To create the front pockets on jeans you’ll need the following pieces.
- Pocket lining
- Pocket shields to place on the lining
- And a coin pocket that you’ll place on the right shield
BTW if your pattern lacks these pieces you can download the pattern templates I’m using in the video for free.
To learn more about jeans making, check out my book Sewing Jeans: The complete step-by-step guide.
I also have a step-by-step photo tutorial showing a slightly different method to sew jeans front pocket.
Transcription of the video instructions
Press the coin pocket
Start by folding and pressing the opening of the coin pocket, fold once, press and fold again.
Topstitch the coin pocket opening
Use heavy thread in the needle, regular sewing machine in the bobbin if you are sewing on a domestic sewing machine and a topstitching needle with a bigger eye is also helpful. Check the description section for info on the notions I like to use.
Topstitch one or two rows, using heavy denim thread in the needle. You can also use two spools of regular sewing machine thread that you insert in the needle eye as a substitute for heavy topstitching thread.
Press in the side seam allowances of the coin pocket, around 1 cm (⅜ inches) on each side.
Attach the coin pocket
Now it’s time to attach the coin pocket to the right pocket shield. Place it on top, making sure it aligns with the lower edge. Also, check that the pocket is far enough in so that it won’t be in the way when you are sewing the side and waistband seams.
Topstitch the coin pocket. Start from the outer right edge, pivot the end. Then sew along the lower edge to close the opening.
Pivot again and sew the left outer edge. Turn 90 degrees at the opening, sew around 6 mm (¼ in) along the top edge. Pivot again and sew the left inner seam.
Finish off by stitching the right inner seam and pivot at the top and secure by overlapping the outer right row a few stitches.
Attach the pocket shield
Overcast the lower edges of the shield. Use a 3-thread wide serger overlock stitch or sewing machine overcast stitch. You can also fold and press the edges instead of overcasting them, but that will be a more bulky solution.
Place the pocket shields on the lining. Double-check that you are placing the shields properly. The pocket shield with the Colin pocket should be on the right pocket lining and the plain shield on the left piece. Fold to make sure the shields don’t extend beyond the fold.
Attach the shields to the lining by sewing a straight stitch along the lower edge of the shield. For a professional finish, you can sew two rows of stitching, but it’s not necessary for durability.
Attach the lining to the front of the jeans
Now it’s time to attach the lining to the front jeans pieces. The wrong side up, right sides facing, place the curved lining opening on top of the pocket opening.
Before you start sewing, make sure that the pocket and the shield ends up on the correct side when the pocket is folded.
Stitch close to the edge using a straight stitch. A narrow seam will make shaping the opening curve easier, so the seam should not be wider than 1 cm (⅜ inches) and preferably a little less than that.
Fold over the pocket opening and press. Let the front fabric overlap slightly to the inside so that the lining won’t show through on the outside. Smooth out the curve so that it is even and lies flat.
Topstitch the pocket
Stitch close to the edge for the first row, Using a presser foot with an edge guide will make this step easier. Then you stitch the second row with a regular presser foot.
Now for the finishing touches. To close the pocket opening we are going to sew a French seam, which is a feature on many higher-end denim brands.
Sew the lining
Fold the pocket lining, so that wrong sides are facing, and the right side of the fabric is towards you. Stitch close to the edge, no more than 6 mm in (¼ inch) using a straight stitch.
Sew the second row to enclose the seam
First, fold the lining so that the right sides are now facing each other so that the seam is nong longer visible to you.
Stitch just above the edge of the first fold, so that the first seam allowance with the raw edges are enclosed inside the second row of stitching. Try to make the seam fairly narrow, ideally less than 1 cm wide, but make sure you don’t catch any fraying threads.
Baste the pocket together
You are nearly done, but one important step remains, which is basting. Machine-baste the side and the top in preparation for sewing the side and waist seams. Basting will keep the pocket in place during those steps in the assembly process.
Now you have finished your front pockets! Look how neat they look and how easy it was to stitch them together!