I’m a big fan of having pockets in things. Being able to carry stuff, places to keep your hands warm when it’s cold out, and they even give you something to do if you ever find yourself standing around feeling silly – just put your hands in your pockets and look casual, yo!
(Plus, when you have a small person in your life, you really do find yourself needing pockets for carrying tissues/snacks/random ‘gifts’ they present to you and expect you to hold onto, that sort of thing.)
So when I made my Rock-a-birdy Bleuet dress, strangely enough, I decided to add pockets!
The Deer&Doe Bleuet dress is a cute, princess-seamed, shirt dress. For my Bleuet, I decided to add pockets to the side front panels of the dress – that way, they would be less likely to ruin the lines when I was carrying things in them than in-seam side pockets would be. Plus, I’d still be able to easily adjust the fit of the dress if I needed to take in (or let out!) and of the seams.
This technique would work on pretty much any princess seamed dress (or coat, or top).
Here’s a little tutorial of how I did it….
First, we need to mark where our pocket opening is going to be. You’ll then use this marking to cut your side front panel out in two sections – upper and lower – and also to cut your pocket bag.
Cut lower section of side front from 1.5cm (5/8″) above the pocket line to the bottom of the side front pattern panel.
Cut upper side front panel to 6.5cm below the pocket line. This gives you a pocket facing so the pocket bag doesn’t show through when you’re wearing your dress. It also includes the seam allowance.
Mark the pocket line on this panel – you’ll be using this to match up where the top of the lower side front will go.
Here’s how the pocket facing works – see how far I have to pull the pocket down before you see the pocket bag on the inside? That’s what we’re aiming for – no accidental flashes of other prints when we’re carrying things!
Now it’s time to cut the pocket bag!
Cut on the fold, using the side front panel as a guide. The top of the pocket bag will be 1.5cm (5/8″) above the pocket line, to give you your seam allowance.
Open out your pocket bag.
If you’re putting pockets in both sides, use your new pocket bag as a template to cut a second bag. Make sure they’re mirror images of each other (i.e. cut right-sides-together).
Time to sew!
Right sides together, sew your pocket bag to lower front side panel, using a 1.5cm seam allowance.
Press so pocket bag and lower side front are wrong-sides together, with seam allowance flat between them. Understitch seam allowance onto pocket bag.
Right sides together, sew pocket bag to upper front side panel, using a 1.5cm seam allowance.
Press seam allowance towards pocket bag and understitch.
Line up top of lower side front with the pocket line you marked on the upper side front. Pin in place and press pocket bag so it’s nicely folded over.
Baste sides together.
Repeat steps 7 & 8 for the other front side panel if you’re adding two pockets.
Now go ahead and use it like it’s one panel for constructing your dress. 🙂