How To Add Pockets To A Dress

Learn how to add pockets to dresses, skirts and pants with this simple technique.

Want to add pockets to your favourite dress? You’re not alone. Practical dresses-with-pockets are the must-have feminist accessory of the 21st century!

Why pockets? Because these days women have access to property, and thus keys. And financial independance. And thus wallets! So nowadays it’s not just men who need pockets. So we say – pockets for everyone!

It would be nice if the fashion industry could get with the times and stop making womenswear with ridiculously small pockets. But until such a time, here at Pip, we’ll be hacking our wardrobe faves, homemade dresses and op-shop finds with this simple trick.

We’ve even made you a handy pattern piece you can print at home to make your own. This pocket pattern is a generous, deep one with a nice wide opening that is easy to get your mitts in.

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What you will need:

  • A sewing machine (you could hand sew this project, but you will need a sturdy hand).
  • Pants, skirt, culottes, dress or other bottom covering garment that inexplicably does not have pockets. They will need to have a side seam. If not this technique won’t work, but you could try appliqué pockets.
  • A contrasting or complementary fabric to make pockets out of.
  • A tape measure
  • Sewing scissors
  • Quick Unpicker
  • Our free pattern piece

How to add pockets:

Pop your garment on and work out where along the side seam you would like your pocket to start. Mark this with a pin or tailor’s chalk. Make another mark 24cm below this first mark. Mark the other side in the same way, ensuring each side is symmetrical.

Unpick between the two marks on each side. You’ll be left with two holes in the seams of each side of your garment 24cm long.

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Cut out two pairs of pockets from contrasting fabric – one with the right side up, the other wrong side up.

Turn garment inside out. Pin the right side of one pocket piece to the corresponding right side of one of your 24cm gaps, with a 0.5cm overhang at either end. Stitch the entire length in place 0.5cm in from raw edges.

Repeat with the twin side of this pocket. Then press open so the right sides of pocket pieces and right side of garment sit neatly together.

Open pocket pieces out again so the right sides are facing one another and pin the two pieces together so they match, with the wrong sides facing out.

Stitch these pocket pieces together with a 0.5cm seam. Neaten raw edges with zigzag stitch or an overlocker. Repeat with your second pair of pocket pieces on the other side of garment.

Then turn your garment inside out and your pocket is done!

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