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Adding inseam pockets to ready-to-wear

nannysmith | Posted in General Discussion on

There was an  article in a past issue of Threads Magazine on how to make loose or outside pockets that you wear outside pants on belts or buttoned or pinned to a garment (saves time spent adding inseam pockets).  I can’t find the issue that carried the article.  Does anyone know about the article & how I can buy that issue?  Or does anyone know how to make the pockets.  I am trying to find a way to add pockets to ready-to-wear pants that do not have pockets.  I don’t carry a purse, so pockets are absolutely necessary in all my dresses, skirts, pants, coats, etc…  I am also seeking ideas on how to make coin or tiny pouch-like pockets to hold tissues, money, chap stick and/or  money safely.  Any suggestions will be appreciated.


  1. User avater
    Becky-book | | #1

    I added some in-seam type pockets to my son-in-law's scrub pants.  They were loose fitting so he could afford to loose a little of the circumference to make a partial seam for the pockets.

    I took the waist casing apart at the side, cut a slit (long enough for pocket) down the side, treated this like a seam with a pocket, closed the waist casing back up. He loved them!

    Tailored trousers with a waist band would be a different story!  Maybe you could add a small pouch to the inside, hand stitched to the waist.  How big to make it depends on how much room you have 'left-over' inside your pants (I don't have any!LOL)

    Hope this helps,


    1. nannysmith | | #2

      Thanks for your help.  I think I can make it work.  I dread the waistband removal, but not as much as I hate wearing pants without pockets.  I will try it first on pants that I don't like so much.  Thanks again.  Will post once I reach a verdict (probably after Christmas).  I can't believe how hectic things are this time of year.  I feel guilty imposing on my children for a moment of their time because I know they are as busier or even busier than I am.  What has happened to us?

  2. stitchintime | | #3

    Are you thinking of the free-hanging pocket by Diane Ericson? Issue 70 p.55. I remember making one of those.

    1. nannysmith | | #4

      Thanks for your response.  I have been amazed at how helpful people on these blogs have been!

      I just ordered that pattern.  Thought I would never find it.  That Issue of Threads Magazine is out of print, so I could not get it from them. 

       But I found the pattern from the website of Waechter's Silk Shop in Asheville, NC. They have an interesting site!!

       I am anxious to get the pattern and start sewing.  I am in a horrible sewing mood, but can't start until our classes end this week.  THANK GOD!!  We will be off 3 weeks, I am so excited that I am wishing the days away.  Is that pathetic or what!!!  I am too old to be wishing my life away!!  Anyway...

      Thanks again!

      1. stitchintime | | #5

        Don't wish your life away! Sounds like you just need a vacation.  I hope the sewing will help re-energize you. It usually does for me.

      2. Teaf5 | | #6

        I add pockets to all my clothes, too, as I have to carry my office keys at all times. For skirts, pants or leggings, I make a 3-4 inch square pouch (sewn along both sides and the bottom then turned and pressed flat) and attach it inside to the seam line of the waistband. I usually place it right at my pelvic bone, so that it rests between my tummy and outer hip, right about where change pockets are on jeans.I handstitch or stitch in the ditch along the waistband seam, catching only the back top edge of the pouch. For very secure interior pockets, I make a folded pouch (like a pillow cover with an overlapping center opening) and hang it from the interior of the waistline. I have also put these types of pockets inside cardigans and jackets, using the seamlines or design features to decide where to attach them on the inside.Enjoy your trip!

        1. nannysmith | | #7

          Thanks!  I love this.  This way--no seams to rip.  Do you think that side pockets removed from discarded jeans would be too bulky used this way?  Have you ever tried velcro for security?  Since I don't carry wallets or purses, I sometimes carry cash, debit or credit cards in my pockets.  I wonder if the velcro would make it too bulky.  I suppose it would not add as much bulk as the cash or card itself.I will use your instructions on some pants tomorrow.  Can't wait to give it a try.  Ingenious suggestions!!  And I thank you so much.  I will post my results when finished.  Thanks again to you and all the helpful friends who have offered solutions to my predictament.  I am amazed at the responses and friendliness.   

          1. thehat | | #8

            just a thought wouldn`t silk or satin work not too weighty and great to work with

          2. Sancin | | #9

            Like many of you I like pockets in everything to carry keys etc, though I do carry a purse when out and about.  Several years ago I put new lever door handles on all internal doors in my house.  I don't think I have any skirts or pants that haven't ripped catching on those handles!  I have considered making many pocketed vests and jackets as I now have problems with the weight of my purse on my shoulders.  It slips my mind, but there is a pattern company that makes multiple and many pocket garments. In the meantime I have tried all of the external pockets mentioned here with mixed results.  One does have to match the fabric weight when adding inseam pockets to RTW.  Too light and they hang oddly and too heavy and they pull the seam too much. I am a heavy person and found external made me appear even heavier.  I was very glad when key lanyards became readily available. 

          3. nannysmith | | #10

            Thanks, you are right.  I played around a bit this morning with the jean pockets, and they are not going to work in the dress pants.  Too heavy for sure.  I can't imagine what would happen with something inside!  Probably pull the pants out of shape completely.  I have plenty of Satin left over, so I am set now.  Thanks again!

          4. Teaf5 | | #11

            I like to use scraps left over from other projects to make these pouch-type pockets. My most favorite recently are poly/silkies and a medium weight stretch satin left over from skirt projects. Even though no one else will see them, I like to coordinate colors and even position motifs on them as a nice touch that helps remind me to pick up my keys.I wouldn't use velcro as it is very bulky. An overlapped closure works very well because the weight of the garment pressing it against the body keeps it closed, but if you wanted to be very secure, you could make an envelope-style pouch and use a tiny snap to secure the flap closed.An option you might consider if you're travelling to countries with pickpockets is to place these interior pockets in less conventional places--say on the left of your waistband instead of the right or inside the right front of a jacket rather than the usual left. Since you're sewing it yourself, you can choose what works best for you.

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