up-with idea gal!

    This is genius. :-)

    I take it that it holds your camera and phone.

    I'm looking forward to more beautiful photos of your adventures.

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    1. Thanks Astri! It holds way more than I thought it would - I could probably have made it smaller. :)

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  6. What a brilliant idea, hands free walking with a pocket to carry all the necessities is perfect. Hugs,
    Meredith

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    1. Thanks, Meredith! I'm popping over to your blog - thought I was following you but Blogger has been dropping people from my list for the last few months and I don't always catch it. :)

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  7. Great tutorial. I always need more pockets or better pockets. I can add pockets and take my gizmos and gadgets with me. Thanks

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    1. You're welcome, Beth - and I expect your pockets to be pieced wonders of fabric beauty. :)

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  8. What a super idea. My husband is a cyclist and wears jerseys but it has never occurred to me to put pockets on my shirts for walking. You are definitely one smart cookie.

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  9. Great idea, looks well done too.

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    1. Thanks Anne - could have been better done but it works and that's the important thing. I save my perfectionism for grammar and crochet. :)

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  10. Ha! I think you have talent oozing out of your pores. I sure hope all that oozing doesn't interfere with any oojamaflaps...flips! Oojamaflips!

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    1. Oozing oojamaflips ... good name for a band. :)

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  11. Such a clever idea! I like your bright pocket.

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