Beautiful In-Seam Pockets....the perfect method for french seams

To stop this pocket dropping and distorting the side seam I added a stay tape from the pocket to the yoke seam

There are quite a few ways of adding or sewing a pocket into a seam.

I like this method because the opening doesn't stretch and the pocket bag doesn't sag.

The easiest thing is to use a pocket bag from a pattern you already have or you can draw your own.

1. If your garment has a waist seam extend the top of the pocket bag so it overlaps the waist seam by 15mm.


If your garment doesn't have a waist seam extend the top of the bag about 10 cm and gradually taper it to join the edge of a the pocket. This isnt essntial, but it does help to stop the pocket bag sagging which often distorts the seam.


This pic isn't to scale.


2. Cut 2 pocket bags and mark the opening on both the bag and the garment side seam. If you're using a fabric with vertical stretch or a seam thats not on the straight grain,  fuse a narrow strip of interfacing on the wrong side of the pocket bag opening.

3. Place one pocket bag RS down against the RS of the garment. If it has a waist seam the seam allowances should be level at the waist. Make sure you can see exactly where the pocket opening will be.

4. You're going to machine 3 sides of a rectangle, pivoting exactly at the top and bottom of the pocket opening. Start at the cut edge, put the needle down at the top of the opening, pivot, sew down the stitching line using your patterns seam allowance, pivot at the bottom of the opening and stitch to the edge.

WS pocket bag
RS garment front
5. Trim to approx 6mm from the stitching.
6. Snip very close to the stitching at the corners.
7. Press the trimmed allowances towards the pocket bag. Understitch through the pocket and the allowances.
8. Turn the pocket bag so it's against the wrong side of the garment front and press.
RS front
9. With the wrong side of the garment on top, put the second pocket bag on top of the first one. Machine the pocket bags together around the outer edge. Use you preferred method to neaten the edge.

To make a french seam put the pocket bags WS together and sew a narrow seam, turn the pocket the right way out and sew about 7mm from the edge(the exact measurements will depend on the seam allowance on your pattern.
The pocket is now finished in the the front part of the garment.
10. Place the garment back right sides together on top of the front. Pin carefully at the top and bottom of the pocket opening. Machine the side seam. Try to stitch exactly over the right angle formed by the pocket opening, but keeping the front pocket area away from the seam.

For a french seam place the front and backs WS together and sew a french seam, the second line of sticthing should pass exactly through the right angles in the pocket opening,,, keeping the front pocket area free from getting caught up in the seam.
11. Neaten the side seam using your preferred method. You can press the seam open if you want.
A French seam should be pressed towards the back of the garment.
12. Now finish the waist seam attaching the pocket bag into the seam. If the waist has gathers or tucks keep the pocket bag out of the way whilst sewing them. Then lay the pocket flat over the top before attaching the bodice or waistband.
If your garment doesn't have a waist seam a side seam pocket often drops, distorting the line of the garment because they don't lie flat underneath it. Extending the pocket as described in step 1 means the top of the pocket is supported by the side seam.