Have you ever wished you could have an extra set of pockets? I have!

I recently re-discovered a new/old way of providing pockets. And I think it is such a good idea, I wanted to share it with you.

Last week, I was at Ron and Marty’s house and ran across Marty’s embroidered textile collection. Now, Ron and Marty are pretty serious when it comes to collecting wonderful stuff from the Arts & Crafts period, and when I saw her textile display in the dining room, I got very excited. The designs and the needlework were fabulous, and she let me take everything down and touch and explore the pieces.

All this is a roundabout way to say that when I saw the first piece, it reminded me of some ‘external pockets’ that I had read about before. In the 1700’s to the early 1900’s, women used pockets in a similar way to how women today use a handbag – to carry their belongings. The pockets back then were often under their dresses, and they were belted or tied around the waist. If you can’t imagine what that would look like, here is a painting of a woman reaching into her pocket:

Now, we can see how unglorious it is to raise your skirt in public, so a way to put your hand in your pocket through the skirt was devised, and here is a picture of that:

There is even a game of ‘Find the Pocket” on this site at the Victoria & AlbertMuseum. It is fun to discover the ways people hid, and used, their pockets by looking at paintings. 

Now, back to Marty’s beautiful textiles, I wanted to share some of them with you:

     This is the first one I saw; it is made of linen and has one pocket on top of the other, and has two reinforced holes in the upper corners that make me think it was tied around a waist,

as opposed to this textile, which has a drawstring construction – it would be used as a bag..

And this one was not a pocket, or a bag, but a table cloth case, and I am showing it to you because the design, colors and embroidery is especially beautiful on this Art Nouveau textile.

So, you see how beautiful and useful these pockets could be? My intention is to bring these back into the public conciousness and see if people might like it. I could make some from my designed fabrics, such as these samples:

And maybe I can start a new fashion fad!