How To Add Pockets To A Dress With Free Pocket Pattern

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One thing I love about dresses is how flattering they can look. One thing I hate: no pockets. So, I sorted out how to add pockets to a dress and I’m elated. Today I’m going to show you How To Add Pockets To A Dress With Free Pocket Pattern! Every dress I own better watch out because I’m making pockets rain down on them all. Seriously, I had this beautiful dress that I love, but never wear because there was no place to put my phone or keys. So, adding pockets was a no-brainer when I realized that was the reason I was reluctant to wear it. And the process took less than 30 minutes from start to finish, so it was far more efficient to add pockets to a dress than it would have been to even go shopping for a new dress. So, grab your favorite dress, and let’s get to adding some pockets! This can be completed by anyone with a basic knowledge of sewing as long as you can sew a straight line. I just used some plain white cotton for my pockets but you could get fancy and add ribbon or a different fabric for your pocket to accent your dress.

Dress Pockets Top photo

So, grab the dress you want to add pockets to and let’s get started!

What You’ll Need:

dress pocket supplies

How To Add Pockets To A Dress With Free Pocket Pattern

use pocket pattern to cut out fabric

First on this How to add pockets to a dress with free pocket pattern tutorial, you’ll want to start by ironing your cotton fabric and the dress, if necessary. As I said above, mine was not wrinkled, so no ironing is required. 

Fold cotton in half

Next, you will want the pocket pattern at the ready. So, get that and fold the cotton fabric in half and place the pattern on it, aligning the fold of the fabric with the fold line indicated on the pattern. Trace the pattern onto the fabric.

Then, cut out the pocket shape, leaving the fold line intact. If you choose not to work on a fold, keep in mind that you will need to add a step of sewing that end closed and you will need to add a hem allowance.

Now you’ll want to repeat these steps to cut out a second pocket shape.

Pin the sides of both pocket shapes, noting the ¼-inch from the open edge should be left un-hemmed. Just set those aside for the time being, so we can focus on the dress and get it ready..

The first step for preparing the dress is to measure from the bottom of the arm opening of the dress down 12 inches. Mark or pin this location as the top of your pocket hole.

Measure from the marked top of the pocket hole down 4 inches and mark or pin this location as the bottom of your pocket hole.

Repeat steps to mark the pocket hole location on the other side of the dress. I found it useful to make sure I had the two pockets parallel with a straight edge.

Next, gently tear each of the stitches in the area marked for the pocket hole. Take care to be very gentle on the stitches and break them, do not pull them and cause the dress seam to pull beyond the pocket area. Open the hem completely, so that you can fit the pocket edge between the hem and dress body. Set the dress aside and we’ll finish getting the pockets ready for insertion.

Now, we’ll hem each side of both pocket shapes, taking care to begin and end your stitch with backstitches. Note that ¼ inch of the sides closest to the open side of the pocket should be left unhemmed until a later step. Next, just trim the excess corner of fabric at the top of each pocket, to reduce bulk when sewing. We are about halfway through this How to add pockets to a dress with free pocket pattern tutorial!

Working with one pocket at a time, fit the pocket shape inside the dress, aligned with the marked or pinned opening for the pocket. Align the top and bottom edges of the pocket with the marked pocket top and bottom, while also aligning the front of the pocket piece (just one side, not both sides of the pocket) with the front unfolded hem. Then just fold over the hem of the dress over the front pocket edge, effectively tucking the pocket fabric between the hem and dress. Pin in place.

Now on this how to add pockets to a dress with free pocket pattern tutorial, we are getting serious! Sew along the front pocket side, taking care to catch only the one side of the pocket and dress. To make the process easier, I recommend removing any pins that marked your pocket location on the dress as well as starting your stitching about ¼ inch from the top of your pocket as well as taking care to begin and end your stitch with backstitches. We will fix this open portion of the pocket in a later step.

Once you’ve made that one pocket, this is so easy! Next, you’ll turn the dress over and fit the back pocket side with the back unfolded hem of the dress and fold over the hem of the dress over the back pocket edge, tucking the pocket fabric between the hem and dress.

Pin in place.

Now, sew along the back pocket side, taking care to catch only the one side of the pocket and dress. To make the process easier, I recommend starting your stitching about ¼ inch from the top of your pocket as well as taking care to begin and end your stitch with backstitches. 

To finish the dress pocket, lay the dress flat with the pocket folded inside as desired. Straighten the edges of the pocket, pinning the small open bits at the top and bottom, if necessary.

And add a small (¼-inch) top stitch to both the top and bottom of the pocket to close the hems, taking care to backstitch. This additional stitch should go through both the front and back of the dress in order to catch all hems, but also to help keep the pocket from opening when you do not care for it to. To complete our dress transformation, just repeat these steps to add the second pocket to the dress.

dress pockets post photo

When you’re done with that, trim all ends and enjoy! Now you know how to add pockets to a dress with free pocket pattern! Optionally, you can add a bit of cotton interfacing along the hem of the pocket when you’re inserting the pocket if your dress fabric is thin or you feel you’d like that additional structure. But I found that for the dress I was working with, the stitching was more than adequate. Additionally, if you wanted to add a little flair, you could pop a little ribbon on the edge of the pocket, to make it stand out, but I liked the fact that you couldn’t even tell my dress had pockets. This is just such a fun and useful project, I can’t tell you how excited I am to have done it. I think I could add pockets to all of my dresses now!

Easy Pocket Add-on Tutorial

If you liked learning how to add pockets to a dress with free pocket pattern, make sure to pin it to your favorite Pinterest board or share it with friends on social media. If you decide to make this simple project on your own, make certain that you take a picture afterward and tag us on social media as we love seeing the fabrics and color choices that people use!

Yield: 1

How To Add Pockets To A Dress With Free Pocket Pattern

Dress Pockets Create Card

Got a dress you love, but wish it had pockets? Now you can add them easily yourself with this tutorial!

Prep Time 2 minutes
Active Time 15 minutes
Total Time 17 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost $2.00

Instructions

  1. Start by ironing your cotton fabric and the dress, if necessary.
  2. Fold the cotton fabric in half and place the pattern on it, aligning the fold of the fabric with the fold line indicated on the pattern. 
  3. Cut out the pocket shape, leaving the fold line intact.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 to cut out a second pocket shape.
  5. Pin the sides of both pocket shapes, noting the ¼-inch from the open edge should be left un-hemmed. Set aside.
  6. Measure from the bottom of the arm opening of the dress down 12 inches. Mark or pin this location as the top of your pocket hole.
  7. Measure from the marked top of the pocket hole down 4 inches and mark or pin this location as the bottom of your pocket hole.
  8. Repeat steps 6 and 7 to mark the pocket hole location on the other side of the dress.
  9. Gently tear each of the stitches in the area marked for the pocket hole.
  10. Open the hem completely, so that you can fit the pocket edge between the hem and dress body.
  11. Hem each side of both pocket shapes, taking care to begin and end your stitch with backstitches.
  12. Trim the excess corner of fabric at the top of each pocket, to reduce bulk when sewing.
  13. Working with one pocket at a time, fit the pocket shape inside the dress, aligned with the marked or pinned opening for the pocket.
  14. Align the top and bottom edges of the pocket with the marked pocket top and bottom, while also aligning the front of the pocket piece (just one side, not both sides of the pocket) with the front unfolded hem. 
  15. Fold over the hem of the dress over the front pocket edge, effectively tucking the pocket fabric between the hem and dress. Pin in place.
  16. Sew along the front pocket side, taking care to catch only the one side of the pocket and dress.
  17. Turn the dress over and fit the back pocket side with the back unfolded hem of the dress and fold over the hem of the dress over the back pocket edge, tucking the pocket fabric between the hem and dress.
  18. Pin in place.
  19. Sew along the back pocket side, taking care to catch only the one side of the pocket and dress.
  20. Lay the dress flat with the pocket folded inside as desired.
  21. Straighten the edges of the pocket, pinning the small open bits at the top and bottom, if necessary.
  22. Add a small (¼-inch) top stitch to both the top and bottom of the pocket to close the hems, taking care to backstitch. This additional stitch should go through both the front and back of the dress. 
  23. Repeat steps to affix the second pocket to the dress.
  24. Trim all ends and enjoy your new dress pockets!

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