juba shorts tutorial: secret waistband pocket

This post is written by Ajaire Parello of Call Ajaire.

juba shorts tutorial: secret waistband pocket || imagine gnats

The last three pair of workout pants/shorts I bought all have a hidden pocket at the top of the waistband. It’s a small space, so at first glance it looks like something you might never use, but I’ve found I use that pocket all. the. time. It’s a great size for a gym locker key and perfect for hair elastics.

juba shorts tutorial: secret waistband pocket || imagine gnats

The secret waistband pocket is basically a welt pocket at the top of the front waistband. It’s a useful addition to the Juba Shorts for Women, but you could use this tutorial to add a secret pocket at the top of any fold-over waistband pattern.

juba shorts tutorial: secret waistband pocket || imagine gnats

To get started, you will need a 3″ X 3″ square of fabric for the pocket and your front waistband piece. Fold the waistband in half with the wrong sides together so that the long edges meet. Press at the fold and open up the waistband. There will be a crease that runs down the center which we will use to line up the pocket.

juba shorts tutorial: secret waistband pocket || imagine gnats

Place a pin at the center front of the waistband and lay it right side up. Position the pocket right side down, centered vertically across the center crease and about 2″ from the pin.

juba shorts tutorial: secret waistband pocket || imagine gnats

Draw a rectangle 1/4″ tall by 2 1/2″ wide at the center of the pocket. Pin the pocket to the waistband across the rectangle.

juba shorts tutorial: secret waistband pocket || imagine gnats

Sew the pocket to the waistband, following the rectangle and using a narrow stitch length.

juba shorts tutorial: secret waistband pocket || imagine gnats

Clip through the two layers down the center of the rectangle and clip both ends at a Y shape toward the corners, being careful not to cut through the stitching.

juba shorts tutorial: secret waistband pocket || imagine gnats

Turn the pocket through the clipped opening, carefully pulling it through to the wrong side of the waistband.  Once it is pulled through, the pocket will be right side up against the wrong side of the waistband.  Carefully press around the edge of the opening so the pocket will lie flat.

juba shorts tutorial: secret waistband pocket || imagine gnats

Turn the waistband over so the right side is facing up and topstitch close to the rectangle opening to keep the pocket from pulling out of the waistband.

juba shorts tutorial: secret waistband pocket || imagine gnats

Fold the waistband in half against the crease so that the long edges meet with right sides facing.  Fold the pocket in half with right sides facing and pin it together.

juba shorts tutorial: secret waistband pocket || imagine gnats

Stitch the pocket closed around the three raw edges, being careful not to catch the waistband in the stitching near the ends.

juba shorts tutorial: secret waistband pocket || imagine gnats

Fold the waistband back up along the original crease with wrong sides together and the completed pocket will be sandwiched in between. Sew the shorts together according to the pattern instructions, treating the pocket as a part of the front waistband. Just be careful not to catch the pocket in any stitching or buttonholes.

juba shorts tutorial: secret waistband pocket || imagine gnats

Use the shorts main fabric to keep the pocket truly hidden or a contrast fabric like mine for a fun surprise. Either way, I think you’ll enjoy your new secret waistband pocket!

juba shorts tutorial: secret waistband pocket || imagine gnats

Ajaire Parello

I've always loved making. At an early age I started cross stitching and sewing and I taught myself to knit and crochet during college. When our three year old daughter Bean was born I was filled with all sorts of inspiration, so now I find ways to manage my crafty time and treasure those moments. Though sewing is what I'm most passionate about these days, there's something about the portability of yarn crafts and embroidery that keeps drawing me back in.
juba shorts tutorial: secret waistband pocket || imagine gnats

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4 Responses to juba shorts tutorial: secret waistband pocket

  1. Terry D July 12, 2014 at 8:49 am #

    Great Idea! I Love all these juba shorts hacks. You are all having so much fun!

  2. Sparkling74 July 12, 2014 at 10:53 pm #

    I haven’t ever seen one like this in commercial pants and I really like it. All I’ve seen are a separate pocket inside the flap and I’m always afraid whatever I put in there will fall out, so I never use them. They’re always too short. This is great because you can make it as deep as you want so you can be secure that your item won’t fall out!

  3. Anne July 13, 2014 at 11:54 pm #

    Awesome!! When I’m out for a run, I end up having to thread my key on to my shoelace before tying them up. This would be SO much easier!! I’ve got a Craft Gossip post scheduled for tomorrow evening that links to your tutorial:
    http://sewing.craftgossip.com/tutorial-add-a-secret-waistband-pocket-to-a-shorts-pattern/2014/07/14/
    –Anne

    • Rachael Gander July 14, 2014 at 9:22 am #

      I’m in the same boat!! looking forward to adding this pocket to all the things. thanks, Anne :)

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