How to Sew Down Pocket Linings

Having pockets on sweaters is so handy, but sometimes the lining can look messy on the inside. Here are two excellent and simple techniques that will keep your pockets in line every time: the first is for knit pockets, the second for fabric pockets.

Knit Pockets

Use the scrap yarn to establish the line on the back of your knitted garment, then sew your pocket to that nice straight sight-line. Our patterns Lena and Maude use this technique. Our Sarah and Zoe patterns also use this technique, however you won't need to whipstitch the bottom. Here are the steps that will make this job easier and give you a very tidy result.


Step 1

After knitting a garment with the slit for the pocket opening and completing the knit lining of the pocket, place the lining of the pocket on the inside of the sweater.


Step 2

Mark the length that the pocket lining is supposed to be. For example, in the photo the pocket lining was 5" deep.


Step 3

Thread some scrap yarn onto a tapestry needle.


Step 4

Start directly below the pocket ribbing and choose either smiles or frowns (sometimes called u’s and umbrellas).


These are the parts that make up a stitch on the purl side, if you study the fabric you can see that there are u-shapes (smiles) and upside-down u-shapes (frowns). If you choose one or the other and stick to them, it will help keep your work in a straight line all the way down.


Step 5

Thread your scrap yarn through every other smile or frown, in a straight line down from your beginning point at the ribbing.


In the photo you can see the scrap yarn is threaded through smiles from the bottom of the ribbing to the 5" mark.


Step 6

Repeat for the other side


Step 7

Thread your working yarn (use tails wherever possible) onto your tapestry needle and stitch through every other row on the edge of your pocket lining. Then thread it through the stitch that your scrap yarn is running through on the sweater. This gives you a precise road map of where to go.


Step 8

Once you have worked down each side edge it should be easy to whipstitch across the bottom. I whipstitch knitted linings with a tapestry needle and yarn.


Every other stitch for fine gauge


Every stitch for bulky yarns

Fabric Pockets

I use whipstitch to attach pocket linings. I whipstitch woven fabric linings with a sewing needle and thread (as shown). 

Pre-wash and dry fabric. Cut 4 pieces of fabric to the size directed in your pattern. With RS’s together, sew 2 pieces together around edges, leaving 1/2 " / 1 cm seams and 2 " / 5 cm opening to turn right-side-out. Repeat for 2nd pair of fabric pieces. Turn RS out and press. Sew the remaining opening closed. Our pattern Emma (Version C) uses this technique. 



Thread needle.


Step 1

Pass needle up through both pieces.


Step 2

Bring needle to front over the top.


Step 3

Repeat these two steps for length of seam. If working with thread, knot as end and snip. If working with yarn, work in end and snip.



Hi Karen, we are glad to hear! Thanks for letting us know.

Karen Rosenthal

Very good instructions for placing and sewing i side pockets. Worked perfectly. Thank you.

Lisa H.

I’m looking for clear instructions for making a pocket & I can’t seem to find any – perhaps I’m searching for it by the incorrect title? All I want is instructions on how to create a vertical slit pocket on the side seam of a sweater without ribbing – so it doesn’t look as if there’s anything there. A video would be ideal, but I can’t find one in English. Can anybody direct me? – Hit in the head by too many hockey pucks in Canada


Hi Catherine,

The instructions above, for “Knit Pockets,” are the ones to follow for the Toni. If you’d like to see a video of Julie sewing down the pockets for her KAL Toni, go to “Julie’s Toni” under Learn above, then click on the YouTube videos link at the end of the second paragraph, then choose video 53. If you still have questions, please email us at


Hi, I’m not sure how to finish the pockets for the Toni cardigan. I have knit the pocket lining but not sure how I attach it at the bottom.
Hope you can help.


Hi Elizabeth,
One of our team members had the same confusion when she was making Emma C :) The fabric becomes a two sided pocket lining that is only one side of the pocket. The pocket itself has knitted fabric on the front and the woven fabric lining on the inside, toward the back. So in the picture above, the palm side of the model’s hand is against the fabric lining and the top of her hand is against the sweater fabric. Hope that helps! Please feel free to email us at if you have more questions.



I’m so confused about sewing together all 4 sides. I’m working on the Emma Sweater C with the fabric pockets. If I sew around all the sides where will the pocket opening be?


Hi Fanney,

Yes we do! Go to the Making article on the Franca KAL: and scroll down to see the different resources. Under week 7 you’ll see a link to Youtube for the pocket videos. Hope that helps! If you have more questions on the KAL, feel free to email us at

Fanney Zophoniasdottir

Do you have a video how to knitting the pocket on the sweater Franca.


Hi Kathryn, For knitted pockets, sew them down before blocking. For the pockets made out of cloth, wash and dry them before sewing them and if you expect the blocking to really change the measurements of the sweater, you might want to block the sweater before adding the fabric pockets.

Kathryn Lewis

Very helpful! Would you recommend doing this before or after blocking?


Hi Cindy, this tutorial is for sewing down the Maude Mini pockets, as well as others. You knit the pocket liners first and leave the stitches on hold, so that when you get to that point in the pattern, you bind off the front pocket stitches on the garment, then knit the held pocket stitches to incorporate the pocket linings into your garment. You end up with the pocket opening in the garment and the liner hanging on the inside, ready to sew down according to these instructions when you are done. Hope that makes sense! And you should be fine if you just follow the instructions for the short rows.

Cindy Engle

I just purchased the Maude Mini and am confused about the pocket. Do you have a tutorial for this? In the ‘finishing section’ of pattern it says to “sew pocket linings to WS of fabric.” Any help would be appreciated. I thought these were knitted on the dress as you go. And I’m an intermediate – advanced knitter. Also, I’ve never done a short row to keep the ribbing bands from sagging. Hope that’ll make sense as I go. THANK YOU.

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