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Tutorial // How to Sew Inseam Pockets

How to sew inseam pockets on any dress or skirt! Megan Nielsen Design Diary tutorial

Oh how i love pockets! Personally I think pockets are a vital addition to any skirt or dress. They’re not just practical in the sense that they can hold your phone or keys – but they’re also great at giving restless hands a place to sit. I like putting my hands in pockets, it makes me feel less awkward hehe.

The most important think about including pockets in a dress or skirt is the order in which you sew. I have a a specific way i like to do things so everything is neat and all the raw edges get finished. So i’m going to focus on that!

For this tutorial i’m going to be using the Darling Ranges dress and pockets, but you can very easily create your own pocket pattern piece for any dress or skirt by placing your hand on a piece of paper, and tracing around it. Don’t forget to add some wiggle room and also your preferred seam allowance. Ok lets get started!

Darling Ranges dress sewalong // skirt and pockets // great instructions on how to sew inseam pockets on any dress or skirt!

1) The very very first thing i like to do is neaten the raw edges of the pockets. The reason is that if you don’t do it first up, then try and do it later you’ll have a bit of a mess on your hands and may need to leave sections of the pocket edges close to the seam unfinished. I have (and love) a serger/overlocker so thats usually my method for neatening the edges. Other ways you can neaten raw edges are using a zig zag stitch on a regular sewing machine, using pinking shears on the raw edges, and also binding them with bias tape.

Darling Ranges dress sewalong // skirt and pockets // great instructions on how to sew inseam pockets on any dress or skirt!

2) Next we lay our pockets on our skirt pieces. One of the problems i first had when i started learning about pockets was that i kept having alignment issues. I’d put one piece of the pocket up too high, the other too low and they wouldn’t match. Or i’d accidentally sew them to the wrong side. UGH. Here’s an easy way to avoid that. Lay out all the skirt pieces with the right sides facing upwards, and so that the side seams are aligned. This way you can keep an eye on whether everything is placed correctly. Then position your pockets on the side seams, with their right sides facing downwards, and so that the pockets match up with each other and so that the top edge of the pocket lines up with the notches on the pattern pieces. Then pin and sew in place.

Darling Ranges dress sewalong // skirt and pockets // great instructions on how to sew inseam pockets on any dress or skirt!

3) After that I like to neaten the raw edges of the side seams since it will be awkward to do that once we sew the skirt pieces together. Once again you can do this with a serger/overlocker, a zig zag stitch, pinking shears or some sort of binding. Choose your favourite method!

Darling Ranges dress sewalong // skirt and pockets // great instructions on how to sew inseam pockets on any dress or skirt!

4)Press the pockets open so that the right sides are all facing outwards – and then understitch. You can skip the understitching if you feel lazy, but I don’t think it takes much time and definitely adds to the neatness of the pocket and prevents it from showing on the outside of the dress.

Darling Ranges dress sewalong // skirt and pockets // great instructions on how to sew inseam pockets on any dress or skirt!Darling Ranges dress sewalong // skirt and pockets // great instructions on how to sew inseam pockets on any dress or skirt!

5) Okay, we’re almost done! Lay your back skirt piece with right sides facing upwards and pockets sticking out to the sides, and then lay the front skirt pieces on top with right sides facing downwards. Match up the side seams and the pockets, then pin. Sew down the side seams till you reach the pocket, and sew 5/8″ beyond the edge of the pocket, then sew around of the curve of the pocket, then back down the side seams.

Darling Ranges dress sewalong // skirt and pockets // great instructions on how to sew inseam pockets on any dress or skirt!

6) Lastly press the seams and pockets towards the centre front of the skirt. This may be slightly controversial, but in this case i like to press my seams forwards rather than open, as that would require snipping the seams at the pockets, and i just hate hate raw exposed cuts! But it’s up to you :)Darling Ranges dress sewalong // skirt and pockets // great instructions on how to sew inseam pockets on any dress or skirt!

Okie dokie, those inseam pockets are all done! Not hard at all right?? Don’t forget that though for this tutorial I used the Darling Ranges dress and pockets, you can use this method to add inseam pockets to any skirt or dress!

How to sew inseam pockets on any dress or skirt! Megan Nielsen Design Diary tutorial

About Author

Meg is the Founder and Creative Director of Megan Nielsen Patterns, and is constantly dreaming up ideas for new sewing patterns and ways to make your sewing journey more enjoyable! She gets really excited about design details and is always trying to add way too many variations to our patterns.

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Chris Griffin
5 years ago

Thank you for posting this, because finishing the pockets and seams in this way is beautiful and easy! I always hated in-seam pockets because the finish was never as pretty (serging those corners is hard!). Now I have your tutorial :)

Marsha
Marsha
5 years ago

Lovely Meagan! Could you also do a tutorial on in-seam pockets with side zipper. That has been a puzzle & I prefer side to back zipper placements were possible.

Elisa
Elisa
5 years ago

Thank you! Great tutorial.

Bockleberry
5 years ago

Thanks for this tutorial! I’m a huge fan of having pockets on everything, so I will be trying this out on my next dress!

Lynsey Welch
Lynsey Welch
5 years ago

I refuse to make anything that does not have pockets or that I can’t add on pockets, pockets are my thing!! Super tutorial, I had not thought of finishing the long seam once pockets are attached but will do this in future. Thank you.

Ana Sullivan
5 years ago

I love the clean finish of all your seam allowances. I love to add pockets too. I like my pockets to be deep enough for my phone. See my pocket tutorial with a pocket pattern here: http://www.thelostapron.com/2016/05/add-a-pocket-to-your-graduation-gown.html

Catherine J. Palmer
5 years ago

This was *extremely* helpful. I did inseam pockets on a skirt today after reading this and they came out so neat and tidy. What a great post – thank you!

Girlmaverick
5 years ago

Thanks for the tutorial :) Do you have any tips or references for serging the curved edges of the pocket bags? I’ve always struggled with this!

Angie
5 years ago

The problem I have with adding a pocket to a dress or skirt is putting it too low- like at the knees and then having to take it back out.
Do you have a suggestion on the right place to check on a pattern for where to add one?

Sheila O'Kelly
Sheila O'Kelly
1 year ago

Thanks for this great tutorial. I’ve already used it once and I’m back for a refresher.