Sewing Inseam Pockets

Today I’m demonstrating how to sew inseam pockets. Inseam pockets are sewn in the skirt of the Cambie Dress for View B, the full skirted version. They’re fast and easy to sew, and nearly invisible once the skirt is all gathered up!

You could use the Cambie pocket pattern piece to add inseam pockets on any skirt or dress! Follow these instructions to sew them into the sideseams of any garment. If you’re not sure where to place the inseam pockets, use the Cambie skirt pattern piece as a guide and transfer the notches to the other pattern.

Also, the Cambie pattern directs you to cut the pocket piece out of lining but you’re welcome to cut it out of self fabric if you prefer. I like using the lining because the main fabric is sheer. Otherwise the pockets will be visible through the skirt!

The other version of the Cambie Dress, View A with the A-line skirt, has slash pockets. Slash pockets are super easy to sew too, and they’re the same on the Crescent Skirt and Lonsdale Dress. (Click here if you want to see a tutorial on sewing slash pockets!)

Here’s how to sew the inseam pockets:

Start with four pieces of the pocket piece. If your fabric has a visible right and wrong side, make sure that you have two pairs, not four of the same pocket!

Finish all edges of the pocket piece.

With my fabric, it’s hard to tell the difference between the right and wrong side, so I am being careful to finish two ‘left’ pockets and two ‘right’ pockets. That’s just me being picky, it really won’t make a difference which serged side is up! If the serging or zigzagging makes your pocket pieces ripply, give them a quick press to flatten them out.

Finish the side seams of the skirt front and skirt back.

Pin pocket piece to skirt front, right sides together, matching notches.

Even if you’ve serged the edges, there will still be a little snip in the seam allowance. Pull the seam allowance apart gently to find the snips.

Sew with a 3/8″ (1cm) seam allowance. This makes sure the pocket lining won’t peek out of our pocket openings!

Press seams toward pockets, like the photo. Sew the remaining two pocket pieces to the skirt back – one pocket for each skirt back.
Line up the two pocket pieces, right sides together.

Pin around the pocket edge and down the sideseam. Sew this seam, pivoting around the pocket edges.

Now, when it says ‘pivot around edges’ there are two different ways you could do this.

Here’s what it will look like at the top edge – sew down to the notch, then pivot towards the pocket piece.

Now when you get to the bottom edge, here’s one way you could pivot:

In this option, we’ll sew all around the pocket edge, and stop when we get 5/8″ (1.5cm) into the skirt seam allowance. Then, we’ll start our stitching again at the notch, and sew the rest of the side seam down to the hem.

And here’s option 2:

In this method, we don’t stop our stitching. After we round the bottom corner of the pocket, we’ll aim our stitching upwards to the notch, pivot with the needle down, and sew the rest of the sideseam towards the hem. You can draw this stitching line in first, before sewing it, if you want to sew it this way. Either method works! I’ve done one pocket one way, one pocket the other way to demonstrate.

Press seams towards centre front, the way your hands will naturally fall into the pockets. (If you’re ever unsure how to press an inseam pocket, think of where it will be on your body, and how your hands will be angled to reach into the pockets.)

Voila! Inseam pocket.

And when we look inside the pocket, there’s a little bit of the main fabric rolling to the inside, so our pocket lining is less visible.

Inseam pockets are simple and practical, but what if you don’t want them in your Cambie Dress? Simply sew the sideseams without the pockets. If your fabric is sheer, you might not want pockets as they may show through your skirt fabric.

Hope this was helpful! Again, you can use the pocket piece from this pattern to add inseam pockets to other sewing projects. Be sure to choose a pattern with enough ease to get your hands in the pockets – inseam pockets might not work well in a tight pencil skirt!

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40 Responses to Sewing Inseam Pockets

  1. Sassy T May 23, 2012 at 8:10 am #

    Thanks for the tutorial. Just out of curiousity if one doesn’t have a serger how would you recommend finishing the pocket edges?

    • Tasia May 23, 2012 at 8:52 am #

      I’d say zigzag them – it’s the easiest edge finish for curved edges. Turned-and-stitched is really best for straight lines. If you felt like getting fancy, you could bind the edges with seam binding but that’s probably too much work for something that will never be seen. (That’s better for an unlined skirt or coat.)

      • Tasia May 23, 2012 at 5:12 pm #

        Or you could pink the edges with pinking shears, if your fabric doesn’t fray! (Just thought of that now.) You don’t see pinking very often on modern garments, sometimes you’ll see it inside vintage dresses though.

  2. zilredloh May 23, 2012 at 8:22 am #

    What pretty fabric you’re using. Is it vintage?

    • Tasia May 23, 2012 at 8:56 am #

      No, it’s not but it sure has a vintage feel! It’s a cotton voile – very lightweight and sheer though, although that could be because it’s white!

  3. Funnygrrl May 23, 2012 at 8:29 am #

    Thank you for this tutorial! Before I got my serger I finished the edges with a zigzag stitch.
    And, yes, that fabric is gorgeous.

    • Tasia May 23, 2012 at 8:57 am #

      That’s what I would do, too! Zigzag is as close as it gets – or a fancy zigzag-style stitch that resembles a serging stitch, if the machine has it.

  4. Sew for Tea May 23, 2012 at 9:22 am #

    Great tutorial! I love hidden pockets in my skirts so this will be easy to follow.

    • Tasia May 23, 2012 at 3:48 pm #

      Great! I’m glad it was useful, I thought it might be helpful to mention this would work on any skirt or dress pattern, not just the Cambie!

  5. maggie May 23, 2012 at 9:24 am #

    I was just going to say, I love that fabric! Can I ask where you got it? Somewhere in Vancouver?

    • Tasia May 23, 2012 at 3:51 pm #

      I actually bought it from a wholesaler, not a retail store! I plan to explain more thoroughly tomorrow about that, and so far I haven’t seen it locally or online anywhere. Fabricana has a good selection of voile prints but not this exact one.. Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful!

  6. Katja May 23, 2012 at 10:04 am #

    Wow, I love the fabric too, soooo pretty! I did inseam pockets before and absolutely love them. I want pockets in all my dresses now!

    • Tasia May 23, 2012 at 4:04 pm #

      I love pockets in dresses, too! The only time I don’t put them in is if the fabric is really lightweight and pockets will weigh it down, or if the pockets will be visible and ruin the drape or look of the skirt. But inseam pockets like this are super easy to add to any pattern!

  7. CosIadoru May 23, 2012 at 10:31 am #

    What a great tutorial !!!.I think I will be less shy to sew pockets now !I love the fabric you chose too.Thanks again!!!

    • Tasia May 23, 2012 at 4:03 pm #

      No problem! I’m so glad the tutorial was helpful.

  8. Angela Campion May 23, 2012 at 4:27 pm #

    Oh my goodness, I love this fabric!!!

  9. Lucy May 23, 2012 at 4:48 pm #

    I did exactly this for my Minoru, following (I think) Molly’s tutorial. The one you posted, anyway! Because my lining fabric was just a cotton, I underlined them in flannel before I put them together. This morning it was super-cold but my hands were nice and toasty in my cotton/flannel pocketses :-) It is a very nice, easy alteration – I love customising stuff!

    • Tasia May 23, 2012 at 5:17 pm #

      What a great idea – warm pockets! Love it.

  10. Tasha June 1, 2012 at 6:19 am #

    Ooh, love Lucy’s toasty pocket idea. And that fabric, wow!

    Thanks for this tutorial! I pretty much always wish everything had pockets if it didn’t already start off with them, so I really like the idea of adding them to a pattern as well. Next time I’m buying patterns I’m definitely buying Cambie, I’ve loved seeing everyone’s popping up!

  11. susan porter July 8, 2012 at 1:47 am #

    Help I am having difficulty in sewing in the cambia dress pockets dress A – I a a beginner


  12. susan porter July 8, 2012 at 6:07 am #

    please can you show how you sew in the pockets for the cambia dress A many thanks

  13. Stephani July 30, 2012 at 10:55 am #

    I just sewed my Cambie’s pockets in place last night–worked so well and was super easy. I don’t have a serger, so to finish my pocket seam allowances, I simply sewed a second row of stitching 1/4 inch outside the seamline, then trimmed the seam allowance with my wavy-blade rotary cutter.

  14. Susan Campbell January 9, 2013 at 11:28 am #

    All the way across the pond to get a clear easily followed instructions—tried books ,online

    and websites here to no avail–thankyou———————-although I need translation for

    American phrases!—the pics showed me what a serger is-had no idea it was an

    overlocker!!!!!!!!!!! Many thanks.

  15. Frances June 22, 2014 at 12:30 pm #

    This was perfect! Thank you so much. Have been wanting to do these pockets for a good while but was afraid. Best ever instructions!

  16. jona February 3, 2015 at 12:11 pm #

    hi can you tell me the pros and cons of this inseam pocket plz

  17. Shosho July 28, 2015 at 12:03 am #

    I am sewingalcohlic love making my own clothes, your instructions were so helpful thank you so much.
    I am pregnant now and was wondering if you can help me find any maternity patterns online and free sewing lessons?
    Another question which patternshould brand do you use usually? I prefer Burda.

    • Tasia July 28, 2015 at 9:26 am #

      I’m so glad the tutorial was useful! I have no experience with maternity sewing patterns, but I’m sure there are lots of tutorials out there on adapting standard patterns to be maternity-friendly. I sew mostly from our own patterns but I like a variety of pattern companies: Burda, McCalls and Vogue, Colette, Grainline, Deer & Doe, there are lots to choose from!

    • Tasia July 28, 2015 at 11:20 am #

      I forgot about Megan Neilsen! She has a few patterns designed for maternity wear:


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