‘Lucy Locket lost her pocket, Kitty Fisher found it’. We all remember that nursery rhyme…sounds cute, fun and, of course, old fashioned. Well, on a sunny outing to cruise our downtown shops with take away lattes in hand we dropped into Novel Idea…a locally owned book shop. I’ve been ordering books from them for ages…if I see something online I see if they can get it and so far so good.

Anyway…I picked up this lovely book out of the Crafts/Knitting/Sewing section. I love costume and history…though I am yet to go to the Victoria and Albert in London (my Dad took us to most of the other museums but my siblings were younger and maybe might have been bored) I went to a museum in Bath which had a lot of lovely historic dresses and small dresses. I remember being fascinated by the fact that most the very fine fabric was wool

Another time while driving to North Carolina we visited the Smithsonian Institute on the recommendation of a friend to see the display of First Ladies’ inauguration gowns.

Being an avid watcher of Say Yes to the Dress, I love that they are now putting pockets in wedding gowns. I remember giving my Dad my lipstick just before he walked me down the aisle…I don’t remember when I next saw it again. I think he (in his tuxedo with many pockets) found it at the end of the day or when he next sent it out to be cleaned! I had nowhere, on my person that day, to put anything….I could have sewed a couple of tie on pockets under my gown.

Pockets in a wedding gown.

These are the pockets women wore from the 1600s to the early 1900s. They could be tied on top of clothing for easy access for, say, a street seller, and perhaps she’d have another under all her garments where she kept the bulk of her day’s takings. A woman of means would have embroidered, silk pockets…works of art…secreted away under her voluminous gown and petticoats, hoops and panniers.

Though I’m not far into the book I’ve read of the riding outfits tailored for women which had fitted jackets with pockets in them much like men’s jackets…apparently, owners of these jackets would wear them even when not riding as it was a lovely thing to have places to stow stuff….like the men had ever since they go them into jackets and coats.

This all reminds me of a pair of pants I made for a client as part of a Summer suit she was going to take on her travels to the East. She had seen a pair of Tilley trousers which had very long pockets which couldn’t be picked…too deep. She wanted them in her suit…so I did it.

I put an extra long pocket in the pants of the suit and then down at the bottom of this long pocket I put another pocket which Velcro’d shut. This was for her passport and cash. With the suit made from a lovely floral cotton no lumps or bumps showed, the pants were not close fitting.

On her return she pronounced them very successful and I have seen her in the suit since…so I guess she liked it!

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