TUTORIAL: KID Pants with POCKETS

by Dana on July 6, 2008

You’ve mastered the Basic Pant, adding a lining, and the flat front.
Let’s add one more detail…Pockets!

Adding visible front pockets to pants are easy. Of course there are fancier ways to do it (such as enclosing the top of the pocket inside a separately sewn-on waistband). But you know I like to keep it simple. So that’s what we’re doing here.
Simple pockets for complex kids. Oh, why does he look 16 already? The teenage years are gonna kill me.
This post is actually an updated version of the original pocket tutorial, with improved photos and….a printable pattern piece! Yay!
The pattern has two pocket sizes…
Large, which hits just above the knee (as seen here):

And Small (seen here):
and here:

But any way you make them, they’re perfect for picking up rocks and tucking them away.
Also, you can tell the pants are a bit baggy here. I added an extra 1/4 inch everywhere when I cut them out, for my growing boy. I’ve already washed/dried the pants once and they shrunk up a bit more. I’ve noticed that even when I pre-wash my fabrics, this tends to happen. Okay….

Let’s get started!

For this pair of pants, we’ll pull from the previous Flat Front Pants tutorial. Pockets could also be sewn to the Basic Pant but they look so much nicer with a smooth flat front.


Print the Front POCKET pattern HERE.
* You’ll automatically be prompted to open the 1-page pdf in Preview
* Save and/or print the doc to your home printer
* If you don’t have a printer, place a piece of paper over your computer screen and trace!

The pattern looks like the photo below (but you’ll want to follow the download info above, so you can print it to actual size).
LARGE size
– cut along the dark solid line
SMALL size
– cut along the dotted and solid lines
You need two layers for each pocket (the outer pocket fabric and a lining fabric). You can use the same fabric for both but I like to mix it up a bit just for fun. The striped fabric here is from Hobby Lobby clearance. So the total cost for the pants was only $2!

And with the pants fabric, lining fabric, and pocket pattern, we’re ready to go.
As outlined in the Flat Front Pants tutorial, lay out and cut your pants pieces.
Some of you have asked how I get both legs to match up perfectly at the crotch. It’s all in the cutting! And it’s not hard. Make sure–as you cut through a double-layer of fabric–that both fabric sides are lined up and match up. Look at the photo above and you can see the edge of the bottom layer of fabric peeking out. The stripes are matched perfectly to the top layer of fabric. When you cut and sew, you end up with this:
Kind of fun.

Okay, next cut out your pockets.
NOTE: I wanted the pockets to stand out and give contrast to the pants, so I turned the fabric sideways. Now the pockets have horizontal stripes, while the pants have vertical stripes.

Fold your fabric in half (so you end up with two opposite pockets) and cut two pocket pieces. Try to match up the stripes on both sides of the fabric so your fabric print will look similar on both pockets.
Cut out two lining pieces also.
You should have four pieces, like this:
With right sides of the fabric together, pin each pocket and lining piece together. We’re going to sew these together and turn them right-side out to create a nice, finished, pocket edge. Note in the photo below that you do not want to sew the side of the pocket. Leave it open so you can turn it right-side out.
Sew from one side, around to the other, using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.
Snip the fabric at the curved seam a few times. This will help it to lay flat.
Turn the pockets right-side out, pushing everything out at the corners and seams.
Press with an iron.
You should have two pockets like this (the underside fabric is brown):
Now we need to finish off the curve of the pocket with a top-stitch so that it will eventually match the rest of the pocket stitching.
Sew a top-stitch line about 1/8 inch from the edge of the curve. I prefer a contrasting thread color, so it pops and stands out.
If you prefer double-stitching (but you’re too lazy like me to get out the double needle), move over another 1/8 inch and sew a second line, parallel to the first.
Your pockets are ready!
Let’s sew them on.
Sew your pants up to the first step–sew the two front pieces together.
Lay the pockets on top and space them where you’d like. Remember that the top waistband will be folded down about 1 inch, so account for that in your spacing.
Pin both pockets in place and don’t worry that they overhang the side seam. That’s intentional, to allow you plenty of room for placement (the pocket will be sewn right into the pants seam and you can trim off the excess).
Sew the pockets to your pants, 1/8 inch over from the edge of the pocket. Sew all the way around and remember that you do not want to sew the curve of the pocket closed! Do a double stitch on everything and your pockets are in place.
Continue sewing your pants together, as outlined in the Flat Front Tutorial. I also decided to double top-stitch the front and back crotch seams so it would match the stitching of the pockets.
Make sure you press all your seams and you end up with this:
Flat Front Pants with Pockets!
That wasn’t so bad, right?
Time to fill them with treasures….

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Shannon January 13, 2012 at 10:50 pm

Thank you so much for this tutorial. I drafted my first pair of boy pants with it. Awesome!

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2 Gretchen Rens January 26, 2012 at 10:36 am

New sew-er, pretty excited about these pants!!!! Where did you find this blue stripe fabric?? THX-SO-MUCH :)

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3 Dana January 26, 2012 at 11:00 am

great! The fabric is from Hobby Lobby, last year. Sorry :( That doesn’t help you much.

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4 Sandra February 11, 2012 at 5:38 pm

Thank you so much for your different tutorials-I´m from Hamburg, and sometimes I don´t understand all the” sewing words”-but your way of discribe is wonderful and easy-and:I LOVE the way you dress your son!

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5 Lizzie April 16, 2012 at 9:32 am

Hi! These are GREAT! My son is so tall and skinny that store-bought pants never fit right. Going to make some of these for summer….and perhaps shorts using the same pattern.

Quick question….is this an elastic waist? Do you have a tutorial that shows how to finish the waist?

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6 Sam April 20, 2012 at 3:07 am

if you check the “kid pants the basic pants” under tutorials, top right corner. There are the step by step instructions and pattern to make that basic pants for all of the pants Dana has. You use the basic pants and add knee pads, pockets, flat front, lining, cut to shorts, whatever!

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7 Latisha Farley April 19, 2012 at 9:25 am

I am in love with these pants! Thank you so much for these pant tutorials and the downloadable pattern. I have made 3 pairs, and I have fabric to make 3 more. I adjusted the pattern to fit my 5 year old and then to fit my 20 months old baby. I’m so addicted to making these. I can’t stop!

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8 Julie Aukstkalnis June 13, 2012 at 10:35 am

I would love to make these in adult size. I think I will give it a try, thank you!

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9 Sally June 24, 2012 at 11:25 pm

Thankyou so much for this tutorial. I used it to make my first ever pair of pants and am feeling so pleased about it! Just wanted to share them: http://a-little-crafty.blogspot.com.au/2012/06/first-shorts.html

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10 Anne July 23, 2012 at 2:10 am

Hi Dana! Thank you for this. I recently completed your Basic Flat Front Pants using a simple blue and white stripe oxford cotton fabric. It was a success, except that when I showed it to my family, they all said, “Wow, you made pajamas!” I was a bit annoyed because I wanted so badly to copy the striped pants in your tutorial for my 6yr old son. Anyway, I guess I used the wrong fabric, maybe it’s too thin and, well, pajama-ish. Now, I think this will make the pants look more outdoorsy with the cute patch pockets in perpendicular direction. Maybe I can also add outer patch pockets at the back so it won’t look like pajamas. Yay! Thanks again.

By the way, by some divine intervention (called God’s grace), I was able to grade up your 2-3yr old pant pattern to size 6-7! And it fit my son perfectly (his body type is pretty much like your son, just taller by 4 years)! I’d be glad to share it with you if you like. : )

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11 Anne August 1, 2012 at 9:45 pm

Hi! I DID IT!!! You can check out my finished product here:
http://alittlebitofanne.wordpress.com/2012/07/31/handsome-pants/
Thanks so much for sharing. I’m a big fan of your tutorials. Keep them coming please!

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12 Charity August 27, 2012 at 8:13 pm

Thanks for this pattern!! I had a blast making them and will definitely do it again. You can check out my finished project here:

http://tayfamilynews.blogspot.ca/2012/08/project-monday.html

Thanks again!

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13 Katrin September 21, 2012 at 2:01 am

Hey Dana,

I just started sewing & reading your blog. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge and your patterns here for the rest of us! I also have a skinny 3 year old so I’m thrilled to see your patterns fit him so perfectly. One question regarding these pants – I love the look of the double stitching but am having a hard time making them stand out — even with contrasting colored thread. Are you using a heavier thread than just your standard all purpose thread to make them pop like that? And if so what kind?

Thanks again & cheers!

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14 Anna December 15, 2012 at 9:09 am

Hi.
Thanks for these great patterns. I made a flat front lined pants with pockets. So three of the tutorials in one shot :-). It turned out great!
Photos are in my picassa here: https://picasaweb.google.com/115629584322853555509/IDidThis02#5822149151548274178

So thanks again!!

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15 Taylor February 23, 2013 at 10:55 pm

hey dana as im getting ready for “the boy” i just realized there are only for 2-3t… how much extra should i add for 4t so you think??

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16 Dana February 24, 2013 at 11:05 pm

I would grab a pair of your son’s current pants and gauge how much extra you need to add.

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17 Erin March 12, 2013 at 8:11 pm

What a handsome young guy you have & thanks for the tutorial, with 3 boys I need pants galore!

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18 Shannon in the desert April 7, 2013 at 11:51 pm

Here’s one of my finished products! I topstitched along the very top edge of the waistband all the way around this time, and I think it helped me get the waistband to behave.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/34601963@N03/8629560659/in/photostream

Thanks for the great pattern! Already have a couple more in the works!

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19 Sylva August 14, 2013 at 10:21 am

Big thank you for your tutorials! I just finished this pants (my absolutely first with sewing machine) and they are amazing…I am realy proud of myself :-D So thx thx thx ;-)

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20 Vaida November 24, 2013 at 7:04 am

Thanks for a great tutorial! I’ve made my son these pants with pockets – and they are really nice! And the pockets are adding some charm and cuteness :)
http://xvaidax.blogspot.com/2013/11/pants-pants.html

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21 arihant surana January 16, 2014 at 4:49 am

I want to know what fabrics are used for boys kids tousers from age 2 to 12. N which fabrics is used when means which fabric in summer which fabric in winter
how many months its like. Winter season for 3 4 months like so.. full details

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22 Tammy Joy April 2, 2014 at 10:40 am

Thanks for the great tutorial and pattern piece. I used it to add pockets to a pair of shorts for my daughter. She is wearing a size 10, but the large work great.

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