Fremantle Pants Pattern Hack- Part 2: In-seam Pockets

Fremantle Pants Pattern Hack Pattern making Pattern Tutorial

Hello again! Today's post is a continuation from yesterdays post of altering the Fremantle Pants into a high waist pant. If you haven't already read it - you can see it here

I mentioned in my last post that I'd be making this version into shorts. I already have so many pairs of Fremantle Pants in heavy rotation and now that it's coming into summer here, these pasty legs of mine need to see some sun. Please don't be confused if you see the pattern pieces and instructions interchanging between shorts and pants. This won't affect the rest of the tutorial.

So now that you've raised the waistline of your pants, it's time to change the pocket style from angled side pockets, to in-seam pockets. 

In-seam pockets can be added to most garments with a straight or subtly curved seam. Styles with noticeably curved side seams aren't the most suitable for this type of pocket as they may not sit flat.

If you have a sewing pattern with an in-seam pocket bag shape you already love - feel free to use it. Otherwise, it's super easy to draft your own. 

First, I traced the shape of the side seam of the Front piece of the pants and decided where I want my pocket opening to start. 

Place your hand down and trace around, however large you want your pocket bag to be, including seam allowance. Mark another notch where you want the bottom of the pocket opening to finish.

Cut out and label your new pattern piece. Line the Pocket Bag pattern piece up against the Front piece. Transfer the grainline from the Front piece to the Pocket Bag. 


Transfer the notches from the Pocket Bag, to the Front and Back pattern pieces.

If your fabric isn't particularly stable, or has the potential to warp, you may like to place iron on interfacing around the pocket openings. Cut the interfacing to the same length as the pocket bag, and 1cm wide.

Apply the interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric.

Overlock/finish the rounded edges of the pocket bags.

Line the pocket bags up against the notches of the front and back pieces, right sides of the fabric facing together. Sew the pocket bag on, using a seam allowance 1/2mm less than the seam allowance you'll be using on the side seam. 

Overlock/finish the side seams.

Press the pocket bag out flat.

Stitch close along the edge of the pocket bag lining. This step is optional, but it will help keep the pocket lining neatly in place once everything is assembled.

Place the corresponding Front and Back pieces together, right sides together. Ensure the pocket bags are lined up neatly. Stitch down the side seam until you reach the notch of the pocket bag. With the needle in the fabric, lift the foot up and pivot the fabric around to sew around the edge of the pocket bag. Once you sew around the curve and reach the other notch of the pocket back, pivot again and continue sewing down the rest of the side seam.

Here is an illustrated version, to get a clearer idea of the stitching lines.

Press the seams towards the front.

And there you go - there's now a sneaky pocket lurking in that side seam.

Too easy. 

Now to bask in the patchiness that is my onion dyed cotton. This fabric was originally a tablecloth I found at the op-shop for $4. 

The shorts look super cute, but I'll limit them to wears around the house until I over dye them again with something that will give me an even, solid finish.

I'd love to see if anybody tries this pattern hack! 

Tag me on Instagram and use the hashtags #elbetextiles and #Fremantlepants

Happy sewing xx


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  • Brenda Abbott on

    I add pockets to most of my clothes. Even already made clothes from the thrift stores. I open the side seams and add my pocket from worn out t-shirts, yoga pants, or even cotton fabric scraps. They turn out great. I put them in pants, dresses and shorts. If it is a pre made item, it pays to try it on and mark where the pocket should start. I made a mistake not doing this once and had to take the pocket out (no fun) and redo it as I had it wayyyyy too low. LOL!

  • Krystin on

    Is this the same method as the pockets in the Trigg Shorts pattern? This is my first time making shorts with pockets and am glad to have this walk through! Thank you so much!

  • Sharon on

    Where can I find this pattern? Thank you 🙂

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