Perfect Party Dress and Gathered Pocket Tutorial

Today I get to share with you the Perfect Party Dress (affiliate link) by Tie Dye Diva as part of a blog hop hosted by the lovely Kathy at Handmade Dress Haven. Head over to her blog to see all the lovely dresses! The dress is also on sale this week – be sure and snatch it up at a discount :)

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This pattern was given to me for free for participating in this blog hop, but I sincerely love it and plan to sew more!

If you’re a regular reader, you may know that I have two boys and most of the things I sew are for them. Sometimes, though, a mama just needs to sew something pink, you know? Fortunately, I have four nieces (and a nephew who also likes it when I sew for him) that live in the same town, so I can indulge myself every now and then :)

Perfect Party Dress and Gathered Pocket Tutorial

The Perfect Party Dress is just that: perfect! It’s sleeveless with a fully lined bodice, a big bow, and a twirly skirt – all of which make it a fast sew and a certain little girl’s favorite dress!

Perfect Party Dress and Gathered Pocket Tutorial

In fact, the only thing it’s missing are some pockets! I added some deep gathered ones that I have had in mind to do for a while, but haven’t had an opportunity to make. I think they turned out great! There is a tutorial for them further down.

Perfect Party Dress and Gathered Pocket Tutorial

How amazing is this fabric? I’ve had it sitting in my stash for years, just in case I ever had a little girl. Since that ‘s not going to happen, I figured I better go ahead and use it :)

Perfect Party Dress and Gathered Pocket Tutorial

Abby’s mom has to sneak the dress into the wash, that’s how much she loves it. Win in my book!

Perfect Party Dress and Gathered Pocket Tutorial

OK – on to the tutorial! This will work on any dress that is gathered around the waist and has a front and back panel. I did a size 5, so the measurements would need to be adjusted up or down for different sizes.

Start by cutting a large rectangle from a lining fabric. Mine is approximately 7×12″. Lay it on the front skirt panel, a few inches from the edge (4″ here, although I could have gone an inch less).

Perfect Party Dress and Gathered Pocket Tutorial

Decide how far down you want the pocket to start. I did four inches, but I will do two or three next time, as these ended up farther down than I wanted. Remember the seam allowance will add that much more depth to it. Fold the pocket upwards and cut along the side and the bottom of that fold (look at the picture – it makes more sense). I have the skirt panel folded in half, cutting both sides at the same time so they are even.

Perfect Party Dress and Gathered Pocket Tutorial

Now gather the tops of the pockets, leaving about 1/2″ ungathered at the inner corners.

Perfect Party Dress and Gathered Pocket Tutorial  Lay it on your fabric, a few inches from the side edge (4" here)

My lining fabric is thin enough that you can see what’s going on underneath. You will probably want to use something a little thicker. Lay the pocket lining on top of the skirt, right sides together. Gather the pocket edge to fit the width of the fabric, making sure to leave a good 1.5-2 inches towards the middle (the right, in the picture). Pin well to keep it from shifting.

Perfect Party Dress and Gathered Pocket Tutorial

Here is how it will look from the other side.

Perfect Party Dress and Gathered Pocket Tutorial

Sew along the top and side of the pocket, following your pins. Then cut out the square of lining fabric that’s left over. Also cut a notch into the corner (to, but not through, the stitching) to make it turn nicely.

Perfect Party Dress and Gathered Pocket Tutorial

Turn right side out, press, and topstitch.

Perfect Party Dress and Gathered Pocket Tutorial

Perfect Party Dress and Gathered Pocket Tutorial

Cut a pocket facing (either your main fabric or a contrast) the same size as the pocket lining (7×12″). Lay on top of your lining, right sides together.

Perfect Party Dress and Gathered Pocket Tutorial

Sew around the edges. I used a straight stitch and then a tight zig zag to finish.

Perfect Party Dress and Gathered Pocket Tutorial

Pin or baste the edges of the pocket and skirt together.

Perfect Party Dress and Gathered Pocket Tutorial

Gather the skirt front in between the pocket edges – marked with arrows in the picture. If you find it bunches too much in the center when you’ve gathered it to fit the bodice (this will depend on how big you make the pockets and the size of the dress), you can extend the gathers onto the pockets a little ways.

Perfect Party Dress and Gathered Pocket Tutorial

Finish the skirt, following the normal directions!

Perfect Party Dress and Gathered Pocket Tutorial

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