Sewing patch pockets is relatively easy. You can add them to a garment of clothing or you might want to start from scratch when making the item of clothing. The great thing about them is that you can make them any shape or size you want. You can use the same material or you might want to get another color or style that matches. 

So why would you want patch pockets? The answer is easy; to carry around your wallet, purse, or cell phone. Then you can go without a cumbersome bag or purse. Another reason is simply just to make the garment look good. 

There are plenty of different kinds of patch pockets out there. You might want side pockets to go on your jeans or the front of a dress or skirt. Kangaroo pockets are usually found on sweatshirts and are large enough to fit both hands inside. This pocket is open on both sides. Another thing you might want to do with patch pockets is that you might want to put on flaps for added security. For the purpose of this article, we will show you how to make patch pockets for the front of your dress, skirt, or even coat.

Decide on the Size

The first thing to decide on is how big or small you want the pockets to be. If you want it to be functional, you will more likely want a bigger pocket, but if it is just a design statement, the choice is yours. Chances are that you will want to fit your whole hand in the pocket so it is a good idea to draw your hand outline on a piece of paper. Once you have done this, draw a pattern around the hand. Usually, it would be a rectangle just a bit bigger than your hand. You will want each pocket to be big enough for your hand to enter and rest there with ease.

Cut Out the Fabric

The next step is to choose your fabric which may or may not be the same as the garment. Place the pattern on the material and cut out two pockets. If you’re using a plain color, it’s simple, but if you are using a patterned fabric, you will have to make sure that the pocket print matches the garment.

Add Interfacing

It is important to put interfacing at the opening of the pockets because they are going to take a lot of wear and tear and you don’t want the pockets sagging making them look unattractive. 

Put the interfacing at the pocket opening and trim it to size. You can then either glue it to the pockets or sew it. Glue is probably the best idea as it becomes transparent.

Press Pocket Seam Allowances

The next step is to press the seam allowances. This is necessary to make the pockets look identical. 

Press the seam allowance for the pocket opening first and then do the bottom and the sides. To do this you can either use a tape measure or a seam guide. It is a good idea to tack the seams first before sewing them properly. This will ensure that the seams are the same length on both pockets. 

Perhaps you would like to have curved patch pockets. If so, tack the seams as you would normally, but then slightly gather the material.  Press the pockets and then sew the seams as you want them.

Placing the Patch Pockets

Once you have sewn the seams, it is time to decide where on the garment to put the pockets. Put the item of clothing flat on a table and pin the pockets where you think they would look best. If possible, then put the garment on and see if the pockets look right. Put your hands inside the pockets and see if that seems comfortable. If it doesn’t, play around with the pockets. It doesn’t matter if you have to make more than one change. One of the most important things in making patch pockets is to make sure that they can be used. Even if they are only supposed to be decorative, it’s still a good idea to make sure your hands fit as sometimes you might want to use the pockets. 

Once you feel that you have got the pockets in the right place, get your tape measure to not only check that they are the same size, but to make sure that they are symmetrically placed. You will want them to be in the middle of each side of a skirt or dress. If your patch pockets are on trousers or jeans and you want them to be on the side, you will also have to check the symmetry.

Stitching the Pockets

Once your patch pockets are in place, it is time to sew them. You can tack them first to check that they look right. Even try on the garment one more time after doing this. 

You can use a machine to sew on your pockets, but if you prefer, hand-sew them. If the stitches are going to be seen, which is highly likely with pockets, make sure that you are using a matching color of thread. If you are sewing side patch pockets on jeans, it’s probably best to use two lines of stitching to keep them secure. They won’t really be seen so there’s no problem with doing this.

If you are working with a light-weight material you could also sew two rows of stitching, making sure that you do an invisible seam. 

So that the pockets are extra secure, sew a triangle at the beginning and end of the stitch line. This is where there can be additional pressure on the pockets, so extra security won’t go amiss. You don’t want the pockets to accidentally rip.

Final Pressing

Now that you’ve got your patch pockets sewn onto your garment, you should press the pockets. This will help to set the stitches in place. In addition it will give the pockets a distinct line 


As can be seen, it’s not too difficult to sew patch pockets. You only need basic sewing skills to attach attractive and useful pockets so why not give it a go?