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Pants with Summer Pockets

Light weight unlined pants are perfect for hot summer weather in Baltimore.

photo pants pocket last oneThis “cool” pair is made from a cotton sateen border print I bought on clearance at a JoAnn’s a few summers ago.  They are easy to wear with flip flops and a white t-shirt but their design was tricky.


After pre washing the fabric, I laid it on the cutting table with a cross-grain fold so I could position the border along the pants hem.  When I placed my  Eureka! Pants pattern on the fabric, I was struck by how awkwardly the dense white border ended abruptly on my short legs at mid-thigh.

Pants without the pockets
Pants without the pockets

Was I going to like that look?  I was not sure. So, I took a break to consider the possibilities.


When I returned to the cutting table, I began exploring the possibility of adding pockets made with extra border print fabric.  I rearranged the pattern pieces so the crotch curves faced each other, leaving a generous size piece of border between the pant legs.

Placing the scrap on the pattern and fabric.
Placing the scrap on the pattern and fabric.


After cutting the front and back pattern pieces from the fabric, I focused on the scraps I had left. I folded a 5/8 inch finish along the selvage of the border scrap and laid it on the front pants legs with the pattern still attached.  I moved the fabric around until I found a good spot for the pocket to sit so it connected the pant leg border print to the pocket border print.

Creating a pocket pattern using the pant pattern with the location annotated.
Creating a pocket pattern using the pant pattern with the location annotated.

I drew the location lightly on the paper pattern then used the notation to create the pattern for the unlined patch/slash pocket.  I decided on this shape because it fit on my scrap pieces, allowed the pocket to be anchored at the side seam and the waist seam, and carried the border print all the way to the waist.


If you have the Trouser Details pattern for the Eureka! Pants that Fit, it features an informative discussion about slash pocket placement for a traditional slash pocket.  That information can also be used to help place the slash on a large slash/patch pocket like this one.  The Trouser Details pattern also offers directions for creating a pocket facing which I needed to finish off the slash on this unlined pocket.


Here are the pocket construction steps:

  • Carefully cut out a pair of pockets, two facings for finishing the pocket’s slash and two strips of fusible tricot interfacing to stabilize the slash.

    Pockets, interfacing, and facing pieces ready for construction.
    Pockets, interfacing, and facing pieces ready for construction.
  • Fuse interfacing to each pocket’s slash.
  • Pin each facing wrong sides together to each pocket along the slash line.
  • Stitch each slash to its respective facing, pressed the facing to the wrong side and top stitching the facing securely.
  • Press a finish on the sides of the pocket that will be topstitched to each pant front and clean finish if you wish.
  • Carefully pin each pocket onto the right side of its respective pant leg, lining up the pockets raw edges with the side seams and the waist seams.

    Pant legs with pockets pinned in place.
    Pant legs with pockets pinned in place.
  • Stitch the pocket in place across the waist seam at 1/2”, down the long pocket edge and across the bottom at 1/8” and up the side seam at 1/2”, leaving the slash open.

    photo pant pocket 6
    Topstitched pocket close up.
  • Once the decorative pockets were stitched into place, I completed the pants construction.To be truthful, the pocket is more decorative than functional.  I am delighted that the pocket addition lightened up the front of the pants legs for a more integrated print.
    Summer pants with slash/patch pocket.
    Summer pants with slash/patch pocket.

    Play with patch pockets as a way to add detail to your light weight summer pants.  Share with us a particularly clever pocket you have added to pants.  Watch my Craft Daily Video on adding pockets to your pants, or download the Pants Perfect series of articles I wrote in selected 2014 Sew News issues to guide you and offer inspiration.


    If you are interested in a 2 day Eureka! Pants class consider registering for the July 11-12 class at the Manning’s Handweaving Center in East Berlin, PA .  It will launch you on your Eureka! Pants that Fit journey.  Twenty seven sewing friends from the Richmond ASG started their pants journey with us last weekend.  We welcome them all to the Fit for Art pants party.

Happy Sewing, RAE

4 thoughts on “Pants with Summer Pockets

  1. I admired these pants when I spotted them hanging on the racks with the sample Eureka pants that we tried on during the class in Richmond. Thanks for sharing the sewing details. I enjoyed the class and have already made my first good pair of Eureka pants.

    1. Hi Audrey, So glad you have completed a pair of Eureka! Pants. Hope you have as much fun as I do making pants for every season and occasion. RAE

  2. Are you coming to Phoenix any time soon? I just purchased my pattern today and am looking forward to working with it.

    1. So far we are not scheduled to be in the Phoenix area anytime soon. Would love to visit someday! Have fun with your pattern.

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