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February 19, 2017

the dress | chapter three (a.k.a. it's got pockets)

How to add pockets to a wedding dress
How I'm making my wedding dress
Alright gang. I'm making some pretty heavy headway on my handmade wedding dress. To recap, I picked a pattern to roughly follow, then made a test dress from muslin fabric to make sure I liked the shape. Now I've started to work on the bodice, and the skirt is basically done. Today I worked on what has to be my favorite aspect of this beauty: pockets. Having pockets in this thing is an absolute must. My fiancĂ©e and I are getting married in the middle of the winter, and while this year we are experiencing what must be a record-breaking heat spell, I want to be prepared for the harsher temperatures that the midwest can produce. So, in short, I need pockets. A place to hide hand-warmers and tissues and stuff. And, success! I love love love that this worked out and that I have a place to put my hands when I'm feeling awkward during photo-times. 

While I'm making my dress entirely myself, I imagine adding pockets to an existing dress wouldn't be that difficult. Before putting pockets in an already completed dress, you would need to break and remove the seam from the sides of the skirt - both the liner and the outer fabric. 
DIY pockets for a dress
Here is what the shape of my pockets looked like before I stitched them into my dress. They are each made of two pieces of liner and two pieces of outer fabric, stitched together with the top edge left open. I also left about 1/2 inch of room at the ends of the stitch to fold the top down when hemming. When lining the pieces up, it went: liner, outer fabric (right side up), outer fabric (right side down), liner. The outer fabric is the part that is touched when you put your hand in the pocket. 
How to: Add pockets to a dress, without a pattern!
My brain hurt while I was trying to figure this part out, and my one piece of advice when putting pockets in a dress is to pin everything in place, turn the dress right-side out and check that you did you pin-work correctly. With the dress inside out, place one pocket between the outer fabric layers. 
Who wouldn't want to put pockets in a skirt?
There will be two "sandwiches" to be pinned in place. Starting from the top, the first "sandwich" will be: the front liner, the front outer fabric, and the top piece of the pocket (both liner and outer fabric). The second "sandwich" will go in reverse: the bottom piece of the pocket (both liner and outer fabric), the back outer fabric piece, and the back liner piece. Pin these two "sandwiches" together, flip the whole thing right-side out and check to see it was done properly. Flip it back inside-out, and stitch the two "sandwiches" separately, along the pins. 
Who needs a purse when you can put pockets in a dress!
Now it's just a matter of stitching the sides of the dress together. Sew along the lines as shown above, stitching the dress together but skipping the pocket. I took these seams about 1/4 inch into the pocket as well, just to ensure none of the inside of the dress could poke out.
The Dress gets pockets
Pockets, you guys! This feels like a major accomplishment in my dress-making journey, and while I'm far from done, it's nice to get little details out of the way. I know the teeny specifics are what will draw out the time it takes to finish this project. But seriously, how functional is this beast? Side thought - why don't all wedding dresses just come with pockets? Where are you supposed to put all your stuff?
DIY This: Putting pockets in a wedding dress
More updates to come - I have pieced together much of the bodice, but am reluctantly avoiding putting in the zipper because that is like my greatest sewing fear. But, the boning was successfully put in, and it's starting to look like a real article of clothing. Stay tuned!

xoxo,
-m.e.

P.S. See chapter two, and chapter one in this DIY wedding dress series. 
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