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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! If you’d like a more in-depth overview of pockets, this post on pockets was written a while back and there’s the first in this new series 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 creating a fashion designer to pintuck her remain 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 live a creation from ok to amazing.

There are three types of pockets (and you can read about those specifically in this older post of mine ← this old post will open in another window!) but within those ‘types of pockets’ are different kinds, which is what we’ll look at a little more closely today!

Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you make a purchase at no further cost to you.

Close up photo of grey pin tucked pocket

Three Types Of Pockets

A quick overview of the three types of pockets:

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

Patch Pockets

Patch pockets are pockets 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’, meaning there would not be any visible top stitching unless done so as a design feature.

Within the patch pocket type there are several styles!

Here’s one of my favourite patch pockets being sewn – as mentioned above!

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.

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.

These 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

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!

For now though, let’s move on…

Inseam Pockets

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

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

An inseam pocket

Jacket In-Seam Pockets

Some though 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

These are types of pockets that exist 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.

Welt pocket detail on black bomber style 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 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!

And so I leave you with this one final image. It is an image of one of my favourite ways to use a jet pocket, and one I will be showing in a tutorial in the next couple of weeks, so do stay tuned! 🙂

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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!

Sharon Trokanski

Wednesday 1st of April 2020

Ebay seller looking for more knowledge to upgrade my descriptions. Thank you so much for this article with pics. I cannot sew but am incredibly grateful that others can! Issy

Eve Tokens

Tuesday 12th of May 2020

Oh, thanks for letting me know! I try to create content that is helpful for others who don't necessarily sew! :)