It is my firm belief that every dress should have pockets. And that any dress without pockets should have pockets added. Mood is having a sale on certain cotton prints, and I have been dying to make a dress with McCall’s M7081, so all seemed perfect for this project — until I discovered that the pattern didn’t include pockets.
So, I went about adding some! I went with View B (with a few sleeve and collar alterations), so I needed two prints. I went with the China Set Cotton Poplin for the main dress and a Polka Dot Stretch Cotton Twill for the contrast.
Because of this, I chose to use my contrast fabric for my added pockets. Since they’re invisible pockets being sewn into the seam, they won’t really be seen, but I thought it might be a cute detail. I cut 4 of the shapes you see above. Mine measure 4″ across the top and about 9″ down, but they could be any size you want! (This size fits my cell phone perfectly.)
This pattern only calls for two skirt panels, the front and the back, so the pockets went into the two side seams. This meant basting the long, flat edge of the pocket panels to the side edges of the skirt panels, right sides together. The top of the pocket should be in line with the waistline of the skirt, like you see above and below.
Next, I just had to attach the front and back panels, but instead of sewing straight down the sides like the pattern would call for, I sewed around the curve of the pockets and then down the rest of the skirt, following the dotted yellow line in the photo below.
When turned right-side out, the pocket should now be hidden within the seam, like you see here. I also pressed my pocket toward the front of the skirt.
I put a side zipper into my dress, which made things a tad bit tricky, but certainly not impossible.
Instead of the zipper attaching straight down the dress’ front panel, it switches at the waistband to attach to the back panel of the pocket. The other side of the zipper then goes along the back of the dress.
This type of pocket can be easily added to any seam, which is incredibly awesome if you’re someone like me who has high pocket standards when it comes to skirts and dresses. Tell us in the comments what you’ll be adding pockets to next!
Thanks for such a clear description! I’m starting to think about what I want to add pockets to!
So funny that I woke up thinking I wanted to put pockets in my maxi dress that is on my cutting table and I get the email notice on this article! I wish every dress had pockets~
I have diabetes and wear a pump with tubing. When I wear a dress, there’s often no place to clip the pump onto that I can also get to easily. I’ve found dresses with pockets to be the best solution, but I have to cut a hole inside the pocket to thread the tubing through. In the future, anything I make WILL have pockets. Thanks for the wonderful tutorial!
You’re welcome – I’m glad it’ll come in handy! 🙂
[…] I decided to sew them into the side seams, since that’s the easiest and would create the least amount of bulk (remember: we’re making this twice, so we don’t want any crazy pockets that might bunch up). If you’re unfamiliar with adding pockets to patterns, check out my tutorial here. […]
[…] The pockets are simple ones that hide in the seam. If you’ve never added them to a garment, you can find and easy tutorial here! […]
Hello, What wonderful precise instructions. Good choice of contrasting fabric patterns too. During this Coronavirus time, I decided to insert some side pockets to my home dresses, and had forgotten how easy it is to do when one is given such an easy guide. I shall be visiting your site often. Thank you so much. (and the instructions are free too)……..Elsie
thinking of using this for the piper shorts. would need to figure out where the waistline is because of the paper bag style