The giant bow pockets I added to my "Bow-dacious" dress are such a fun touch, and they're so simple to sew, but make a big impact! I designed them inspired by a dress worn by Dita von Teese.
To make the patch pockets you’ll need your fashion fabric plus a facing fabric. If your fashion fabric is lightweight you can have a self facing, but as my rayon crepe is quite heavy I used leftover silk organza from the bows so as not to add extra weight. You could also use a lining fabric.
Cut four pocket pieces - two from your fashion fabric and two from your facing fabric. The template below should print at actual size at 300dpi - I've included a one inch rule for reference. The total width (including 5/8" seam allowance) is about 7.5".
Layer the pocket and facing together, and pin together. Sew along the top edge only, then trim the seam allowance to ¼” and clip into the V to half a millimetre from the stitching line.
Next, understitch the seam. This is where you turn the seam allowances towards the lining or facing, then stitch on the lining/facing side, very close to the seam line. This keeps the lining neatly out of sight, preventing it from rolling to the outside. Break your stitching line at the point of the V, leaving a tiny gap before restarting on the other side of the V.
Flip the facing to the inside, and press the top of the pocket. Allow the outer fabric to roll to the inside just half a millimetre or so as you press, so the lining fabric is not visible from the outside.
Pin and stitch around the edge of the pocket, attaching the outer fabric and facing together. You’ll find that the lining overhangs the bottom of the outer fabric slightly, so just trim it down so the edges match. Clip the curves around the pocket edge. I also clipped near the upper edge so that I could tuck the seam allowance inside without it poking out of the top of the pocket.
Then, using the stitching line as your guide, press the seam allowance to the inside of the pocket. Having done this, I ran a line of hand basting near the edge to keep the seam allowance in place while I prepared to sew the pockets to the dress.
Mark the placement of the pockets on the skirt. Pin in place and stitch as close as you can to the edge of the pocket. Stitch sloooowwwly around the curves, lifting the presser foot with the needle down to move the fabric round as required.
I decided on airy silk organza for the bows - I knew I needed a fairly stiff fabric, but didn’t want to weigh down my pockets. I got more fabric than I thought I’d need - about 0.75m or just short of a yard - which was just as well because I pretty much finished it, once I’d also used it for the pocket facing. For each bow you’ll need four rectangles approximately 11 ¼” x 8 ¼”. Pin together in pairs. It’s counterintuitive, but when you sew, don’t start from the corner; instead start ½” along from the centre of one long side, stitch around the edges, then finish your stitching just about ¾” to 1” from your starting point.
Because I wanted the layers of the bows to be graduated sizes, when I sewed them together I used a ⅜” seam allowance for two of the rectangles and ⅝” for the other two (larger seam allowance = smaller finished rectangle).
Trim the seam allowances down to ¼”, then pull through the gap in the stitching to turn the pieces right-side out. Use a point turner, knitting needle or similar implement to poke out the points of the corners, then press flat. Layer the smaller rectangle over the larger one, and run a line of basting stitches down the centre to anchor them together.
Make the bowknot: cut two rectangles for each bow (four all together) 2 ¼” x 4” and stitch together along the two long sides. Trim the seam allowances to ¼”, turn right-side out and gently press. Wrap around the centre of the double-layered bows, trim any excess and slip stitch the loop closed in the back.
Attach the bows to the pockets: pin the bowknot at the centre of the V, then slip stitch the top of the bow along the top edge of the pocket. The stiffness of the organza I used means that the corners of the bow will ‘stand up’ on their own, but if you’re using a fabric with more drape you may want to tack the top corners in place on the skirt.
Tack the bottom corners of the rear bows to stop them from flipping up. This kept the front bows from flipping too, but you can tack the two layers together at the corners if you find the front ones are unruly.