How to Sew Gusseted Pockets

By Kate Lee

Pockets with gussets, or extra flaps of fabrics on the sides, have a little extra room for storing bulky items than a flat pocket the same size. You can add gusseted pockets to aprons, tote bags and other items that need an extra roomy pocket. Gusseted pockets work well for holding sunglasses on beach totes and for holding tools, supplies or even fruit in a gardening apron. It’s best to make the gusseted pockets from the same type of fabric as the item you want to add them to. Plain fabrics like cotton will work, but thicker fabrics such as denim or canvas will make sturdier pockets. Since gusseted pockets require ironing, you may want to use steam or a spray bottle of water to wet the fabric and help get the creases pressed.

Sew Gusseted Pockets

Cut a rectangle of fabric about 2 inches taller than you want the pocket, and about 3 to 4 inches wider (depending on how deep you want the gussets).

Fold each edge of the fabric over 1/2 inch toward the wrong side. Press the folds flat. These will be the hems. (They’ll get sewn in place when you attach the pocket.)

Fold the top edge of the pocket over 1 inch toward the wrong side. Press the fold flat. Stitch along the lower edge of the fold using matching thread to make the hem for the top of the pocket.

Fold a small pleat, about 1 to 2 inches wide, in each side edge of the pocket (these will be the gussets). Firmly press the pleats flat.

Position the gusseted pocket on the apron, tote bag or other item you want to attach the pocket to. Pin the gusseted pocket in place.

Stitch along the lower edge of the pocket using matching thread to attach the pocket to the apron or tote bag.

Stitch along the hemmed edges of the sides of the pockets. Do not stitch the upper layer of fabric on the gussets, so that they can open fully. The top of the gusseted pocket will stick out a little bit.

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