adding welt pockets to the extra-sharp pencil skirt

Shelley modified the Extra-Sharp Pencil Skirt to look even sharper, by borrowing a detail from another Liesl + Co. pattern. We think this is such a clever idea. Read on to see how she did it.

If you’re at all like me, you might have a garment that you love for one reason, and another that you love for a different reason. So why not take an element you appreciate from one pattern, and whack it on another?

I did that with the Extra-Sharp Pencil Skirt, which I adore, to give it some Gelato Dress-styled, double welt pockets.

Learn how to put welt pockets on a pencil skirt.

At this point, I must confess that I haven’t yet sewn a Gelato Dress with the welt pockets. But I just knew, if I was ever going to love a double welt pocket, it would be the one that I sewed with Liesl walking me through it.

Let me show you how I created my own pocket for the Extra-Sharp Pencil Skirt using the Gelato welt design and instructions.

Learn how to put welt pockets on a pencil skirt.

Firstly, I needed to work out where to place the double welts. They could be positioned vertically or angled, somewhere on the front pattern piece. The only “rule” (which I almost failed to notice) is that the top of the welt needs to be about 4” (or lower) from the top edge to avoid accidentally stitching the opening closed when you sew the waistband facing.

Learn how to put welt pockets on a pencil skirt.

Using the front pattern piece of the Extra-Sharp Pencil Skirt, and the markings of the welt pocket on the front of the Gelato Dress, I positioned my welt. Then I drew a pocket shape around it. I chose to have my pocket extend up to the waist and out to the side panel seam to keep it flat and in place when worn.

That pocket shape then became the pattern piece for the pocket bag (piece 11 in Gelato instructions). I was using a heavy black denim for my skirt, but I cut the pocket bags from a lighter weight cotton.

I realized my welts might open as I moved, exposing the inside of the pocket bag. To prevent the lining fabric from peeking out, I cut a generous rectangle of the black denim and zigzag stitched that to the inside of the pocket bag, positioning it so that it would be under the welt in the finished pocket.

Then I needed to create the pocket facing pattern piece (piece 10 in the Gelato instructions). To do this, I took the pocket bag pattern piece I’d just made and transected it through the welt rectangle. I spread the two pieces apart by ¾” (20mm) and that made my pocket facing pattern piece.

Learn how to put welt pockets on a pencil skirt.

Then I continued to follow the Gelato instructions. Once the welts were sewn and pockets completed, I reverted to the Extra-Sharp Pencil Skirt instructions to finish it off.

My only other variation was to use an exposed metal zipper instead of an invisible zip. This was much easier to do with the very heavy fabric. And to be honest, after ruining the only black invisible zipper I had while trying to stitch it to the denim, the metal zipper was all that was left! Sometimes, COVID-19 lockdown and getting inventive with what’s on hand leads to a better result.

Learn how to put welt pockets on a pencil skirt.

Now, should I decide to get dressed up to go to, oh, say, the supermarket, I’ve got a nice skirt to wear with pockets for my shopping list.

Learn how to put welt pockets on a pencil skirt.
Stay safe and happy sewing.


Labels: , ,


  1. Kathy

    Very nice skirt and I love the pockets!

    1. Thank you Kathy. Almost everything is better with pockets! 🙂

  2. Mary

    Well done! Thanks for the “how to” and the inspiration.

    1. You’re welcome! I always enjoy tinkering with Liesl’s patterns

  3. Mimi

    So gorgeous! You look terrific.

    1. Thanks Mimi, it’s still a much loved skirt in my wardrobe. And that recital shirt is as old as the pattern and adored as well!

Post a comment