How to Add Pockets to Pants

10 Materials
2 Hours

Utility styles are a huge trend this year so I've put together a pockets tutorial for you with three pocket styles.

I'm using contrast color pockets so you can see what I'm doing, but they look just as good self-colored.

Tools and materials:

  • 2 pairs loose fitting pants
  • Fusible interfacing
  • Snaps or Velcro
  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Measuring tape
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
Working out placement

1. Placement

Try on the pants. Place a safety pin where you want the knee pocket to be.

Lay the pants flat.

Measure the distance along the waistband for the hip patch pocket and mark with a pin. Measure down to the crotch from the first pin, and mark it.

Pin 8 inches along the bottom edge for the width and make a freehand curve for the opening.

Working out placement

Knee pockets are typically centered over the side seam. 

Measure and pin the outline of the pocket.

Hip pocket pattern

2. Hip pocket

Draw a rectangle the length and width of the hip pocket, adding 5/8 inch sewing allowance to each.

Measure and mark the top width and side length and join with a curved or diagonal line.

Cut two from your fabric, one left and one right facing.

Attaching hip pocket

3. Attach hip pocket

Finish the pocket edges.

Clip the curve and turn it to the inside. Sew two rows of topstitching around the curve.

Turn the allowance to the wrong side on the other edges and press.

Attaching hip pocket

Pin the pockets in place.

Hand baste them to the pants before topstitching them.

3D pocket

4. 3D pocket

Add 3 inches to the length and width of your knee pocket measurements and draw a rectangle.

Cut 1 inch squares from the bottom corners of the pattern.

Draw a rectangle the width of your pocket plus 1 inch by 4 inches long for the flap.

Cut one pocket and flap from the main fabric and one flap from the lining fabric.

Sewing 3D pocket

5. Sew 3D pocket

Finish the raw edges.

Join the two sides of the corner cutouts with the right sides together.

Sewing 3D pocket

Turn in the side and bottom edges by half an inch and 1 inch, and press.

Sewing 3D pocket

To reduce bulk on the top corners, add a facing or cut out the corners and fold the top over twice, by half an inch and 1 inch.

Top stitch around the pocket, keeping the corners of the gusset free.

Attaching 3D pocket

6. Attach 3D pocket

Center the pocket over the side seam of the pants.

Attaching 3D pocket

Pin the lower edges of the pocket to the pants.

Check the top and bottom of the gusset are lined up correctly and baste in place before sewing. 

Attaching 3D pocket

Reinforce the top corners by stitching the sides of the gusset together for 1 inch.

3D pocket flap

7. 3D pocket flap

Iron fusible interfacing to the lining.

Sew the flaps together around the side and bottom edges, with the right sides facing.

Snip the corners and turn them right side out.

3D pocket flap

Sew two rows of topstitching along the closed edges.

Fold in and press a half inch allowance along the top edge.

Pin the fold approximately 1.5 inches above the pocket. Sew it in place along the crease.

3D pocket flap

Trim the allowance and top stitch half an inch from the edge.

Attach your closure.

Pleated pocket pattern

8. Pleated pocket pattern

Draw a rectangle 1 inch longer and 3 inches wider than your pocket measurements.

Mark the center of the pocket width.

Draw lines 1 inch either side of the center point and another set half an inch outside those.

For the facing, draw a rectangle the width of your pocket plus 1 inch wide and 1.5 inches in length.

Draw a rectangle for the flap, the same width as the facing and 4 inches long.

Cut one pocket, two flaps and one facing.

Attaching pleated pocket

9. Attach pleated pocket

Transfer the four pattern lines to the pocket fabric. Snip the lines 1/4 inch from the top and bottom edges.

Attaching pleated pocket

Fold the inner lines with wrong sides together and press. Fold the outer lines in the other direction and press to form a pleat.

Sew the top and bottom of the pleat flat.

Attaching pleated pocket

Sew the facing to the top edge with right sides together along the top and side edges.

Fold the facing and the sides and bottom allowance to the inside and press.

Attaching pleated pocket

Top stitch the top edge of the pocket.

Center the pocket over the side seam.

Top stitch in place, reinforcing the top corners.

Make and attach the flap as before.

How to add pockets to pants

How to add pockets to pants

I finished my pants by adding the waistband from the contrast pair. There are many variations of this look.

Let me know in the comments below what you think of my version.

Check out my post on  How to DIY a Super Cute Crop Top and Skirt Set From an Old Curtain.

Suggested materials:
  • 2 pairs loose fitting pants
  • Fusible interfacing
  • Snaps or Velcro
See all materials

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