Fun with Functional Women’s Clothing: Pockets Edition
Posted on November 12, 2012
My biggest problem with women’s clothing is the lack of functionality. I think we have world’s more options than men when it comes to shapes, color, and innovation. However, no matter how dazzling the form we are doing a piss poor job at making women’s clothing that is conducive to moving and carrying stuff.
I’ve been taking sewing classes in an effort to change this. My first project in making women’s clothing functional has been adding big pockets into the seam of a skirt I can sew. Since I couldn’t find a class on pockets, I had to wing it. I decided to share my pocket journey with you through pictures and wine addled quips. Let’s go on an adventure:
I ran all my pictures of the process through instagram so they’d look hip and interesting. See, blog readers: I care about both of you. Unfortunately, I don’t care about my instagram followers and they got the boringest no context series of sewing picture imaginable.
“Autumn, why don’t you actually write something interesting and then you don’t need instagram to jazz up your pictures?”
“Shut up part of brain that was supposed to house self-esteem!”
So the first thing I had to do was gather all of the ingredients to make a skirt. I decided on black because that’s the color of every other piece of clothing I own. You should have seen the theater of me pretending like I had to decide on a fabric. “Oooo this pink is nice. Maybe a print? LOL Just Kidding! I never got over being goth to piss off my parents!”
As you can see here, I have a “Learn-to-Sew” pattern, 2 yards of black woven cotton, some elastic, black interfacing, and black thread. That pattern only calls for 1 and 5/8 of a yard but I got 2 because in a stroke of genius I realized pockets will take extra fabric.
Next I made a pattern for my pockets. I don’t really know how to do that so I guessed a six-inch opening would fit my four-inch phone through the pocket and slapped my hand down on some printer paper to guess the size. “Fits my hand” was the guiding light here.
So I cut out all four pocket panels at once because fuck it, I don’t have all day. (Please see: I’m unemployed and I literally have all day.)
I had to figure out how to place the pockets on my skirt. I measured ten-inches down from the waist of both the front and back and made a little mark with chalk. I chose ten-inches because I’m impulsive and that’s how many fingers I have. As you can see, ten-inches on the front of my skirt does not line up to ten-inches on the back of my skirt when I pin the tops together.
So I pinned the whole skirt together with the right sides touching each other and then lined the pockets up to the ten-inch mark on the front of the skirt. I then sewed the pocket panels to the skirt panels. Now I wasn’t entirely sure this was how I was supposed to go about pockets but I did see pocket construction on Pinterest once and this seemed right.
“Why didn’t you look it up again on Pinterest?”
“BECAUSE IT’S AN ADVENTURE!”
So I took all of those pins out to just sew the individual front and back skirt panels.
“You took all of the pins out? Even the ones pinning the pocket panels to the skirt panels which were the entire point of your last twenty minutes?”
Yes. Yes, I did. I got to do this step twice. Thanks for asking.
This is the part where things get weird. I sewed my skirt seams together and the pocket seams together in one continuous line. I’m not sure if that’s how you should do things but this is what happened. I pinned the whole she-bang together and started at the top of the skirt and sewed down.
Once I got to the pocket I did a little spin-er-roo of the whole skirt. Look I have pictures of a spin-er-roo. Note the light blue pin on the pocket that lets you know which piece of material you’re looking at:
Now I intentionally saved you from the agony that was making the skirt. It’s like it magically appeared around my pockets when in real life I spent seven hours making that skirt. Ultimately, I was triumphant and now have pockets with a skirt. Or I guess, a skirt with pockets if you want to be boring about it.
Hopefully the next project in “Fun with Functional Women’s Clothing” will be more interesting but as of right now I can only sew that skirt, pajama bottoms, and tote bags.