Adventures in Dressmaking: Tutorial for the mystery pocket skirt!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Tutorial for the mystery pocket skirt!

Cool and unique tutorial for you on the blog today, written by a reader who was inspired by the mystery pocket skirt on Sewing Circle a few weeks back!


Kessem, a reader from Israel who posts all kinds of fancy sewing projects and tutorials on her blog, Dinosaur Girl, emailed me after seeing the mystery pocket skirt question and volunteered to try it out! Quite ambitiously, she drafted a pattern and went through the trial and error of making a replica of the mystery orange skirt. She put together an explanation of the drafting of the skirt on her blog, here, and on my blog she's sharing with us the tutorial for the construction! Follow along and see how you can make this skirt, too!

When I saw this skirt in Suzannah's Sewing Circle the wheels in my head immediately started turning and I was set upon figuring out how to draft this skirt! I ended up making it in a navy cotton-poly blend (which isn't a great color choice for a tutorial, and for this I apologize) so it does end up having a different look than the one in the picture, but I assure you the pattern is quite similar! 

The post on how to draft the skirt and the pocket is on my blog so be sure to stop by there before you start sewing! (Well, obviously.)

We'll need the basic stuff for this project:
  • Sewing sheers
  • Pins
  • Chalk or fabric pen
  • Fabric (I used about 1.5 yards, and I am a small/medium--see the drafting post on my blog for more info)
  • An invisible zipper
Let's talk about lining for a second - I didn't line my skirt and I have to be honest and say that I kind of regret it because I feel the skirt has too much drape and it shouldn't have any (if you look at the original picture of the skirt the skirt is very stiff). If you feel you want to add lining, cut four pieces of the back piece in your lining material. I think I'm going to go as far as lining my skirt with cotton because I really want to eliminate all drape.

As I said before I decided to be true to the original design and make the pockets part of the skirt panels. If you feel like this may be too advanced for you, you can opt for the easier and more user-friendly version, which is patch pockets. Along the tutorial, I'll point out which steps you should forgo/add in order to make the patch pockets. Make sure you read carefully!

Ok, so we're going to lay the patterns on the fabric. For some reason, I didn't think to get a good picture of this so I'll have to explain it rather than show you. It's not difficult at all so I'm not worried:

1) Front and Back Skirt: do not cut on fold. Cut two of each.
2) Waistband: cut two on fold and two not on the fold. (the waistband that is cut on the fold will be the front waistband and the separate ones for the back.
3) Pocket: cut two.

I added a 1/2 inch seam allowance; you're welcome to add as much as you're comfortable with.
For those of you that are making patch pockets -  you don't need the front skirt piece, just cut four of the back skirt piece and two of the pocket pieces.

Let's get started on the pockets!

Before we start assembling the skirt, we need to cut two more pieces. The larger rectangle will be the pocket sack - You want it to be longer (at least by two inches) than your pocket slit and much wider (so that you hand will fit in there. well not all of it - unless you have miniscule hands, but about up until the end of your fingers).  I made my rectangle 3 inches by 12 inches - you will need four of these.

Next, we're going to need a little square that will assist us in sewing the inverted corner of the pocket (if you're going to do patch pockets you can forgo this step), cut two 1.5 inch squares.

Copy the pocket slit from the pocket pattern onto two of the large rectangles. I placed it about an inch from the top and 1.5 inches from the side.

Use the pattern to mark the pocket slit on the wrong side of the pockets.

Baste the two pockets to each other (set your machine to a very long stitch and sew); only sew around the curved edge and the bottom of the pocket.

Flip the pockets inside out and press. Unpick the basting stitches.

Next, pin the rectangle the the right side of the pocket, matching up the pocket slit on the rectangle to the pocket slit on the pocket. (we drew the pocket slit on the wrong side of the pocket so that it will be easier to match up).


Stitch along the rectangle of the slit using a short length stitch. Next, cut a slit down the middle of the rectangle ending half an inch from the ends. Then, cut little Y shapes up to (but not through!) the corners.

Push rectangle through the slit and press press press.

Next place one of the rectangles we didn't trace the slit on, on top of the rectangle we just pushed through the slit. pin and stitch the rectangles to each other. (we just created the pocket sack!). Now do this to other pocket.

Next we're going to get the front skirt ready. Sewing the inverted corner is a little tricky so we need to reenforce it.

For the patch pocket people -  you can skip this whole step since you're not sewing an inverted corner.

Mark you seam allowance in the inverted corner on the right side of the fabric.

Place the little square we cut before on the corner and stitch along the seam allowance using a short stitch. Clip up to the corner, but not through it!

Flip the seam allowance to the back and press the whole thing. I know it looks like a mess but it will be helpful when we sew the corner! see the flap we created along the corner? if we had attempted to sew it without the square we'd have no support when we reached the point of the corner as there is not seam allowance there (think about it!) but now we have seam allowance along the whole corner! (the picture above shows the wrong side of the skirt.)

Pin the bottom of the pocket to the bottom of the pocket opening. match up the creases created from pressing the pocket and pressing the inverted corner. sew up to the corner matching up the corner carefully:

Make sure that the seam outer corner (not the seam allowance but the seam itself!) matches up with the inverted corner. Use the square as to help you match the corner. again - now you have seam allowance at the tip of the inverted corner!

Pin along the curve and sew the whole thing! (slowly!)

This is what it should look like after you sew it! (I didn't press it before I took a picture, that's why it looks all wonky, make sure you do before you move on to the next step!). Do the same thing on the other front panel.

For the patch pocket people--top stitch the pressed pocket to your front skirt along the outer lines to achieve the same look as the picture above.

Sew up the front middle seam.

I didn't take pictures of the next steps as they are quite basic and not unique to this skirt.

Sew the waistband to the front panels and the separate waistband the the back panels.

Sew the side seams of the skirt.

Sew in the zipper up the back seam. If you need help, use this tutorial.

I suggest you interface the waistband facing but that's not mandatory! Sew the side seams of the waistband facing; if you opted for adding a lining, sew the waistband facing to the lining skirt, then connect it to the main waistband by pinning them right sides together at the top. To finish your facing (and lining) beautifully with zipper, use this tutorial.

Last but not least - hem your skirt and you're done!

What do you think? If you have any question let me know through the comments!

You can see more pictures of the finished skirt, along with the drafting instructions, on my blog.

Thanks so much, Kessem!! Readers, have fun!!

3 comments:

Leaving a comment is easy, and I love to read them! No annoying word verification required. =)

  1. Cool! She made this pretty tricky pockets!%)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Cute skirt. Great job, dear!
    With love, Ladyfairy

    www.ladyfairy-scloset.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great tutorial :) What a pity I can't sew... :( But I'm planning to learn, hopefully :)

    ReplyDelete
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