I decided with the rayon voile of the Anna dress by By Hand London dress I’m working on would benefit from French seams but I also wanted to add side seam pockets. Was a little tricky but this tutorial from Sew Mama Sew was super helpful! She used 1/2″ seams so I had to make a few changes for my 5/8″ seams but I followed the same steps.
For my pockets I used the usual recommended seam allowances for French seams on a 5/8″ seam allowance garment. That is, I sewed the first seam with garment wrong sides together at 1/4″, then turned garment wrh right sides together and enclosed the raw edges in a 3/8″ seam. I just showed the process for one side of a pocket, then did the remaining three in the same manner. Here is my attempt at a pictorial tutorial. Not the best fabric choice for easy visibility, sorry!
First I used a side seam pocket piece from Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book and used the notch marks on one of her skirt pieces to align the pocket piece properly. You can use any side seam pocket piece you have available. Mine are placed about 1 3/4″ below the top of the skirt panel. I cut 2 pocket pieces for each side, a total of 4. First step: pin the pocket piece to the side of the skirt piece wrong sides together and stitch at 1/4″ seam allowance.
Then before attaching the sides of the skirts to enclose the pockets, trim the side seam of the skirts pieces right above and below the pocket pieces the 1/4″ seam allowance in order to make stitching the skirt sides together easier.
Then you get to pin the skirt sides together pinning the pocket pieces together as well, all wrong sides together. After they are pinned, stitch the 1/4″ seam allowance and trim any pesky fabric strands away. I stitch 1/4″ up into the pocket pieces as well to ensure all unfinished edges are enclosed.
Then turn your pieces inside out so the fabric pieces are right sides together now, press down the edges, then pin together to keep fabric from slipping around. Sew at the 3/8″ seam allowance to enclose all the rough edges. Give another press with your iron.
And voila! A nearly invisible side seam pocket, :). Once all stitching is done give the pocket a good pressing with the pocket bag and side seams turned to the middle front of the dress, going the direction the pocket will face when you put your hands in them.