Darling Ranges dress sewalong: skirt & pockets

April 10th, 2012

And we’re onto the skirt and pockets. Oh how i love pockets! Personally I think the most important think about including pockets in a dress or skirt is the order in which you do it. I have a a specific way i like to do things so everything is neat and all the raw edges get finished. So i’m going to focus on that!

Also, I feel it’s worth mentioning that you can pretty easily leave the pockets out of this dress. I am a superfan of pockets – but if you don’t like them, leave them out and save yourself some sewing time! hehe

Okay lets get started shall we?

1) The very very first thing i like to do is neaten the raw edges of the pockets. The reason is that if you don’t do it first up, then  try and do it later you’ll have a bit of a mess on your hands and may need to leave sections of the pocket edges close to the seam unfinished. I have (and love) a serger/overlocker so thats usually my method for neatening the edges. Other ways you can neaten raw edges are using a zig zag stitch on  a regular sewing machine, using pinking shears on the raw edges, and also binding them with bias tape.

2) Next we lay our pockets on our skirt pieces. One of the problems i first had when i started learning about pockets was that i kept having alignment issues. I’d put one piece of the pocket up to high, the other too low and they wouldn’t match. Or i’d accidently sew to the wrong side. UGH. Here’s an easy way to avoid that. Lay out all the skirt pieces with the right sides facing upwards, and so that the side seams are aligned. This way you can keep an eye on whether everything is placed correctly. Then position your pockets on the side seams, with their right sides facing downwards, and so that the pockets match up with each other. Then pin and sew in place.

3) After that I like to neaten the raw edges of the side seams since it will be awkward to do that once we sew the skirt pieces together.

4)Press the pockets open so that the right sides are all facing outwards – and then understitch. You can skip the understitching if you feel lazy, but I don’t think it takes much time and definitely adds to the neatness of the pocket.

5) Okay, we’re almost done! Lay your back skirt piece with right sides facing upwards and pockets sticking out to the sides, and then lay the front skirt pieces on top with right sides facing downwards. Match up the side seams and the pockets, then pin. Sew down the side seams till you reach the pocket, and sew 5/8″ beyond the edge of the pocket, then sew around of the curve of the pocket, then back down the side seams.

6) Lastly press those seams. This may be slightly controversial, but in this case i like to press my seams forwards rather than open, as that would require snipping the seams at the pockets, and i just hate hate raw exposed cuts! But it’s up to you :)

Okie dokie, that skirt piece is done! Not hard at all right?? Next up we’ll attach it to the bodice!

5 Responses

  1. Alison - UK says:

    This is exciting. I wonder how many of us world wide are doing this?!

    I am making a calico version as you kindly suggested by email. I serged the seam but have learnt how not to serge around sharp corners ie where the pockets meet the skirt. I think for the actual dress, I will sew the seam as you have taught and then serge the two edges of the seam separately. What do you think?

    Great instructions btw. I can see this expanding as you are fab. Maybe arrange online payment for this so you get paid for your time and
    expertise?

    Cheerio

  2. Chili says:

    Hi Megan!
    I wish you’d made this pocket-tutorial a week ago! I had all the alignment and neating raw edges problems you mentioned… It took me an afternoon with my seamripper to make acceptable – but far from perfect – pockets on my jacket. This is my first sewing project with lining and pockets, so I am learning the trial-error way :)
    Thanks to you, next time I’ll know how to do neat pockets easily :)

    • Meg says:

      Oh no!!! Chili i feel so bad for you!! That must have been so frustrating :(
      I hope that this method helps you next time!
      xoxo

      • Chili says:

        It was absolutely frustrating, but I am a stubborn girl ;) All in all, the outcome turned out okay. Next time I am sure I’ll save all the sweat with your method :)

  3. Marie says:

    Everything is going perfectly for now. I am glad to know I skipped a lot of frustration thanks to your tutorial about aligning the pockets (it was my firsts, so I had no idea it could have been a nightmare).
    I am now anxiously waiting for the next step!
    Thanks for these detailed instructions :-)