Tuesday, July 7, 2020

A Casey Skirt with EXTRA POCKETS (Super Secret Zipper Pockets!!)

My Brijee Patterns Casey Skirts are the most worn skirts in my wardrobe, especially in the summer. Those huge pockets, the below-the-knee length, and the pleated A-line shape make them practical for just about all of my summer activities (most of which involve keeping up with children. . .).

I first made this pattern when I tested the pattern early in the summer of 2018. I quickly discovered I wore this skirt too much to only have one in my closet, so by the end of the summer, I'd made a second one. Both skirts were worn on repeat, so that winter I got to pattern hacking and made a winter version out of an impulse fabric buy.  This winter version was worn almost as much as the summer versions, so yes, more Casey skirts were absolutely in my future! 

When I went to Japan in June of 2019 (please note that, yes, I wore my Casey Skirts on that trip) I bought 3 yards of a blue striped textured cotton (almost like a seersucker) to make another Casey skirt from. Like most of my projects however, I did not get around to making said skirt right away as I'd intended to.

Fast forward to the end of August 2019 and I was preparing for my first trip to Uganda. I was trying to figure out what to pack for this short trip, and, of course, my Casey skirts made the list. However, there is one thing that makes these skirts less than ideal for international travel. Those beautiful, huge, pockets? They are very easy to pick-pocket. (Trust me, I've had a 4 year old steal my phone out of these pockets on more than one occasion. . . If he can do it, anyone can) This isn't something I was worried about in Japan (as it's actually safer there than in is here in the U.S.), or even in rural areas of Uganda, but it is something to be extra aware of when it comes to cities and tourism areas.

That's when I came up with the idea to add more pockets to the Casey skirt - secret in-seam zipper pockets, which would be hidden by the large, fabulous, patch pockets. As soon as I struck on this idea, it was happening. Out came the pattern, out came the blue Japanese cotton. The skirt, complete with extra pockets was cut out! Then. . . I ran out of time to actually make it before going on that September trip to Uganda.

The pieces of this skirt, ready for assembly, sat in the project basket next to my sewing machine until the first week of January, the week before I left on my second trip to Uganda. I certainly wanted this skirt for that trip as we'd be doing a few more tourist-y activities and be in towns and cities more than I had been on my first trip. With this in mind, I sat down and made the skirt.

I used this pocket scarf tutorial from Patterns for Pirates to figure out how to make a zippered in-seam pocket. (Sorry, I have no pictures of actually installing said pocket, I was too busy figuring out how to do it to think of taking pictures while doing it.)

To put it as simply as possible, I first used thread tacks to mark the placement of the large patch pockets. Then I sewed up the side seams and installed 7" zippers in those seams, inside the patch pocket markings. Next, I put in the inseam pockets, almost like normal, I just made my pocket openings line up with the zipper. (My pockets are anchored at the waist, because that's just how I prefer to make my inseam pockets, it keeps the strain of the pocket off the side seam.) Finally, I very carefully sewed on my patch pockets, being sure to keep my inseam pockets from getting sewn over in the process.

From the inside of the skirt, it just looks like normal inseam pockets!

And from the outside, all you see is the patch pockets - same as my other Casey Skirts!

Phones, money, and other such items can be zipped away in the secret pockets.

Or, if the risk of being pick-pocketed is low/non-existent, items can just be tossed in the patch pockets like normal!

Those hidden zipper pockets gave me peace of mind when I visited the Source of the Nile in Uganda - a big tourist attraction!

Dipping my toes in the Nile River - how often do you get to do that!?!?
And beyond the amazing extra pockets, this skirt is just a really nice summer skirt!

Cool and comfortable to wear while visiting mentor kiddos in Uganda!

And just as cool and comfortable to wear all summer keeping up with my nanny kids here at home!

This skirt is just as much a favorite and just as often worn as my other Casey skirts.

This skirt is certainly not my last from this pattern. The only real question is whether or not my next Casey skirt will have these fancy hidden zipper pockets or not. I haven't decided yet. . . thoughts?


  1. Great job! Love the idea and the finished product!

  2. If there is anything I love more than pockets, it would be hidden pockets!!! Such a clever idea and super practical!

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks! I still need to blog about it. . .