Look, I could talk about institutionalized misogyny all the livelong day but if I had to pick one way women are put at a constant disadvantage to be angry about today its pockets. Freaking POCKETS. WHY IN THIS DAY AND AGE DO WOMEN’S CLOTHES NOT JUST AUTOMATICALLY HAVE USABLE POCKETS?!?!? I have THINGS TO CARRY and you know what I don’t always want to carry a bag with me in order to use them. But noooooo someone in the 1800’s had to get everyone all paranoid that I’d hand out feminist leaflets if my clothes had too many pocketssss (or maybe fast fashion brands just don't want to pay up the extra money to put pockets in my clothes when they could just sell me a bag instead, either way, its bologna).
Which brings me to reason like 939328472398 that sewing is probably the most empowering thing I’ve ever gotten myself into: I can put pockets in anyyyything my little heart desires. I mean a lot of the sewing patterns I’ve been using (especially if the company is owned by a woman) already have pockets, BUT even if I want to make something that doesn’t have them, they are so super stinking easy to add into literally anything with side seams. Seriously. Even though I wrote this tutorial for the BurdaStyle 12/2018 #105 (a very sleek, minimalist circle skirt that I made in black stretch sateen, because of course I did), the same instructions can be applied to any other skirt, pant, short, sweater, or dress pattern that has plain side seams.
Are you as pumped about this as I am? Here’s how it’s done:
First, in addition to the original pattern, fabrics, and notions your project calls for, you’ll also need a pocket pattern piece (I had one from the Dress 47 already cut, but you could easily draft your own by tracing your hand and adding a seam allowance), a pen, and, if your pattern doesn’t have any big enough scraps, an extra 1/4 yard or so of your self or lining fabric to cut the pocket bags from. More about that later.
Next we’'ll need to mark the pocket placement, so that they all match and are, you know, at an appropriate pocket location. I looked at some skirts and dresses I already had and 3ish inches below the bottom of the waistband seems to be good.
If your pocket pattern piece doesn’t already have notches at the seam lines, add them to make this next step easier: line up your pocket piece with the side seam so that the top seam allowance notch matches the distance down from the top seam that you want (in my case, 3 inches), then trace both seam allowance notches onto your main pattern piece.
When you cut your fabric, do make sure that ALL NOTCHES ARE MARKED AND CUT IF YOU ENJOY THINGS BEING EASY. Also don’t forget to cut four pocket bag pieces. That won’t be in your cutting layout.
Next, when the pattern says to “sew side seams”, this is where we take a detour: pin your pocket pieces to your main skirt pieces right sides together, matching all notches and then sew just between the notches.
Then, flip them out, pretending that your new wobbly appendage is a normal part of the side seam and just sew all the way down and around and finish the seam however you please.
Finally just tuck the pocket bags in and resume the rest of your pattern instructions.
Seriously. That’s it. And you never have to have clothes without pockets again. Now what are you going to sew pockets in?