Wednesday, January 29, 2014

How To Add Pockets To Almost Any Outfit

I sew and draft a lot of clothes for myself and my family and everyone is always asking "Can you add pockets?" Today I thought I would share my go to pocket pattern and instructions. I have used this pattern piece and method to add simple in-seam pockets to dresses (eg The Marilyn Dress), boxer shorts and skirts. 

The pattern piece is just a bit larger than A4 so I have broken it into two parts to be printed on a home computer. Save the two jpg images below to your computer. Print out at full size (no scaling), the scaling ref box should be approx. 2.5cm (1") wide on your print out. Cut out the pattern pieces and join together at the "Join Here" line.

Pattern part 1:
Right click on image and select "save link as" from the drop down menu

Pattern part 2:
Right click on image and select "save link as" from the drop down menu

Step 1

Step1: Cut out pocket pieces out of fabric, you will have 2 for each pocket (usually 4 per garment).

Step 2

Step 2: Finish the edge of each pocket piece so it doesn't fray. I use a 3 thread overlock. If you don't have an overlocker you can use a zigzag stitch or similar on your sewing machine or trim with pinking shears.

Step 3

Step 3: With right sides together sew a pocket piece to the side seam of each front and back piece, lining up the top of the pocket with the waistband seam of the garment as shown in the diagram.

If your garment has an elastic waistband casing, the top of the pocket should sit just a bit higher than the bottom of the casing.

You don't need to sew across the top of your pocket - it will be sewn when you attach your waistband. If you sew across the top, you won't be able to open your pocket out for the next step.

Step 4

Step 4: Finish the side seam, press the pocket open along the stitch line. It will look a bit like puppy dog ears at this point :)

Step 5

Step 5: Place the front onto the back piece with right sides together.

Step 6

Step 6: Pin the side seams and pockets together. I also like to pin the pocket opening together along the seam line so that the pockets will be aligned correctly (as per diagram above). Sew around the pocket until you reach the side seam, pivot and finish sewing the side seam together.

Don't sew straight down the side seam from the waistband! Cloud did this on Saturday & felt like a right numpty. Good thing she knows how to use an unpicker :P

Step 7

Step 7: Press the pocket towards the front of the garment. Leave the pin at the top side seam in to hold the top of the pocket closed. Pin the top of pocket to the front waist seam, baste in place if desired. You want the pocket to be anchored to the waistband in some way so that it sits forward and doesn't move around inside your clothes in an unsightly fabric bunch.

Above: Circle skirt with in-seam pockets, the top of the pocket is sewn into the waistband to anchor it in place.

Left: Pocket added to a Marilyn Dress. The skirt on this dress is gathered but I didn't want the added bulk of the pocket included. The top of the pocket was kept free until the skirt was gathered and then laid down flat over the gathering to be sewn into the waist seam.

Right: Pocket in boxer shorts. Please excuse the crumples, the shorts had just come out of the washing machine :) The top of the pocket sits 0.5 - 1cm into the pocket casing so that it can be anchored in place when the casing is sewn down.

I'm not claiming that this is the only and best way add pockets, it is just the way that I do it and I hope that this helps everyone with making their clothes more practical.

Pretty Pinterest image for those that like to pin :)

- Ky 

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