How to Make a Dress Part 8: The Pocket Flaps

This week, as the title of this post suggests, we'll make the pocket flaps. They're optional, but are a nice touch. You can embroider them or add appliqués or buttons etc. as you see fit. You can make them in a contrasting colour, or if you're using a striped or plaid fabric, you can cut the top-flap (the part you will see) on the bias for interest. You don't have to use the shape that was supplied in your pattern; you can easily draft your own by drawing a horizontal line the width of the pocket, drawing the shape you want below it (and above it if you like) and then adding seam allowances.

What I have learned from making these pocket flaps is that, as with collars, the bottom piece should probably be slightly smaller than the top one to make sure the seams are not seen from the RS when the garment is worn. (I didn't, so don't be concerned if your pocket flap doesn't look exactly like mine. : ))

So, let's get on with making the pocket flap!

How to Make a Pocket Flap

If you have only one pattern piece for the pocket flap, use it to cut all four pieces, and then trim about 1/8" (3mm) off the outside edge of the under-flap (or flap facing, whatever you would like to call it). In this case, it would be the round edge because the pocket flaps are almost semi-circles.

Interface the top pocket flap if you haven't already.

Then, keeping the raw edges even (and this may be a little fiddly) pin and baste the top pocket flap to the under-flap and stitch around the curved edge, leaving the straight edge unsewn so that you can turn the flap RS out in a minute. Press flat to set the stitches.

Grade the seam allowances as shown above (you don't have to pink them) and notch them so that the curve will work out. Turn the pocket flap RS out and push the seam out as far as it will go. You can use a knitting needle for this. Press.

Now you can apply the pocket to the dress. We are doing this before we sew the dress parts together because it's easier to sew "flat".

Fold down the seam allowance of the pocket flap. Trim to half and press. Neaten the raw edge. Now put the flap on the dress above the pocket so that the raw edge is about 1/8" to 1/4" above the top of the pocket. Stitch along the pressed fold. Press.

Flap the flap down to its finished position and stitch down, encasing the seam-allowance.


Repeat for the other pocket flap et Voilá! Your pockets now have flaps!

Next week we'll put in the invisible zip with an adjustable zip foot and then sew up the centre back (CB) seam.

Until next time, happy sewing!
Sabrina Wharton-Brown
The Sewing Corner Haberdashery, 41 Market Place, Hornsea, East Yorkshire, HU18 1AP, UK.

P.S. Last week we got some new stock in the shop so I bought a sewing gauge. (They're only £1.85!) It's nice for measuring hems, and you can even draw circles with it! It also has a point-turner on one end and an adjustable button sewing shank thing on the other. We sell Hemline brand products. We could have got the Nancy Zieman sewing gauge, but they're so much more expensive and I don't know that they're that much better. What do you think? Do you have one? Please comment below. : )

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