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A hip pocket isn’t difficult to sew. You just have to do the proper steps in the right order!

A hip pocket is also called an inset pocket, and to give you a visual, it’s the front pocket you see on a pair of slacks or jeans. Whether you’re sewing a dress, skirt, or a pair of pants, you’ll assemble the hip pocket or inset pocket before you sew the side seams and before you attach the bodice or waistband.

There are three pieces involved in sewing an inset pocket:
- The garment front (left; this will be either the skirt front or the front leg of a pant pattern — my garment front is just a portion of what the piece would look like because this is just a sample)
- The inner pocket (center; this is most often sewn from lining in order to reduce bulk)
- The back pocket (right; this will be the garment fabric unless you choose a contrast fabric for a peek-a-boo detail effect)
 photo photo5_zpslgcijsxq.jpeg

I recommend finishing all of your raw edges first, since they’re tricky to finish once sewn together. After that, here are the steps to sewing the pocket:

1. Sew the garment front to the inner pocket at the top pocket edge (the curved edge), right sides together.
 photo photo 21_zpslq3qd0dj.jpg
2. Press the seam you just sewed flat, then clip and grade your seam allowances, and press the seam allowances toward the inner pocket
 photo photo 11_zpszqdzu630.jpg
3. Understitch to hold the seam allowances to the inner pocket, and press the inner pocket
 photo photo 3_zpszb7nb5mh.jpg
4. Sew the inner pocket and back pocket together along the curved edge, right sides together
 photo photo 1_zpsg6q4xk4h.jpg
5. Baste across the top and sides of the garment only where the inner pocket is (I also topstitched the garment along the pocket opening so it’s easier for you to see that opening.)
 photo photo 2_zps5mjjcnpt.jpg

Have you sewn an inset pocket before? They’re not as hard as they look. I hope these steps help you navigate the hip pocket with ease!


  • Simba_nov_06_large

    May 4, 2015, 05.22 PMby nrobson

    thanks this is very helpful =)

  • Missing

    Apr 30, 2015, 03.48 AMby designerstitch

    Hi FP. Gaping pockets can be rectified by the following: 1. When sewing the pocket facing to pocket edge apply either some narrow cotton tape or a sliver of selvedge from a lining fabric (the selvedge is strong and stable). Measure the pattern stitching line to ascertain length needed for the tape/selvedge. The cotton tape will also allow you to stretch it very slightly (2-3 mms) to also counteract the pocket edge stretching. When you are cutting out pocket curve on garment and facing piece it naturally falls on the bias of the fabric hence taping/stabilizing counteracts this stretch.

    2. If after the above it stills gapes slightly you can offset the pocket edge where it meets the side seam. So instead of matching all edges at side seam you can offset pocket/body edge 3-5mms by having it extend out past the cut edges of all pieces. So essentially you are taking a a scant more “seam allowance” on this pattern piece edge. Hope this helps. Cheerio. Annie G in Australia

  • D7eae96cceb64cb79af8eedd0e373175f33cb968_large

    Apr 29, 2015, 10.08 AMby freaky-philomeen

    OK, thanks for this rather easy answer ;))

    I’m definitely going to browse my patternmaking books and test it with a selfconstructed pattern….for proper hip pockets ;))

  • D7eae96cceb64cb79af8eedd0e373175f33cb968_large

    Apr 27, 2015, 06.14 PMby freaky-philomeen

    Great tutorial, thanks Denise! At the moment I no longer sew hip pockets because they sometimes ended up “gaping” and I haven’t yet found out why…Have you or one of the talented readers here got useful tricks for this problem?

    1 Reply
    • Denise_wild_lovesewing_large

      Apr 28, 2015, 07.12 PMby Denise Wild

      So glad you enjoyed this tutorial!

      I think a gaping hip pocket means your garment pattern needs altering for your body. Either the front piece or the back piece of the garment. (The pocket itself shouldn’t gape or bunch at all once the fit of the garment is on track.)

    • This is a question
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