How to Add a Zippered Pocket to Your Favorite Hiking Topcomments (5) April 11th, 2009
As it gets warmer outside, my hiking outfits lose their pockets! All winter I have a fleece vest that I wear over everything. It has plenty of pockets for my iPod, phone, and the kitchen sink if I wanted to bring it along. When it's time to shed the vest, I don't bring my phone (or the kitchen sink), but there are days I need the music. Most of my spring and summer shorts and tops don't have pockets. I've tried to be clever, sticking my music in my waistband or under a bra strap. Needless to say, I've caused an untimely death to two iPods. (Even worse, I lost my favorite collection of tunes because I didn't back them up!)
Anyway, the other day I was trail running and not only was my iPod in serious danger of sweating to death under my bra strap, but it also kept dropping out. I would have to stop and tuck it back in place. This made some of those big hills even bigger! I occurred to me that I could put an end to the nonsense with a simple zippered pocket. Because my budget is tight, I decided to sew one into my favorite top and try it out. LOVE IT!!
Here's how to make a quick zippered pocket so your workout tops can be iPod (or phone, keys, pepper spray, or whatever you need to bring with you) friendly. Don't worry—you don't even need to know how to sew in a zipper!
Here's what you'll need:
- A workout top
- Scraps of lightweight knit (moisture-wicking polyester fabric works great for this; check out the selection at Rose City Textiles—they also have a good selection of organic cottons!)
- Two small pieces of fusible interfacing (1-1/4 inches wide by the length of your zipper opening plus 1 inch)
- One 7-inch invisible zipper to match your top
- Small, sharp scissors or rotary cutter
- Thread to match your top
- Wonder Tape (1/4-inch double-sided sticky tape)
Start by making a pattern piece for your pocket bags. I customized the size so that either my phone or my iPod would fit nicely.
- Draw the pocket.
- Draw in the zipper opening 1/2 inch from the top edge of the pocket (3/8 inch wide x the length of your zipper opening). Make sure your pocket is wide enough so that there is at least 1/4 inch between the ends of the opening and the stitch line.
- Add a 3/8-inch seam allowance all the way around the pocket bag.
Cut out two pocket bags from a lightweight polyester knit. I got my fabric at Rose City Textiles, which specializes in tech fabrics for outerwear. Cut two pieces of fusible interfacing that are 1-1/2 inches wide and 1 inch longer than the zipper opening. Fuse one piece of interfacing centered 1/2 inch from the top edge. Draw the zipper opening on the interfacing with a ballpoint pen.
Decide where you want to position the pocket. I like my pockets to be in the back of my top so that whatever's inside isn't jiggling around in the front. Because this top has a design weaved into it, I decided to put my zipper opening along the edge of one of the "strips" (...or whatever you'd call it).
Fuse the second piece of interfacing on the wrong side of your top, centered over the pins.
Position the pocket bag right sides together with the top. Center the zipper opening with the markings. Shorten the length of your straight stitch to 2.0 mm. Stitch all the way around the zipper opening.
Slash down the center of the zipper opening with a rotary cutter or small, sharp scissors.
Use small, sharp scissors to clip into the corners.
Pull the pocket bag through the opening. Finger-press around the edge of the opening, rolling the pocket bag to the wrong side. Press the pocket flat.
Stick two pieces of Wonder Tape (double-sided sticky tape) along the edges of the twill on the right side of your zipper. Center the tape in the middle of the zipper. (We are going to trim the ends after it's sewn into the opening.)
Center the zipper in the opening. Press down along the edges of the opening to stick the zipper to the Wonder Tape.
To finish the zipper opening, stitch all the way around the edge. The zipper should be completely zipped up and the zipper pull should be out of the way. Start stitching along the edge on the zipper pull side of the opening.
Stop sewing about an inch from the end you started with. Sink the needle into the fabric, lift the presser foot, and unzip the zipper. Then continue to sew around the final end of the opening.
Pin the pocket bags together along the edge.
Stitch all the way around the pocket bags. Be careful as you stitch along the sides where the zipper opening is.