Hello, good evening and welcome back to the Victoria Blazer Sewalong! Apologies for the slight delay in the arrival of this post; anyone following @elisalex on Instagram may have noticed a flurry of Paradise Island pictures... It seems the one downside to Heaven is that the internet connection is not fantastically reliable. Back in the studio and back to business now though!
In this third instalment of the Sewalong we'll be inserting the side seam pockets, which is relevant to those making variations 1 & 3 ONLY - that's the main variation and the sleeveless variation. Those of you making the cropped variation 2: you get the day off for now, but don't worry, we'll be back for you sooner than you know it!
If this is the first time you're tackling side seam pockets, I just know you'll be pleasantly surprised by how simple and effective a technique this is. It can even be applied to your other makes (as long as it has a side seam!), because we all know how much more practical pretty dresses with pockets are! We have another tutorial here from when we added side seam pockets to the Elisalex Dress. So without further ado...
*Before you begin - it's a good idea to finish the raw curved edges of the pocket pieces, especially if your fabric is prone to fraying, for extra pocket durability. This can be done before setting them in by overlocking/serging or zigzagging the curves of all four pocket pieces, OR, and as we have done, after you have closed the side seam by overlocking/serging or zigzagging the entire side seam and pocket bag in one fell swoop. For neatness, we recommend the latter, however please note that it can be very tricky to pivot at the start of the pocket with the overlocker - which is why we've opted for the zigzag finish*
Take one of your pocket bag pieces and lay it, right sides together, onto your blazer front piece, aligning the notches at the side seam. Pin into place. Repeat this on the other side, and on both sides of the blazer back piece.
Stitch the pocket pieces into place with a 3/8″ or 10mm seam allowance, as opposed to the usual 5/8" or 15mm. This is so that when we close the side seams, the pockets will sit slightly inside, for a more discreet finish.
Turn the pocket pieces out, and press.
Now place the blazer back piece onto your front pieces, right sides together, and pin down the side seams and all around the pockets pieces.
Close the side seams as normal, pivoting when you get to the top notch that matches the pocket piece to the blazer's side seam, stitching the two pocket pieces together, then continuing down the rest of the side seam.
If you didn't finish the curved raw edges of the pocket pieces before, at this point you could either overlock/serge or zigzag the entire side seam and around the pocket bags.
Press pocket bags and seams towards the centre front.
And that's all there is to it folks! Now turn your half-blazer to the right side, whack it on and have a little feel of those pockets. Nice. And now try to resist the temptation to raid your wardrobe for all pocketless dresses ready to rip them open at the side seams in order to insert pockets...
Comments on this post (3)
Hi thanks for the tutorial! I was also very confused about the pocket lining from reading the instructions. Can’t wait to get started :)
Hi Lucy – we put the pocket pieces on both main fabric and lining layplans dependent on whether people wanted to make the pockets from the main fabric or the lining fabric. You only need 4 pocket pieces, and whether you want to make them from your main fabric or lining is totally up to you. Hope this helps! x
— Elisalex - By Hand London
Hey- the pattern and lay plans suggest to cut 2 pairs of pockets on main material (4 pieces) and also 2 pairs on lining material (4 pieces)… But the instructions only look to insert the pockets (4 pieces) in the main material on the main blazer and doesn’t say anything about the lining pockets? I’m confused a little -sorry! Pls help…
Thanks Lucy x