How to Sew a Pocket in a Skirt or Dress in 5 Simple Steps

Sew Over It
by Sew Over It
7 Materials
1 Hour

We get asked a lot on how to sew a pocket, especially onto a dress or skirt. So, we decided to make this sewing pockets tutorial and show you how to get it done effortlessly.

This is great for any sewing enthusiast: beginners or advanced alike. Remember, sewing pockets works best when the dress or skirt has side seams. So, grab your dress, and let’s get sewing.

Tools and materials:

  • Cut-out pockets
  • Dress or skirt
  • Matching thread
  • Measuring tape
  • Iron
  • Sewing machine
  • Pins
How to add pockets to a dress or skirt

1. Mark your pocket area

First off, use a standard pocket pattern to cut out the pieces needed in the fabric.

Now, you need to gauge the pocket placement. So, tie a ribbon around your waist and position your hands where you feel like you'd want the pockets to be.

Measure the distance from the ribbon to your hand and that will be where the top of the pocket starts,

Pinning the pocket to the front piece

2. Pin the pocket piece

Place your pocket piece right sides facing the dress or skirt, lining up the side seams. Pin in place.

Pocket pinned to the back piece

Do the same on the corresponding back piece. The back and front piece should mirror each other, as shown. 

How to factor in seam allowance

3. Stitch

Before stitching each pocket piece to the side, you need to think about the seam allowance first. It’s best if you start stitching a centimeter (0.39 inches) in and finish a centimeter before. 

Like this, you’ll be able to stitch both pockets around the curved edges. 

Sewing pockets into a dress or skirt

Also, use a 1½ cm (0.59 inches) seam allowance from the side seam when stitching. 

How to understitch a pocket

4. Understitch (optional)

You have the option to add an understitch here. An understitch not only looks professional but is prevents the pocket from rolling up through the hole.

Iron your pocket open to the side with seam allowance going the same direction.

Then, run an understitch (right sides up) along the edge you've just sewn. Don’t go beyond the 1cm (0.39 inches) mark from either side. 

Pinning the side seams together

5. Assemble the pockets

Place your back and front pieces together, right sides facing. Align the seams and pin accordingly. Make sure the seams of the pockets are aligned and pinned too. 

Also, mark the seam point of the pocket with a pin; this is where you’ll be pivoting to stitch around the curve of the pocket. 

Pinning the curve of the pocket.

Pin the curve of the pocket, too. 

How to sew pockets into a dress

Once everything is pinned, sew in one continuous stitch using a 1½ cm (0.59 inches) seam allowance. Start from the top, and pivot where my finger is in the image above.

How to sew inseam pockets

Then, sew all around the pocket’s curve, come back to the pivot point where my finger is, and continue to the bottom straight edge. The pocket itself should have a 1cm (0.39-inch) seam allowance.

How to sew a pocket

Now that your pocket is in place, iron the seams and overlock the pocket edges to avoid fraying.

How to sew a pocket on a skirt

How to sew a pocket tutorial

Thank you for joining me, I hope you found this tutorial on how to sew a pocket useful!

The biggest takeaway about sewing pockets is determining the correct position of where you want them to be; once you have that figured out, you’re good to go! 

Suggested materials:
  • Cut-out pockets
  • Dress or skirt
  • Matching thread
See all materials

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