During testing for the Byrdie Button-up, several testers gently prodded me to add pockets to the pattern. While I thought it was a great idea (!) I wanted to keep the instructions as streamlined as possible. So I opted to leave them out with the promise to do a tutorial on adding them. And I finally did it! Honestly, it’s one of the easiest pattern hacks EVER!

I’ve included a pocket pattern for you here that you can print at home (print to 100% or no scaling):

Start by cutting four pocket pieces, mirrored in two pairs.

Choose a location for your pocket in the side seam of the dress. I chose to place mine right at the hemline of the blouse where it hits the side seam. Mark this location with a pin (or small notch or chalk mark) on the front and back bodices. This will be the top of the pockets.

Pin the pocket right sides together to the bodice at the location you marked. Align the straight edge of the pocket with the side seam. One pocket piece will be on the front bodice, and one on the back bodice. The bean shaped part will be pointing down.

Sew along the side seam and pocket top with a 5/8” seam allowance, securing the pocket to the side seam. Do this on the front and back bodice/pocket.

You can finish the side seam edge along the pocket here if you like. Just serge along the raw edge (if doing french or flat felled seams on your project, you can clip the seam allowance of the side seam at the top and bottom of the pocket to allow you to fold and conceal the raw edge here before we sew the front and back together. Just be careful to not clip more that about 1/2”).

Next, press the pocket open and topstitch the seam toward the pocket (this view is of the other side, so it is flipped).

Now we will Sew the front and back bodices together. You want to wait to do this step until you’ve completed the button plackets, yoke (if you are adding that), and shoulder seams.

Align front and back bodices right sides together, also aligning the pockets. Sew the side seam of the bodice, stopping at the top of the pocket and pivoting to sew the perimeter of the pocket. Then pivot again at the side seam at the bottom of the pocket to finish the side seam. You should have an opening in the side seam at the pocket location.

It’s also a good idea to reinforce the top and bottom of the pocket opening with some back and forth straight stitches:

Note: my serger was being a little emotional on this day, normally my seams aren’t so wavy!

And that’s basically it! Finish constructing the dress per the pattern instructions.

September 21, 2020 — Casey Sibley