Mastering the Skill: A Comprehensive Guide on How to Sew a Zipper Pocket

You’ve got a knack for sewing, but zippers can be tricky, right? Especially when it comes to sewing a zipper pocket. It’s not just about attaching a zipper, but also about creating a pocket that’s sturdy and functional. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

In this step-by-step guide, you’ll learn how to sew a zipper pocket like a pro. Whether you’re a seasoned seamstress or a beginner, you’ll find these tips helpful. So, let’s get started and boost your sewing skills to the next level.

Adding a zipper pocket to a garment enhances both its functionality and style, a task that requires precise cutting, alignment, and sewing of the zipper. The inclusion of a zipper pocket is not only practical but also a stylish element that can be learned through comprehensive guides available at The Sewing Directory. For further refinement of this skill, engaging with detailed step-by-step articles like those on can provide additional insights and techniques.

Choosing the Right Fabric and Zipper for Your Zipper Pocket

Choosing the right materials can dramatically impact the effectiveness and durability of your zipper pocket. Let’s explore how to make the best choice for fabric and zipper.

When it comes to fabric, durability and flexibility are of utmost importance. Consider fabrics like denim, ripstop nylon, or heavy-duty cotton. These options provide a sturdy structure for your pocket, ensuring it can hold items securely without the risk of tearing. Also, keep in mind the fabric’s compatibility with the garment. For instance, if you’re adding a zipper pocket to a rain jacket, you’ll want a water-resistant fabric.

As for zippers, you’ll want a type known as a “closed-end” zipper. Unlike it’s open-ended counterpart used in jackets, a closed-end zipper terminates at both ends, making it an excellent choice for pockets. Size is important too, be sure it’s large enough to allow easy access to the pocket. Typically, a 9 to 12 inch zipper is a versatile length for most pockets.

Another key consideration is the zipper’s shape. Straight or slightly curved zippers are often the best choices as they are easy to sew and provide effortless operation when in use. However, if you are considering a more stylized pocket, a uniquely shaped zipper can add an interesting visual element to your garment.

Here’s a brief overview:

FabricDenim, Ripstop Nylon, Heavy-duty Cotton
Zipper TypeClosed-end
Zipper Size9 to 12 inches
Zipper ShapeStraight or Slightly Curved

There are many more elements to explore, like the type of needle, thread, and precise sewing techniques that’ll best serve your project. Continue reading on and we’ll delve into each of these crucial aspects.

Measuring and Cutting Your Fabric Pieces

Perfect measurements are the foundation of an excellent zipper pocket. So, let’s dive right in and take a close look at the process.

First, you’ll want to gather your measuring and cutting tools. These include a steel measuring tape, tailors’ chalk for marking, and a sharp pair of fabric scissors or a rotary cutter. Take note that the accuracy of your measurements can directly impact the quality of your finished pocket.

To start with, you’ll need to decide on the dimensions of your pocket. A common pocket size is 5″ x 5″, but you can certainly customize this to your preferences or the specific needs of the garment. Once you’ve made this decision, add an extra 1″ to each dimension. So if you’re going for a 5″ x 5″ pocket, you should cut out a fabric rectangle that measures 6″ x 6″. This additional space allows for seam allowances on all sides.

When marking your fabric, ensure you’re marking on the wrong side – this will keep visible chalk lines off your finished pocket. Use your measuring tape to mark out a square or rectangle in the dimensions determined, then connect your marks using a ruler. Double check your measurements before you start cutting.

Now comes the exciting part — getting to cut the fabric. Be careful as you’ll want smooth, even cuts for a professional finish. It’s often helpful to use a cutting mat with a ruler guide, especially if you’re using a rotary cutter. If you’re using scissors, remember to cut along the outside of your chalk line to ensure proper sizing.

Make two identical pieces – one for the pocket front and one for the pocket lining. By the end of these steps, you’ll be well on your way to having a well-sized and cut fabric piece, ready for the next stage: attaching the zipper. But don’t worry — it’s not as daunting as it might on the surface. Take it one step at a time, and you’ll develop a zipper pocket you can be proud of. If there’s anything sewing can teach us, it’s patience and precision. Keep your spirits high, and your results will follow suit.

Preparing the Zipper and Pocket Pieces

Moving forward, preparation of the zipper and pocket pieces is pivotal. You’ve got your fabric pieces cut to accurate measurements. Now, it’s time to set everything up to start the sewing process. The entire procedure can be divided into two steps for your ease.

Step 1: Aligning the Zipper: Begin by laying one of your fabric pieces, the right side up. Place your zipper on top, with the zipper pull pointing downwards. The zipper’s top stop should be 1/2 inch down from the top of your fabric piece. Make sure to carefully align the zipper edge to the fabric’s edge.

Step 2: Preparing the Lining and Pocket Front: Follow this by placing the other fabric piece on top, with the right side facing downwards. The fastener now ought to be sandwiched between the two fabric pieces. Your pocket front and lining are thereby prepared.

This stage involves a good deal of delicate positioning and pinning. It’s crucial to sew along the zipper’s edge, keeping an appropriate seam allowance. A zipper foot on your sewing machine would be extremely useful here.

Remember the ultimate aim: to create a zipper pocket that’s both functional and visually appealing. Whether in a purse, a skirt, or your favorite pair of jeans, the craft lies in the detailing. Keep focusing on perfecting your alignment, and above all else, patience is key.

Attaching the Zipper to the Pocket

Let’s dive right into the next crucial step: attaching the zipper to the pocket. This task is easier said than done — it requires precision, a steady hand, and a fair bit of patience. But don’t worry! With the right approach and guidance, you’ll master this skill without a hitch.

Before you begin, ensure your sewing machine is ready and you’ve got your zipper and pocket pieces within reach. It’s crucial that all preparations are done before you proceed. Handling your measurements and sewing materials carefully is key in this step.

The first task in attaching the zipper involves aligning the zipper tape with the pocket cut’s edge. Positioning the zipper correctly is more than crucial. The slider should face the pocket front. An incorrect alignment can lead to an uncomfortable pocket. Keep in mind that you’re aiming for a smooth operation of the zipper and a high-quality end product. Precise alignment = Comfortable use.

After you’ve aligned the zipper correctly, it’s time to pin your zipper in place. Pinning acts as a guide during the sewing process and ensures your zipper stays in place while sewing. Try to use as many pins as necessary but remember not to overdo it.

Move to the sewing machine once you’ve pinned the zipper. Sew along the edge of the zipper using the appropriate seam allowance. You might find it’s tricky to navigate around the zipper’s slider. Here’s an expert tip: lower your needle, lift your presser foot and slide the slider past the needle. This maneuver allows you to continue sewing without hinderances.

Always remember, practice makes perfect. So don’t be disheartened if you don’t get it right the first time, or even the second. Keep at it, and you’ll slowly but surely achieve sewing success.

Sewing the Sides of the Pocket

Alright, now that we’ve thoroughly covered attaching the zipper, let’s dive into the specifics of sewing the sides of the pocket. It’s crucial to remember: no shortcuts here! Good technique leads to a professional result.

Start by lining up the sides of your pocket fabric, ensuring they’re even. Wrestle any stubborn fabrics to align right using pins if needed. Pins can be your secret weapon in achieving a straight seam.

Eventhough machine sewing is faster, hand sewing’s an option for you if you want more control for tricky corners and fine details.

Consider the following points before you dive in:

  • Use a straight stitch for the sides, ensuring the setting on your machine is correct.
  • You can reinforce the seams by going up and down a couple of times at the beginning and end.
  • Maintain a consistency in your seam allowance throughout.
  • Take extra care around the zipper – you don’t want your machine’s needle to hit the metal and break!

Let’s give your pocket a final touch. Turn the pocket right side out, and give it a good press. The ironing will give your pocket a neat, finished look and can also picture in your mind, did you succeed in placing your zipper correctly? If yes, then you’re on the right track.

Moving forward, we’ll take you through attaching the pocket to the garment. Sewing a zipper pocket needn’t be intimidating. With the right steps, it’s a skill you can master. Now that we’ve set the foundation with ‘zipper attachment’ and ‘sewing the pocket sides’, the final steps should be a breeze.

Finishing Touches and Finalizing the Zipper Pocket

Before you proceed with your pocket’s permanent attachment to the garment, there is a key step you mustn’t overlook. The finishing touches to your zipper pocket give it that professional, clean look that sets your work apart from amateur attempts. Let’s delve into some of those vital aspects now.

Preserve Shape with Pressing

After attaching your pocket to the garment press it carefully using a press cloth or a hand towel. This step ensures the preservation of the fabric around your zipper pocket and gives it a neat, smooth appearance.

Revise Your Stitching

Re-root through your project taking a closer look at the stitches. You’re looking for any unevenness or loose ends that may compromise the durability and look of your pocket. Any found should be rectified immediately.

Topstitching for a Refined Look

A row of topstitching around the zipper hole adds strength and a chic finish to your pocket. Maintaining a uniform distance from the opening ensures your pocket endures regular use and looks its best.

Now let’s discuss the attachment of your zipper pocket to the garment.

Attaching the Pocket

Start by aligning your pocket with the markings on your garment. Secure it with pins to maintain alignment during stitching. Stick to simple straight stitch to attach the pocket. Refrain from going over the zipper teeth when sewing, to avoid any potential damage to your sewing machine.

Reinforce the Zipper Seams

The vertical seams of your pocket – right on the top and bottom of the zipper – should be secured with backstitching. This step enhances the resilience of your zipper pocket and guarantees long-lasting use.

Do note, if during your initial practice run you’re not feeling confident about tackling the zipper pocket directly onto your garment, have a few DIY practices using old clothes or cheap fabric. Practice makes perfect and sews a flawless zipper pocket. While these tips should equip you for pocket perfection, remember each project offers unique learning experiences. Take in each challenge as a lesson in enhancing your sewing skills.


You’ve learned the art of sewing a zipper pocket. It’s all about those finishing touches – pressing the pocket and checking your stitches. Don’t forget that topstitching around the zipper hole. It not only gives a refined look but also adds strength to your pocket. Attaching the pocket to your garment is a crucial step. Remember to align it correctly and use pins to keep it in place. A straight stitch will do the job, but backstitching the vertical seams will reinforce it. Practice makes perfect, so don’t hesitate to try on old clothes or cheap fabric. Now you’re ready to enhance your garments with a professional-looking zipper pocket. Happy sewing!

Why is pressing the pocket important?

Pressing the pocket can significantly preserve its shape and enhance its overall appearance, resulting in tidy stitches and a clean finish.

How do I ensure the durability of the pocket?

You can ensure the durability of the pocket by carefully inspecting and revising the stitching. Any unevenness or loose ends should be rectified immediately to prevent them from compromising its durability.

What’s the purpose of adding topstitching around the zipper hole?

Adding a row of topstitching around the zipper hole provides a refined look and also contributes to the strength of the pocket, ensuring its longevity.

How to keep the pocket in alignment while stitching?

To ensure the pocket stays in alignment during stitching, you should align the pocket with the markings on the garment and use pins to maintain that alignment.

Which stitch should I use to attach the pocket to the garment?

Using a simple straight stitch is advisable when attaching the pocket to the garment. It’s also important to reinforce the vertical seams of the pocket with backstitching.

What’s the best way to practice sewing a zipper pocket?

Before sewing a zipper pocket directly onto a garment, you can practice on old clothes or cheap fabric. This would help you gain confidence and accuracy before attempting on the actual material.