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Once you have all of your pattern pieces cut and notched, we need to first prepare the bodice for assembly.

Prepare the Pockets

Optional: finish the edge of the pocket opening and sides by serging or zigzag stitching to neaten the edges and prevent rolling (knits) or fraying (wovens). Stabilize the pocket opening by staystitching along the edge.

Fold the pocket opening edge toward the right side, aligning the angled ends along the top and side of the pocket. The fold allowance is 3/4" (2 cm). Stitch along each end of the fold with a 3/8" (1 cm) seam allowance to secure it to the top and side edges of the pocket.

Turn the fold right side out so that the fold allowance is now turned toward the wrong side of the pocket and the top and side edge are turned under. Press the folds in place. Also press the bottom edge of the pocket toward the wrong side by 3/8" (1 cm).

Topstitch the fold along the pocket opening with a straight stitch at about 5/8" to 3/4" (1.5 to 2 cm) from the folded edge (I added an additional row of topstitching here, which was purely decorative).


Prepare the Bodice and Attach the Pockets

Staystitch around the Front and Back Bodice necklines with a straight stitch that is within the seam allowance. This will stabilize the neckline and prevent it from stretching out during construction. Staystitching will be concealed in the seam allowance later.

Lay the bodice right side facing up and lay the pocket on top, also right side facing up, aligning the bottom of the pocket with the waist notch and the alignment dots on the bodice.

Baste the pocket to the bodice, leaving the folded pocket opening edge unstitched. It is recommended to try on the bodice after assembling the bodice shoulders in the next step to check the pocket location and make sure you are happy with the placement. The pockets can then be removed and shortened from the egdes and re-atttached, if needed. Once you have a pocket placement you like, you can remove the basting stitches at the top and side and topstitch the pocket in place permanently. Anchor your stitches well at the pocket opening by backstitching or sewing a decorative anchoring stitch. The bottom of the pocket will be secured by the hem in a later step, so this edge can remain basted for now.

Again, I sewed two rows of topstitching here:

Here's how the pocket looks in a french terry (using one row of topstitching):

And if your pocket is a little wavy, you can hit it with an iron and gently rub the seams while it cools to help flatten it out:

If you are using a bulky fleece, you can optionally trim off the fold allowances and attach the pocket flat to the bodice (shown below):

March 10, 2021 — Casey Sibley