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Thursday, July 16, 2015

· 1930s Pocket Tutorial ·

For those of you following me on Facebook and Instagram, this is old news- but I'm thrilled to announce that I'm part of the Penny Rose Project Design Team!

Penny Rose is a fabric company that has many different lines of 1930s, historical, and floral prints.  When they contacted me about sharing a project made from their fabric, I was excited about all the possibilities!  I've been on a big 1930s kick lately, so I naturally picked a 1930s print to make into a new dress. :-)

I'll be sharing details of my dress next week here on my blog (edit- here's the post!), but this week I have a special post over on the Penny Rose blog- a tutorial for making your very own 1930s pocket! :-)  I'm sharing it here on the blog, too and I'd LOVE to see your results!!

The finished pocket measures approx. 5" square, so it's a cute size for dresses and aprons and even tote bags or pillows. :-)

The pockets on the far right were my inspiration.

I decided not to do contrasting "petals" on my pocket for this tutorial but I made contrasting petals for my dress, as you can see. :-)

To start, cut 4 rectangles 2 3/4" by 7 1/4"

To make the rectangles into isosceles trapezoids, make marks 1 5/8" from one edge.

Cut on an angle from the mark to the opposite corner.

Make a mark 3 1/4" from the top.

Sew one group of 2 pieces together from the bottom until the mark, using a 1/4" seam allowance. 

Each piece should be sewn over half-way up, as you see.

Press open.

Next, join the pocket to the 2 remaining trapezoids, pinning around the outer edges and down the inside edges of the "petals".

Be sure to fold back the seam allowance on the bottom corner of the trapezoids.

Sewing with a 1/4" seam allowance, butt the stitching up to the previous seam, sew down one petal, around the outside, and down the other petal, ending the stitching to meet up with the previous seam and making sure to backstitch at the beginning and end. 

Completed stitching!

It's a bit hard to tell, but here you can see how the stitching lines up with the previous seam.

Trim those corners! (and yes, both pairs of my shears made it into this shot- haha!)

Since we didn't sew together those 2 trapezoids, you can turn it right-side out through that opening.

Iron everything flat.

Fold back the petals and iron in place.

Flip it over to the back side and press the seam allowance under on both edges.

Using a ladder-stitch, sew up the seam.

Now you can admire your work!

Sew the pocket to your project around the outer edges, leaving the petals free.

If your petals need it, tack them invisibly near each edge.

And there you go- your own vintage pocket!  This design lends itself perfectly to contrasting petals, so play around with options!  I'd love to see what you make! :-)


  1. Okay. I just picked out my new favorite dress of yours. OHHHH how beautiful it is!!!! The color, the style, everything is absolutely perfect.
    You have such a knack for making the most inarguably gorgeous dresses EVER. I can't wait to see more pictures of this one.
    Meanwhile, I can't wait to try out a pocket! It is such a cute design, and you copied it perfectly from that original picture! Bravo!
    I also can't wait to do some fabric shopping.... ;)

    1. Esther, thanks! I'm sure you'll find lots of tempting fabrics from Penny Rose- they specialize in tiny florals of all eras! :-)

  2. What an amazing dress! The sleeves, the pockets, the bow! Its so pretty and perfectly 30's! Your sewing is constantly inspiring, I need to get going on some 30's projects!

  3. I can't even HANDLE how fantastic this is!!! You are on a major 30s dress roll. I hadn't heard of this fabric company, but I'm going to check them out!

  4. OH MY!!! I am literally swooning over the perfection and fabulousness of this dress!!! Jaw Dropping:) Those sleeves, that bow, the pocket, everything. And your hair dear.....oh how perfectly marvelous. You are giving me so much so much. Okay, I am done freaking out now, but truly a beautiful dress. So cheerful and right from the 30's.

  5. LILY!!! Your dress is AMAZING!!! I can't wait to see all the details, and that pocket is too cute! Way to go with getting such a perfect collaboration!


    the Middle Sister and Singer

  6. This is incredible. You are making me very interested in trying out the thirties for myself. The pocket is fabulous. I think I will certainly be trying it on all sorts of things

  7. That dress!!! Goodness me, what a stunner! You are rocking this 1930s look like there's no tomorrow. Gorgeous, gorgeous, oh and did I mention, gorgeous!!! :)

    ♥ Jessica

  8. Wow, that looks so sharp! Your flexibility with style and period sewing always amazes me.

  9. !!!Eeee!! Thanks everyone! Your comments make me soooo flattered. I'm blushing. :-)

    I'm loving the 30s lately, but I also really love all the encouragement. :-D I'd love to see all of your 30s looks, too!

  10. Have you tried making a bigger version of this pocket? I'm thinking of putting a couple of them on a plaid '30s dress I'm working on right now, but I think it needs slightly bigger pockets than this. I'll have to just experiment around with it, most likely, but I thought I'd ask just in case you had tried it already. :)

    Thanks, Lily!

  11. Esther, no, I haven't tried a bigger size. I'd love to see how yours turns out, though! :-)



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