If there is one thing I’m hoping to pass on it’s the ability to see how much you can do with some good, basics like the Zonen 09 patterns. This outfit is the perfect example. Adding pockets to a simple Thea blouse makes it look completely different. The Rocco pants, which are in fact designed for stretch fabrics, can apparently also pull off a casual chic look.
1. Linking sewing patterns to inspiring outfits
Take a closer look at the sewing patterns you own. Do the mental exercise of undoing each one of them of all extras. Have a close look at the most important lines. Look at the ease the designer added (is it slim or loose fit?). Don’t let ‘for men’ or ‘for women’ in the title or description influence you (it's not the fifties, baby) as this too was only decided by that one person.
If you can do this, your open-mindedness will make it easier to match inspiring outfits you come across when shopping or browsing the internet to the sewing patterns you own. It happened to me when I liked an outfit that I spotted at Mais Oui, one of my favorite shops when I buy clothes. Thea and Rocco were a clear match and I took out some black linen fabric, drafted pockets with flaps and made some minor changes in my approach.
2. Sewing tips for Rocco pants in a woven fabric
Although Rocco was designed with stretch fabrics in mind, it’s comfortable enough (so with enough ease) to convince me that it would actually be an option to use a woven fabric. I selected my size for bottoms as instructed and compared my hip measurement with the Zonen 09 size chart for adults.
The size was perfect and the pants felt comfortable, although you can never be sure with this kind of experimenting. A lot depends on the model and the type of fabric you choose. If you want to use an expensive fabric, or a piece that you have been holding on to for quite some time, you might want to make a test version first. Use some basic, cheap fabric to find out if you can easily pull the pants over your hips. You could also choose to make a test version with short legs, to the knee or even shorter. This way you don’t waste materials and precious sewing time.
If your sewing time is very limited of if you’re not the most patient one among us (guilty!) you can add a 6/8” seam allowance (instead of 3/8”) to the leg’s outside seam and to the short edges of the waistband. Close the side seams and the waistband using a larger stitch length. You not only play safe but also don’t lose too much time. Try it on and see if you can pull up the ‘skirt’. If it easily passes your hips, you can either open the seam or simply stitch it again, next to the temporary stitching, but now using the standard stitch length.
I wanted to finish the bottom seams of this Rocco by simply rolling up the hem a few times, totally matching the casual look I had in mind. To make sure that everything stayed in place I topstitched the side seams of the cuffs.
3. A small Thea hack
In the sewing pattern for the Thea blouse no pockets are included, so I started this project by drawing a very simple but pretty large pocket and a rectangle that would serve as a flap. You’re totally free to leave out the flaps, but for this Thea I decided to add them as it was the perfect way to reveal the new Zonen 09 logo.
I assembled the blouse according to the instructions for this pattern but before even starting to stitch the pieces together, I added the pockets and flaps to the front pieces using the steps below.
If you want to make this Thea version with pockets, you can find a free, downloadable pdf here. You can use the instructions for all Thea sizes.
4. How to sew a Thea blouse with pockets and flaps?
Per finished pocket, cut 1 pocket piece and 2 flaps. The pattern will tell you how much seam allowance you need to add. Finish all raw edges with a serger or a zigzag stitch.
Stitching the pocket
Fold the seam allowance (3/8”) along the top edge of the pocket, wrong sides touching. Press.
Fold again, now 6/8”, right sides touching. Press again. Stitch the fold’s side seams. Stitch at 3/8” from the edge (see red lines).
Clip the corners. Be careful not to cut the stitching.
Turn right side out and press. The pocket’s side edges will automatically fold towards the inside, wrong sides together.
Fold the seam allowance (3/8”) of the remaining sides wrong sides together. Start with the side seams as they will easily fold in the right direction. Press. Then fold and press the bottom edge. If you use a heavier type of fabric, then a glue pen for textiles can help you to keep everything in place.
Place the pocket on the right side of the front bodice. Position it horizontally at about 2.4’ (size 34) to 3” (size 54) from the center front and vertically 6/8” higher than the lowest point of the armhole. Make sure the pocket’s side edge lines up with the center front which makes the bottom edge to be perpendicular to the center front. Pin or glue in place.
Carefully topstitch around the edges of the pocket to attach it to the bodice (see red lines). Do not topstitch the top edge. If you intend to actually use the pockets, you can add little triangles in the top corners for extra reinforcement (see green lines).
If your collection of presser feet contains a blindstitch foot (it often comes with your machine) then use it for this type of topstitching jobs. The blade will act as a guide which makes your stitches run perfectly straight and parallel to the edges.
Stitching the pocket flap
Fold the top edge (3/8”) of both flap pieces wrong sides together.
Pin both pieces right sides together. Stitch the side and bottom edges (see red lines). Start and finish right at the top to keep the seam allowance in place.
Clip the corners. Be careful not to cut the stitching. Turn right side out and press.
Topstitch the side and bottom edges at 5/64” (2 mm) from the edge (see red lines). Do not stitch the top edge.
Position the flap on the front bodice with the open top edge 3/8” higher than the pocket’s top edge. If you accurately cut the pieces and stitched very precisely then the flap is on both sides 2.5 mm wider than the pocket. Stitch the pocket flap to the front bodice (see red line).
If you want to add a pocket (and a pocket flap) to both front pieces, repeat these steps.
Are you intrigued? Ready to find out more about Thea patroon or any of the other Zonen 09 patterns? Feel free to check my sewing patterns for beginners. or browse the complete collection with women's, men's and children's clothing.