If you’ve been around the Sew News blog long enough, you know we love a dress with pockets around here! Better yet, a dress that incorporates pockets while staying feminine and flirty and NOT adding bulk. Thank you, Darling Ranges Dress! Pattern designer Megan Nielsen joins us today to cover expert tips for adding inseam pockets and sewing the skirt….almost ready to wear this cute number out! (And if you missed week one, read here for tips on setting the sleeves!)
Today we are going to sew the Darling Ranges dress skirt and inseam pockets. Oh how I love pockets! Personally I think the most important thing about including pockets in a dress or skirt is the order in which you do it. I have a specific order that I like to sew inseam pockets so everything is neat and all the raw edges get finished.
Also, I feel it’s worth mentioning that you can quite easily leave the pockets out of this dress. I am a big fan of pockets – but if you don’t like them, leave them out and save yourself some sewing time! 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 that’s 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 too high, the other too low and they wouldn’t match. Or I’d accidentally sew them to the wrong side. It was very frustrating. 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 and so that the top edge of the pocket lines up with the notches on the pattern pieces. 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. Once again you can do this with a serger/overlocker, a zig zag stitch, pinking shears or some sort of binding. Choose your favorite method!
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 and prevents it from showing on the outside of the dress.
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″ (1.5cm) beyond the edge of the pocket, then sew around of the curve of the pocket, then back down the side seams.
6) Lastly press the seams and pockets towards the centre front of the skirt. This may be slightly controversial, but in the case of side seam pockets, 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.
Ok, your inseam pockets and skirt are now done! Not hard at all right??
Got it – thank you, Megan! There’s still time to join the sew along! Grab the pattern over at shopsewitall.com and join us next week for steps on how to sew the dress placket!