Many women will agree with me when I say that, it is a luxury to be able to find a dress or skirt at the store with pockets already sewn in. Have you ever mistakenly went to place your phone in your pocket only to realize you were grasping at air and your garment had no pockets? I’m sure many of you have wished, at some point, that your garments had pockets because it would make carrying around your essential items so much easier. Unfortunately, the majority of the dresses on the market today don’t have pockets and it comes down to pure luck to find one that does.
Worse than no pockets at all, is clothing with fake pockets. Fake pockets are simply extra fabric on a garment to add detail but are not meant to be functional or hold anything. I’m sure you have seen jeggings with the pockets sewn shut or zippers that open up to nothing. Why are they even there?
On the rare chance that you find a garment with pockets, they are often so small and shallow that nothing fits in them. For example, what are women able to store in those tiny pockets on the front of their jeans? Nothing. Similarly, I haven’t been able to store my cellphone in the pocket of my jeans since my flip-phone days (who’s with me?).
What happens if you want to go to a concert, attend a wedding, or go out to the bar and don’t want to carry around a bag because it is bulky or could be easily lost? You need have the option to store all of your essential items in your garments. This could include your phone, car keys, money, spare change, Band-Aids, pain relievers, lipstick, etc. Whatever your heart desires. Pockets give a girl freedom, independence and the ability to live care-free.
However, as you may have noticed, the majority of women’s clothing is made for beauty, rather than practicality. While on the other hand, men’s clothing always have deep functional pockets. They can easily fit their wallet, phone, car keys, and portable charger into their pants’ pockets and still have plenty of room to spare. That doesn’t seem right.
Well, this is not a new issue. Women have been complaining about lack of functional pockets for years now. It has become a hot topic within the battle of the sexes. Over the past decade, it has become a popular trend for brides and bridesmaids to have pockets in their dresses. There has even been some progress towards more casual dresses off the rack having pockets. Overall, there are still extremely limited options. If you are in search of a garment with pockets, you can never seem to find one! Or at least one that you like and fits within your style.
We can continue to work on convincing brands to incorporate more pockets into women’s clothing designs, but what if you already own a closet full of clothing with fake pockets or zero pockets? Thankfully, pockets can almost always be added! Follow this step-by-step tutorial to easily sew pockets into to any dress or skirt that you already own.
¼ yard of lining fabric
Time: 30 minutes
Choose the right dress. Not all dresses are made to have pockets and can, in fact, be unflattering. Adding pockets to dresses that are form fitting at the hips will create too much bulkiness in the front. Strapless dresses may also pose a threat because if you’re planning to put a lot in your pockets, they may weigh down the dress. No one wants to be pulling up their dress up all night.
An example of a dress perfect for adding pockets would be one with a slightly flared skirt, such as an A-line. This will allow enough room for pockets and anything that you might put in them without looking bulky. Ideally, the dress would have some type of strap or sleeve to support the extra weight of carrying around essential items.
Once, you’ve decided on a dress, you can create the pockets! Choose a lightweight fabric that matches or compliments your dress fabric. I would recommend choosing a fabric that is suitable for linings because they are thin and intended specifically for this purpose.
Find or make a pattern for your pockets. There is no specific shape or size. Choose a size that makes sense for what you plan to carry and be sure they are short enough so that they won’t hang down past the hem of the dress.
Cut 4 pockets out of your chosen fabric.
Open up the seam on both sides of the dress or skirt using a seam ripper.
I typically suggest 3 inches below the waistline, but it will likely be slightly different depending on the dress you choose as well as your height. Consider where you would place your hands and how your arms would naturally fall.
Be sure to choose an area that hits below the hips. There will be more fabric to cover up the pockets in this area and reduce the appearance of bulkiness.
*IMPORTANT NOTE: If there are not side seams on the garment, you won’t be able to complete this tutorial.
Sew one pocket piece to each side of the opening in the dress. Leave seam allowance at the top and bottom of the pocket piece. This will make it easier when it come time to sew the two pieces together.
Line up the two pocket pieces and sew them together, all the way around the pocket. Use pins to line them up with ease.
After you have sewn the pieces together, you will notice that there are small gaps left in the opening you created. To close them, simply sew the sides of the dress closed on both sides to where the pocket starts. Be careful to only sew right up to the pocket seam and not over. This will cause the pocket to bunch up and not lay flat.
Repeat this process on the second side of the dress to create another pocket.
Fill with your favorite on-the-go items!
Click here to download the printable instructions: Step by Step Pocket Sewing Tutorial
Asking your significant other to store your cellphone and lipstick in their never ending pockets is now a thing of the past! Even better, you no longer have to use your bra as extra storage! (I know you’ve all done that before!).
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