That’s What She Said: DIY Tactical Yoga Pants

| January 12, 2017 | 2 Comments

When 5.11 introduced their tactical yoga pants in 2015, my first thought was “$98.00? I guess so … if you’re Lululemon.”

I spoke with three friends about their expectations for these pants, how they thought they would use them, and if the product met their needs. They range from former firearms instructor to competition shooter, to lawyer and mother.

Each was hopeful that they could use these pants for carrying while exercising or running errands.

All three liked having the pants as an option for concealed carry, but they had similar experiences with the fit and finish.

  1. All three described the fit as “weird.” The spandex was too tight and did not move with the wearer as is typical of a yoga pant. Two of the three made returns for different sizes.
  2. The length was off. Capri length is shorter than a typical yoga tight capri, but the long style is too long.
  3. The stitching at the seams pills and the threads stick up.
  4. They all agreed that overall fit is unattractive and not very comfortable.
  5. They all missed the discreet pocket that is standard on most yoga tights.

One lady threw her hands up and stated: “They aren’t like my Nikes.”

Yoga pants are beloved because of THE FIT. Why should we give that up?

I wanted to know what makes the 5.11 yoga pants “tactical:”

  • belt loops
  • robust elastic waistband
  • inset and reinforced panels at the hip for open carry holsters to rest against

That’s it.

Then I realized that you can find the yoga pants that fit you the best, at a price that you find reasonable, and make some range-ready yoga pants yourself. All you need is about $4.00 and a trip to the fabric store.

Before you start

Sewing on fabric with stretch is easily done with a regular sewing machine if you use a twin needle.


The twin needle will give your stitches the elasticity they need to move with the stretch of the fabric. Make sure the needle you purchase is marked “stretch” or “ball point”. This type of needle is made to go through elastic without difficulty or damage.

You will need

  • a twin needle
  • seam ripper
  • rigid elastic at least 3″ wide
  • material of choice for belt loops – you could even make the belt loops out of a retired pair of yoga pants
  • measuring tape

I purchased this rigid elastic for the waistband.


I purchased this non-slip elastic for the belt loops


Step 1

Measure your waist. I made my first attempt too tight, I advise leaving it a bit longer than you think you need. It is much easier to take it in later than it is to start all over again.

Step 2

Use a seam ripper to open an interior seam in the waist of your pants.


Step 3

Feed your elastic into the waist band of your pants


Step 4

Sew the ends together – I wanted the seam to be strong and flat so I made a french seam.





Step 5

Try them on to test the fit.

Step 6

Pin together and sew the hole closed.  Stitches from a twin needle look like a dense zig-zag on the wrong side, and a neat double row of top-stitching on the other. I flipped the fabric so that the outside of the seam showed the double stitches and kept the zig-zag for the unseen inside.


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Step 7

Position your belt loops – I found it helpful to put the pants and belt on to get a sense of where the belt loops would be best.

Step 8

Sew them on!

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yoga pants

Form and function.

I think this project is a great way to add diversity to your concealed carry options. The ability to use a safe, sturdy holster is my number one consideration in choosing gear, but that often makes carrying in clothing like yoga pants very difficult. Now that I know how to apply this simple fix I am going to re-assess all of the items in my closet to see what else could become “tactical.”

About the Author:

The She-Shepherd The She-Shepherd is a defensive firearms student, mother and advocate for pushing the boundaries of how we train. She believes that defensive training must balance context, mindset, and skill to be most effective. Her specialty has become testing alternative modes of firearms carry and best practices of less than lethal force options through rigorous force-on-force scenario based training.

2 Comments on "That’s What She Said: DIY Tactical Yoga Pants"

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  1. thebronze says:

    That’s awesome!! Damn good job!

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