I admit it… When the Double Down Day Dress released, I squeaked a little. Like a happy mouse. The puffy sleeves! The princess seams! Oh, the possibilities for maximum puff and fluff, or minimum puff and fluff, if that’s more your thing! I made my first dress, tiptoed to the mirror, looked out of the corner of my eye at my reflection, then almost fell off my steps tool I was so pleased with it!
Back to possibilities… There are so many things this dress can be! Of course, the first thing every woman needs is POCKETS! I mean, where else are you supposed to carry your fruit snacks and your flask? I am partial to patch pockets because I have hips. Real woman hips. The kind that carried most of a 75-pound pregnancy weight gain, and never quite regained their original svelteness. So I’m not a fan of inseam pockets, which seem to add a little thickness. Patch pockets are for me! If patch pockets are also your style, keep reading, and I’ll tell you exactly how I added mine.
For the most flattering pocket placement, measure your body from your armpit to the smallest part of your waist. For me (I’m 5’3”), that is 10ish inches. You will want the top of your pocket to stop right there, drawing attention with a complementary band to the smallest part of your waist. Higher than that, your pockets will look out of place. Lower than that, your pockets will look like saddlebags. Now measure from the bottom of the armscye (armpit, really) on the side panel paper pattern piece the same distance (for me, this is 10 inches), and draw a line across the pattern piece parallel to the hem of your pattern piece. Draw another line parallel to that line 6 inches below the first line. That’s where the bottom of your pocket will come to. Using a separate piece of paper, trace a pocket pattern piece, extending the width about ¼ inch past the edge of the sloped side seam.
Cut two pocket pieces mirror image, making sure to cut the stretch in the same direction as the dress (horizontally).
Cut two pocket trim bands slightly wider than the top of your pocket piece and 2” tall. Again, be sure you cut the long way with the stretch the same way you would cut a neckband. (In a size medium, I cut my bands 6 inches wide.)
Serge the bottom edges of your pocket pieces if you’d like , then with right sides of your pocket and your side panel together and the pocket upside down, pin the bottom edge of your pocket to your side panel, and using a stretch stitch or zigzag, stitch together with ¼ inch seam allowance from the edge of the pocket. ***Line up both pockets with their respective side panels very carefully to make sure that your pockets will have the same placement on each side panel.*** Flip each pocket up into place, and topstitch ¼ inch from the bottom of the pocket , reinforcing it so your flask won’t fall out in the kindergarten yard. That would be embarrassing.
I didn’t put my pocket band on until this point, but you could easily have done this before you attached your pockets to your side panels. Fold your pocket band pieces in half, wrong sides together, the same way you would for a neckband or armbands. Do not stretch the pocket or the band, and clip or pin in place with raw edges and right sides together. Serge or stretch stitch in place with a ¼ inch seam allowance. Flip your band up, and topstitch ¼ inch from the band on the pocket piece. Do NOT sew to your side panel.
Clip your pocket in place on both sides of your side panel, and turn your entire side panel over so that the wrong side of the side panel is facing up. Making sure that your pocket is laying perfectly straight, trim off the excess fabric, if any, on the sides of your side panel. Picture 11 shows the extra fabric that needs to be trimmed on mine.
Pin or clip your side panel to your front panel as instructed in the main pattern, making sure that your pocket is lying straight and neatly sandwiched between your side panel and your front piece. See picture 12. Sew each side panel to the front pattern piece as directed in the main pattern. See picture 13. ***Make sure you perform these steps on your front piece and NOT your back piece, or you will have patch pockets on your back instead of your front!***
Continue on with the main pattern instructions. After the side panels without pockets are sewn to the back piece, sew together the side seams as directed in the main pattern, making sure to keep the pockets straight and neatly sandwiched in the side seam. Finish the pattern as directed in the main pattern instructions.
And you’re done! One pocket for fishy crackers for your toddler, and the other for your flask! And please post your finished dress in the Ragamuffin Patterns (Facebook group). I can’t wait to see it!
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