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Types of Pockets: 8 Kinds Of Pockets

In this post we’ll look at the different types of pockets; specifically, 8 kinds of pockets, and where they might be used! If you’d like a more in-depth overview of pockets, this post on pockets covers the different styles of pockets, and more creative ways to use them.

I also have an article on the uses of pockets too!

I love pockets – I make no effort to hide this fact. In fact, back in May 2017 when I participated in a zerowaste workshop in London, one of my greatest moments of joy was inspiring a fashion designer to pin tuck her remaining fabric to create some stunning oversized pockets!

In my eyes, pockets can be both wonderful functional additions to a hand sewn garment, but also fun design elements too, that help to take a creation from ok to amazing.

There are three types of pockets but within those ‘types of pockets’ are different kinds, which is what we’ll look at a little more closely today!

The different types of pockets used in fashion sewing!

Three Types Of Pockets

A quick overview of the three types of pockets:

  • Patch
  • Inseam
  • Inset

Now lets take a closer look at some examples of each!

Patch Pockets

Patch pockets are pocket types that are created from a ‘patch of fabric’ placed on top of a garment, with the wrong side down, and then top stitched into place.

Black leather jacket with pleated patch pocket detail

Sometimes the pocket may be ‘bagged out’, which means that there would not be any visible top stitching unless done so as a design feature.

And within the patch pocket type there are several styles!

Below you can see a designer top stitching a pin tucked pocket into place on her zero-waste dress.

Woman sat at Brother sewing machine sewing a pin tucked pocket

Kangaroo Pockets

Found on sweatshirts, the kangaroo pocket is a pocket that covers the front of a sweatshirt.

Usually it is topstitched into place, making it a patch pocket but designers have been known to incorporate kangaroo pockets using more innovative constructive methods too.

Coin Pockets

That little pocket in your jeans is also known as a coin pocket and is in itself a patch pocket. These small, almost there patch pockets can be made more distinctive with embroidery or embellishment, as often seen in  ready to wear garments.

Accordion Pockets

Known as accordion or bellows pockets, these are usually created with at least one gusset along the perimeter of the ‘patch’ part, which helps to push the pocket out from the main garment.

Accordion pockets are most often seen on cargo / army style trousers and outerwear garments too.

Close up photo of a beige accordion style type of pocket with flat

I have a new accordion pocket sewing tutorial that you should check out if this pocket type is of interest.

We will take a more in-depth look at patch pockets later in this series – including patch pocket patterns, a lined patch pocket tutorial, sewing curved patch pockets, how to sew patch pockets with and without pleats and of course some more fun creative patch pocket ideas too – like this one below!

Inseam Pockets

Inseam pockets are the pockets which are sewn into seams on our skirts, dresses, trousers / pants and jackets.

Inseam pockets can be added as ‘grown on’ inseam pockets or as separate pattern pieces attached to a garment section and then both pocket sections sewn together to form the pocket.

Inseam pockets can be sewn in such a way as to appear like invisible pockets, or they can be sewn with interesting details to make them stand out!

Side Seam Pockets

Most common inseam pockets are found in ‘side seams’. Think of the pockets in your pyjama pants or the pockets in a loose fit elasticated waist circle skirt, but this pocket type can also be hidden discretely in the princess seams of garments too!

An inseam pocket

Jacket In-Seam Pockets

Some in seam pockets are ‘in seam’ without being inserted into the seam. These are constructed in such a way that they ‘create’ a seam through the construction process, like in the jacket image below.

Close up photo of black coat with inset pocket detailing
These zippered pockets have been added to the horizontal waist seam!

Slashed Or Slanted Pockets

These pockets are what we typically see on jeans and trousers / slacks / pants. More contemporary times have seen slash / slant pockets used as design features on skirts, shirts and dresses too.

I love a good slashed pocket and see huge potential for getting creative with your hand sewn clothes when using up remnants or upcycling older clothes!

Denim slash pocket photo

Inset Pockets

An inset pocket is a type of pocket which exists because the pocket has been ‘set into’ the main garment section. Think of the welt pocket on a man’s tailored jacket or the jetted pocket on the back of women’s trousers / pants and the inside pockets on tailored jackets!

Welt Pocket

A welt pocket is one of the most obvious inset pocket examples when thinking types of pockets. It is a more traditional inset pocket, but is now found in many clothing types from contemporary designers.

A welt pocket on a Levi's denim jacket

Jetted Pocket

Aside from a good, well designed patch pocket, my other favourite pocket type is the jetted pocket. The image below shows jet pockets with flaps in a tailored garment.

Close up photo of an orange jacket, highlighting a type of inset pocket

I first learnt how to sew a jet pocket at university, during our tailoring module, and I loved it. I’m a little rusty, but I will be showing you how to create a jetted pocket of your own during this series!

Finished jetted pockets side by side

Tutorials For Sewing Different Pocket Types

Now that you know about the different pocket types, I think the different pocket sewing tutorials I have created would be great to learn from.

Accordion Patch Pocket Tutorial

The finished accordion pocket with hand inserted

The accordion patch pocket it perhaps the most fiddliest of pockets to sew, but this step by step tutorial along with a video will help. I also have a free accordion patch pocket that you can download and use as a template.

Inseam Pocket Tutorial

Peeking inside the side seam pocket

The inseam pocket tutorial is a great one if you’re in need of a simple pocket construction method. I use this method of adding pockets to the side seams of skirts and dresses, but it can be used for pants and jackets too.

Jetted Pocket Tutorial

The final jetted pocket is nice and cleanly finished.

The jetted – also referred to as a double welt – pocket is an insert pocket and my jet pocket sewing tutorial with accompanying video will help you make your own beautiful pockets!

Welt Pocket Tutorial

The welt pocket is made from a single welt, and is constructed slightly differently to the double welt / jet pocket. Follow my welt pocket tutorial to get yours perfectly sewn!

Hopefully you’ve found this really helpful in decking which pocket type you should be making for your next project. Let me know in the comments below which one you’ll be trying first! And feel free to buy me a coffee!

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Chris Kirby

Sunday 20th of March 2022

Hey Eve, I also wanted to add that I'm looking for these 4 pockets to be rectangular shaped patch pockets and ideally with an elasticized opening on top. If anyone out there knows where to find such an animal, please let me know. Much obliged.

Thanks again Chris

Chris Kirby

Sunday 20th of March 2022

Hi Eve, I'm looking for 4 patch pockets to have sewn into the inside breast of various jackets to carry my phone and I'm having a time of it finding any that would work. I think they might be called "tech pockets" - since they're used for phones. I can't abide carrying my phone around in my trouser pockets or the slash pocket in my jackets. I've got one down jacket with this style of pocket, but that's it. Thanks Chris

Sheila Schulz

Wednesday 25th of August 2021

I am a pocket nerd, I love pockets. Currently, my favourite pocket has an opening across a panel, and built into the middle of the panel on a dress, a top, pants, skirt, shorts, coat... XD

Not sure what it's called, but maybe it's a "panel pocket"? I often see them on the side panel of a princess seam

bill

Monday 27th of July 2020

so that means that the pocket on a t-shirt would be considered a patch pocket?

Eve Tokens

Tuesday 28th of July 2020

Hi Bill! Yes, exactly that! :)

Janice

Monday 11th of May 2020

Thank you very much. I sew clothes for small children, and they love pockets. Now I can sew many different kinds.

Eve Tokens

Tuesday 12th of May 2020

Oh brilliant! Pockets are such a great way to add a splash to all clothes! Enjoy!