All about Pockets: Pleat Pockets

Updated: Feb 16

As mentioned in the earlier post on simple patch pockets, there are many types of patch pockets, and today we’ll look at how to make pleat pockets. Pleat pockets are commonly found on uniforms and men shirts, but it could also make pretty additions for children (and ladies) clothes.


Image from militarymodels.co.nz


Today, we will go through the steps of making box pleat and inverted pleat pockets.

Box pleat pockets with flaps on a pair of cargo pants. Image from nordstrom.com


Gusseted inverted pleat pockets with flaps. Image from zara.com


The first step to making the box pleat pocket is to mark out the following:


Next, press the pocket fabric at the first fold. When folded, each pair of orange lines will stack on top of each other. From the top, sew about 5 cm (assuming that the pocket hem allowance is 2 cm) down at where the orange lines are marked, and from the bottom, sew about 2 cm up (assuming the seam allowance is 1 cm).


Repeat for the second fold. The pocket fabric should look as below by now (I forgot to take a photo at this step, so using a paper as a replacement):


Next press the pleats towards each other. The pocket fabric should look like this when the folds are pressed down (size of the band, as seen on the right side of the fabric, is x cm):

Views from the wrong side of fabric and right side of fabric.


Next, serge or use zigzag stitches around all edges of the pocket. (Another alternative is to double fold the hem.) Press the pocket hem and sew using straight stitch along the hem.


Next, press the other edges of the pockets in and top stitch around the pockets. And, your box pleats pocket is done!



The steps for an inverted pleat pocket is quite similar to the box pleat pocket.

The first step is also to mark out the pleat:


Next, press the pocket fabric at the fold. When folded, the orange lines will stack on top of each other. From the top, sew about 5 cm (assuming that the pocket hem allowace is 2 cm) down at where the orange lines are marked, and from the bottom, sew about 2 cm up (assuming the seam allowance is 1 cm).


The pocket fabric should look like this after the above steps. (Once again, I forgot to take a photo of the step, so using a paper as replacement :P)



The remaining steps are similar to what we did for the box pleat pocket. Serge or use zigzag stitches around all edges of the pocket. Press the pocket hem and sew using straight stitch along the hem. Then, press the other edges of the pockets in and top stitch around the pockets. And, your inverted pleat pocket is done.


Hope you’ve found the above useful. You do not always have to follow the steps and measurements strictly as variations can sometimes lead to interesting outcomes:)

Ending off with a few photos of using pleats creatively to make gorgeous pockets 🙂


From L to R, images from ROMWE, Cutting Line Designs and D&G.



#pockettutorial #sewing #tutorial #patchpocket #sewingtechnique #pockets

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