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How To Add Pockets To Your Cosplay

Pockets are essential for any clothing, so here's a tutorial and pattern to add one to your cosplay.

Difficulty Easy

Time Less than 10 hours

Budget Less than $50

How To Add Pockets To Your Cosplay
Courtesy Casey Renee Cosplay

Have you ever complimented someone on their cosplay and had the response, “Thanks, it has pockets.”?

How To Add Pockets To Your Cosplay

Let’s be honest, pockets make our lives in cosplay so much easier. Since the beginning of my cosplay making adventures I have found many places to hide my phone and money while walking the convention floor. Everything from my boot to a bow quiver, and once I even turned a stuffed Flounder Plush into a purse so I had something. It wasn’t until 2015 when I was making an 18th Century version of Belle that I realised the true power of pockets.

How To Add Pockets To Your Cosplay

Ever since then, it has been my mission to add pockets to all of my ball gowns. Adding pockets to costumes is not as hard to do as you might think. You might have to get creative to find a place to hide the pocket but I’ll give you some tips on adding pockets and share with you 3 ways to add pockets to your cosplay.

During Costume Construction

The first and easiest way to add pockets is while you are making the darn thing. I have created a printable pocket pattern for all to enjoy, it should be large enough to hold a cell phone, small wallet and maybe even a snack or two. For this tutorial I will show you how to add pockets to a skirt or dress.

How To Add Pockets To Your Cosplay

1. Cut out 2 “pocket bag” pieces per pocket in matching fabric, this can be the actual fabric used on the garment or something close to it.

2. Overlock or zig zag stitch all the way around the pocket in order to keep the fabric from fraying.

3. On the side seam of the front panel of the skirt or dress measure 4” from the waist and pin the top of the pocket piece down to the bottom with the pocket right sides together, repeat on the side seam of the back panel that lines up with the front.

How To Add Pockets To Your Cosplay

4. Sew that down and press the pocket piece away from the skirt panel.

How To Add Pockets To Your Cosplay

5. With the right sides together, pin the two panels together starting at the top, once you get to the pocket, pin around the pocket and continue down the panel.

How To Add Pockets To Your Cosplay

6. Sew together making sure to reinforce the connection of the pocket, to do this backstitch on the corner turning into the pocket and when turning out of the pocket.

7. Press the entire panel, including the pocket and proceed construction as normal.

How To Add Pockets To Your Cosplay

If you’re anything like me, you probably have dozens of costumes that you already made and want to add pockets to. Someday I will sit down and add pockets to every single costume I made previously. That day is not today but I will share with you two different methods to add pockets to costumes that have already been constructed.

Add Pockets to a Dress or Skirt After it’s Constructed

Adding a pocket to a finished skirt or dress is very similar to adding it during construction. You will need your seam ripper for this and depending on how the garment was constructed come prepared with patience.

How To Add Pockets To Your Cosplay
My Sabrina Dress

1. Cut out 2 “pocket bag” pieces per pocket in matching fabric, this can be the actual fabric used on the garment or something close to it.

2. Overlock or zig zag stitch all the way around the pocket in order to keep the fabric from fraying.

3. On the side seam of the skirt or dress mark with a pin 4” below the waist. This can be at your natural waist or from a waist seam or band.

4. Measure the opening of the pocket and place a pin that distance away from the first pin.

How To Add Pockets To Your Cosplay

5. Using your seam ripper, pick out the seam from the inside between the two pins.

How To Add Pockets To Your Cosplay

6. Once all the unpicking is done, dispose of as much of the thread as possible and then proceed to pin the pocket pieces right sides together to the garment.

7. Sew the pocket pieces to the garment and then press the pocket pieces away from the garment.

How To Add Pockets To Your Cosplay

8. Bring the pocket pieces to the inside of the garment. Pin them together and then sew them together reinforcing the corners like you would if you were adding them during construction.

How To Add Pockets To Your Cosplay

Now your garment has pockets!

Add Pockets to a Vest, Jacket or Shirt After it’s Constructed

Adding a pocket to the inside of a shirt or jacket is a bit trickery than adding it to a skirt or dress. What makes it difficult is sewing the pocket into the garment without the stitches being seen. This is easiest to do if the garment has a lining in it.

How To Add Pockets To Your Cosplay
Victorian Slytherin Photo by Alexandra Lee Studios

1. Cut out 1 rectangle at 6 inches wide by 8 inches tall for every pocket you would like to add.

2. Overlock or zig zag stitch all the way around the pocket in order to keep the fabric from fraying.

3. Fold the top of the pocket down ¾” press and sew that in place.

4. Press the other three sides in by ½”.

5. For placement of the pocket, try to find a location that is easy to get to but also won’t look weird if there is say a cellphone in that space. Pin the side and bottom of the pocket piece to the garment.

How To Add Pockets To Your Cosplay

6. Using a whip stitch, hand stitch down the pocket on the sides and bottom trying to avoid stitching through to the top fabric. Hand sewing is easiest with a thimble, sharp needle and thread wax.

How To Add Pockets To Your Cosplay

Now you have sufficiently added pockets to your cosplay. This means you hold the power of the universe in your very hands, or at least in your pockets.

About the Author

Casey Renee Cosplay avatar

Casey Renee Cosplay

Contributor

Casey is an award-winning cosplayer focused on craftsmanship and sewing. As a self-taught sewist she strives to share everything she learns with the cosplay community. Casey loves creating tutorials on YouTube and has recently started vlogging her more challenging projects to break down the perception that everything always comes out perfect the first time. Casey is most known for winning the Twitchcon Cosplay Contest in 2018 and since then she has been thankful for all the opportunities to judge cosplay contests and inspire others to compete. In 2020 Casey partnered with Janome Sewing Machines and now she gets to reach even more future sewists to spread the love of sewing, Disney, and Historical costuming. (Bio pic by Alexandra Lee Studios)

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