Creative articles about sewing

“Irina” Sew Along – Week 4 – Pockets

Welcome to Week 4. I hope your Irina dresses are coming along nicely. I would love to see some progress shots! Please put some pictures in the comments below or share them on social media with the hashtags #IrinaSAL so I can share in your fun 🙂


This week we are sewing the pockets. An absolutely essential part of any garment! The Irina dress pattern comes with instructions for sewing the hidden in-seam pockets but I have sewn them a little bit differently to what they say. We also have a different option to show you. Lou from one of our New Zealand BERNINA shops, All Things Bernina, has made slant pockets for her dress which. They also look great! I’ll show you those below.

But before we get stuck into our pockets, if you are making the Linen Colour Blocked dress, you will need to sew the panel seams of the skirt together.


Sew the panel seams on skirt


Step 1

Lay out your skirt pieces how they will go together. Make sure your front pieces and back pieces are opposite to each other so that the lines match up when we sew the sides together. 



Step 2

Fold the top piece down so that the fabric is right sides together. Match all your notches and pin. Sew and finish your edges with overlocking or zigzag. 

Step 3 – Optional top stitching.

Like with the bodice I decided to top stitch my panel lines. I ironed the seam allowance down towards the darker fabric and top stitched close to the edge using the BERNINA #10 Edge stitch foot. 


Once you’ve got both panel pieces sewn together on the front and the back you should have 2 big rectangles. Now we are ready to start sewing our pockets!


Sewing the inseam Pockets

The pocket instructions today are for both dresses. The Linen Colour Blocked dress AND the Merino Sleeveless Tunic. The pictures are done with the linen because it is easier for you to see.

Step 1:

I decided at the last minute to slightly reshape the pocket pieces to make them a bit deeper. This first picture is the original shape of the pockets. In the next picture you can see how I cut into the straight side of the pockets at the bottom and then curved it down a little bit.

 Step 2

Overlock or zigzag the straight side and curved edges of all 4 pocket pieces and also the sides of each skirt piece. You can do this after sewing the pocket on but I find it easier to do it before.


Step 3

Place 2 of your pocket pieces, with right sides together at the top corners of your skirt. Do this for the front and the back of the skirt. With standard seam allowance, sew from the top down the straight side of the pocket edge stopping at the bottom of the pocket.

Step 4

Open out the pocket pieces and press with the iron. Understitch through the seam allowances and the pocket bag. I’ve used a dark green thread so you can see the stitching on the pocket bag because it blended in so well. Repeat this will all four pocket pieces. 2 attached to the skirt front and 2 attached to the skirt back.

Step 5

With pocket bags still out flat, place the whole skirt front and skirt back with right sides together and pin. Starting at the top outer edge of the pocket, sew down around the curve of the pocket bag and over to the skirt. Stop once you are just PAST the stitching lines ( that join the pocket bag to the skirt), pivot and sewn down the rest of the side seam until you reach the hem. Now go back to the top and sew down 3 cm finishing with a backwards and forwards to secure it. This is sewn just past the previous stitching line of the pockets.

Step 6

Iron the pocket bag and seam allowances towards the front of the skirt and leave it like that for now. We are going to gather the skirt before we attach the pocket bag to the waist but that is next weeks blog post. 

Step 7 – Optional Bar Tack

If you want to add some strength to your pocket you can sew a small bar tack at the base of the opening. You can see one in the picture below.



Some of the BERNINA machines have a specific bar tack stitch, like you can see below. Stitch #24 on the BERNINA 570 QE (NEW) But if you don’t have this stitch you can use a small tight zigzag. Set your zig zag settings to approx. stitch length 0.7 and stitch width on 2. Do a little test sew first. 

Image of BERNINA 570 QE (NEW).


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Place the machine perpendicular to the bottom of the pocket opening. Make sure all the pocket and seam allowances are pushed towards the skirt front. 

And Voila! A beautiful inseam pocket with bar stitch.

Extra Inspiration

Here is the lovely Lou from All Things Bernina‘s Irina Sew Along dress. How gorgeous is her bright and colourful version?! She’s added some frill details on the sleeves, which we will talk about later in our sleeves post and she has changed the pockets to a slash or slant style pockets. You can see an image of the pockets and her pattern pieces below for inspiration. 


Week 4 Complete! 

Wishing you all the best for your pocket sewing this week. Next week we will be talking all about different ways to gather the skirt. 🙂



To see previous post you can click here:


Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Difficulty level: Intermediate
Used Material: all purpose thread, cotton or linen, denim chambray, fusible interfacing, knit fabric, light non-fusible interfacing
Used Products:

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  • flourishingpalms EditEditing comments on the BERNINA blog is only possible after logging in with a blog user account. Sign up now or create a user account if you do not have one yet.

    I chose a checked linen fabric for my Irina dress. Since I don’t have an embroidery feature on my Bernina 770QE, I decided to revisit an old form of hand embroidery: chicken scratch. I used three strands of DMC embroidery floss to decorate the bodice and sleeves.  I’ve added pockets to my skirt, and am looking forward to the Week 5 assignment. Thank you!

    • Anna Hicks EditEditing comments on the BERNINA blog is only possible after logging in with a blog user account. Sign up now or create a user account if you do not have one yet.

      This is SO beautiful!! I can’t even tell you how much I love this! Well done you. I can not wait to see your finished dress. Would you be happy for me to share this image on our Bernina social media in NZ and Australia? I would love to share this gorgeousness 🙂

      • Linda Hungerford EditEditing comments on the BERNINA blog is only possible after logging in with a blog user account. Sign up now or create a user account if you do not have one yet.

        Thank you Anna! Of course. I’m happy you’d like to share it. I’ve already shared pics on Instagram @FlourishingPalms,  and my blog by the same name.

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