June 10, 2016

Upton sewalong day 5: pockets, side seams and attaching bodice

Update 2/1/2021: An updated Upton Sewalong is available here.

Today our Upton is going to start looking like an actual dress!

Inserting the pockets

Pockets make everything better. So, start by pinning one pocket piece, right sides together, to the side seam, matching the notches. Sew at a 1/4″ (6mm) seam.


Press the pocket away from the skirt, then understitch the pocket to the skirt seam allowance, very close to the seam – this will stop it peeking out when you wear it.


Repeat this step with the second pocket on the front skirt, then with both pockets on both back skirt pieces.

Sew skirt side seams

Place skirt back pieces on top of skirt front piece, right sides together, matching up the side seams and the pockets. Now, sew the side seams, pivoting when you reach the pocket, going all away around it, then pivoting again and finishing the rest of the side seam all the way to the hem. Finish the seam and press pocket towards the front of the skirt.


Attach skirt to bodice

Pin main fabric bodice to skirt, right sides together, matching side seams and notches – leave the lining free.


Sew seam, finish, and press up towards waistband.


This is what it will look like from the outside (a little tricky to see in the crazy print!).


Next up, we’ll be inserting the zip and finishing the back seam.

8 thoughts on “Upton sewalong day 5: pockets, side seams and attaching bodice

  1. Emelie says:

    My pocket piece doesn’t have any notch, but the instructions tell to pin to the side seam matching notches. I’m a bit confused.

    1. Emelie says:

      When looking at the pattern again I saw that I had missed the top notch on the side skirt pieces. And the pocket did fit in between the nothes on the skirt.

  2. Amy Blough says:

    Help me please! – My pattern had a slip of paper instructing me to add seam allowance to side seams I think pieces 7 and 9 – I did this and got the skirt all sewn together (beautifully, with French seams) and now the skirt is miles too big for my waistband – I have 4 days to finish this dress for my daughter’s dance, and don’t know exactly how to go about refitting the skirt pieces to the waistband – should I tear out the pockets and recut the side seams?

    1. Hmm that’s odd! The easiest/quickest thing to do would be to adjust the side seams as you suggest, although depending on how much bigger the skirt is you could also just cut off the seams and re sew them.

      ETA Just sent you an email to follow up!

  3. Chiwila Mumba-Black says:

    Hello. I had a similar problem with Amy. My measurements fall in the size 20 range for both the top and skirt. When I tried to join my bodice and skirt, I had about 3 inches extra in my skirt waist. Any ideas what I might be doing wrong?

    1. Hi Chiwila – we had an errata in one printing round of the Upton, saying you need to use 5/8″ seam allowances on the gored skirt seams for it to fit – I suspect you had one of those. If you sew it up at that allowance, it should all fit! Sorry about the problem.

  4. Pat says:

    Hello Jenny:
    Can I eliminate the pockets i’m not that crazy about pockets on my dresses. If I can eliminate them what do I need to do to make those adjustment to the pattern?

    1. Ayelet says:

      Hi Pat,

      Eliminating the pockets in the Upton is an easy adjustment! If you want to leave off the pockets, you can just sew the full length of the skirt side seams (from hem to waist) closed.

      -Ayelet at Cashmerette

Let me know what you think!