Drafting Inseam Pockets - An Orla Affair

I think that any garment hugely benefits from having nice, deep, functional pockets, and dresses are no exception. If a pattern does not provide for pockets, adding them can be a very simple hack. In this blog post I will show you, step by step just how to do that. This post will only cover drafting aspect of adding pockets to Orla Dress, or any dress or top pattern with a waist seam. And the day after tomorrow I will be back with detailed instructions on how to sew these pockets.

Tools needed

  • Paper - you can use freezer paper, medical paper or any other paper you use for tracing patterns
  • Pencil
  • Eraser
  • Ruler
  • French Curve (not necessary, but will certainly makes things easier)

About Pockets

There are many different kinds of pockets out there, and I chose to add inseam pockets to my Orla. Inseam pockets are not really visible and they are pretty easy to draft and sew. The best part, since these pockets are not visible you can use a different fabric to make them. This comes in handy if you are running short on fabric, or the fabric you chose for the dress is too heavy and would add bulk. The inseam pocket I chose to draft is sewn into the waist seam. I like these pockets as they are more stable and do not move around on me or pull down on the side seam if I put my phone, keys or anything heavier in them.


To draft pockets you will need one of the skirt pieces. I am using front skirt but it really does not matter, as the pocket affects the side seam which is identical on both skirt pieces. Before you begin, trace your seam allowances onto the pattern, we will be working on the pattern piece without seam allowances. To remind you seam allowances on Orla are 3/8” or 1 cm. Mark point 1, 3” down from the top on the side seam. This is the top of your pocket opening. Mark point 2, 4 1/4 “ to the right from the side seam. This will be the top left edge of your pocket. Mark point 3, 8 1/2” down from the top of the side seam. This is the bottom of your pocket opening. Draw a line through this point, parallel to the waist line of the skirt. Mark point 4, 11 1/2” down from the top of the side seam. Square it off, by drawing a line through it parallel to the waist line of the skirt. Mark point 5, which is 6” away from the side seam on line 3. Connect points 2 and 5 with a straight line. Your pocket is starting to take shape! Mark point 6 on line 4, which is 4” away from the side seam. Using a French curve connect points 5 and 6 with a curved line. Mark point 7, which is 1 1/2" down from point 3. Mark point 8 on line 4, which is 1 3/4” away from the side seam. Using French curve connect points 7 and 8. The hardest part is done! You now have a pocket piece. Next you will need to trace the outline of the pocket onto a new piece of paper and add seam allowances to it around all edges. I prefer to keep my seam allowances consistent with the rest of the pattern, so I added 3/8" seam allowances. You will also need to add grainline to this pattern piece. The grain line on this particular pocket is parallel to the side edge of the pocket piece. I also like to write the name of the pattern piece and how many pieces I will need to cut out of fabric. You will also need to mark points 1 and 3 as notches on both of your skirt pattern pieces. These are your pocket openings and you will need to have them marked on your fabric pattern piece. Here you go! Look at you, now you can draft all the pockets! As usual, let me know if you have any questions and I will get back to you. I will be back soon to talk you through sewing these bad boys into your Orla. In the meantime, check out how to add Facings to your Orla in this post here. Love, Anya
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