adding pockets to your basic pants pattern

There comes a point in any young person's life when pockets become really important for holding all the things mom won't (dirty pennies picked up off the street), things you need to conceal (wrappers from pilfered gum), and a place to shove your hands into when you need to make a point to the lady down at the corner store who always wants you to give her high-fives.

I usually use a very basic pants pattern that fits my daughter well and then modify and embellish the pattern whenever I make a new pair. Since capri season is coming up (or here already, according to my daughter), I've been in production and have started adding pockets. Here for you is one easy way to modify a basic pattern to add pockets.

Modifying your pattern

Begin with the front piece of your basic pants pattern (trace onto a piece of regular paper, wax [or freezer] paper, or tissue paper and preserve your original).

Establish how big of a pocket you would like. Make sure that you take into account the waistline of the pants leave enough room to get the hand into at the top. Make it long enough to store something really good in there. Also take into account what type of opening you would like - curvy, deep, or straight at an angle. This is the artistic part.

I've marked the desired opening of my pocket with a solid line, and used a dashed line to indicate how big the inside of the pocket shall be.Place a sheet of tissue or wax paper over top (if using wax paper, use a sharpie pen) and trace the inside pocket.Take another sheet of tissue or wax paper and mark the area where the front part of the lining should be (the part that the top of your hand touches when you put your hand inside your own pocket). Trace the curve of the inside pocket piece and the curve of the pocket opening on the pants adding a seam allowance to the pants pocket opening. Like so:While you are at it, add a seam allowance to your pants pattern piece at the pocket opening.Cut out and label all of your pieces.
Sewing the pockets

Cut out assemble your pattern pieces (back of pants pieces not shown). Don't forget to leave room to share your work space. With right sides together, sew the pocket opening of the a front pant leg to the front pocket lining. Clip curves.Turn the pocket and press seam. Add a top stitch to keep it all in place.Take the inside pocket piece and position over the pocket area, with the right side facing the outside of the pants. Pin to the pocket opening piece along edges and sew. (Do not sew onto front of pants, unless you desire to have that seam showing. Which you might.)With your pocket pieces sewn together, all that is left is to secure the pocket lining to the pants to make it easier to sew. Machine baste the sides and top portion of the pocket.Complete your pattern as per usual.
This is a free tutorial and I encourage you to use the information in any way you need to (check the disclaimer at the bottom of the page). If it works for you, please consider supporting my etsy shop by purchasing a Little Print Design pattern or toss a dollar or two in my paypal to show appreciation and to encourage me to offer up even more quality patterns and tutorials.

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  1. So timely! Summer sewing is on its brink in the Rose household, and I am spending this next week glued to the sewing machine, making new outfits for my girls. Thank you for the tutorial!

    I have some big news over at my blog as well, so if you have a moment, pop on over and take a peek. HUGS!


  2. I have to say that I love checking out your new tutorials when you list them. Very handy, practical, and functional.

    Well done!

  3. Hi. Found your blog while trying to find an adult peasant blouse pattern. Found your child's one and what a find!! Made one for my three year old grandaughter on Friday afternoon, and she took it on holiday on Sunday with an order for another one! Thank you very much indeed. Am now going to enjoy going through your blog.

  4. I'll have to give the pockets a shot - my 2 year old is obsessed with pockets and I've probably progressed enough now, with my sewing skills, that I can attempt it.
    Love you site!!! ~H

  5. I enjoy your tutes and your sence of humor.

    Thanx for sharing!

  6. Thank you for this tip. How do I make a pattern withpockets in front and no side seam on the pants? pLease help me, anyone that can. This is for my husband.

  7. hey there! I absolutely love your blog, it's so fantastic and I have made so many things from it, your tutes are so easy to read! I'm attempting my own tute soon for some kids Summer shorts, still working out a few kinks but hopefully it turns out ok =)
    Jess xx

  8. I am going crazy trying to find a sensible tutorial or how to on sewing pockets!! Clothing patterns are all very well, but the instructions are CRAP!
    Thankyou so very much for showing me the light!! =) (and the rest of a sunday swearing at the instructions!)


  9. I just found this because you linked to it in your recent adding pockets tute and I just wanted to thank you!

    I'll be using the method not only for sewing for my kids, but also for embellishing pants for me. :)