HOW TO: make a three-panel skirt have pockets

Okay, I’ve been putting off doing a HOWTO right here because, frankly, I’m not truly a fantastic seamstress. I’ve never taken a formal class, as well as every time I checked out an problem of threads I state to myself “Huh! That *would* be a much better method to do that.” however I figured I’d publish this one, for a couple reasons. very first of all, even though I’m not that fantastic at it (nothing like Summerset, for one, or Rostitchery, for another!) I truly do enjoy sewing, as well as so at least I can reassure people than even if you aren’t couture-caliber you can make stuff that fits as well as have fun doing it. Secondly, I figured if I publish this people will tell me what I did wrong, as well as that method next time I can do it faster/better/more attractively. as well as finally, I just dislike PATTERNS THAT DON’T have POCKETS. So by publishing this I can rescue one more pattern from the evils of pocketlessness.

Anyway. There it is.

So, what will you requirement to do this project?

a stitching machine

an iron as well as ironing board

flat area to work

scissors, tape measure, ruler, pencil or marking implement, etc. etc.

Diet Coke or similar beverage

music with a great beat however off-kilter or oddly nihilistic lyrics (I like spirit Coughing, They may Be Giants, Magnetic Fields, etc.)

fabric (about two lawns of 45″ wide for the pattern shown here, 1 3/4 lawns if it’s 60″ wide)

a appropriate pattern (see below)

(Okay, okay, OKAY. I understand that pattern has gauchos. ignore them. Pretend they aren’t there. It’s okay, we won’t even be TOUCHING those pieces. Don’t worry. would I lead you into gauchos? I would not. You can trust me.)

Now, quite much any type of skirt pattern with a center panel as well as two side panels will work for this project. I selected this simplicity pattern since 1) I like contour waistbands as well as 2) it was $1 at JoAnn’s on Saturday, so I might buy two. Why two? since I’m lazy, as well as part of this job includes doubling a pattern piece. This method I might just utilize one more part from the second pattern, as well as not have to trace it. $1 is inexpensive for not having to trace!

For this job I decided to utilize view B of this pattern, which is the blue skirt in the illustration. A, B, as well as C are basically the same, just differing lengths. The very first thing I had to figure out is what size to make, so I might pull those pattern pieces as well as put them aside.

Now, I have a little midsection in proportion to my hips (or a huge butt in proportion to my waist, calling Sir Mix-A-Lot) so I inspected those measurements, as well as sure enough, the size that was right in the hips would be as well huge in the waist. (Also, this pattern is made to be used 1″ below the waist, which I Don’t Do.)

Now, I’ve made a great deal of simplicity skirts lately, including one more one with a yoke, as well as so I grabbed the yoke pattern I understood in shape me as well as laid it over the yoke pattern for this skirt. That verified for me that I needed a size 12 waistband however a size 14 skirt. What to do?

Well, I took the pieces for the size 12 waistband as well as cut them on the 12 line at the top edge, however at the 14 at the bottom edge, fudging between them at the sides, to ensure that it would in shape at the midsection however still be able to be connected to the size 14 skirt. then I cut out the rest of the pattern pieces from the pattern sheets, making sure to have *two* side front pieces, one from one pattern as well as one from the other.

That done, the next thing I had to do was to get rid of the pleats in that side front piece, adorable as they are, since I believed they would interfere with putting in pockets. Now, I looked to hell as well as gone around the Web for the “right” method to do this, however I couldn’t discover any type of instructions, so this is just my usual half-assery: I took the pattern pieces as well as taped the pleats shut, tapering all the method down to the edge.

But this made me concern that taking that pleat out would make the hips as well narrow, so I decided to determine the hips just to make sure. To do this, I put the pattern pieces together, overlapping the seam allowances, as well as marked where my hip is (about 9″ below my waist, you can see a black mark on the center front piece where I determined this). then I determined across to make sure there would be sufficient space for my hips (whew! there was).

That done, it was time to figure out where to location the pocket on the side front piece. I held up the pattern to myself, making sure to location the top of it lower than the midsection (because the pattern has a waistband). then I let my hand autumn to where I would want a pocket, as well as marked that.

Then I cut three of the side front piece, out of a scrap I had lying around:

Why three? since the pocket in the panel has three parts. There’s the part of the skirt above the pocket opening (which likewise includes the ‘back’ of the pocket), the part of the skirt below the pocket opening, as well as the part, not visible, that is the ‘inside’ of the pocket (which is like a dealing with on the part of the skirt below the pocket opening).

So I took these three pieces as well as laid them out. Unfortunately, none of these photos turned out, as well as OF program it’s the most difficult part of making this. Ugh.

Anyway right here are the three pattern pieces you end up with (the skirt, the top as well as underpocket, as well as the pocket facing). I cut the dealing with out of a piece of pattern tissue that I had lying around (literally, it was on the floor). You can utilize any type of type of paper. Do compose which is which on the dealing with piece, though, it saves a great deal of heartache later. I don’t understand exactly how many pocket facings I’ve made as well as then thrown away by accident!

So exactly how did I get from three of the exact same piece to three different pieces? Well, you’re cutting the bottom off the bottommost piece of the pocket sandwich (everything below the bottom of the inside pocket seam). You’re cutting the top off the topmost piece of the pocket sandwich (everything above the top edge of the pattern — however DON’T fail to remember to leave a seam allowance, or your pocket will be 5/8ths of a inch lower on your body than you expected). then you cut the exact same top as well as bottom off the pocket dealing with (the middle part of the pocket sandwich) to make the pocket facing.

The darker blue is the bottommost layer, towards t
he top of the skirt. You can see exactly how deep the pocket will be (the pin) as well as the black line shows the added seam allowance for the bottom pocket seam (yes I draw on material with china markers).

Here’s me making sure the pocket is precisely where I want it (the floral thing there is my keychain clipped to the pocket of the skirt I’m really wearing, as opposed to the one I’m making):

(This is from my point-of-view, e.g., leaning over as well as upside-down.)

I was happy with this, so then I figured I might make a “real” (that is, wearable) skirt! Yay! however I still didn’t want to utilize fantastic fabric, so I utilized a piece of lightweight denim I had hanging around. Here’s the three back pieces all stitched together:

(I left the pleats in at the back.)

But the ordinary denim material seemed a bit tiring to me. exactly how might I flavor it up? I know! Zippers! Yellow zippers!

You see, when you make this type of pocket, the top edge can be all wiggly as well as pulled out of shape, unless you strengthen it with twill tape. Zippers have built-in twill tape, as well as they make a nice style element.

So get a plastic separating zipper (like the kind that you utilize to make jackets with). cut away the teeth of the zipper that would go in the seam allowance (about 1/2 inch on either side, as in the picture above) — you do NOT want the stitching machine needle to hit a zipper tooth!

Of course, the photo of stitching the zipper trim on to the skirt piece didn’t come out, either, however what I did was: sew the zipper to the skirt piece, teeth dealing with down towards the hem. sew the pocket dealing with to the skirt piece, right sides together. then turn as well as topstitch, like so:

When you’re done, it will look like this:

Then, to assemble, you want to connect the underpocket to the pocket dealing with piece, like so:

I seamed the bottom (this photo is fuzzy) as well as then double-zigzagged the edges, since this material is a bit ravelly.

Then you baste the whole sandwich together. (When you’re stitching over the zipper part, even though you trimmed away the teeth in the seam allowance, you most likely want to hand-crank the machine. hitting zipper teeth at speed is Not Fun.)

This is what it appears like when you’re done:

See exactly how the stitching down the side is within the seam allowance? I utilized to baste at the seamline as well as then had to pick out the bits that showed. I’m marginally smarter now.

Then you do everything once again for the other side. Here’s the front assembled:

NOTE: Do not let your iron run over the plastic zipper teeth. They will melt!

Then you keep going as well as assemble the rest of the skirt. Here’s the waistband going on — why did I sew a line of stitching around the bottom of the waistband facing?

This is why — it makes a nice guideline for turning it under!

Now, time to baste in the zipper. If I’d been thinking, I would have bought a bright yellow zipper for the side zip, too, however I wasn’t believing (and in truth the other zippers were bought more than a year back for one more project), so blue it is.

And actually, my very first try at stitching in the zipper was totally crappy, however I offer it right here to you to show you exactly how poor a sewer I can be:

So I took it out as well as redid it (and I re-threaded the machine in blue, since no sense in drawing interest to the zipper!). however this is getting truly long, so here’s where we avoid to the end:

The pockets aren’t truly uneven: I’m just standing funny. as well as the skirt is a bit as well long; I believe I’ll shorten it by about two inches next time I make this. It’s a bit dowdy at this length.

The whole process (not counting the time it took me to discover & buy the pattern) was about three as well as a half hours. two hours to do the measuring, planning, preliminary cutting, as well as prototyping, as well as one as well as a half hours to comprise the whole skirt (including cutting out the new material as well as re-doing the side zipper). The skirt is hemmed with yellow bias tape, used by machine.

I didn’t prewash the plastic zipper I utilized for the pocket trim, since it is made from pure polyester. If I were going to utilize a vintage zipper (or an upholstery zipper) with metal teeth as well as a cotton tape, I definitely would have prewashed the zipper. If you had long sufficient zippers (or were okay with lapping them) you might have likewise inserted zippers into the long front seams between the panels. You might likewise utilize piping, braid, or rickrack to trim the pocket edges.

Okay, that’s ONE method to make front pockets on a panel skirt. If you have a different way, do leave it in the comments! If I left out an important step (as I am wont to do), request clarification in the com
ments! (The plant to my right in the photo (your left) is lavender, so you don’t have to ask about it in the comments, as well as my tights are from H&M, last year. whatever else, ask about it in the comments!)

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