In-seam pockets are sewn right into the side seams of a dress or skirt and are practically invisible when done well.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Now, line up the pockets and side seam as best you can. Sew as illustrated here.
Repeat for the other side of the dress.
Iron the pockets and then you’re done. Two beautiful pockets, nicely tucked away. Good job!
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.
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 🙂