Here’s How to Add Pockets to Your Clothes!

Alicia Yanson
by Alicia Yanson
8 Materials
2 Hours

Let’s do some alterations, shall we? I’m certain you have some garments lying around that could do with a bit of a revamp. In this tutorial, I will show you various alterations, with the most popular being how to add pockets. If you want to learn how to add pockets, or simply crop a top, then keep on scrolling so you can learn the basics of sewing alterations.

Tools and materials:

  • Fabric
  • Pins
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Seam ripper
  • Elastic thread

How to crop a top

How to add pockets to a dress

Measure and cut

So this one is pretty simple. I’m going to show you how to crop a top. Here, I chose my velvet long-sleeve button-down shirt. Velvet is super slippery, and every time I wear it under my skirt, it comes undone. The best bet is just simply to crop the bottom to a better length. So, first, measure your desired length, then cut straight across.

How to add pockets to a skirt

Decide whether to hem or not

Some fabric textures, like velvet, are super tricky to sew a hem. I wanted to hem the bottom but left it with a raw edge as my sewing machine could not stitch through this velvet. If you can hem the bottom, go ahead and do so, with either a small fold or double fold- whatever works best. 

How to add pockets to pants

Here’s how it looks after the cropping alteration. I’m super chuffed with the result. 

How to add pockets

How to add pockets to a dress

Make the pocket pieces

Using the fabric you have on hand, trace four equal pocket pieces using the contour of your hand at an angle. 

Add the pieces

Make a mark 2 inches below the waistline and also where the pocket ends. 

Now, seam rip between those two marks.


Seam rip the stitches one inch further than the mark, so there’s enough space to feed through the pocket.

Add pockets tutorial

Now, pin the pocket pieces, pointing down as shown. Then, go ahead and sew. 

Repeat the step as mentioned above for the backside.

Flip the pocket piece and topstitch the seam down, so it lays nice and flat. Make sure you don’t stitch both the layers. 

Layer both pocket pieces so that the layers are touching and sew all around the curved edges. Finally, press the outside seams for a clean finish.

Now that you know how to add pockets; the same process applies to adding pockets to a skirt or pants. It is very discreet and gives a clean finish! 

How to take in a skirt

Remove the pockets

I had a circle skirt that was too puffy and child-like. I never really wore it because of the extra material that made it look too overbearing. I decided to take in the skirt a little, and now I’ll show you how. Firstly, remove the pockets before making any alterations. 

Measure and cut

Then, flip the skirt and lay it down flat. Then, using another skirt as a template, mark how much you want to remove off the sides. 

Connect the marking to the waistband and cut accordingly, leaving ½ of the seam allowance. 

My skirt has two layers, so I cut the inside layer a bit more. 

Reassemble the skirt

Next, reattach the pockets (follow the same steps as the previous tutorial on how to add pockets).

Sew the side seams, including the pocket’s seams. 

If you have a lining like me, Then sew that last. 

Yay, we’re done! All that puffiness is now gone! I hope you enjoyed my tutorials and that some of my tricks and tips will come in handy. That’s the magic about sewing; you can literally alter or even create pieces in unimaginable ways. 

Add shirring to the waistline

Add elastic thread

This beautiful maxi dress that I got online didn’t fit so well around the waistline. The waistline actually wasn’t around the waist itself. To bring it down and make it more flattering, I will show you how to bring down the waistline by shirring the whole area. Start off by adding elastic thread to your bobbin.

Sew the shirring

Sew 5 rows of shirring, spaced out at about ½ an inch. Remember to stretch your fabric while sewing. 

And… Voila! This is how it turned out! Isn’t it exquisite? It fits better around the waistline and looks great overall! 

Suggested materials:
  • Fabric
  • Pins
  • Thread
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