Southwest Style Day One: Simple Dress with Pockets

I love this dress. I’m sure my family and friends get tired of seeing me wear it but its sooo comfy and fairly versatile.

Usually I wear it with a simple skinny black leather belt (as pictured) and my favorite black flip flops from Old Navy. Hair in bun, no make-up and I’m off to the grocery store, gas station, pool – you name it.

Other times, I have styled it as in the pictures with some red snake skin heels (I got them in fantastic condition from goodwill for $5!) and my favorite vintage earrings passed down from my mom. Still simple but, appropriate for a nice dinner with my husband or happy hour with the girls.

I have to admit that I had step-by-step pictures waiting for you but they somehow got deleted 😦

I’ll do my best to explain how I did it without confusing the heck out of you! Also, keep in mind that I typically wear a size 8 dress and unfortunately I do not work well with patterns (we’re currently in couples counseling). The shape of this dress is loosely based on a dress I already had that I like. I am clueless about pattern-making and sizing adjustments so you’ll have to just feel it out. Perhaps, take a dress that you like (inside out) and measure the key points so you can get a feel for how much fabric you’ll need.


  • Two 28″ X 36″ rectangles of fabric (I used an inexpensive non-stretchy cotton)
  • Two 6 1/2″ lengths of 1/4 inch wide elastic in a coordinating color (or you could dye it!)
  • Four pieces of coordinating fabric in the shape of pockets (as you can probably tell by the irregular shapes in the pic below, I just traced my hand with a couple inches of extra all around)
  • Sewing machine and coordinating thread

Below is my finished dress turned inside out. I originally left it a straight rectangle because I thought it would gather in a cute way once I belted it…wrong. This fabric isn’t very flowy (it’s similar to plain ol’ quilting cotton) so I had to go back and adjust and taper to get this final shape. What I ended up with in the narrowest part was about 10 in more than my waist measurement.

I have labeled each of the measurements below. The front piece and back piece of the dress are exactly the same size and shape. I added the elastic in an “X” shape on the back for interest.

Once you have your fabric cut into the shape you want follow these instructions from Burda Style for adding the pockets. Then complete all of the hemming and secure the elastic with a few zig zag stitches. I included a 1/2″ seam allowance in the measurements above. If any of this is confusing please comment with your questions and I’ll do my best to answer in a way that makes sense 🙂



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