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MN2005 Matilda / Sewalongs

Skirt + Skirt Pockets | A Matilda Dress Tutorial

Matilda - How to sew the skirt and pockets

As you probably know by now if you’ve been following me for a while, I really love statement pockets! The skirt pockets on the Matilda dress have to be some of my favourites. Not only are they roomy and super practical, but i love the architectural nature of them.

Instead of the pocket opening simply folding over, we have included a separate pocket tab piece. I love this feature because it leaves you open to making the tab out of a contrast fabric, playing with direction print placement and also provides stability to the pocket opening and prevents them stretching out.

Today i’m going to show you how to  sew the pockets, add them to the skirt and sew all the skirt panels together. If you decide not to add pockets to your skirt, you can simply skip those parts, and put the skirt panels together as shown.

Ok lets get sewing!

How to sew the skirt and skirt pockets on the Matilda dress pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Fold the Pocket Tab [14] in half with wrong sides together and press. The reason we do this is that it makes it much easier to correctly fold over and topstitch the tab later on.

How to sew the skirt and skirt pockets on the Matilda dress pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Open the Tab and fold in one raw edge by 5/8” (1.5cm) and press. Repeat for the second pocket tab, ensuring that you turn in the opposite raw edge so that the pocket tabs are mirror images.

How to sew the skirt and skirt pockets on the Matilda dress pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary How to sew the skirt and skirt pockets on the Matilda dress pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Place the Pocket Tab [14] on the Skirt Pocket [15] with right sides together ensuring that the notches are aligned. Sew pocket tab to pocket opening 5/8” (1.5cm) from the raw edge.

I like to sew exactly like this, with the tabs on top. Since the pocket opening is cut on the bias, putting it underneath will help the feeddogs ease it in and prevent stretching.

How to sew the skirt and skirt pockets on the Matilda dress pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary Press the tab and seam allowance up away from the pocket, but try and avoid pressing out the centre crease as you’ll want that in the next step.

How to sew the skirt and skirt pockets on the Matilda dress pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary How to sew the skirt and skirt pockets on the Matilda dress pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Fold the tab over to enclose the seam and topstitch closed just under 1/8” (0.2cm) from the edge. Make sure you are topstitching on the right side of the fabric.

How to sew the skirt and skirt pockets on the Matilda dress pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Fold pocket side and bottom edges in by 5/8” (1.5cm) and press.

How to sew the skirt and skirt pockets on the Matilda dress pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Place the skirt pockets on top of the Skirt Front [12] with right sides of both facing outwards and pin in place. Ensure that the pocket lines up with the notch on the waistline of Skirt Front.

You’ll notice that the skirt side seam notch is not used for lining up the pocket. That’s because it is used for matching up the back and front skirt pieces.

How to sew the skirt and skirt pockets on the Matilda dress pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Topstitch around the folded edges of the pockets to attach the pockets to the skirt. Baste the pockets to the skirt at the waistline and side seams.

I like to topstitch around 2mm from folded edge, and when i baste along the side seams i like to do it 1/2″ (1.2cm) from the edge. That way i keep everything in place but my basting doesn’t risk showing when i sew my side seams.

Repeat for both pockets and both sides of the skirt.

How to sew the skirt and skirt pockets on the Matilda dress pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary Place the two Skirt Back [13] pieces right sides together and so that the centre back notches line up. Sew 5/8” (1.5cm) from the raw edge.
How to sew the skirt and skirt pockets on the Matilda dress pattern // Megan Nielsen Design DiaryFinish the raw edges by your preferred method. This may be overlocking/serging or zig zag stitch on a regular machine, binding etc.

Press the seams open or to the side.

How to sew the skirt and skirt pockets on the Matilda dress pattern // Megan Nielsen Design DiaryYou can also topstitch along the back seam like I did above. Since i finished my raw edges together and press them to the side, i just topstitched along one side of the seam.

However on our lookbook sample, we finished the raw edges of the centre back separately, pressed them open, and topstitched on either side of the centre back seam. It’s up to you!

How to sew the skirt and skirt pockets on the Matilda dress pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Place the skirt front pieces and skirt back right sides together and so that the side seam notches line up.

How to sew the skirt and skirt pockets on the Matilda dress pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Sew along the side seams 5/8” (1.5cm) from the raw edge. Finish the raw edges by your preferred method. Press the seams open or towards the back of the garment.

As you can see i pressed towards the back of the garment. I personally prefer this as it’s hard to press the seams open neatly with the pocket bulk, pressing towards the back feels more natural and less bulky.

How to sew the skirt and skirt pockets on the Matilda dress pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

If you’ve decided to topstitch everything like me (you honestly don’t have to topstitch extra things like seams, i just like it!) then now is a good time to topstitch the side seam as i did above.

The last thing to do is staystitch along the waistline just under 5/8” (1.5cm) from the raw edge. Clip the seam allowance in regular intervals being careful not to cut through the stitches.

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About Author

Meg is the Founder and Creative Director of Megan Nielsen Patterns, and is constantly dreaming up ideas for new sewing patterns and ways to make your sewing journey more enjoyable! She gets really excited about design details and is always trying to add way too many variations to our patterns.

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KitStitch
KitStitch
1 year ago

Beautiful design! I may have missed it, but what fabric did you use?

KitStitch
KitStitch
1 year ago
Reply to  Meg

Oh nice! Tencel is pretty much the softest, comfiest material I’ve ever felt too. Thanks for the great tutorial by the way!