How to sew a pocket

March 16, 2009 at 6:23 pm 18 comments

I don’t know if any of you are apprehensive about sewing pockets like I was before I found an easy-peasy way of sewing them. I dunno, maybe it was just me with this irrational pocket fear.

But I found a very simple way to sew a pocket with a liner and hidden seams, and I figured I would share with my fellow crafty folks. Seriously, this is so easy that I can’t believe I avoided them for so long.

And if you already knew how to do this, then just smile and nod and pretend I’m not insane for being the only person left on the planet who, until recently, had nightmares about pockets. (And zippers, but that’s another story for another day.)

1. Determine the size you would like your final pocket to be. Measure two pieces of fabric that are one inch larger than your final pocket size. So if you want your pocket to be 6″x6″, measure two pieces of 7″x7″ fabric. One piece will be the outside of your pocket, and one piece will be your liner.

2. Place the two pieces of fabric together with the right sides facing each other and pin. After you sew, you will be turning the pieces right-side-out, so prepare to leave a 2″ to 3″ opening on any of the three edges that will not end up being the top of the pocket. I mark the beginning and end of where I want my gap to be with two pins so that I don’t forget where to stop while I’m sewing.

3. Sew the two pieces together leaving a 1/2″ seam allowance. Trim all the corners.

4. Iron all the seams open and turn the pieces right-side-out. Use a chopstick or pencil to gently push out the corners. Iron the pocket so that all the seams are flat. Make sure the rough edges of the 2″ to 3″ part that you did not sew are folded in so that when the pocket is lying flat, it looks like one perfect seam.

5. Making sure that the 2″ to 3″ opening is not at the top, pin the pocket to the piece of fabric you want to sew the pocket onto, with the pocket liner facing the good side of the panel.

6. Attach the pocket to the panel by stitching three sides of the pocket (be sure to leave the top open!) approximately 1/8″ from the edge. Do a back-tack stitch at the beginning and end to secure it. Note: If you want the stitching to show, use a contrasting color of thread.

7. Stitch around the pocket again, this time approximately 1/4″ from the edge. Do a back-tack stitch at the beginning and end to secure it.

8. Iron the seams, and voila! You’ve got a simple, lined pocket!

9. Put stuff in it.

I hope this tutorial is helpful, but if anyone has any other suggestions for how to sew pockets, please share!


Entry filed under: Things and stuff.

Pockets don’t scare me anymore Honeymoon bag

18 Comments Add your own

  • 1. maria  |  March 17, 2009 at 10:11 am

    Hi, I do my pockets in a similar way but before I sew the pocket to the lining I sew a line of top stitching to the top edge of the pocket which I think finishes it off nicely.
    I like how you have two lines of stitching when adding the pocket. I’ll have to try that one.

  • 2. Pam  |  March 17, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    I have been wondering how to do a lined pocket because they look so much nicer. Thanks for the info. 🙂

  • 3. Maya  |  March 17, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    You are certainly not the only pocketphobic around (and not the only zipperphobic either). Just wanted to let you know that 🙂 and that your tutorial has helped me alot.
    I’ve never sewn a pocket yet but it seems reasonable (please correct me if i’m wrong) that if you have enough fabric and want your lining and outside of the pocket to be of the same fabric, then instead of cutting two pieces (like you did two 7*7 pieces), you can cut a 14*7 rectangle and just fold it so you have 2 squares facing eachother’s right side and sew accordingly. This way you’re “saving” the upper seam – you only have to sew 3 sides becuase the forth side (upper lip of pocket) is the fabric fold.
    (I’m not an english speaker so I hope I explained myself clearly enough…)
    Oh, and I have a request – can you tell more about the presser foot you were using? It doesn’t seem like a regular one…

  • 4. hanamik  |  March 18, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    thanks for the tutorial! definitely makes it look much easier, I will be putting it to use soon.

  • 5. Simone  |  March 19, 2009 at 9:24 am

    Great tutorial. You can also finish off the top and reinforce it with a bit of bias tape

  • 6. pinky from France  |  March 19, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    Thanks for this tuto !!

  • 7. Rachel  |  March 20, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    Great tutorial!

  • […] How To Sew A Pocket […]

  • 9. Terri  |  March 21, 2009 at 10:17 am

    Awesome – I already kind of did this but I think your way will give me a neater, more “finished” pocket. Thanks so much!

  • 10. Wendy  |  March 22, 2009 at 10:47 am

    I’m so glad you do it this way. I always felt like I was cheating by using another piece of fabric to get the sides to fold properly. Turns out all you have to do is call it a lining and the guilt goes away.

    Love it!

  • 11. RaiulBaztepo  |  March 28, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
    PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language 😉
    See you!
    Your, Raiul Baztepo

  • 12. mamati  |  March 29, 2009 at 6:11 pm

    Thanks for the tutorial on how to sew a pocket i am sure it will come in handy when i get round to it.

  • 13. PiterKokoniz  |  April 7, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    Hi !!! 😉
    My name is Piter Kokoniz. oOnly want to tell, that I’v found your blog very interesting
    And want to ask you: will you continue to post in this blog in future?
    Sorry for my bad english:)
    Thank you!
    Piter Kokoniz, from Latvia

  • 14. Adel  |  April 12, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    omigosh! Thank you SO much for this tutorial, I would have never figured out this method on my own. I did a total facepalm about halfway through reading it and thought “duh! it’s so simple!”

    I’m going to put this to good use tonight when I finish up the tote bag I’m making for my sister-in-law. She’ll get a surprise cell phone pocket on the inside! Thanks again!

  • 15. Miss Muffin  |  August 24, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    Thanks for this great tutorial!!! I actually just ended up adding a pocket to my new bag (the first one I ever made) because I found your great tutorial! I put a link to this tutorial on my blog

    Without your great tutorial I probably would have been too scared to even try a pocket … so you made my day! And my handbag alot prettier! 😉

  • 16. ANGIE NUNLEY  |  October 5, 2009 at 9:11 am


  • 17. Chrystal  |  February 11, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    Thank you!! I am new to this sewing thing and just winging it most the time so I love these simple explanations:) Now I can add a pocket on the nursing cover I am sewing to put a binky in.

  • 18. Dhilma  |  February 24, 2010 at 2:46 am

    Hi This was very helpful. Thank you. I am making a diaper bag for my baby and am wondering how to create a pocket to put his sippy cup in? Could you help please? I’ve seen ones with a ruffled upper lip, but cannot figure out how to make one.


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