This post is written by Ajaire Parello of Call Ajaire.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sew the pocket to the waistband, following the rectangle and using a narrow stitch length.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Stitch the pocket closed around the three raw edges, being careful not to catch the waistband in the stitching near the ends.
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.
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!