sdsa: pockets! (and a skirt too)

I had to resist the urge of my inner-nerd to title this post “sdsa: what has it got in it’s pocketses?“. But because I am (somewhat) merciful and won’t subject you to the fact that I was once an LOtR geek, I decided to just be normal and have a sane-sounding title. haha!

02.19.11 | pockets (and a skirt too!)

the dress so far (excuse the messy shelves behind… lol.)!

Time for attaching the skirt! Isn’t this getting exciting? It’s at this point in almost every dress project that I start to go from being excited to really excited about the project, because it’s starting to look like something I’ll wear. After we left off in the last sdsa installment, we stopped at attaching the midriff pieces and skipped steps 6 and 7. If you aren’t attaching a side seam pocket on the right side, go ahead and complete those steps to attach the back to the waist. The principles for basting and carefully topstitching are the same; just go slowly and work on an even line of stitching. Also go ahead and sew the skirt front pieces together as indicated in the directions (or skip to the section below about patch pockets if you opted for those).

02.19.11 | pockets (and a skirt too!)

Pinning the side seam pockets. (Don’t laugh, but I wasn’t paying attention and stitched these to the left side first! Don’t repeat my mistake–attach the pockets to the right side seam!)

If you’d like to add that side seam pocket, here’s the procedure to do so, which you’ll want to do before attaching the skirt pieces to the bodice (but go ahead and sew the darts on the skirt back first). Pin one of the pocket pieces to the right back piece, matching notches.

02.19.11 | pockets (and a skirt too!)

Sew from the top to the bottom of the pocket piece (I had a 3/4″ side seam allowance). Repeat for the right side-front and remaining pocket piece. Press seams toward the side seam. Construct the skirt back as directed, and attach to bodice as directed in step 7. Piece together the front skirt pieces (steps 9 and 10), being careful not to accidentally catch the pocket piece in the seams! Attach the midriff piece to the skirt front as indicated in step 11 (same rules apply as for sewing to the bodice).

02.19.11 | pockets (and a skirt too!)

Close-up view here.

If you are adding waist ties, follow step 12. Pin and sew left side seam as indicated in step 13, being sure to leave the opening for the zipper! On the right side, pin together the side seam and around the pocket as shown. You’ll also want to mark at the top and bottom where to pivot at the dress side seam and stitch around the pocket. I’ve allowed for a 1/2″ seam around the edges of my pocket pieces, which meant I stitched down about 1/2″ from the top of the pocket along the side seam, pivoted and stitched around the pocket edges, stitched to meet the 3/4″ stitch line at the skirt side seam, pivoted and continued sewing the side seam. (See the diagram below.)

02.19.11 | pockets (and a skirt too!)

Once you have sewn this seam, press the side seam open. You’ll need to clip at the back side seam, right above and below the pocket to allow it to press open properly (below).

02.19.11 | pockets (and a skirt too!)

Conversely, if patch pockets are in your design, refer to this post on how to sew those to the side-front panels before sewing the skirt seams.

Judging by comments in the previous post, I’m going to give everyone a few days to work on things. Please don’t worry if you’re “behind” the sew-along; it’s not a race! I know everyone has busy lives and muslin-fittings don’t always go as planned. So feel free to take your time. I think because of this, the final “dress party” post sharing the finished garments will be a bit later than I had originally planned, so that hopefully it’ll give everyone a bit more breathing room to complete their dresses to share. Sound good? Up next: sleeves! I’ll be devoting an entire post on how to sew set-in style sleeves properly (I’m shooting for putting the post up late Tuesday afternoon), so if you’ve never sewn sleeves before don’t miss this post!

I’d like to give a big thank you to everyone who has been leaving helpful comments on the sew-along posts, as well as the Flickr group–I am so thankful to have all the input and ideas from everyone! Also, the lovely Gina has finished a red version of the Swing Dress–isn’t it gorgeous?!

February 19, 2011 · 22 lovely thoughts
posted in sewing · tags: ,

Caitlin February 19, 2011 at 17:08

Should have gone with the original title. Once a LOtR geek, always a LOtR geek. We gotta represent. Haha. :)

Stephanie February 19, 2011 at 17:12

I love LOtR too! Yay geekness!

I’m so glad that you decided to add this type of pockets so I can just follow your directions. I’m sure I could have figured it out, but I’m feeling lazy….

Your dress just looks darling so far! I adore your print!

Carys February 19, 2011 at 17:30

I am a massive LOTR geek, be proud of it!! And that dress is lovely!
From Carys of La Ville Inconnue

Amanda February 19, 2011 at 17:57

I wonder if Gollum would like swing dancing? :)

Chanda February 19, 2011 at 18:56

Perfect, thank you! I will dedicate my soon-to-be pockets to you.

Jenni February 19, 2011 at 19:00

LOtR all the way! (Don’t tell anyone, but I actually dressed out as an elf for the Fellowship of the Rings movie premier when I was in college! Is that geek enough for you!)

Anyway, back to the original reason for commenting…

Your dress is looking lovely, as of course it would. Thank you for the pocket tutorial ,as well as a little extra time to finish the dress. I’m going to need it!

Christina Thompson February 19, 2011 at 19:52

I just can’t wait until I get my sewing machine. On another note, Have you ever shopped at I was just wondering because I just discovered them and their stuff is so pretty,

Sarah Louise February 19, 2011 at 20:40

I’m a LoTR nut too (I used to have 3 massive posters that took up an entire wall of my bedroom!)

Anyway… your dress is looking brilliant! I’m going to use your pocket tutorial for a dress I’m working on :)

Karis February 19, 2011 at 20:43

Yesss precioussss!

Elizabeth February 19, 2011 at 22:49

It’s okay to let your inner LoTR geek out :) No one here will make fun of you, promise!

What a great pocket tutorial! I almost, almost put them in the skirt I made today but decided I was too lazy! I’ll be referencing this for my next one though!

bonita February 19, 2011 at 23:21

~ * ♥ * ~

Lol ~ we all have a little geek in us somewhere. I laughed when I saw your original title Casey; that would have been hilarious. : D

bonita of Depict This!
~ * ♥ * ~

Pip pip February 19, 2011 at 23:43

Oh please edit your post heading to the LOTR theme!
everyone loves gollum.

Oh and yes I am a massive fan of LotR

Angie February 19, 2011 at 23:58

I’m way late for the sew-a-long situation, but I am going to have to wear this so I can wear it to the spring meet at Keenland (horse racing here in Lexington, Ky). But I also need to be on the look out for an appropriate hat, you can’t go to a horse race without a hat… that’s just silly. :-) Any suggestions?

Mary Ann February 20, 2011 at 00:39

HAHAH, I would’ve really liked a title including “pocketses” because I’m a LOTR geek, as well, my precious!

Paperdoll February 20, 2011 at 03:27

Loving how the dress in coming together! As a bit of a sci-fi/fantasy geek myself, I applaud your honesty regarding LOTR. Lol.XX

Debi February 20, 2011 at 06:00

Fellow LOtR nerd here :-) Suffice it to say our wedding bands were inspired by the two trees in the earlier Tolkien works…..hehehehe

Lisa in Berlin February 20, 2011 at 06:31

Love the LOTR reference and LOVE the fabric you’ve chosen!

Tisha February 20, 2011 at 16:46

Casey, the dress is coming along lovelier than I expected. LOL !! :D I had to really laugh at how you sewed your pockets to the wrong side. Yesterday I was working on my dress and was v e r y happy at how much progress I was making … when I realized that I had sewn the skirt to the wrong side – so the bodice was right side and the skirt was wrong side out!! (Found that when I went to iron the waistband down!) *Sigh*. So had to take out all the seams on the skirt, and then as my mom was looking over my progress (my first project – gotta have mom! lol ) and she said that my seam line was too short – that it didn’t fit to touch the waistband. Ah. So I put it away – had already been sewing for at least 4 hours, and decided to begin another day. With the “show” so close, I feel that my dress has sooo much time left, but I am sure that my fixes won’t be too hard, I just don’t want to take them out! Ha – but I must, right? :0 — So this is my very first sewing flub. Have a happy day!

Tisha February 20, 2011 at 16:53

“”"But I also need to be on the look out for an appropriate hat, you can’t go to a horse race without a hat… that’s just silly. :-) Any suggestions?”"”"

Angie, if you’re looking for a hat for your spring meet, I’ve got some large brimmed hats for sale, just click on my name and it’ll take you to my blog… just an idea for you!

Elizabeth VP February 20, 2011 at 20:08

My husband is more of an LotR geek than I am, but I loved the movies. And I offered to make him a costume for the Fellowship premiere, but he chickened out. I did put together a witch outfit for a Harry Potter book release, though, sort of a younger McGonagall.

Alena February 26, 2011 at 18:08

I’ve finished my dress! And blogged about it! I don’t have a Flickr account so I have been only looking at other people’s posts, and not posting photos myself, but I’ve got some up on my blog:
I wore it last weekend to a reenactor’s convention, where I found the perfect hat to go with it. Thanks Casey, for the wonderful sew-along. It was a ton of fun.

Previous post:

Next post: