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How to Sew In-Seam Pockets

In-seam pockets are sewn right into the side seams of a dress or skirt and are practically invisible when done well.

How to sew in-seam pockets |

There’s nothing like a handy pocket on your favourite dress and these are seriously some of the easiest pockets to make. Great to add in when you’re refashioning too. You don’t even have to use matching fabric. Just as long as your fabric choice is lightweight (to avoid adding bulk) and complimenting in colours (in case it peeks out a little).

This project took me about 30 minutes to do. Once made these pockets a couple of times, you’ll be able to whip them up pretty quick.


How to sew in-seam pockets |

Roughly draw a pocket shape around your hand. Yeah, it’s not a science. Just make sure you start on a flat edge where the pocket will meet the side seam. (Note: this pocket opening is ever so slightly snug on my hands, so be sure to be more generous with the opening than I was in these photos). Then, adding 2 cm (or an inch) more as your seam allowance, draw around that line. Cut it out.

How to sew in-seam pockets |

Using this as your template, cut three more from the same fabric to give you four pocket pieces in total (note: if you have a “right” side to your fabric, make sure two of these cutouts are reversed or mirrored).

Zig-zag, serge or cut the edges with pinking shears to avoid fraying later on.

Measure the length of your flat edge on the pocket. Unpick a hole in the seam where you want this pocket to go, making it a couple of cm (or an inch) longer than that measurement.

How to sew in-seam pockets |

Matching the flat edge of one pocket piece with the flat edge of the seam, sew it to one side of a seam, with right sides facing together. At this stage, the pocket piece will look like it’s going to stick out of the dress when finished. It’s ok.

Do the same to the other side of the seam, making sure the pocket pieces will line up along the seam.

How to sew in-seam pockets |

Now, line up the pockets and side seam as best you can. Sew as illustrated here.

Repeat for the other side of the dress.

How to sew in-seam pockets |

Iron the pockets and then you’re done. Two beautiful pockets, nicely tucked away. Good job!

How to sew in-seam pockets |

Filed under: Women

About the Author

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Freelance writer, sewing enthusiast, and coffee appreciator living in NZ


  1. Nay

    During my first attempt at in-seam pockets, I forgot the little ‘kick’ (the bit coming out from your knuckle in the hand-tracing pic) which caused all sorts of issues with it sitting flat! Lesson-learned!!

    • Just doing it is definitely the best way to learn 🙂 I was pleasantly surprised by how easy these are to do.

  2. Zoe

    Did these pockets add much bulk to the hips? I always worry about that but the in seam pockets are so handy.

    • Hi Zoe. Not at all. Just make sure you use a lightweight fabric, like a lawn cotton or something similar. In saying that, I wouldn’t recommend this pocket on tight fitting skirts. The pockets would gape and the skirt would lose it’s shape. It’s ideal on items with a more relaxed fit though. If you do find the finished pocket bulges a little, it may need to be unpicked and redone. Hope that helps! Let me know how it goes 🙂


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