Adding Pockets to Any Dress

Hi friends!

I love dresses and  especially summer dresses. A couple of weeks ago I purchased this Jessica Simpson dress.

I am a big fan of her dresses and I love this little seersucker number. Perfect for summer.  I wore it once and felt like it needed pockets. I kept reaching to put my keys in a phantom pocket only to drop them on the ground. Graceful huh? I decided that I needed to add pockets to this dress before I wore it again. Adding pockets to dresses and skirts with a side seam is pretty easy.

Adding Pockets to Any Dress

Adding Pockets to a Dress

Materials Used

  • Dress ( That needed pockets)
  • Fabric ( for the pockets)
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Seam ripper
  • Sewing Machine
  • Matching Thread
  • Sewing Supplies

The first step is to cut out a piece of paper ( Gray paper above) that will serve as your template/pattern piece that is in a pocket shape. You can look through your closet for a dress with pockets to use as a reference.  The bottom of the pocket is deeper and  the top part is slightly angled down and out of the way. The shape somewhat resembles a tear drop with a straight side. I guesstimated the size and shape of this pocket template.


After you have your template , lay it down on your dress and see if it looks like the right size.  I also tried on my dress to determine where my pockets should be located. Mark with pins where your pockets should start and end.

seam ripping dress for pockets

Use a seam ripper to pick open the seam between the two pins.

I found some white and blue polka-dot scrap fabric that I used for my pockets. Fold your  fabric in half ( wrong sides are together) and cut around your  paper pattern piece. I added a smidgen more fabric for seam allowance.

Turn the dress inside out and place the “right” side of one of the pocket pieces down and line up the straight edge with the side seam you just opened up. Pin the dress fabric to the right side of the pocket fabric. Center the pocket fabric between each pin.

With your handy-dandy sewing machine, sew the pocket to the dress, using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.  Then repeat with the other half of the pocket. (See image below)

sewing pockets to a dress

Double check that the two pockets line up correctly. Pine the two pocket sides together, starting at the top and sew the fabric together.

Adding Pockets to Any Dress

Repeat this same process on the other side of the skirt.

Adding Pockets to Any Dress


 The above image shows what the pocket looks like inside out. I think the most important tool for sewing is an iron. Iron the pockets so they lay politely inside the seams of the dress. Now…you have pockets.

Add pockets to any dress by Paper & Fox

I can fill them up with all kinds of unnecessary objects. Don’t mind the bathing suit tan in the image above.  I love the dress even more now and believe this dress would thank me if it could talk.

Adding Pockets to Any Dress

Adding Pockets to Any Dress by Paper & Fox


So what do you think? Are you ready to upcycle some of your dresses and add  pockets. I promise you will love it!

XOXO Carmody

14 Responses to Adding Pockets to Any Dress

  1. Lyndsay @ The Happy Chateau July 29, 2014 at 8:00 am #

    Awesome job! I love it when I find a dress with pockets, but now I can add my own. Thanks for the tutorial- you make it look easy!

    • carmody July 29, 2014 at 6:58 pm #

      Thanks Lyndsay! Pockets are a must!

  2. Alisha July 29, 2014 at 12:16 pm #

    This came out great!! TFS!! I love the dress…it is perfect for summer. I am stopping by from Not Just a Housewife – Show Me What You Got Linky Party and a follower. Here s what I shared this week:

    • carmody July 29, 2014 at 6:57 pm #

      Thanks so much Alisha!

  3. Heather Smith {Woods of Bell Trees} July 30, 2014 at 1:29 am #

    Girl this is awesome! I love your mad talent!

    • carmody July 30, 2014 at 7:15 am #

      Thanks Heather! I have a moderately “mad” skills.

  4. Elizabeth July 31, 2014 at 11:56 am #

    There’s nothing better than a dress with pockets! Now I can add pockets to all of mine. Thanks so much for the idea! This is going on my pinterest board until I have time to alter my dresses.

  5. Amy Jo August 22, 2014 at 9:46 pm #

    Yes! It makes me want to add pockets to every skirt I own! Thanks for sharing your pocket experience. :) Amy Jo


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