Tag Archives: Deer&Doe

Tutorial: adding pockets to a princess seamed dress

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!

Adding pockets to a princess seamed dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

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….

Step 1
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.

Draw a line on the side front panel where you want your pocket opening to be (hold it up to yourself to get it in the right spot). We’ll call this the ‘pocket line’ from now on.
Adding pockets to a princess seamed dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Step 2
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 straight across at 1.5cm above the pocket line. (That 1.5cm above is your seam allowance.)
Adding pockets to a princess seamed dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Step 3
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!
Adding pockets to a princess seamed dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Step 4
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.

Mark where the seam is that will join the centre front panel.
Adding pockets to a princess seamed dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Step 5
Open out your pocket bag.

On one side, cut off 5cm at the top – this will attach to the pocket facing in the upper section of your side front panel. Mark this as top front.
Adding pockets to a princess seamed dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Step 6
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).

Step 7
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.

Here’s what it’ll look like when you open it all out, with the pocket bag joining the upper and lower side front panels:
Adding pockets to a princess seamed dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Both seams should be understitched so the seam allowance is against the pocket bag:
Adding pockets to a princess seamed dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Step 8
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.

Here’s what it’ll now look like on the front – with the lower side front end along the pocket line (and a bonus toddler photo-bomb):
Adding pockets to a princess seamed dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

And here’s what it’ll look like at the back, with your pocket bag folded in half:
Adding pockets to a princess seamed dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Baste sides together.

Step 9
Repeat steps 7 & 8 for the other front side panel if you’re adding two pockets.

All done!

Now go ahead and use it like it’s one panel for constructing your dress. ๐Ÿ™‚

Rock-a-birdy Bleuet

A month or two back, the lovely ladies of the Wellington Sewing Bloggers Network (WSBN) were debating – what will our next self-set sewalong challenge be? We put it to vote, and the winner was – making something using a Deer&Doe pattern!

And since we were using Deer&Doe patterns, we figured we may as well head to where the deer were for a photo shoot, so decided on a day trip to Staglands, a family animal park just outside of Wellington. (Not that any of us had been there before, but we figured that with a name like ‘Staglands’, the chance of there being deer there was quite high. Plus, we were somewhat curious as to what it was like!)

So last weekend, a few of us drove along a narrow, windy, steep, surrounded-by-native-bush road, being deafened by the sound of cicadas, until we reached Staglands tucked away in it’s valley. And oh my, was it worth the trip! We spent all afternoon there, and didn’t even get to see everything. It’s set up so well – lots of zones, lots of different animals to meet and feed and watch. Heaps of native bush, creeks and streams and bridges. And a Secret Garden with rabbits running around to pet!

Rock-a-Birdy Bleuet | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

And of course, some deer, too. ๐Ÿ™‚

Rock-a-Birdy Bleuet | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

But anyway, I guess you want to hear about what we made, right? Well, would you believe it – the four of us that turned up wearing Deer&Doe creations all made the same thing! The Bleuet dress. So we got to roam around the park in a pack of matching dresses. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Quadruple Bleuets | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

(From left-right: Nikki, me, Mel and Jen.)

Quadruple Bleuets | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

I made my Bleuet out of a stretch denim. (Admittedly, I would have preferred it not to be stretch, but that’s what I had to hand. And I’ve long been wanting a denim shirt dress, because I found these awesome swallow iron-on embroidered patches at a store a while back, and they’ve been needing me to make them a denim shirt dress for them to live on. So a denim Bleuet it was to be!)

Deer&Doe Bleuet dress

Deer&Doe – Bleuet dress pattern

Just because it was fun, I used the reverse side of the denim for contrast – on the collar (although I used the ‘outer’ side for the inside collar band, for contrast on the contrast, haha!), the bow, and the sleeve cuffs. The original plan was to use pearl snap fasteners, but I’m trying to be very good and not buy more stuff when I have so much already, so I went digging through my stash and unearthed enough red snap fasteners to use down the front. So, red fasteners it became!

Rock-a-Birdy Bleuet | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

I figure it’s got a bit of a ‘rockabilly’ look to it, what with shirt dress, denim, swallows, and red. Don’t ya think?

And because all dresses should have pockets, I added pockets to the centre side panels. Nice, deep ones, good for carrying things.

Rock-a-Birdy Bleuet | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

My little sis’ made a Bleuet too – we spent all of Saturday sewing together, getting them finished in time for the outing. I used some of the scraps of her (covered with birds) Bleuet for the pocket lining in mine – check it out! More birds!!

Rock-a-Birdy Bleuet | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Changes I made:

  • Lengthened the skirt by 15.5cm
  • Added pockets to the centre side panels (I’ve written a tutorial on how I did this in case anyone is interested in how to do this)
  • Did a super-dodgy small bust adjustment (SBA) by shaving 1cm off the bust curve of the side front (don’t try this at home, kids!)
  • Only put interfacing on one side of the collar and collar stand (I figured with a heavy fabric, it didn’t need more than that)

Rock-a-Birdy Bleuet | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

This was my first experience sewing up a Deer&Doe pattern, and I must admit it was a bit mixed. Things I loved – the packaging and booklet are super cute, the language is friendly and engaging, the design is adorable (seriously – that bow is just so cute!!), and the pattern paper is nice and thick, really easy to trace and work with. Oh, and the bow is not only super-cute, but also made in a rather fun and easy way. ๐Ÿ™‚

Exploring Staglands | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Things I didn’t love to much – the instructions were a bit odd at times. They don’t include cutting the interfacing in the cutting layout, so you have to hunt through the instructions to figure out what bits you need to cut – not so good when you want to do all the prep in one go as it’s very easy to miss things. Also, I felt they ask for too much interfacing – usually only one side of the collar and collar stand gets interfaced (if I remember correctly anyway – I’m now doubting all others I’ve made in the past, oops!), rather than both. I don’t feel that the sleeve cuff needs interfacing either, since it’s essentially folded in four and is therefore quite sturdy and strong. Also, the instructions for attaching the collar and stand are just plain weird – not clear at all, and what they seem to be asking you to do is a heck of a lot harder than it needs to be, with lots of room for having to unpick and resew things due to things not 100% lining up. (Same with attaching the sleeve cuff, for that matter).

So yeah. The pattern itself I like, but I do feel that the instructions made it harder than it needed to be.

Rock-a-Birdy Bleuet | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

I’m pretty happy with how it turned out though. The sleeve cuffs are a little bit tighter than I would have liked (I’ll extend the sleeve cuff width by about 3cm next time so they’re not so constricting), and I’m not 100% certain I like it the length I’ve ended up with, but still I am rather fond of it and I suspect it’s going to be getting a lot of wear, especially in weekends. ๐Ÿ™‚

Oh, and we got to meet, and feed, lots of animals!

Rock-a-Birdy Bleuet (with a sheep) | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

My Little Guy (and my Bigger Guy) both came along too and really enjoyed themselves. Such a fun day all around! ๐Ÿ™‚

Meeting Deer | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Stag | Modern Vintage Cupcakes