Friday, November 25, 2011

How to Sew In Seam Pockets into a Dress (Lisa Style!)

Here's how I inserted pockets into my dress from yesterday's post.

Sorry for the randomness in the photo colours. I worked on this off and on all day two days ago and the sun is setting around 5ish these days which leaves me with less than stellar light for taking photos.

Anyway...enough excuses, here's how I did it:

I had never done this before and did not have an existing pattern, so I started by looking through my closet for a dress with an in seam pocket. I used this 60's dress I wore to my step-Dad's 60th birthday.

I turned my example dress inside out and laid it on top of some kraft paper.

Next I traced the pocket onto the kraft paper.

Next I unstiched the cut off hem fabric and pressed it flat with my iron.

Then I folded the fabric in four and pinned my template to it.

Now...I did something silly next. I cut out the template with room for seam allowance.
By the time I had my fabric cut out I realized that the pockets would have been WAY too big. I realized that the pocket I traced included a small seam allowance. Opps! (told you, I had never done this before)

So I went back and trimmed by template back to the line I had originally drawn, pinned it back to my fabric and recut my pockets. After cutting, I had 4 pocket pieces. Two for each pocket.

This is where I started my second attempt. And it's after dinner, hence the darker photos.

Next I put the dress on and figured out where I wanted my pockets to be and put a pin in the side seam where I wanted it to open. I pinned about 3" down from the waistband.

Next I opened up the seam. Not all the way to the hem, just enough to fit my pocket pieces in comfortably. Around 10".

Now I hope I can explain the next bit clearly.
I pinned the straight edge of one pocket piece up with the open edge of the side seam. The right sides together.

Then I sewed the two pieces together along the straight edge.

I did the same with the second pocket piece.

Once I had sewn both pocket pieces to my dress the inside of my  skirt looked like this:

Next I pinned and sewed both sides back together. Instead of sewing straight along the side seam I made sure to sew around the pocket leaving a 1/2" seam allowance.

After this, I sewed along the side seam 3/4" down from the top of the pocket and 2 1/2" up along the side seam from the bottom of the pocket to close the opening some more.

I sewed just on the outside of the stitch line to the pin.

Then I repeated these steps on the second pocket! Ta Da! Pockets!

If this was too confusing for you, this post helped me while I was sewing in my pockets. As always, feel free to ask me any questions!



  1. I am a huge fan of pockets in everything! Good job on adding yours-with a clear explanation of how you did it.

    I love how that dress looks shortened. Very cute!

  2. If this was your first attempt Lisa, i'm VERY impressed! you would not believe how many side seam/trouser style pockets i screwed up trying to teach myself, not to mention screwing up the garments i was trying to put them into! Good job!!

  3. Wolfsong - thank you! I now I may start hemming AND putting pockets in everything! lol!

    Kim - thanks!! :) I was a little nervous at first, but I figured if I screwed it up I could always just sew the side seams back up. But I did it!



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