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Adding pockets

Some patterns don't come with pockets but that doesn't mean you'll have to go pocket-less. Or maybe you own a garment that you wish had pockets - try carefully opening the side seams and add pockets.


Use my free PDF pocket download here to add side seam pockets to just about anything and by following the instructions below.


The pattern piece in my download includes a 1 cm (3/8 in) seam allowance all around. If you're hacking an existing garment, be mindful of the side seam seam allowances, as it can be tricky to add pockets to seams with less than 1 cm (3/8 in) seam allowance.


You can basically add pockets to anything, but remember that if the garment side seams have a curve, you need to copy this curve onto the pocket pattern as well.














I also find it best to finish the side seam of the garment separately first (zigzag/overlock) to make it less fiddly and bulky later on. So overlocking/zigzagging each front and back panel side seam before installing the pocket.


The work flow when adding pockets is as follows:

  1. Cut out 4 pocket bags and mark the pocket opening. Overlock/zigzag all around each pocket bag.

  2. Mark the pocket opening on the right side of the side seam of each front and back panel

  3. Sew one pocket bag, right sides together, to each front and back panel, matching the marks, only using 0.5 cm (1/4 in) seam allowance

  4. Press the pocket out

  5. Lay the right front and back panel right sides together, pockets pressed out, and sew the side seams closed until the pocket opening mark. Repeat for the left side.

  6. Sew the pocket bags closed. Repeat for the other side.

  7. Press the pocket and the seams towards the front. Press lightly from the outside and admire your work.

Visual Guide

1. Cut out and mark 4 pocket bags. Zigzag/overlock all around each one.


2. Mark the pocket opening on the right side of the side seam of each front and back panel (two fronts and two backs)











3. Sew the pocket bags right sides together to each front and back panel, matching the marks, only using 0.5 cm (1/4 in) seam allowance












4. Press the pocket out














5. Lay the front and back panel right sides together, matching the marks, and sew the side seams closed until the pocket opening mark.


6. Sew the pocket bags closed.










7. Press the pocket and seams to the front. Press lightly from the outside and admire your work.

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