I have never even thought of sewing a longer skirt until I saw the Pocket Skirt by Peppermint Magazine. My skirt pattern of choice has been the Delphine, from Love at First Stitch by Tilly Walnes. I’d say that 80% of the skirts I’ve sewn are Delphines. The other 20% are Gingers by Colette (now available through Seamwork Magazine). They are very similar: A-line knee length skirts with a yoke. They are both gorgeous and an easy and fun sew.
The Pocket Skirt pattern is designed by Paper Theory, a London-based design company known for its patterns that are simple in style, with clean, modern silhouettes inspired by the workshop wardrobes of female artists. I felt an immediate connection to the pattern. Nothing about it screams Paula—the mid-shin length; the elasticated waist; the very obvious (hence the name) pockets. I don’t know why, but I just had to sew it. It was only when I finished and tried the muslin that I realized why the Pocket Skirt spoke to me. When I asked my husband what he thought of it, he replied, “Oh! A raver skirt, right?” The Pocket Skirt is a raver skirt disguised as loungewear. My PLUR past could not resist an attempt at this pattern.
The Pocket Skirt is a simple, slightly A-line skirt that hits just below the calf. It has an elasticated waist that sits high on the natural waist and very large and deep pockets integrated into the side panels that sit low on the hips and slightly away from the body. It works well with medium tp heavy-weight woven fabrics—anything from linen and double gauze to viscose twill and silk satin.
I have never sewn with linen—I know, shocking! Since the skirt worn by the model was sewn in linen, and linen is the very first suggestion on the list fabric options, I went with it. The first version was made with a black linen/rayon (85-15) blend. I expected a bit more drape from it, but I have no frame of reference to work with linen.
The biggest piece of advice I can give you for this pattern is: Select your size based on the finished garment measurements. Because there is so much ease, if you go by your body measurements, you will end up with a skirt that will swallow your lower body whole. My waist size puts me at a size 22, but the finished measurement for the waist is 55 inches. Waaaaay too big.
I downsized to an 18, but now the hips ended up too big. I finally decided to use the size 18 pieces and reduce the waist and hip according to my measurements.
This skirt is very easy to sew. There are only four pieces: front panel, back panel, lower side panel, and upper side panel. The waistband is created by folding the waist twice and feeding elastic through the path created. So easy.
After sewing my second muslin (size 18), I was not thrilled about the pockets. Yeah, I know it is in its name, but the skirt felt too much with the original pockets. I realized that the pockets looked too big because I had the wrong hip size. My hip measurement is 42 inches; the finished hip for a size 18 is 57 inches! I simply recut the pattern pieces removing most of the excess at the hips—and the pockets are perfect!!!!
Once you have the side panels sewn and the pockets created, it is just a matter of sewing all pieces together. To create the waistband channel, all you do is fold the waist twice, stitch very close to the edge, and leave an opening to feed the elastic through. Just make sure to leave a little bit more than 1.5 inches for the channel. I had trouble getting my elastic to go through.
The easiest way to feed the elastic is with the help of a safety pin. Pin it to one end of the elastic, and use the pin to guide the elastic all the way around the channel. Once you get to the other end of the channel, pull both elastic ends out, overlap then by one inch, and go to the sewing machine to stitch both ends together, securing them. Distribute the elastic evenly inside the channel and stitch the opening closed.
I finished all raw edges with my serger. Finishing the raw edges was especially important as I was working with fabric that had a knack for unraveling. If you don’t have a serger, you can try French seams, or you can simply use a Zig Zag stitch very close to the raw edge.
I have this thing where I need to hand sew the hems of my skirts. It is weird, and I hate hand sewing, but I’ve done this to every single skirt I’ve ever sewn, so now it is too late to go back. I used a blind stitch to hem the skirt. Sometimes when I am stuck in traffic, I flip my skirt and lovingly stared at my hand-sewn hem. These are the little things that made handmade clothing so special.
The Pocket Skirt
There were many moments when I thought this project was going to be a bust. I am trying this thing where I actually finish a sewing project even if I think I will never wear it (no more UFO pile, friends!). I am very happy that I persevered. I love this skirt! It is as if PLUR and goth had a baby, and this black linen Pocket Skirt is that baby. The elasticated waist is a dream—it fits perfectly, and it feels so comfortable. This is my new go-to skirt pattern.