How to Sew Side Seam Pockets

September 01, 2020 3 Comments


It always makes me smile when I hear people exclaiming that a dress or skirt they've made has pockets. I get it, pockets do make a garment SO much better. And there's really no reason why you should have to go without them, because side seam pockets are a really easy addition to a garment, even if the pattern doesn't call for a pocket.

While this tutorial is part of the Sofia sew-along series, you can follow these steps if you're looking to add a pocket to just about anything. If you'd like to add a side seam pocket to a garment that you're making, here is a pattern that you can download.

Let's dive into the tutorial

  • Apply the pocket fusing strips to the skirt along the side edges, with the glue side down onto the wrong side of the fabric. The interfacing strip will extend about 1/2" (1.3 cm) past the notches along the skirt's side edge. 


  • Finish the curved edges of the Pocket pieces with a serge or zig-zag stitch.


  • Place the pocket right sides together onto the skirt. Align the notches and match points along the side edge.

  • Pin and sew the pocket to the skirt at 3/8" (1 cm) seam allowance.


  • Finish the side edges of the skirt/pocket with a serge or zig-zag stitch


  • Turn the pocket away from the skirt and press along the seam.


  • Place the skirt pieces right sides together. Align and pin the side edges of the skirt and the pocket.

  • Sew along the skirt side edge and around the pocket's curved edge at 1/2" (1.3 cm) seam allowance. Start the stitch at the skirt hem and sew towards the pocket. Pivot at the match point and sew along the curve of the pocket. Pivot at the second match point and sew along the skirt's remaining side edge towards the waist.


  • Designate one side of the skirt as your "front" side. Turn and press the pockets and the seam allowance towards the front of the skirt. On the right side of the skirt, press the side seam and the pocket opening.


Voila, you now have beautiful side seam pockets!

In the next post in the Sofia sewalong series, we'll be attaching the bodice and skirt together, sewing waistband elastic, and finishing the dress!


If you enjoyed this tutorial and you'd like to it to your crafty Pinterest board, here's a Pinterest badge so that you can easily find this tutorial again another time. Thanks for following along!






3 Responses

Krissy P
Krissy P

May 30, 2023

Thank you for the tutorial with pictures! Approximately how far below the top of the waistband would you suggest placing the pocket?
I look forward to hearing from you, Krissy P
Victory Patterns replied:
Hi Krissy, good question. If you’re measuring from the natural waist, I’d say a good measurement for the pocket placement is about three to four inches (not including seam allowance) down from that. <> <> <> <> <>


October 17, 2023

Thanks alot…This one was easy to follow…Keep up the good work…God bless.

Robin White-Underwood
Robin White-Underwood

July 09, 2021

Thank you for this great tutorial! I am a novice at sewing, even after years of trying to learn. (No teachers available.) But I keep trying new things, and the latest was a circle skirt for my adult daughter, and a matching circle skirt attached to a tshirt for her daughter. (Granddaughter does NOT like any kind of fabric around her waist!) I did not add pockets to Daughter’s skirt, but could see where to put them. I did add small side seam pockets to Granddaughter’s skirt/dress; they were not perfect. However, this tutorial will be so helpful with future circle skirt projects. Thanks again! (Because of fabric limitations, the circle skirts were 2 half-circles sewn together, so side seam pockets will be perfect!)

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in The Victory Patterns Blog

How to sew an invisible zipper
How to sew an invisible zipper

February 21, 2024

View full article →

Pair the Sofia Bell Sleeve Strap with any sleeve option
Pair the Sofia Bell Sleeve Strap with any sleeve option

August 22, 2023

In this post, we'll discuss how to pair any of the sleeves from the Sofia pattern with the strap from this Bell sleeve. This is a popular pattern modification to give extra bra strap coverage.

View full article →

How to sew a centered zipper
How to sew a centered zipper

August 16, 2023

A centered zipper is one of the most usefull zippers to be able to sew. They are commonly used in skirts, dresses, and pants, as well as cushion covers and handbags. In this tutorial, we'll show you how to sew a centered zipper using directional sewing, which avoids the fabric from shifting in different directions once the zipper is sewn in. 

View full article →