Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Two Part Pocket with Piping

The recent disclaimer regarding the offering of opinions was not completely out of the blue. You might recall me asking for opinions on pocket configurations for a vintage dress I was working on; I couldn't decide if it was Saucy Seventies or Mod Maid. The overwhelming response was in favor of no pockets. Erm, I went with pockets. Well, a pocket.

The reasons are many-fold. First, the pockets were the whole reason I loved this pattern. Second, Most people who recommended no pockets noted that it made for a more elegant dress. Unfortunately, elegant I am not. I am 5'1.5" and on a good day "cute" is the best I can do. Since I will never be tall, graceful, and elegant, I play up the cute thing. Also, I have a bit of a Peter Pan complex and I don't want to grow up (at least not until I get grown up things like a husband and kids). Third, I was feeling very "What Would Erin of Dress a Day Do?" I love her love of pockets and I felt she would somehow be sad if I didn't use any, just because there would be fewer pockets in the universe. I don't want to make Erin sad. Fourth, I have to wear an ID badge at work. I refuse to wear the necklace kind because it will ruin my outfit, so I wear the belt clip kind. Dresses and belt clips can be hard to reconcile, but if the dress happens to have a large pocket--problem solved. Fifth, I didn't think the little bits of polka dot fabric at the collar and cuffs made sense without the pocket; they are too small and also the dress *is* more elegant without pockets, but the polka dots aren't elegant at all so there was just a style problem. And finally, in addition to all this, I am just a contrarian sometimes. Many years ago I dated this really great guy. He was super sweet and I liked him a lot. When I was having a hard time deciding what to wear (often!) I'd ask him to choose between two outfits. Invariably, once he chose one of the outfits I'd realize I wanted to wear the other one. Invariably. I hope he didn't take it personally.

Anyway, enough rationalizing. When I was making the pockets, I wanted to find a way to make them more interesting than just giant pockets. The pattern is designed with a lower pocket and then a band across the top. I considered making the band black or white or trying to find a different black and white print to contrast with the polka dots, but eventually I decided that a little bit of white piping was what I wanted to make it pop. Here's how I made them.

1. Make the lower pocket. I think it is so much easier to get a nice lower curve by lining the pocket in batiste than attempting to turn under raw edges.

2. Cut the upper pocket pieces. Make a strip of your piping fabric finished width + seam allowance x 2 and fold it in half, wrong sides together. Raw edges together, sew to one end of your upper pocket piece. Then fold the upper pocket piece in half, right sides together, and sew the side seams (better illustrated here). Turn right side out.

3. Right sides together, sew the outer-facing sides of the upper and lower pockets together. Make sure not to catch in your piping.

4. Turn under the seam allowance of the inner edge of the upper pocket and hand-stitch in place.

I hand-stitched the pocket to the dress so it will be easily removable if I suddenly wake up elegant one day.

Sadly, this is not one of the projects I had Cidell photograph. The photo was taken by a friend who was staying with me. I made her sing for her supper. Heh. Unfortunately, even though she has a super fancy mega DSLR camera, it obviously doesn't take indoor pictures better than my little point and shoot! But rather than wait for perfect pics, I'll just do the blog post and review with what I have. All the photos are here.


Anonymous said...

I think it is an adorable dress; it may look even more adorable with sheer black hose and black flats....maybe even good for an evening date!

Nancy (nanflan) said...

I think it came out cute! I like it better with one pocket than two, and the piping is a nice touch.

I know what you mean about the ID badge issue. I wear a clippie too, and it can be a problem with dresses. But I can't stand the necklace style.

Anonymous said...

one pocket definitely looks better than two. on your small frame, two large pockets were just too overwhelming.

i totally get what you mean about the "cute" thing. i'm 4 ft 11.75 inches. rather difficult to look long and chic when you are the height of a fifth grader. :) however, i've crossed to the other side of 40 where "cute" is really hard to pull off.

Little Hunting Creek said...

The only bad thing about falling madly in love with something a fellow sewist makes is when they use a vintage pattern from 1974! Then if one wishes to shamelessly copy their cool ideas, one has to search the web universe! [and there are many vintage pattern websites! SIGH] This is very attractive on you. My 23 year old daughter just gave it the "you should make one for me" stamp of approval.

Anonymous said...

you look fab in the one pocket! i always think of erin from dress a day when i sew a pocket! thanks for the tutorial--i have been "winging" it when adding it to my summer dresses.

--by the way i have the same pattern in my huge-o stack...i might have to move it up the project ladder!

Dana said...

That's what your supposed to do - take everyone's advice and then do what you want to do! It turned out great!