Dress Tutorial

Hacking the Asta: How to add curved inset pockets

As you might have realized in my previous posts about the Asta Dress by Wardrobe By Me, I absolutely love this pattern. I love the fit, I love the boatneck, I love how simple  to sew it is. The only thing I am not a 100% sold of are the patch pockets. I always like my clothes to be a little elegant and I think the patch pockets don’t go that well together with the style I love. So instead of sewing the dress without pockets or in-seam pockets, I decided to add curved inset pockets.

And today I thought I’d share with you how to do that – it’s not really complicated, but sometimes we all like to just follow a tutorial, don’t we? At the end of this tutorial I’ll mention two other ways of adding different pocket styles to the Asta.

You can cut the bodice of the dress, the back skirt and the pocket facings as usual.

Start with laying the pocket on top of the skirt piece, and trace the curved opening of the pocket to the skirt. (Note that my skirt pattern piece is from the first round of testing and that the shape has slightly changed since then.)

Sew Mariefleur Asta Dress Pocket Hack

Sew Mariefleur Asta Dress Pocket Hack

Cut along the traced line to create a pocket opening on your front skirt piece. Add the cutout to the pocket piece, to create the new pocket piece. You could tape the piece to the pocket, but I prefer not to, to be able to use the pattern pieces in the future for skirts without pockets, in-seam pockets or with regular patch pockets on the skirt.

Cut the front skirt with the new pocket opening, and cut two mirrored pockets without the previous pocket opening. You can just “add” the piece you cut from the skirt to the pocket to do this.

Sew Mariefleur Asta Dress Pocket Hack

Sew Mariefleur Asta Dress Pocket Hack

Sew the pocket facing to the curved pocket opening on the front skirt. You could add tricot interfacing to the facings before attaching them to the skirt, if your fabric hasn’t great recovery. No one likes stretched out pockets… You could also choose to serge the outer edges of the facing to prevent ending up with a raw edge on the inside of your pocket. I didn’t do that, either, because my serger is broken – but I’d normally serge all visible seams.

Sew Mariefleur Asta Dress Pocket Hack

Understitch the pocket facing to keep the seam on the inside.

Sew Mariefleur Asta Dress Pocket Hack

Sew the outer edge of the facing to the skirt. Sew slowly, since this seam is going to be visible on the outside of your skirt.

Sew Mariefleur Asta Dress Pocket Hack

Align the pocket bag to the skirt, matching the edges of the skirt and the pocket bag. Pin everything in place and sew the pocket bag to the skirt. Go slowly, since this seam is going to show on the right side of your skirt, too.

Sew Mariefleur Asta Dress Pocket Hack

Sew Mariefleur Asta Dress Pocket Hack

Baste the side seam and the top seam of the pocket to the skirt. Repeat everything for the other pocket.

Sew Mariefleur Asta Dress Pocket Hack

Finish your dress as described in the instructions.

Alternative ways to add pockets:

  1. You could cut the front and back skirt as usual and add in-seam pockets. In The Folds has a great tutorial showing how to draft and add in-seam pockets.
  2. You could cut two original pocket bags and two “modified” pocket bags and no pocket facing. Sew the original pocket bag with the curved seam to the curved seam of the skirt and sew the modified pocket bag to the original pocket bag, instead of attaching it to the skirt itself. That way you don’t have any visible seams on your skirt, while still getting a dress with a curved inset pocket.

I hope you find this tutorial helpful, but don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions!

– This blog post contains affiliate links. However, all opinions are, as always, my own. – 


6 comments on “Hacking the Asta: How to add curved inset pockets

  1. Thanks for this! I’ve used the alternate approach #2 a few times, but this approach has never occurred to me before. I can’t wait to try it out! It would be a great way to add some decorative top-stitching to a simple skirt/dress/pants ? Love your Asta dress!

  2. […] in all, I love this dress and I’ll sew another one soon, using Mariefleur’s pocket alteration. I also want to test the boatneck version, but I’ll muslin it […]

  3. […] Maintenant que j’ai fait toutes mes modifications de patron, je vais le recopier sur un support plus pérenne et je vais aussi tenter la modification au niveau des poches proposée par Sew Mariefleur. […]

  4. […] anterior de la falda pero yo me decanté por hacer la modificación que enseña Marie Fleurine AQUÍ. Unos bolsillo curvos insertados en la parte interior del delantero. Es muy fácil modificar el […]

  5. Thank you for this post! I have just purchased the Asta print pattern and did not realise since they have updated the pdf pattern and it is different and my pattern does not have the type of pocket that you made (the new pdf version does). Is the fabric you used some type of sweater knit? It looks really good and the dress itself looks fantastic on you! I’m trying to decide on the fabric… Definitely wouldn’t want something too light or too heavy.

    • Thank you for your kind words! I wasn’t aware of the fact that the new version includes “regular” pockets. I might add it to the post. The fabric I used is a double knitted/interlock merino wool. It’s wonderful for winter and not too thin/see-through for a dress, but not too heavy, either.

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