Episode 801

Pick Pocket Skirt

Pick Pocket Skirt by April Rhodes

Stitch a cute and comfy paper-bag waist skirt complete with side-seam pockets.


Light- to mediumweight woven fabric (amount depends on measurements)

All-purpose thread

1/2" wide elastic (amount depends on measurements)

Safety pin

Prep It

Take your natural-waist measurement, and then multiply it by 1 1/2. Divide the multiplied measurement by two; record as the skirt-panel width. For example, if the waist measurement is 36", the skirt-panel width is 27".

Determine the desired finished skirt length. (The featured skirt is 18 1/2" long.) Add 4" to the finished length measurement to account for the elastic casing and seam allowances; record as the skirt-panel length. For an 18 1/2"-long skirt, the skirt-panel length is 22 1/2".

Wrap a piece of 1/2"-wide elastic around your natural waist so it's snug but not tight. Cut the elastic 3" beyond this length, and then set it aside.

Download the pocket pattern HERE. From the fabric, cut two pocket pairs and two skirt panels according to the recorded length and width measurements.

Sew It

Use 1/2" seam allowances.

Place the skirt panels right side up on a flat work surface. Measure and mark each side 7 1/2" from the upper edge to denote each pocket upper edge.

With right sides together, position a pocket along each skirt-panel edge, aligning the pocket upper edge with the mark and the straight edge with the skirt edge. Pin, and then stitch each pocket straight edge (1; how-to images to come). Press the pockets away from the skirt panels.

Designate one skirt panel as the front and the remaining panel as the back. Align the front and back panels with right sides together; pin. Beginning at the upper edge, stitch the side seams and then around each pocket curved edge, ending at the skirt lower edge. Don't stitch the pocket straight edges (2). Serge- or zigzag-finish the seam allowances.

Fold the skirt upper edge 1/2" toward the wrong side; press. Zigzag stitch the raw edge (3).

Fold the upper edge again 2" toward the wrong side to create the elastic casing; press. Beginning at one side seam, edgestitch the fold, leaving a 2" opening to insert the elastic.

Stitch the casing 3/4" above the edgestitching line to create the elastic-casing channel upper edge (4). Make sure not to stitch the channel narrower than 3/4" to allow space to insert the elastic and prevent it from folding or rolling.

Fold the skirt lower edge 1/2" toward the wrong side; press. Fold again 1" toward the wrong side; press. Edgestitch the first fold.

Attach a safety pin to one elastic end. Insert the elastic through the elastic-casing opening, and then thread it through the casing, evenly distributing the skirt fabric. Overlap the elastic ends by 1 1/2". Zigzag stitch each elastic raw edge through both layers a few times to secure (5). Stitch the casing opening closed. 

Products used in this episode:

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