shaped pockets tutorial

06.22.11 | on the range

Good morning, friends! Thank you so much for all your sweet words on the skirt I posted Wednesday. Today I’m going to share with you how I drafted those pockets; it’s very easy. Plus it’d be a great way to experiment with various shapes (other than scallops) as well. Shaped side pockets were especially popular in the 50s, when emphasizing the hips was at it’s most popular. But if you would prefer not to draw as much attention to that area, you can always move the pockets closer to the center front of the skirt as well.

06.24.11 | drafting a shaped pocket

Here is a snapshot of essentially what shapes we’ll be creating (sorry for the quality; it’s just a snapshot from inside my sketchbook!). While I used an a-line skirt, you could use this technique on a pencil skirt, dress skirt or even shorts.

Supplies you’ll need: pattern tracing paper (I use this, but large-sheet tracing paper, non-fusible interfacing or banner paper will work), marker/pencil, paper scissors, straight ruler, and a curved ruler is helpful too. You’ll probably need an extra 1/2 yard of your skirt material too, since you’ll have to cut out the pocket and facing as well.

06.24.11 | drafting a shaped pocket

Begin by tracing the front of your skirt piece; we’ll be doing all adjustments on the tracing (you don’t want to ruin your original pattern!). Draw 5/8” from the top and side seam to mark the seam allowance; we’ll be ignoring the seam allowance area while we’re drafting the pattern.

06.24.11 | drafting a shaped pocket

Draw the shape of your pocket. I chose to two scallops since it echoed the waistband curves. I started the opening for my pocket 2” from the seam line and 6” long. Add a seam allowance (5/8”) to these edges, blending it into the existing waistline and side seam allowances.

06.24.11 | drafting a shaped pocket

Draw an outline for the pocket pouch; connecting from the waistline to the side seam. I like my pockets deep, so I made mine extend about 4” towards the center front and 6” from the bottom edge of the shaped opening. Use the curved ruler to create a gentle curve along the inner edge. (Read more about drafting pockets here.)

06.24.11 | drafting a shaped pocket

Lay another piece of pattern paper over top the pocket you’ve just drafted. Trace the outline of the original hip and around the pocket pouch. Add a 5/8” seam allowance along the pocket pouch (but not the side seam or waist—since there are already seam allowances included!). Transfer grainline from the skirt piece. Remove and set aside the hip pattern.

06.24.11 | drafting a shaped pocket

With another piece of pattern paper, Trace the outline of the pocket pouch and shaped pocket opening. Again add seam allowances to the edges of the pocket pouch (bottom and edge facing the center front). Be sure to transfer the grainline from the skirt and remove the tracing paper. Remove the pocket facing piece.

Cut out your fabric: two skirt fronts (or one on fold if that is what your directions require), two hip pieces and two pocket facings.

06.24.11 | drafting a shaped pocket

Before you begin sewing the skirt, you’ll need to add the pockets. For my skirt, I wanted to make sure the shaped edges wouldn’t collapse, so I added some fusible interfacing (about 1” wide) along the edges.

06.24.11 | drafting a shaped pocket

Place the shaped pocket facings right sides together on the skirt front pieces. Sew from the beginning of the scallops to the end. Grade seam along the shaped edge and clip at the beginning and the end to the seam.

06.24.11 | drafting a shaped pocket

06.24.11 | drafting a shaped pocket

Turn the pocket facing to the wrong side of the skirt front. Press carefully. Baste the free top and side edges together. Add any topstitching along the pocket edge and buttonholes if you wish now.

06.24.11 | drafting a shaped pocket

With the wrong side of the skirt facing up, lay the hip piece right side down over top. Match the top and side seam edges. Pin together the pouch edges of the facing and hip pieces together. Stitch together (I just used my serger for this).

06.24.11 | drafting a shaped pocket

I decided to reinforce the opening edges of the pockets on the skirt front (now right side up) with little triangles. I just sewed around them a few times, matching them up with the existing topstitching. Baste the free top and side seam edges together.

Continue sewing your skirt as the pattern directions specify. That’s it for the pockets!

Do let me know if you have any questions about the process; I’ll try and get back to you as soon as I can. Of course as usual, if you try this, I’d love to see your version!

June 24, 2011 · 38 lovely thoughts
posted in sewing,tutorials · tags: ,

Sheri June 24, 2011 at 07:51

Thanks, Casey! What a great way to add a little functional variety to your wardrobe! I can’t wait to try some of these types of variations. :)

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Aislinn June 24, 2011 at 08:13

Very cute. Thanks for sharing :)

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Gina June 24, 2011 at 09:20

It’s these details that make sewing fun and give expression to the art of creating a garment. Love what you have done here.

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Jeanine June 24, 2011 at 10:19

Brilliant! Your tutes are so clear, and so inspiring. I hope to make something like this soon!

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Lauren June 24, 2011 at 10:51

thank you so much for posting this! i can’t way to try it out! :)

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Paige June 24, 2011 at 10:54

I’ve been wondering how to do this! I just got a skirt pattern (my first one! aah!) that has fancy pockets like this, but you know that patterns don’t tell you how to DO anything. You have great timing!

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Casey June 28, 2011 at 16:22

I’m so glad this proved helpful, Paige!!! :)

♥ Casey

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Daughter Fish June 24, 2011 at 12:00

This is quite lovely. I recently made a scalloped neckline on a dress, but the scallops didn’t turn out as crisp as your pockets (even though I interfaced them). I think I’ll try your method on an upcoming skirt.

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Casey June 28, 2011 at 16:23

Scallops can be tricky to get crisp; I’ve found that using a slightly stiffer interfacing than I’d normally pair with the fabric is the key.

Hope your next try at scallops is more successful! :)

♥ Casey

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Lindsay June 24, 2011 at 12:15

I am wondering if there’s anything in the world that you cán’t do! *hihi.
Anyhoo: lovely tutorial. Thanks ever so for sharing Casey.

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Casey June 28, 2011 at 16:24

Well… let’s see: you want the long list or short list of things I can’t do? ;) hehe! So glad you liked the tutorial, Lindsay!

♥ Casey

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VioletteCrumble June 24, 2011 at 14:27

Oooh, thanks for this one, I would love to try this one day.

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Corinne June 24, 2011 at 15:29

Style is all in the details, thanks for sharing your process. That skirt is too cute.

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Frederica June 24, 2011 at 17:46

Love this detail! I really want to try this now.

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Ashe @ Dramatis Personae June 24, 2011 at 17:54

Oh goodness those are cute pockets! And they look a lot more easy to do than you’d think from the final product!

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Casey June 28, 2011 at 16:25

Thanks so much Ashe for your lovely words! :)

♥ Casey

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Alli June 25, 2011 at 04:56

What you did with this skirt Casey is SO cute! And I love your earlier post with you wearing it. Super cute! Yee haw! :)

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Casey June 28, 2011 at 16:25

Thanks, Alli! ;)

♥ Casey

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Sam September 26, 2011 at 20:53

I can’t find the earlier post anywhere! I’d love to see the finished skirt as my next planned sewing project (after finishing the circle skirt!) was a denim ginger…and now I’ve discovered this darling pocket variation! Not sure I’ll do it (still rather inexperienced so a little nervous about branching out too much) but I’d love to see it for inspiration….Casey, could you provide the link pretty please?

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Charlotte June 25, 2011 at 10:41

Great tutorial ! I can’t wait to try it :)

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angie.a June 25, 2011 at 11:56

Wonderful tutorial, Casey! I am totally stealing this idea. I’ve been wanting an a-line denim skirt a’la 500 Days of Summer (oh man, I love that entire wardrobe!) and I hadn’t thought of using Ginger. Perfect!

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Casey June 28, 2011 at 16:25

Steal away, Angie!!! I can’t wait to see your take on this idea. ;)

♥ Casey

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Portia June 25, 2011 at 13:32

I love the tweaks you give to commercial patterns. It adds originality and a personal touch which is surely one of the perks of home dressmaking, IMHO anyway!
Px

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Casey June 28, 2011 at 16:26

Thanks, Portia. :) I think part of the reason I’m always tweaking patterns is because it gives them more options (so I don’t always have to go out and buy a new pattern–or worse yet, envision something and not be able to find a pattern for it! ;) ) and also because I can’t help tweaking and dabbling. rofl!

♥ Casey

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sajuki June 26, 2011 at 11:45

Lovely skirt.

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YarnUiPhoneAppv1.5 June 27, 2011 at 10:39

Such a fabulous tutorial. I would do a heavier weight thread for the top stitching to make it really pop out OR do the triple-stitch on my Viking using the regular thread. I love the skirt…and I would make it if I weren’t saw caught up with my knitting needles these days.

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Casey June 28, 2011 at 16:27

Love the idea of a triple stitch or heavier thread! I used jeans topstitching thread, but it wasn’t quite as heavy as I’d have liked… Don’t know if I can find anything else heavier though. :p

♥ Casey

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Janice June 27, 2011 at 23:06

Thank you for posting that tutorial, Casey! It looks beautiful. Am definitely inspired to try my own version now.

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Lauren June 28, 2011 at 11:22

hey! i’m commenting twice on this entry! haha!! just wanted to pop in and let you know that i tried out the tutorial over the weekend – great results! i love my scalloped pockets! :)

http://lladybird.wordpress.com/2011/06/28/another-ginger-western-style/ here is the blog entry if you want to see :)

thanks again so much for posting the instructions ♥

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Casey June 28, 2011 at 16:28

Oh my golly, Lauren! I love your version of it–the khaki fabric is perfect!!! (Plus you’re sporting such a darling pair of cowboy boots–quiet envious! ;) ) Thank you for sharing this.

♥ Casey

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Victoria/Justice Pirate June 28, 2011 at 21:44

goodness it is amazing how you create your own patterns. I need to go the fabric store and start creating again. You always make me want to sew so badly and then I procrastinate and hold off longer and longer between sewing projects. If only the fabric store wasn’t almost an hour away!

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Beata August 6, 2011 at 01:45

Hey, thanks for such a great tutorial!! The theme at the Sew Weekly this week was ‘western,’ so I decided to make a skirt inspired by the one you made here. I had never made anything with pockets before, but I followed your tutorial and I think they turned out great! Here is a link to my skirt:
http://tatulinkastales.blogspot.com/2011/08/completed-project-shaped-pocket-skirt.html

Thanks again!!

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StephC February 12, 2012 at 20:21

Very very cute. I have been eyeing a detail like this on a 40′s pants/overalls pattern and keep thinking I want to use them on some stretch denim cigarette pants I’m working on. Then I stumbled across this and I love the effect so much I decided I’ll actually do it! Thanks for the inspiration!

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Care to comment? Thank you ever so much for taking time to share your comment! Although I try to answer questions, I am not always able to respond to each comment individually. But please know that I appreciate from the bottom of my heart every comment I receive!

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