The Felicity Dress Sew Along - Grading at the Hips with Yoke Pockets

Friday, April 17, 2015

The hips on both versions of the Felicity Dress are free, but sometimes, you might want to grade up (or down) for whatever reason. This is generally a pretty straight forward process, but when it comes to yoke pockets, they require a few extra steps.

The Felicity dress comes with all-in-one yoke pockets, which means you don't have two separate pieces. Instead, you fold them in half to get the full pocket. You can see on the diagram below that once folded in half, the pocket fits exactly into the skirt pattern piece.

Yoke pockets (and actually, pockets in general) are usually designed to fit exactly into each graded size without the pocket size itself changing as above (though the top of the pocket shape changes slightly per size for View 1 of the Felicity Dress, since the waist curve changes as it grades up). This means while it's still simple to grade the hip on the skirt as usual (by following the grade out to the next size), you'll also need to alter the pocket pattern to fit the new grade (and since it doesn't have any individual grade lines on it to follow, this is what makes it a tad more time consuming).

In this example, we're going to be grading from a size 12 at the waist (red pattern piece) to a size 14 at the hips (green pattern piece).

1. Lining up notches, tape the 'back' of your yoke pocket piece into the size you want to keep consistent at the waist, in this case, it's the size 12. This means we now have a complete base to work off when grading at the hip (since the 'back' of the pocket makes up a section of the total waist line).

2. Place some paper under your pattern at the hip and starting from the end of the waist line (or the end of the pocket) grade out to the next size at the hip as you normally would, as indicated by the black arrow on the diagram.

Continue down until you reach the bottom of the pocket along the side seam (indicated by the red arrow). Fill that extra bit in with spare paper, and you have now graded the 'back' section of your yoke pocket piece.

3. Now you need to grade the 'front' of your pocket piece to fit the back and new side seam. The first thing you'll need to decide is which pocket curve you want to follow. I'd personally follow your original pattern piece (the size 12) since it means you won't end up needing to change the pocket curve to meet down the bottom at the new size.

Mark where your pocket curve ends on the adjusted pocket piece (indicated on the diagram with a black arrow).

4. Remove your pocket pattern piece and fold it in half along the dashed line included on the pattern.

Now we can see how much we need to add to the 'front' section to make it match the back. Fill in that section with some spare paper (marked in orange).

5. Now you can grade the actual skirt pattern pieces at the hip to match with the pocket. Tape some spare paper underneath the front skirt piece, then tape in the 'back' side of your new pocket piece into the front of your skirt piece (as in step 1), trace along the new pocket line. The last step is then to true up your back skirt piece to match.

And there you have it, graded hips with yoke pockets!!

Next week we are finally doing some sewing! So if you're following along in real time, make sure you wash your fashion fabric this weekend :) If you still haven't bought your fabric, you can read all about selecting appropriate fabrics for Felicity here.

1 comment on "The Felicity Dress Sew Along - Grading at the Hips with Yoke Pockets"
  1. I've made my muslin and love the Felicity bodice! I can't wait to finish my dress to wear. Thanks for the great pattern!


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