Search Site

No products in the basket.

Not registered? Sign up here


Search Site View Cart 0

I’m having a bit of a love affair with this fabric at the moment and amidst the mayhem of wedding dresses in the studio decided that life couldn’t go on unless I made this fabric up into a skirt.

I used a yoke from an old Burda pattern (8677 incase you are interested – but I’m not sure if it is still in print) and then drafted the skirt as a half circle (two quarter circles) to fall from the yoke to maximise the fabulous print.


At the last moment I decided to add pockets to my skirt. Everything is better with pockets, right?  So I drew myself a side seam pocket pattern (you could borrow one from another pattern), shaping the top edge to match the top edge of my skirt panel, so that it would be caught into the seam when later attaching the yoke.  I cut 4 pieces from my fabric (2 pairs).

With the right sides facing, lay one pocket piece onto the skirt panel, keeping the edges flush.


Pin, and sew.


Fold the pocket out and under stitch, catching the seam allowances to the pocket.


Like so…


Fold the lower part of the pocket up and snip the seam allowance below the under stitching.


Place the other half of the pocket, rights sides facing. Pin and sew around the pocket curve, keeping the snipped seam allowance free.


Stop the stitching 15mm from the edge of the pocket seam allowance.


Flip the pocket under to the inside of the skirt panel.


See how the seam allowances are all sticking out?


Pin the upper edges of the pocket and skirt together, they should be flush.


Press the edge of your pocket.


Next, prepare the seam allowance for a zip by pressing a strip of interfacing to the inside of the skirt panel, catching the snipped seam allowance and the pocket under the interfacing. (If you are going to finish the edge of your pocket, do it before applying the interfacing).


I then attached the yoke of my skirt, pressed the seam allowances up, and overlocked the raw edge.

Zip at the ready!


Open the zip and pin down one side of the side seam, taking care not to catch the edge of your pocket opening, but nestling the zip teeth nice and close to it.


Stitch into place.


Close the zip, and mark onto the other side of the zipper tape any critical points that need to match (for me this was the yoke seam) and the bottom of your first row of stitching. I’d normally use chalk or a pencil, here I’ve used pins so that you can see more clearly.

IMG_4768 IMG_4769

Undo the zip and flip the second side of the tape over and matching up the critical points, pin into place.


Stitch, and admire.


Close the seam below the zip, by swinging the excess zip out of the way and pinning from the bottom of the zip down to the hem.


Stitch, then press the seam allowances open.


Well, I hope you find this useful. Most of my ‘ooh I could just add…” afterthoughts turn into mammoth tasks but this one was surprisingly quick to add, and worth every moment of effort.

I LOVE this skirt. LOVE it!

See you soon (well, you’ll probably see me first in this little number),

Becky x


You might also like:


12 comments on Tutorial – Adding pockets into a side seam with concealed zip

  1. Anne says:

    This is very interesting. I’m trying to hack a pair of shorts for my daughter that has this kind of zip and pocket treatment. Trouble is the fabric is double thickness and the pocket lies between the two front layers. I was searching how to do this when I found your tutorial. Thank you.

  2. Anne says:

    This is great, thanks. I found your tutorial while looking for how to do just this to a short culotte I’m hacking from RTW for my daughter. Slightly more complex as the fabric is self lined /double layered and the pockets sit inside the two front layers. I need to work it out but this is a great start, thank you.

  3. Nia Lorre says:

    That fabric is FABULOUS. And thanks for this tutorial. You are right, everything is better with pockets.

  4. Becky Drinan says:

    I love this fabric too! I have a huge pile of more Ankara fabrics to make up in the future, just not enough time to sew! You’re welcome for the tutorial, I hope it comes in handy.

  5. Kaye says:

    I have a finished skirt with an elastic waist, could I follow your instructions to add a zipper on the pocket and add a waist band to remake the skirt”

  6. Becky Drinan says:

    Its difficult to say without seeing the skirt, but it should work fine! To take strain from the zip, be sure to add a hook and eye at the top of the zip, or make sure the waistband overlaps enough for a button closure.

  7. Nicole Siskind says:

    Thank you so much for your clear words and pictures! I could not figure this out from other sources. I really appreciate your work.

  8. Muriel.Nahtzugabe5cm says:

    Thanks for this great tutorial. It was very easy to follow along.
    Greeting from Germany, Muriel

  9. Becky Drinan says:

    Thanks Muriel, I’m so pleased you found it helpful!

  10. Mariam says:

    Thank you. Everything is so beautifully explained in detail and easy to follow.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.