How to add Side Pockets to any Pattern

Pockets are easy to add to any shorts, pants, or even skirt pattern. And they make a world of difference, giving you the professional look to help finish your sewing creations. RaeAnna of the Sewing Rabbit Team is here to show you just how easy adding pockets can be, with this fabulous sewing technique tutorial.

How to add Side Pockets to any Pattern


Guess what????  IT’S SUMMER!!!  (Well, technically June 21st but the weather has already been nice and warm and school is out for us in Tennessee!)

I thought a perfect Sewing Rabbit tutorial would be to show you how to add some side pockets to the front of any existing short pattern.  AND – I have the perfect pattern for you because it’s frrrreeeeeeee!

Oliver + S released the free 6m-12 Sunny Day Shorts pattern recently and it is the perfect spring board to add your own pockets!  Go download and print your copy now and join me for this easy project!

Step 1:

Trace your desired size or cut out the desired size from the taped together PDF pattern.

Step 2:

Take a sheet of paper and with a pencil, trace over the edge of the pattern piece and square it off at your desired length for the pocket as shown in the picture below.

Step 3:

Draw the curve of the pocket opening.  Remember that you will have a seam allowance when you sew the pocket lining to the front of the shorts.

Step 4:

Trace the curve onto the shorts front pattern piece.  As you can see from the picture below, all the pattern pieces you’ll need to create your pockets are the pocket lining (the square with the curve cut out) the pocket facing (the original square shape) and the shorts front with the curve cut out as pictured.

Step 5:

Assemble your pattern pieces from the fabric you will be using.  Cut 2 shorts front (mirror), cut 2 pocket lining (mirror) cut 2 pocket facing (mirror).
Before we actually begin sewing the pocket, take your shorts front pieces (left and right) and sew the inseam with right sides together (the “J” seam.)

Step 6:

The first step in adding your pockets will be to sew the pocket facing and the pocket lining with right sides together.  Sew just the edges pictured below and finish the seams with a serger or zig-zag stitch.

Step 7:

Take your pocket lining and pin it to the shorts front with the curves matching right sides together.  You’ll need to separate the pocket facing so it won’t get caught in the stitching.  Sew with a 1/2″ seam allowance.

Step 8:

Press the pocket seam as shown.

Step 9:

Top stitch the pocket seam with a 1/8″ seam allowance.

Step 10:

The pocket will be”flappy” unless we baste it in place.  Lay the pocket flat against the shorts front.
And baste in place 1/8″ away from the raw edge.  You can see where that is from the dotted line in the picture below.
 Finish the construction of the shorts according to your pattern and enjoy!

I am looking forward to having Eva Mae wear these shorts along with some matching outfits that I’ll be making for all her cousins!

(I will mention that for the 2T size of the Oliver + S shorts I had to hem an extra 1″ at the bottom.  They were more of a board short length until I took of the extra inch.

The best thing about this technique is you can use it for any skirt, pants, or jumper pattern!  Let me know if you use the tutorial in any of your sewing!  Do you like the top I paired with the shorts?!  Come visit my site to see a tutorial on how I added flutter sleeves to an Elegance & Elephants Bubble Top Pattern!

Thanks so much for stopping by, and until next time…
Happy Sewing!