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Adding a side pocket

Adding a side pocket

b 6055 pocketMrs Bowden’s top tip – adding a pocket

simplcity 1459bird dress

Having made Simplicity’s 1459 peachy little 1950’s repro dress a number of times, I thought I would shake things up a bit. You may know that I have a penchant for collecting vintage haberdashery as well as absolutely adoring HRH The Queen. I recently celebrated a birthday and a dear friend gave me a splendid Queenie brooch. Not having a suitable garment to display said item I thought I had better get my skates on and produce a brooch appropriate frock. The shoulder width collar of this frockette simply begged to be adorned with my brooch and so, another dress was borne.  This one in a grey, lilac and blue postage stamp print with a contrasting white collar. (white cotton; thelittlefabricshop.co.uk postage stamp fabric www.ebay.co.uk seller ceb1909). However, I wanted to make use of some of my vintage buttons and so decided to make this a button through garment. I also felt it important to add pockets to the side seam so that I have somewhere to store essential items; silk handkerchief, phone and red lipstick.

What a lengthy introduction to this week’s top tip!

patch pockets

Patch pockets are probably the easiest pocket to add as you can simply whizz round the edge to finish and ‘patch’ it into position – however, this doesn’t suit all garments and can spoil the line of your frock if you plunge into patch pockets too heavily.  Here is an example of a slightly more elegant and glamorous pocket!

b6055 pocket

A side seam inserted pocket is practical, discreet and charming in all ways.

First step – preparing the pattern. Pocket ‘bags’ are usually teardrop shaped with a straight seam to correspond with the side seam. You can easily make your own pattern by drawing around your hand (to make sure the pocket is going to be big enough) and then adding the standard 1.5 cm seam allowance OR you can find one from another pattern and use it instead! This pocket pattern is designed so that the top edge matches the waistband of the skirt, adding extra security to the pocket as any weight added to it is supported by the extra stitching along the top of the pocket bag.


I found the wonderful diagram from www.burdastyle.com that illustrates the insertion beautifully and clearly and you can see the difference in the shape of the pocket as the Burda version isn’t attached to the top of the skirt.

side seam pocket insert

A – with right sides together, stitch the pocket bag to the side panel of the skirt. I start 1.5 cm from the top and finish 1.5 cm from the bottom of the bag to allow for easier access when sewing the bags together and finishing the bag edges.

B – press the bag away from the skirt panel.

C – With right sides together pin the skirt panels together and sew the side seams using 1.5 cm seam allowance. You will need to push the seam allowance of the pocket bags out of the way in order to sew right up to the start of the pocket stitches.

D – Pin the pocket bags together and sew around. I don’t finish each pocket bag separately – I overlock or zigzag them together – less bulky and a bit more secure.

Next week I will show you the Queenie dress and how to create a button through dress (also, thanks to Lucy for the lovely photograph of my arm going into my pocket xx).


In stitches, Amanda x


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