How to Sew an Inseam Pocket

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Hey, you!

Do want to know how to sew pretty inseam pockets?

Well, it is super easy to sew inseam pockets! Just cut out four (4) pocket pattern pieces. Then, stitch the pocket pieces to the side seams (SS) of the skirt FRONT and the skirt BACK and align them over each other at the SS. Then, starting at the SS above the pocket, stitch down to the pocket, and pivot. Next, stitch around the pocket curve to the SS below the pocket and pivot. And finally, stitch the rest of SS to the hem of the garment.

Sounds easy enough, right?!

So let’s start with bonus tips, and then sew an inseam pocket step-by-step with images…

NOTE: If you’re ready to begin this journey and would like to buy my recommended tools and supplies, please click HERE!

Inseam Pocket | Bonus Tips

  • There are different types of inseam pockets, but we’ll be covering the most common and basic type (and my fave) in this article. I like to think of it as a secret or hidden pocket.
  • The inseam pocket style demonstrated in this article is best paired with loose fitting garments.
  • You can cut the pocket pattern pieces from the fashion fabric you are using in your project. Or, you can use polyester lining fabric for super strong pockets.
  • And for extra fun and flair, why not cut out your pocket pattern pieces in a contrasting fabric?!

  • When creating an inseam pocket for a knit garment, you can use a lightweight woven fabric to avoid bulk.
  • And if your fabric is sheer, skip inseam pockets. They will show from the right side (RS). Not a pretty look.

Okay, let the pocket fun begin…

How to Sew an Inseam Pocket

Step 1. Cut out four (4) pocket pattern pieces.

For a garment you’ll need to cut out four (4) pattern pocket pieces: two for the BACK of the skirt and two for the FRONT of the skirt. And they will need to be mirror images of each other.

In the image below, the gray pocket indicates that the tissue pattern for the pocket should be placed with the writing on the tissue pattern facing UP and cut out. And the light-coloured pocket should be placed with the writing facing DOWN and cut out.

pockets-layout-mirror-images

Lay out your tissue pocket pattern piece on your fashion fabric, aligning the grain line to the selvage(s). Yes, even our pockets must honor the grain line. This is what you end up with…

pocket-inseam-cut-out

Mirror images.

Step 2. Transfer the notches.

Make sure to transfer the notches and circles from the tissue pocket pattern onto the cut out fabric pocket pieces. I like to snip mark the notches and pin mark the circles.

pocket-pattern-markings

The circles indicate where you need to begin and end the stitching line during the attachment of the pocket to the SS of the skirt FRONT and the skirt BACK in step 5.

Sew easy tip: Some tissue pocket pattern pieces will have notches and no circles.

Step 3. Mark the SAs on the pocket and the garment.

And since this inseam pocket is a convex curve, I like to mark my SA all the way around on the actual fabric pocket pattern pieces with a water-soluble marking pen. (Don’ forget to test your chosen marking tool on a piece of scrap fabric from your project FIRST!)

pockets-inseam-seam-allowances-marked

For precision, on the skirt FRONT and the skirt BACK, I also like to mark the SA at the SS a few inches above and a few inches below where the pocket will reside in the garment.

Now, in the image above, do you see where the blue arrows are pointing to the intersections of the SA on the pocket? This is where you will start and stop the stitching line in step 5, but first…

Step 4. Finish the seam allowances (SAs).

Finish the SAs of the pocket and the SS of the garment. In the image below, I used one of my faves, a 3-step zigag.

pocket-inseam-aligned-skirt-back-and-skirt-front

With your SAs finished and the start and stop points clearly marked, you’re now ready to attach your pockets to the skirt FRONT and the skirt BACK…

Step 5. Attach the pockets to the skirt FRONT and the skirt BACK.

Inseam pockets are attached before the SS of the garment are sewn.

Now, if you are using a commercial pattern, there will be a notch in the SS of the garment that you need to line up with the notch in the pocket’s SS.

pocket-inseam-aligned-for-stitching

You can use a 3/8 or 5/8 inch SA to attach the individual pocket pieces to the SS of the garment. You get to choose which you prefer based on your personal preference.

Choosing a 3/8 inch SA to attach the pocket pieces to the SS of the garment will allow the pocket to sit slightly inside the garment.

Okay, go ahead and attach your pocket to the skirt FRONT and the skirt BACK, starting at the top intersection (or circle) and sewing to the bottom intersection (or circle).

For precision, I like to take a couple manual stitches at the start and then backstitch before stitching forward. Then, when I am about two stitches away from the bottom intersection, I take two manual stitches and then backstitch.

Step 6. Press the pocket seam.

Now, that the pocket pieces is attached to the garment at the SS, press the pockets’ seams away from the body of the garment like this…

pocket-inseam-attached-to-side-seam

The next step is optional, but can be quite a pretty detail…

Step 7. Understitch the inseam pocket seam. (Optional)

You can understitch the pocket to the skirt before preceding to the next step. Or, you can skip it.

pocket-inseam-understitched

But it is pretty, don’t you think?!

Alright, it is now time to slide into home base…

Step 8. Finish sewing the inseam pocket.

Now that the pockets are attached at the SS of the garment, you’re ready to align the raw edges of the SAs of the skirt FRONT and the skirt BACK with each other like this and pin…

pocket-inseam-ready-for-insertion

And starting at the 5/8 inch seam line at the SS above the pocket, stitch down to the point where you reach the 5/8 inch seam line on the pocket, lift the presser foot, and pivot.

In the top image below, I’ve stitched down the SS of the garment to the pocket’s 5/8 inch seam line. I’m now ready to pivot, which I have in the bottom image…

pocket-inseam-pivoting-above-pocket

Okay, now that you’ve pivoted, lower the presser foot, and slowly continue stitching around the pocket curve, using a 5/8 inch SA until you reach the SS of the garment at the bottom of the pocket.

Then, lift the presser foot and pivot again — and finish the SS down to the hem.

In the image below on the left, I’ve sewn around the pocket curve, using a 5/8 inch SA and I’ve reached the SS of the garment at the bottom of the pocket. I’m now ready to pivot.

And in the image below on the right, I’ve pivoted  at garment’s SS and I’m positioned to complete the SS of the garment at the bottom of the pocket, using a 5/8 inch SA.

pocket-inseam-pivoting-below-pocket

Once, you’ve sewn from the bottom of the pocket to the garment’s hem, the inseam pocket is in!

Step 9. Press & clip.

Now, on the skirt BACK, clip the corners of the SA on the garment (but not the pocket!) on the diagonal at the the top and bottom of the pocket. Then, press the seam flat and then press the SAs open like this…

pocket-inseam-seam-allowances-clipped-pressed-open

In the image below, I zoomed in for a close-up of a clipped SA on the skirt BACK…

pocket-inseam-clipped-zoomed-in

Finally, give your pocket a quick press from the RS.

You want to press the body of the pocket towards skirt FRONT of the garment.

And voilà!

Two (2) super pretty versions of an inseam pocket sewn into the SS of a garment…

pocket-inseam-two-versions

In the images above, on the left, in step 5, I used a 5/8 inch SA to attached the pocket to the SS of the garment. And on the right, I used 3/8 inch SA to do the same.

The End

That’s how you sew an inseam pocket!

Here’s the million dollar question:

When it is possible to add an inseam pocket, is a dress complete without one?!

That was a rhetorical question! Because for me, the answer is: NO!

This article has revealed how easy it is to sew an inseam pocket to a garment. Now, let’s do away with pocket-less dresses as much as possible — it’s our duty!

And remember…

Life is the ultimate red carpet event! Dress for it!

RELATED: Click HERE to learn other basic garment construction sewing skills!

RELATED: Click HERE to begin the 5-Part How to Sew a Basic Dress – Vogue 9237 | A MEGA-Series!

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2 thoughts on “How to Sew an Inseam Pocket”

  1. Keep on keeping on Janine! Enjoyed inseam pocket info, you have an upbeat writing style. Thanks, and please stay with it.

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