Wednesday, July 3, 2019

d.i.y.: pocket tights

I love my pocket riding tights. But the only two pairs I have are mid-season weight, and if it is hotter than 80 they're miserable to wear. I have one new pair of icefil tights, but I'm not really a fan (I really need to do a gear review…)

I have LOTS of other tights. I'd say 6-7 pairs. All fit great, but with no pockets. I do use my d.i.y. phone holder (far too complicated for a pattern), but the pocket in the tights is just so convenient! Phone, lipbalm, kleenex, carrots…I decided to experiment on a pair of tights I thoroughly ripped awhile back (yes, they've been sitting in the sewing basket since last November 2017).

first I had to fix these!
my old dino phone holder, still in use!

Like all my projects you need lots of complicated tools, machines and instructions…hah! No sewing machine even required for this, as long as you can hand sew a bit you'll be fine. (I do have an ancient sewing machine, but it would take me longer to figure out how to thread the needle than to finish this project.)

too hot pocket tights on left, no pocket tights on right!
First I fixed the old pants. The pattern hides the Frankenstein stitches! I used the tights I like to make a pattern: the finished pocket is about 4x7 with a sloped top edge (if you have a bigger phone size accordingly, but remember that the fabric stretches a lot!). For fabric I cut up a worn-out pair of black tights, you could buy a tiny bit of fabric if needed. You do need to choose what side you want your pocket on (or make two!). I like left, so the top slopes accordingly.


Along the top edge of the pocket I folded over and made a little pocket sleeve (ok, I've used "pocket" too many times!). That holds the elastic that is cut just a bit smaller than the final width and tacked in place (so the pocket will be tight on the top edge).

sleeve for elastic at top

I folded the edge over a bit and pinned the whole pocket onto the tights, using the mid-leg seam as a guide. The other side just goes down the side wherever it ends up. The seam is stronger, but the pocket would have been too wide if it went the whole length. (maybe if you have a giant phone?).

pocket is pinned on

I can't show the black thread on black pocket very well, but I just stitched using an overcast stitch. (Now, I just had to look this up because I had no idea it was called that, but it seems sturdy!) I did the stitching from the outside because I didn't want it to be scratchy on the inside. I reinforced the corners and used standard black thread. I read about some cool, stretchy thread (not thick like elastic, but thread) but wasn't going to buy any for one project. Might for the future though!

sewing room (deck) view

original and copy

It's a bit Frankenstein, but I've used it three times now and it is holding up great! I use my phone as GPS when I ride, and take a few photos, so it is in and out of the pocket 5-10 times per ride I'd guess. I am thinking I'll be adding pockets to my other tights at some point, though with how slow I am at getting to sewing projects it might be later than sooner.

If you'd like a phone pocket in your tights, try it!

pocket in use (with empty phone case so I could take a photo!)


  1. Well done! I agree, pockets on tights are so freaking useful and yet it's so expensive to buy more tights *just* for the pocket. I did this similar project before the OD in 2016 and my two pairs are still holding up. I hope you get many miles out of yours!

    1. I knew great minds think alike! I hope mine hold up for that long!

  2. You (and Liz) are pure magic. 2018 marks my first year with pockets, so I'm thrilled, and still pissed that my Winter breeches don't have them, although, of course in Winter I'll have a jacket with a pocket.

    1. pockets really are the best! Like you, in winter I have a jacket or vest, an down my autumn-weight pocket tights, and now new pocket summer weight, I'm all set!

  3. I've done this to several tights now. I do not understand why manufacturers sell riding pants of any type without pockets. Who are these people who don't want pockets on their pants. I use my sewing machine though. I have half a post written for a how to. I should probably finish that.

    1. Oh, your tights are probably much nicer with the sewing machine! You should post that for the more technically adept people, I'd love to read that too!

  4. I have done this several time. I do not understand why manufacturers even make riding pants without pockets. What rider doesn't want pockets. And the thigh pockets are so much better. I use my sewing machine for mine though. I do have a half-written DIY post on doing them that I should finish.