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How to sew jeans back pockets the professional way

With the right tools and preparation, sewing jeans back pockets are a fairly easy thing to do. This tutorial will show a method that closely mimics the way jeans are sewn in the garment industry.

Tools for sewing jeans back pockets

  • Paperboard for pressing templates
  • Tracing pen or another marking tool
  • Topstitching thread
  • Edge presser foot
  • Jeans or topstitching needles

Learn more: 8 Great Tools and Notions for Sewing Jeans


Tip: Download my free set of back pocket pattern pieces and press template to save time, the pockets come in three sizes. 

I like to stitch the back pockets first thing, before sewing the crotch seams, as it is easier. But you can do it later too if you want to experiment with placements which is easier once the other seams are sewn.

1. Create a pressing template

The pressing template should be the back pocket without the seam allowance. You can use a cartoon from a frozen pizza, the back of a legal pad or some other stable paper.

2. Fold and press the top of the pocket

Insert the pressing template when making the second fold

3. Press in the remaining edges

Use the pressing template as your guide, this is the genius part with this method as it will create even pockets with razor-sharp corners. I don’t overcast the edges, as this is not common practice in the jeans making industry, but you can do that if you like.

Learn more: 10 Tips for Sewing Jeans


4. Topstitch the upper pocket seam

Use one or two rows of stitches.  

5. Mark the pocket placement

I have punched three holes in my master jeans pattern to make marking easy. Note: You might want to shift the right pocket to the left a bit to balance out the topstitching of the crotch, as it will throw off the mid-point of the crotch seam.

6. Place the pressed pocket on the back piece

Make sure that the corners fo the pocket aligns with the dots.

7. Topstitch the pocket

Pin using just one or two needles in the middle (or a few basting stitches) to attach the pocket. Then top stitch the pocket into place. Using a presser foot with a seam guide will make this easier. Align the guide along the edge of the pocket for the outer row.

Learn more: 7 Time-Saving Tips For Sewing Jeans

Stitch the second row using the outer edge of the presser foot as a guide.

The finished pocket

You can use bar tack stitching or rivets to secure the back pockets even more.

Watch a video tutorial on how to sew jeans back pockets

And download the back pocket template set to get your started

Other tutorials in my jeans making series

Sewing the jeans yoke and side seams

How to sew front jeans pockets the professional way 

Sewing a proper jeans zipper with a fly shield

Sewing the jeans belt loops

How to sew a jeans waistband


  • Antoinette
    August 25, 2009 at 1:38 am

    Hot iron to the rescue! Love my iron, and glad to know it will come in handy when I make my jeans.

  • Cindy
    August 26, 2009 at 11:30 am

    Sewing your own jeans is amazing to me! They look great. Thanks for the tutorial.

  • Véronica & sa trousse à couture
    August 28, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    Hi Johanna !
    I've been reading your blog for some days, and I just love your sewing. I admire the way you can achieve so much garments, and they're all so beautifully made.

  • Adrian
    May 14, 2018 at 10:08 am

    Hi Johanna
    Thanks for the great site
    just a slight error, the pocket video links to the zipper video

    • Johanna
      May 15, 2018 at 7:38 am

      Thank you for the heads-up!

  • […] Sewing the jeans back pockets (blog tutorial) […]

  • Nancy Karpen
    March 18, 2019 at 3:46 pm

    A beautiful back pocket and a very nice method. Especially when you know where you want your pockets the dots are an easy way to actually get both pockets in the same place! I am making a knit cardigan for my dd and used a template for the edges. It’s even harder to get good straight lines on knit pockets. I used tailor tacks for aligning the pockets. Your method is even easier.

  • […] Sewing back pockets like a pro […]

  • […] Sewing back pockets like a pro […]

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    September 22, 2020 at 10:02 pm

    […] also have a step-by-step photo tutorial showing a slightly different method to sew jeans back […]

  • 10 Tips for Sewing Jeans - The Last Stitch
    October 26, 2020 at 3:26 pm

    […] more ideas on sewing jeans pockets, check out my video tutorial or blog tutorial to learn […]

  • Brian .H
    January 26, 2021 at 9:10 am

    I have been looking for something like this for years , since the 1950s when we used taper basic pants to “drain pipes” , jeans never came outright , I am 82 now and still sewing my own gear, be it a bit Gothy.
    Yours Brian .H

  • Riya Sen
    August 11, 2022 at 2:59 am

    I love this tutorial! It’s so easy to follow and makes sewing back pockets a breeze. Thanks for sharing!


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