get in line

my smock

Do you dream of in-line pockets? I did, and I knew there must be a straightforward way to add them to any dress or top, but I couldn’t quite puzzle it out. My obsession began long ago when I saw the Rachel Comey for Vogue Patterns (V1247) skirt over on Sallie’s blog. It’s a popular pattern and well-loved in the sewing blog world, and there was a brief time when I considered getting it, but all the reviewers say it’s a very mini skirt, and honestly, I just wanted the pockets (now it’s out of print, by the way). Sleek, almost hidden, in-line pockets. A little bit mod, a little bit modern, and seemingly a very practical addition. Sallie’s photo of the inner seams helped me understand how the pockets worked, but not enough to fully comprehend how to improvise them.

pocket collage

A few months ago I was scrolling through Instagram and saw a peek of the fall line by Jamie and the Jones, a Nashville-based indie fashion fashion brand I greatly admire. More in-line pockets! This time in drapey, sumptuous raw silk, set in boxy tops and shift dresses.

I started googling, but was quickly frustrated. I’m not actually sure if “in line pockets” is the right term for this look, but all the google results were about in seam pockets, with tutorials for adding pockets to side seams. I guess these pockets are also in the seam, but it’s a horizontal hip seam. Somehow I finally landed on the Colette blog tutorial for a mod-ified Laurel dress, and it’s just the look I had in mind. I think you need to sign up for their newsletter to access the full details of the pattern hack, but in my opinion it’s well worth it because the instructions are crystal clear with great illustrations, true to Colette quality.

I don’t have the Laurel dress pattern but knew immediately that these pockets belonged in my next Prism dress. Since I already had the pieces cut out and adjusted to my size (see my first Prism here), it was super easy to add a hip seam and pockets. Here was my process:

  • Try on my prism dress and measure down the center front to where I would want a hip seam to go. I decided on 18.5″ from the neckline
  • Draw this new horizontal seam on front and back pattern pieces
  • Mark pocket placement & seam allowance (the Colette instructions have good tips for this)
  • Cut out all pattern pieces, as well as 4 pockets (I used the Archer pocket because it seemed to the perfectly sized square and it was already sitting on my sewing table)
  • Sew it up! I followed the Colette instructions for adding the pockets and assembling the front & back, and the Prism instructions for the rest

My goal was to make a Prism dress with in-line pockets and short sleeves, but I want to work with some very special fabric, so I made a muslin first. It’s a chartreuse linen that I found in a free box of fabric (Craigslist free section!) and there was only enough for a tunic length. I picked up the fabric based on the texture and drape, with plans to dye it — maybe with indigo? Or oak galls and rust? In the meantime, I’ve already worn it for several days because it’s so easy and comfy, and the pockets are a dream come true!

Do you have a favorite pocket style?


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making things & asking questions

6 thoughts on “get in line”

  1. Nice one. I do remember that laurel pocket variation and thought it great. I love pockets but I’m so picky about them! I hate a slapped on pair of droopy side seam pockets that add bulk to the hips. My favourite pockets are some curved 60’s pockets I drafted for a denim minidress, and some standard in seam pockets from a vintage skirt pattern with a cool extension that allows French seams and are set in seams that are more towards the front than the sides, almost like a pouch!


    1. Wow, your pocket game is strong! I love mod style patch pockets… maybe that will be my next foray into adding them 🙂 I love french seams too, and appreciate when pattern construction has accounted for them.


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