Project: Retro Pocket Pattern Hack | OLFA - CraftOLFA – Craft

Project: Retro Pocket Pattern Hack

This month, we are excited to meet Kelly Ashurst. She’s known on Instagram as @kash5boom. We were instantly drawn to her vintage style. She breathes life into vintage patterns and she knows how to accessorize!


Kelly, how do you describe yourself?


I started sewing when I was eight years old so I could make my own Barbie l clothes. My mom taught me to read patterns and to use a sewing machine. Starting in high school, I worked at the theater of the local college as a seamstress. I still have nightmares of sewing petticoats but I picked up a lot of good techniques, like how to sew a skirt from measurements and the mysteries of plackets. Now I am a stay at home mom with three boys that think I can sew any Halloween costume they can imagine. I love vintage patterns and fabrics because I like to feel connected to the past. I love it when people tell me my dress reminds them of their mom. I just love channeling my inner June Cleaver.


What is your favorite OLFA tool & why?

I Love my ginormous (23”x70”) Self-healing Rotary mat because I can lay out an entire pattern at once. It makes cutting out patterns so much faster.


What is your favorite OLFA rotary cutter & why?

-28mm Rotary Cutter RTY-1/G. I like it because the small blade can cut tight curves with ease.


Which comes first: the pattern or the fabric?

Generally it is the pattern for me unless I find a really sweet stash of vintage fabric.


Are you as clever in the kitchen as you are in your sewing space?

My husband says yes and my three little boys agree.


How many WIP’s do you have lying around right now?

I have a fall dress from two years ago, a waist coat for my husband that is stalled because he wants welt pockets, and a green dress that is my current project… that’s not too bad.


From where (or whom) do you draw inspiration?

I get a lot of inspiration from photos, ads and patterns form the 40’s and 50’s



Who doesn’t love a good pencil skirt? They’re flattering on every figure! I’m always looking for a versatile skirt that I can wear around the house, as well as out in the world. The one thing that is usually missing in a skirt is pockets. As a mom I’ve got to have pockets for my phone, grocery lists, Legos, pacifiers and other detritus I collect during the day! They’re a must-have! In this pattern hack I take a pencil skirt pattern I already have and add cute vintage-style pockets in a contrasting fabric. I’ve used beautiful linen suiting for these last hot days of summer and a diagonal blue plaid from Amy Gibson’s Meriweather line for Windham fabrics as my contrast. Add some cool buttons and you’ll be the most retrofabulous girl at the office, or the grocery store!

Skill level:

Advanced beginner

Time to completion:

4 hours


23”x70” Continuous Grid Mat Set RM-CLIPS/2

28mm Rotary Cutter RTY-1/G


Previously purchased, or drafted pencil skirt pattern

Tracing paper

Marking pen


Fabric and notions required for pattern

¼ yard contrasting fabric

2 1 1/8” covered buttons

General sewing supplies



All seam allowances are 5/8” unless otherwise stated.


Make the front extension and pocket lining pattern piece.


    1. Place your pattern’s skirt front piece on your cutting mat lining up the waistline and side seam with the grid. On a piece of tracing paper make a 7”x10” rectangle. Place this over your pattern piece with the top edge of the rectangle aligned with the waist line and the side edge of the rectangle aligned with the side seam. On the waist line of your rectangle make a mark 5” in from the side seam. On the side seam of the rectangle make a mark 6” from top, or about where your hip starts to curve in.



Make the pocket facing pattern.


    1. Place tracing paper over your skirt front pattern piece and draw a vertical line 7” in from the side seam and a horizontal line 10” down from the waistline. Trace skirt pattern side seam line and any darts that fall within the facing.



(Note that on my pattern the darts that fall within the facing are for the back and so I did not include them)


    1. Cut out your skirt.


    1. Place your fabric on your cutting mat and arrange skirt pattern pieces. Pin your front extension piece to your skirt front pattern piece as you did in step 1. Using your rotary cutter cut this out as one piece.




    1. Clip the fabric at the marks you made along the waistline and side seam no more than 5/8” deep.


    1. Cut out 2 pocket facings from the main fabric.


    1. Using your front extension/ pocket lining rectangle pattern piece cut out 2 pocket linings from the contrast fabric. Clip the fabric at the marks again, no more than 5/8”.



    1. Cut out the remainder of your skirt pieces according to pattern instructions.


    1. Sew your skirt.


    1. Sew any darts according to your patterns instructions.


    1. Place your pocket lining piece on skirt front with right sides together matching waistline and side seam clips. Sew from clip to clip backstitching at both ends.



    1. Make sure your clips go down to, but not through your stitches. Trim corners and seams between clips. Turn out to right side and press.


    1. Sew pocket facing to pocket lining matching inside and bottom edges. You’ll need to fold away the main part of the skirt while doing this.




    1. Lay your newly formed pocket back to the inside of your skirt so it lays flat. Pin the flap forward towards the outside of your skirt so the lining shows and makes a triangle. Baste the pocket at waistline and side seam making sure not to catch any of the finished edge of the flap.




    1. Repeat on other side.


  1. Sew the rest of your skirt according to pattern instructions. When sewing the waistband and side seams be careful not to catch any of the pocket flap.

Add buttons to pocket flap. Don’t pull your flap too tightly; you want the fold to roll.