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Hoya Dress Cheetah Pocket Hack by Élégantine

Hi there! This is Valerie from Élégantine! and I am here today to share with you how I hacked the patch pocket of the Hoya dress from Issue 11 into a cheetah pocket!


I originally sewed this dress while testing the pattern last February, when winter was at its peak in Canada! Can you tell that I was dreaming of summer?  Gold fabrics, gold buttons, glitter gold heat transfer and gold sequins! The oversize patch pocket of the design was the perfect scale for a little applique fun. I did cheetah pockets on this dress, but really, the possibilities are infinite!

Photo2 Supplies Elegantine

Fabrics and Supplies: These are the fabrics that I used, but you could substitute all the fabrics to create something completely different and just as fun!

  • You will need all the regular free motion applique supplies:
  • Heat n’ Bond Light (or a sewable spray adhesive such as 505. If you decide not to use Heat n’ Bond Light, you will need to put Fray Check to keep the raw edges from fraying).
  • Free motion foot
  • Medium weight embroidery stabilizer
  • Thread! Basically, free motion sewing is like drawing with thread on a piece of fabric. You will want to choose a color of thread that won’t get lost in the details. Black is the most common used thread color because it resembles a real drawing.
  • Cheetah print Fabric: I used Cheetah Gold Standard/ Simply Sterling designed by Maria Kalinoieski for Kanvas with ©Bernatex, but any cheetah print will do.
  • Lining Fabric: Michael Miller Cotton Couture in Gold
  • Contrast Fabrics: scraps of Michael Miller Cotton Couture in White and Black
  • Nose: a scrap of Glitter Iron-on (I used Cricut, but any glitter heat transfer material will do). Alternately, you could also use a piece of fabric for the nose applique.
  • Sequins, seed beads and a beading needle

Photo 4 Elegantine

Pattern Pieces

Download your pocket/applique pattern pieces HERE -> Hoya Dress Cheetah Pocket Hack by Élégantine

Cutting Instructions

The pocket pattern pieces (head and ear) include a ¼ inch seam allowance. The applique templates don’t include a seam allowance and are intended that way.

You will cut:

  • 2x Heads (1 x main fabric and 1 x lining fabric)
  • 2x pairs of ears, mirrored (2 x main fabric and 2 x lining fabric)
  • 1x Jowls
  • 1x nose
  • 2x Eye whites
  • 2x Dark of eyes

Photo3 Cutting Elegantine

Now let’s get started!

Step 1: Iron all the appliques on the main fabric pocket piece to create a Cheetah Face.  Alternatively, you could use a sewable spray adhesive.

Step 1 Elegantine

Step2. Transfer the mouth detail on the face with an erasable fabric marker or chalk.  Free motion sew on all the inner details and inner outlines making sure to leave an ¼ inch blank space all around for the seam allowance.

Step 2 Elegantine

Step 3. Pin both pairs of ears with the ears lining right sides together and stitch using a ¼ seam allowance.  Clip the curve use pinking shears all around the ears.

Step 3 Elegantine

Step 4. Turn right side out and press.

Step 4 Elegantine

Step 5. Make a little snip of about 1/8” long on the raw edges of the ears. This will help match the curve of the rounded pocket and the ears will lay flat once the pocket is assembled.

Step 5 Elegantine

Step 6. Fold the pocket piece in half and press to mark the center.  On the top of the head, 1 inch from each side of the crease, align the raw edges of the ears right side to right side with the head.  Spread the ears following the curve on the head using the little snips at the base of the ears. Stitch using a ¼ seam allowance.

Step 6 Elegantine

Step 7. Place the pocket lining on top, right side to right side, and stitch all around leaving a 1.5 inch gap in the bottom to turn it the right way out.

Step 7 Elegantine

Step 8. Clip into the seam allowance all around the pocket (leaving the unstitched part unclipped) or use pinking shears.

Step 8 Elegantine

Step 9. Turn the pocket right side out.

Step 9. Elegantine

Step 10. Fold the 1.5 inch opening inside following the curve of the pocket and press.

Step 10 Elegantine

Step 11. Topstitch the top of the pocket starting in the middle of an ear to the middle of the other one.

Step 11 Elegantine

Step 12. Pin the head on the side seam of the skirt and finish topstitching all around the pocket.

Step 12 Elegantine

Step 13. Sequins: Starting at the base of an ear, pull your thread through the back, sew on a sequin from the back, through a seed bead, back into the sequin and into the fabric. The seed bead will hold the sequin in place on the ear. Continue to sew sequins every ¼ inch this way all around the ear.

Step 13

Note: Step 12 shows a photo of the pocket with the sequins already sewn on. But the sequins were sewed after topstitching. I did not sew a complete new garment for this tutorial since the dress still fits my daughter perfectly! I used the finished garment for some photos.

Sequins are of course optional, but they add a little glam to the garment that my kid loves… and let’s face it, I love it too!!

Photo 5 Elegantine

Valerie from Élégantine!

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