How to sew side seam pockets

This post is on how to sew side seam pockets. Side seam pocket is also known as inseam pockets. It is seen and used in my types of garment/ clothes making. Commonly seen in dresses, trousers, shorts and coats. Unlike like welt pockets which I have made previously this pocket is hidden away at the side of the garment.

It’s not difficult to see but it can be tricky to make it well. This seen in making the corners right and making the pockets sit nicely rather that seen bulging out of place. When that happens, it’s quite a common problem seen in sewing. It just means that corners of the where the pocket meets with the main garment needs to be trimmed. Otherwise, as I said there will be a puckering and uneven finish. By following a few simple tips it simply means achieving a more professional finish rather than the garment looking like an amateur that just has sewn it.

Here is how to sew side seam pockets.

First of all cutout and trace the pocket pieces as instructed on the pattern. Note any markings where the pocket sits.

Some sewers sew the pocket pieces first before sewing the main body of the garment together. Some sew them later. If there is darts sew them first. The pocket pieces need to be sewn first before the side seam. As if it’s sewn latter there might be issues of sitting the pocket flat or neatly on the garment.

First of all attach the side of the pocket pieces (2 pieces, one to back and on the front piece of the garment. to the side of the garment as marked. Give a press with an iron.

Then attach the pocket pieces by pinning the pieces together. Sew them around.

After that make a notch at where the pocket joins with main garment pieces. This will help to ease the pocket onto the garment. It helps to make it sit better. Iron out the pocket pieces.

making a notch at side pocket
making a notch at side pocket

Then before sewing the front and back of the garment together. Double check again that the pocket sits nicely with the garment. It should sit nicely like the picture below. 

side seam pocket finished
side seamseam pocket finished

To make things more challenging to a sewer especially with elasticated pants or shorts there is the waistband that sits right on top of the pocket. Like that printed, I have just made here. Sewing elasticated pants is easy like that I have made pyjama pants. In this instance make sure that pocket pieces are attached together first before sewing the waistband. It will look bulky as this pattern hasn’t got a separate pattern piece.

front view of pants with side seam pockets

6 thoughts on “How to sew side seam pockets”

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