There are several different methods for adding pockets to a garment or item. This chapter will cover side seam pockets (pocket
sewn into the side seam of a skirt or dress) and front pockets (such as on a shirt).
Basically, a pocket must have a front and a back (inside). If a pocket is sewn directly onto a shirt front, the shirt front
is the inside (or back) of the pocket. If the pocket is sewn into the the side seam of a skirt, the front of the
skirt serves as the front of the pocket and a back is created by sewing in a pocket.
The upper edge of a pocket is often made stronger by adding a facing and interfacing (see Chapter Six). This is important
if the pocket is on a shirt front or back of pants, for example. A pocket can also be lined, which gives it a nice finish.
Side Seam Pocket
1. Add extensions If you wish to add a sideseam pocket, draw an extension on the sides of the skirt (these will be facings for the pockets). They should measure
1/2" and should extend a length that is equal to the hand that will use the pocket, plus about 2".
2. Draw Pockets Draw pockets in the shape you want. They need to be large enough for the hand to fit into nicely and they
must come to about 2" above and below the extensions.
3. Reinforce and clip facings Stitch on each side of the corners of the facings (I marked with circles). Clip from the edge almost to the
circle - do NOT cut your stitching. The clipping is shown in red. Press facing under. Sew a box along the edge of the facing
to reinforce it (refer to photo in step 4 below).
4. Stitch pocket to skirt front Stitch the RIGHT side of the pocket to the WRONG side of the skirt front around the curved edge (not the side seam edge).
The pocket shows as pink in the diagram to the right.
5. Stitch Skirt front to Skirt back.
Stitch the skirt front to the skirt back at the side seams, being careful not to sew the pocket edge into the seam.
The line that will be stitched is shown as a dashed red line (skirt back not shown).
6. Press Your pocket now resides within the side seam. The stitching of the pocket shows on the skirt front.
Shirt Type Pocket
1. Cut your pocket piece Cut a rectangular piece that is the size you want your pocket to be plus 1/2" for upper hem and seam allowances on the
other three sides.
2. Press edges under Iron under the three lower edges. Iron under the hem.
3. Topstitch upper hem Turn pocket to right side. Topstitch (see Chapter Six on Topstitching) upper hem into place.
4. Sew pocket to shirt
Place your pocket on the shirt front (pocket is right side up) and stitch onto shirt around the lower three sides. Leave
pocket top open. Reinforce the corners of the shirt pocket as shown on the right. Reinforcement stitching
has been enhanced in the photo on the right.