Sew New Pockets in Jeans




About: The only time I open my mouth is to change feet


The front pocket in my favourite pair of jeans just ripped after I put away my wallet. As I fumble the contents from the ripped pocket to various other pockets I realized that this particular repair has never come up for me before. I figured that replacing a jeans pocket would be a fun project to share.

After some brainstorming and seeking the advice of an expert seamstress I was able to fix my ripped pocket with a new, fun patterned fabric pocket.

Here's how I did it!

Step 1: Assess Damage

First step is to turn your jeans inside out and assess the damage.

If your rip is near the edge of your pocket, there may be an easy fix: just sew a larger seam and close up the tear opening. However, if the rip is in the centre or top of your pocket, you're probably going to have to replace the entire pocket. It seems my pocket had a small patch that had been worn thin from the edge of my aluminum wallet. So, even if I ran a small stitch over the opening the fatigued fabric would continue to tear. The only solution was to replace the entire pocket.

Step 2: Mark Existing Pocket + Remove

Lie the pocket flat and mark on where you want to cut. Make sure not to cut too close to where the pocket is attached to the jeans. By offsetting your cut you'll leave enough fabric for your new pocket to be sew onto.

Step 3: Transfer Dimensions + Cut

Fold your donor fabric in half (pattern/texture side in) and place flat on a table. Lie the pocket cut-off on your donor fabric, ensuring fabric fold on cut-off and donor fabric match, and transfer the pocket outline with chalk or washable marker. Trace two outlines, the original shape and an offset of about 6mm (1/4")

Cut out along your offset trace, then sew a heavy stitch along trace line. Optional:  and surge along the offset.

Step 4: Sew New Pocket to Jeans

After sewing, turn your new pocket right-side-out and place inside your inside out jeans (confusing, see pictures). After lining up the cut-off ledges use plenty of pins to hold the pocket in place while sewing. Starting from the jean seam, sew around pocket edge along the trace line (optional: use surger if appropriate).

Take your time, this step is tricky.

Step 5: Clean Up + Wear!

Turn your jeans right-side-out and admire your new pockets. You're now ready to rock new dino-pockets!



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    8 Discussions


    1 year ago

    I just got into an old pair of jeans and found the front pocket ripped... did a Google Search, and found your post...

    have a question... do I need a sewing machine, or can this be done by hand... thanks, dc

    2 replies

    Reply 1 year ago

    I did it by hand! It took me about three hours, but it's possible! haha


    Reply 1 year ago

    Thx Alberto.. gives me an idea of the difficulty :D


    3 years ago

    I have done this to NEW pants, because the pockets were not deep enough for a Chapstick, much less my smartphone. Excellent 'ible.


    5 years ago

    Great! Thanks!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    This is an option for ladies jeans that have pockets too small
    to hold your phone, keys or pedometer.
    I have even added pockets to one pair that had FAKE pockets--just flaps.
    The slacks were on clearance for $2. (wonder why they didn't sell?)


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Great ible! I've got a whole stack of pants with dead pockets to fix. Thanks!