How to add side seam pockets to your garment

We all agree that pockets add much of convenience to any garments, don’t we? I love it when I go out not taking along my bag and still have my hands free with the phone in the pocket. Or just put my hands into the pockets when I feel I have nothing to do – or when I feel not very confident. That is why I often sew pockets to my casual dresses. For the formal dresses, I automatically sew it with no pockets – the convenience does not always go along well with luxurious look.

And you may wonder why I do not add pockets to any of the dress patterns I share on my blog. Because you can do it yourself in just minutes! You can choose almost any dress and add this kind of pockets to put your hands and little things. But be careful with dresses with close fit – if you don’t want the pockets to lump up on your garment. I normally would not add inseam pockets onto sheath dresses.

To those who would love to have pockets added to their dresses, this is a really quick tutorial for adding side seam pockets to almost any dress that you are going to sew.

First, download the pocket pattern here and print it on A4 paper, or just draw one yourself, but you need to make sure you can put your hand inside of the pocket. You should also make the opening of the pocket (the straight line in the image) smaller to keep the stuff from falling out of the pockets. Cut out 2 pairs of pocket bag pieces.


Next, snip notches at the side seams of the skirt part of your dress (both front and back) to mark the start of the pockets. For dresses, I recommend you to place the pockets about 3 centimeters/about 1 inch below your natural waist line so you can put your hands in easily. For other garments like jackets, tops or trousers, you will need to check to make sure the pocket placement is good.

Lay the pocket piece flat on the main fabric of your dress right sides together, the top of the pocket aligns with the notch on the main fabric. Pin into place and sew the side seam of the dress and the pocket together. Sew a slightly smaller seam allowance than usual so that when you close the dress seam, the pockets will not be exposed. Repeat with other pocket pieces. Turn the pocket pieces out and press.

Place the front and back pieces of the dress right sides together, pin down the side seams and around the pocket pieces. Then sew the side seams as normal. When you get to the top of the pocket, stitch on 0.5 centimeter and pivot to sew the two pocket pieces together and continue down to the rest of the side seam.

Finish the rest of the dress as usual, and you will have a dress with inseam pockets for extra convenience!

Easy, huh?

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9 thoughts on “How to add side seam pockets to your garment”

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  3. Hi Tiana. I’m happy to finally get free pattern that are so easy to download without any fuss . I’m excited to start sewing soon . Thank you for free patterns and tips.

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