Pattern: Patterns of Fashion 1 (c. 1660-1860) by Janet Arnold
Fabric: printed cotton, plain cotton
Haberdasheries: 3.5 m petersham ribbon, 16 mm wide
A rather peculiar accessory to modern eyes, pockets or hanging pockets were worn underneath women’s clothes from the 17th through the 19th century, as their dresses did not contain pockets like modern clothes do. The dresses often have their opening on the side, and the pockets could be reached through it.
I had been planning to make a pair of pockets for a while, when I found there is a pattern for them in Patterns of Fashion 1. Of course they are easy enough to improvise, but using a pattern is easier still! The pattern is for a very large pair, though, so instead of enlarging it using inch blocks, I just scanned the pattern and printed it so that it would fit an A4 paper. This made the finished pockets 28.5 cm high.
Pockets were often richly embroidered, but I found it rather a shame to embroider something and then hide it underneath my clothes, so I opted for printed fabric instead; there are plenty of examples of printed cotton pockets from the period as well.
I based the binding with petersham ribbon on these pockets from the V&A.