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Inspiration: 26 patch pocket ideas

The great thing about patch pockets is that they don’t depend much on the cut of the main garment. You can add them to just about anything (as you’ll see in some of the unusual runway styles below).

Here are 26 really interesting patch pocket ideas we’ve come across lately, from giant 3 dimensional pockets that practically act as handbags, to futuristic shapes and cutouts.

images, clockwise from top left: Marni fall 2012, skirt by Gaëlle Barré, Céline Fall 2010 lace blouse, Derek Lam fall 2016

images, clockwise from top left: Vivetta resort 2017, YSL spring 2011, Fendi Spring 2017, Christian Dior resort 2017, Fendi (unknown which season), Jacquemus Fall 2014

images, clockwise from top left: 1980s red linen skirt, 1940s tween skirt, Alexander Wang Fall 2014, coat by Sanne Jansen, Bonnie Cashin skirt from 1961

images, clockwise from top left: Bonnie Cashin coat 1966 via The Met, vintage railroad shirt, circle pocket blouse by Sara Bergman, shirt pocket by Bleu de Paname, unknown 1940s coat pocket, unknown circle pocket

images, clockwise from top left: Holly Fulton Fall 2015, bonded patch pocket, unknown, Tangerine skirt, from petit main sauvage, Asiatica KC, Acne Studios vanilla and dusty pink mac

Sarai Mitnick


Sarai started Colette back in 2009. She believes the primary role of a business should be to help people. She loves good books, sewing with wool, her charming cats, working in her garden, and eating salsa.



March 10, 2017 #

I would have to say , not impressed with any of the designers ideas for patch pockets!
I really liked the lace blouse until I saw the full picture! LOL
Oh well to each his own!
Thanks for the interesting tidbit, Sarai.


March 11, 2017 #

yeah – patch pockets on a blouse are difficult to place at best, but that really didn’t work!
The two that I liked best wree the red linen ’80’s skirt and the ’40s brown tweed – I looked at that one and said, “inspiration 1947” before I ever read the caption!


March 10, 2017 #

Some very interesting pocket ideas, indeed! The Bonnie Cashin skirt pockets are my favorite, I think. Why waste valuable hand carrying capacity on a clutch when you can have one sewn right in to your garment??


March 10, 2017 #

Thanks for this reminder on the possibilities with patch pockets. I’ve often unfairly judged them to be unsophisticated, but clearly not, and now I have some great ideas for using leftover fabric.

Catherine Lavergne

March 10, 2017 #

Love those detail inspiration posts – patch pockets, topstitching, etc. Please keep them coming!

Joseph Davis

March 10, 2017 #

Thanks for all these tips. I have one of those special feet, tried it once and ended up with a jumble of threads and gathered fabric. Now I think I’ll try again.

Maggi Randall

March 10, 2017 #

I love them ,both the graceful and the klunky. Very inspiring.


March 10, 2017 #

Love the 1940s tweed and laughing love the Alexander Wang 2014 clasp pocket on coat. A purse and coat in one. Getting explosion of ideas for little girl coats. 1980s linen skirt idea is a reverse of the old ‘pockets’ women had underneath their dresses in 1700-1800s. Their skirts had a slit in a side seam and the could reach underneath the the pocket for their valuables. Liking the fabric rosette pocket idea. Great post. Joy

Judy Cinerari

March 10, 2017 #

Joy, interesting info about the 1800’s pockets. I have never heard of them. Will be doing some more research. Cheers Judy.

martha lewis

March 13, 2017 #

Hi Joy,
The clasp pocket was Bonnie Cashin from the 60’s.

Jenny Sandoval

March 10, 2017 #

Hey, y’all! I need help doing a rounded patch pocket on knit pants for my son. Do I still do a stay stitch and the clip info the rounded area?

Btw, those hole pockets are so avante garde. Love em! Not like the euro hole pockets, but actual circle hole patch pockets?! Love!!


March 10, 2017 #

I really love these. I think the red linen one is my favorite. It looks big enough to comfortably hold a kitten while being visually interesting!


March 10, 2017 #

Judy – early women’s pockets were separate from the garment.

Linda Belton Johnson

March 10, 2017 #

Great idea would love to try all of them,dont know which one to try first. I just like pockets. Thanks for sharing.


March 10, 2017 #

Love these inspiration posts. I’ve only added inseam pockets till now. Will try patch pockets like the red one.

Debra Lawson

March 11, 2017 #

I love these ideas! I was introduced to the patch pocket when I first learned to sew many years ago and, quite simply, fell in love with them. I am delighted to see the creative variations posted here. Thank you!


March 13, 2017 #

Thank you for sharing, that gives me another look to these beautiful details again. I think now, I will deal again with the construction of beautiful bags.

Lois Ann

March 13, 2017 #

This was a very lovely and idea filled article. Can’t wait for more.


March 15, 2017 #

Great article. Love how you focus on one design aspect and give lots of options. This was so good to see all the photos of the different kinds of pockets. It really made me think about what I can do make an outfit just a little different without a lot of work fitting a new pattern. Sometimes, we just take a pattern at face value and don’t look at all the possibilities to make it the most versatile pattern we own! I can’t tell you how many patterns I have purchased over the years that are really the same pattern, but with one design change! Thank you for all you do!


March 18, 2017 #

Alexander Wang Fall 2014 one seems like a unique idea- purse frame attached to the pocket – but very difficullt to hold upright on any but the heaviest fabric I suppose

N. Okoro

March 19, 2017 #

Patch pockets!…hmm…to be reevaluated!