Sew trouser pockets with double piping #TH02

Thumbnail for the tutorial Sew your own trouser pocket with double piping pocket

Sew trouser pockets with double piping #TH02

In the following tutorial, I explain step by step how to sew a pocket with double piping into the back of the trousers using video and illustrated text instructions. As sewing piped pockets requires some practice, I have made a free practice pattern available for download at this link. If you like, you can use this to practice the individual steps before you work the pockets into the trousers. Have fun and good luck!

1. This is required:

The picture shows what is needed to sew a trouser pocket with double piping.
These parts are required for sewing the trouser pocket with double piping.

Pattern pieces made from shell fabric:

  • Back pieces (HH) – 1 pair
  • Pocket bag facing (TBB HH) – 1 pair
  • Lower pocket piping (TSU HH) – 1 pair
  • Upper pocket piping (TSO HH) – 1 pair
  • Button loop (TSS) – 1 pair

Pattern pieces from interlining:

  • Lower pocket piping (ETSU HH) – 1 pair
  • Upper pocket piping (ETSO HH) – 1 pair
  • Pocket underlay (ETU HH) – 1 pair

Pattern pieces made from lining fabric:

  • Upper pocket bag (TBO HH) – 1 pair
  • Lower pocket bag (TBU HH) – 1 pair
  • Note: The two pattern pieces are identical. The area on the lower pocket bag is marked in the pattern where the pocket bag facing will be sewn on later.

Tools and aids:

  • Template for the pocket position (P-TZ HH) out of paper
  • 2 buttons
  • Pins
  • Hand shears
  • Tailor’s chalk or marking pen
  • Ruler

2. Fix the pocket opening

The picture shows how the position of the pocket is transferred to the rear trousers.
The pocket position is marked on the wrong side of the fabric.

First, I lay the back trousers in front of me with the wrong side of the fabric facing me and mark the pocket position. To do this, I place the template so that it is flush with the center back and the top. Then I transfer the pocket rectangle with tailor’s chalk.

The picture shows how the interlining is ironed onto the wrong side of the fabric.
The interlining on the pocket opening is ironed onto the wrong side of the fabric.

The interlining strip is placed over the center of this rectangle and ironed on.

3. Place the upper pocket bag

The picture shows how the upper pocket bag is placed on the back trousers.
The upper pocket bag is placed evenly over the marked pocket rectangle.

Now I place the upper pocket bag on the back of the trousers. It is marked with a V-shaped notch. This allows you to align this part “upwards” and the section with the shorter distance “to the center”. The pocket bag is placed so that the pocket rectangle is centered and the upper edges meet. I then secure it at the top and a few centimeters below the pocket rectangle with pins.

In this example, I have placed the pocket bag with the right side of the fabric on the wrong side of the back trousers. As I am working with a patterned lining fabric, I want the right side to be visible on the inside of the trousers.

4. Prepare double piping

The picture shows how the double piping is prepared.
The piping strips are fixed and ironed.

Now I iron the interlining onto the piping strips. I press the upper (narrow) piping strip together lengthwise in the middle. The bottom piping strip is pressed over 12 mm wide at the bottom edge. The value of 12 mm results from the piping width of 6 mm plus half the pocket height of 6 mm; you will find corresponding notch markings on the fold line for orientation.

5. Mark the pocket position

The picture shows how to mark the position of the trouser pocket on the right side of the fabric.
The pocket position is marked on the right side of the fabric.

To mark the pocket position, I lay the back trousers in front of me so that the right side of the fabric is visible. I mark the position of the pocket with the template.

6. Stitch on the pocket piping

The picture shows which auxiliary lines must be drawn for the double piping.
Mark the contact lines above and below the pocket rectangle.

I measure the exact height of the pocket rectangle in the template. In this example, this is 12 mm. This means that the two pipings are each 6 mm wide. From the top edge of the pocket rectangle, I draw a parallel line with this distance (6 mm) as a contact line upwards. From the bottom edge, I draw the second contact line at the same distance downwards.

The picture shows how the upper piping strip is placed at the line of contact.
The upper pocket piping is placed with the folded edge at the upper cast-on line.

The upper narrow piping strip is pinned to the back of the trousers so that the folded edge is at the top of the line of contact and the open long edges are facing downwards. The edges should protrude from the sides in equal distances.

The picture shows how the lower piping strip is placed on the lower auxiliary line.
The bottom piping strip is placed with the folded edge on the bottom auxiliary line.

I pin the bottom piping strip to the back of the trousers so that the folded edge is at the bottom line and the open long edges are facing upwards. The side previously pressed over 12 mm wide lies on the back of the trousers. Here, too, the piping strip should protrude from the sides in equal distances.

Before the piping strips are stitched in place, you need to transfer the width of the pocket. You can also transfer the top and bottom edges of the pocket rectangle to the piping strips as markings for the seam lines.

The picture shows how the piping strips of the double piping are stitched on.
The piping strips are stitched on.

I now topstitch the lower and upper pocket piping according to the marking using a straight stitch. When sewing on, it is important to work very precisely and to secure the start and end points well using a forward and back stitch.

7. Cut in the pocket opening

The picture shows how the distance between the seams is checked.
The seam distance of the attachment seams is checked.

After sewing, I check from the wrong side whether the seam lines match the pocket size on the template.

The picture shows how the pocket opening is cut open.
The pocket opening is cut open.

For the pocket opening, cut the opening through the back trousers and upper pocket bag in the middle between the 2 stitching lines up to approx. 6 mm before the end points. The easiest way to do this is to cut from the wrong side and fold away the seam allowances on the underside.

I cut from the ends of this incision line to just before the upper and lower start and end points of the quilting lines, creating a small triangle. Be careful not to cut the seam.

8. Iron double piping and pocket opening

The picture shows how the lower piping strip is pulled inwards and ironed.
The bottom piping seam is pressed out.

From the wrong side, pull the lower part of the double piping inwards through the incision so that the folded edge is facing upwards. Then I fold the turn-in upwards and press the seam apart.

The picture shows how the lower piping strip is laid down and ironed after ironing out.
The fold is folded down and ironed.

I then press the fold back down and iron over the seam.

The picture shows how to press open the top seam of the upper piping strip.
The top piping seam is pressed out.

Now I also pull the upper part of the double piping to the wrong side and lay it down so that the folded edge is facing downwards. Here, too, I press the seam allowance apart first.

The picture shows how the upper piping strip is ironed up again.
The seam allowance is ironed towards the waistband.

I then press the seam allowance over towards the waistband edge.

9. Secure the cut at the corners

The picture shows how the corners of the cut are secured.
The small triangles are pulled inwards and sewn in place.

The triangular snaps are stitched to the double piping from the inside. They must first be folded inwards, if this has not already been done automatically when pulling through the piping strips.

Before topstitching, check again that the upper and lower piping strips meet exactly at the fold. I recommend that you do not lock the quilting at first. This way, if you don’t get it right first time, you can unravel and correct it again without much effort.

10. Design variants double piping pocket

The picture shows various options for stitching the trouser pocket with double piping.
Four design suggestions for designing the piped pocket.

Depending on the design, you can now topstitch around the bag or not or only partially topstitch. You can also often see narrow bartacks on the sides, as shown in variants 2 and 4. If you want to have topstitching on the bottom seam, you must do this before the pocket is joined to the bottom pocket bag.

11. Make button loop

The picture shows how the button loop is prepared.
The strip for the button loop is ironed.

Optionally, you can make a button loop. To do this, first iron the long sides of the pattern piece lengthwise to the center. The strip is then doubled over and stitched together close to the edge.

The picture shows how the button loop is folded and fixed.
The button loop is folded and fixed in place.

I fold the finished ribbon in half, as shown in the picture. Both sides lie flat next to each other. An area with a triangular tip forms in the middle. I secure this with a machine or hand stitch.

The picture shows how the button loop is sewn to the seam allowance.
The button loop is positioned and sewn in place.

Starting at the top edge of the bar, I mark the button length. I then pin the loop in the center of the pocket opening. The marking for the button length is on the break line of the upper piping strip. The tip of the loop points downwards. Then I sew the loop onto the seam allowance above the pocket opening from the inside.

12. Connect the lower pocket bag

The picture shows how the pocket bag cover is placed on the lower pocket bag.
The facing is stitched to the lower pocket bag.

I now topstitch the bottom edge of the pocket bag facing to the wrong side of the lower pocket bag. Here the notches serve as a mooring marker. The bottom edge can be serged and open-edged or folded over 10 mm and topstitched. I opt for the 2nd option, as my materials are relatively thin.

The picture shows how the lower edge of the lower pocket piping is attached to the upper pocket bag.
The lower edge of the lower piping strip is sewn onto the upper pocket bag.

I also topstitch the bottom edge of the lower piping strip to the upper pocket bag. Here, too, you can either neaten the edge and topstitch it open-edged or fold it over by 10 mm.

The picture shows the finished and finished pocket bag.
This is what the sewn-together and serged pocket bag looks like.

The two pocket bags are now joined together at the sides and the bottom edge. To do this, I first pin them together and then sew them together with a straight stitch and 10 mm edge distance. The edges are then finished.

13. Topstitch the top and side opening edges

The picture shows how the pocket opening is pinned before topstitching.
The pocket opening is secured with a few pins before it is topstitched.

I now place the trouser part in front of me with the right side facing up. If you have opted for the version with topstitching around the double piping, topstitch the sides and top. It is helpful to pin the pocket opening with 1 to 2 pins beforehand.

The picture shows how to work when the stitching should not be visible from the outside.
The pocket bag is then invisibly stitched in place.

For the version without visible topstitching on the top edge, I fold the fabric down above the opening and pin it in place. Now I topstitch through the sides and top of the pocket bag on the upper pocket bag directly behind the attachment seam, so that you can only grap down into the pocket.

The picture shows how side bartacks are worked next to the double piping.
Piped pocket with side straps.

For the design with the side bartacks, I recommend trying it out on a piece of fabric first. In this example, I have used a narrow zigzag stitch with a stitch width of 2.5 mm and a stitch length of 0.5 mm.

14. Sew pocket bag to waistband edge

The picture shows how the pocket bag is attached to the edge of the waistband with an auxiliary seam.
The top edge of the pocket bag is attached to the waistband edge with an auxiliary seam.

Finally, the pocket bag is sewn to the waistband edge with an auxiliary seam at 5 mm edge distance. Your trouser pockets with double piping are finished and you can continue with the next step.

Here is a selection of links to further steps:

 

If you’re not quite ready yet and perhaps want to start from scratch, you’ll find some links here: