diy: sdsa sewing side seam pockets + the skirt

I had to resist the urge of my inner-nerd to title this post "sdsa: what has it got in it's pocketses?". But because I am (somewhat) merciful and won't subject you to the fact that I was once an LOtR geek, I decided to just be normal and have a sane-sounding title. haha!

02.19.11 | pockets (and a skirt too!)
the dress so far (excuse the messy shelves behind... lol.)!
Time for attaching the skirt! Isn't this getting exciting? It's at this point in almost every dress project that I start to go from being excited to really excited about the project, because it's starting to look like something I'll wear. After we left off in the last sdsa installment, we stopped at attaching the midriff pieces and skipped steps 6 and 7. If you aren't attaching a side seam pocket on the right side, go ahead and complete those steps to attach the back to the waist. The principles for basting and carefully topstitching are the same; just go slowly and work on an even line of stitching. Also go ahead and sew the skirt front pieces together as indicated in the directions (or skip to the section below about patch pockets if you opted for those).

02.19.11 | pockets (and a skirt too!)
Pinning the side seam pockets. (Don't laugh, but I wasn't paying attention and stitched these to the left side first! Don't repeat my mistake--attach the pockets to the right side seam!)
If you'd like to add that side seam pocket, here's the procedure to do so, which you'll want to do before attaching the skirt pieces to the bodice (but go ahead and sew the darts on the skirt back first). Pin one of the pocket pieces to the right back piece, matching notches.

02.19.11 | pockets (and a skirt too!)

Sew from the top to the bottom of the pocket piece (I had a 3/4" side seam allowance). Repeat for the right side-front and remaining pocket piece. Press seams toward the side seam. Construct the skirt back as directed, and attach to bodice as directed in step 7. Piece together the front skirt pieces (steps 9 and 10), being careful not to accidentally catch the pocket piece in the seams! Attach the midriff piece to the skirt front as indicated in step 11 (same rules apply as for sewing to the bodice).

02.19.11 | pockets (and a skirt too!)
Close-up view here.
If you are adding waist ties, follow step 12. Pin and sew left side seam as indicated in step 13, being sure to leave the opening for the zipper! On the right side, pin together the side seam and around the pocket as shown. You'll also want to mark at the top and bottom where to pivot at the dress side seam and stitch around the pocket. I've allowed for a 1/2" seam around the edges of my pocket pieces, which meant I stitched down about 1/2" from the top of the pocket along the side seam, pivoted and stitched around the pocket edges, stitched to meet the 3/4" stitch line at the skirt side seam, pivoted and continued sewing the side seam. (See the diagram below.)

02.19.11 | pockets (and a skirt too!)

Once you have sewn this seam, press the side seam open. You'll need to clip at the back side seam, right above and below the pocket to allow it to press open properly (below).

02.19.11 | pockets (and a skirt too!)

Conversely, if patch pockets are in your design, refer to this post on how to sew those to the side-front panels before sewing the skirt seams.

Judging by comments in the previous post, I'm going to give everyone a few days to work on things. Please don't worry if you're "behind" the sew-along; it's not a race! I know everyone has busy lives and muslin-fittings don't always go as planned. So feel free to take your time. I think because of this, the final "dress party" post sharing the finished garments will be a bit later than I had originally planned, so that hopefully it'll give everyone a bit more breathing room to complete their dresses to share. Sound good? Up next: sleeves! I'll be devoting an entire post on how to sew set-in style sleeves properly (I'm shooting for putting the post up late Tuesday afternoon), so if you've never sewn sleeves before don't miss this post!

I'd like to give a big thank you to everyone who has been leaving helpful comments on the sew-along posts, as well as the Flickr group--I am so thankful to have all the input and ideas from everyone!

Also, the lovely Gina has finished a red version of the Swing Dress--isn't it gorgeous?!


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