Adding pockets to Active Wear

Everyone can use more pockets to carry things, especially when playing sports or out on the go. Today we will be using the Janome Elastic Gathering Attachment on our Janome AT 2000D Air Thread serger to create a tennis ball pocket you can add to your favorite shorts.

You may be a tennis player, or have seen on the court that many people simply tuck the tennis ball under their shirt or shorts hem as a means to carry it while they have their hands full carrying other things. It’s not the most comfortable, especially if the shirt or short are very tight. You also want to avoid stretching out the short hem or breaking the topstitching, so we’ve come up with an alternative.

You may prefer a top with a tennis ball pocket at the back, like the Jalie Anne-Marie dress.

If you love wearing shorts under your tennis skirt or dress, or leggings with a t-shirt, this tutorial could be a fun option to make your tennis, or any sports apparel more practical.

For the tennis pocket, you will need stretch material with great recovery, as well as some elastic (we will be using 6 mm (1/4”) knit elastic. What is important is that the elastic is sturdy enough and has good recovery to keep the tennis ball in place because the pocket is sewn upside down.

How to sew the tennis pocket

First, print the free tennis pocket template available on the Jalie website. Then, cut it out in a stretch mesh fabric like Power Net and finish all around the round edge with the serger.

Apply the elastic at 50% tension. For more information on how to adjust the foot, please visit our previous post where we use the foot to apply elastic on a bralette.

Cut the elastic, leaving a bit exceeding the edge. Pin in place as shown, tilting the opening towards the front or back, whatever you find most convenient.

Fold the elastic ends under, edgestitch with a zigzag on your sewing machine and go back and forth a few times at the corners to make sure it does not come undone over time. Be sure to use a Ballpoint, or Stretch needle for knit fabrics. Review the Janome Needle Guide for reference. Below you can see the pocket on a Jalie Stella leggings leg:

Proceed with the leggings assembly and finishing. Here is the final result:

Looking for an easy-to-sew shorts pattern? Try the Jalie Stella leggings pattern!

This basic leggings pattern also includes a running belt that some people use to hold tennis balls, gloves or other sporting accessories around their waist rather than under the garment hem.. You can make this accessory for a fraction of the price you will find in the store!

Tourna Tennis Band – Photo courtesy of Tennis Express

For shorts with a contoured waistband, the Jalie Clara is a great choice too. All of these garments and accessories are so quick, and easy to make using any Janome serger!

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