Saturday, September 22, 2012

Lucy Locket Lost her Pocket...

...Kitty Fisher found it. There was not a penny in it, but a ribbon 'round it...

In th 18th century, women didn't lug around large purses like we do today to store the inevitable amount of junk they needed at their disposal on a daily basis; however, that doesn't mean that they didn't need something to carry around keys, money, handkerchiefs, love letters....Thus the "pocket" was born.

According to the VADS Pockets of History website...

"Just like Lucy Locket in the nursery rhyme, women and girls in the past had tie-on pockets instead of handbags to carry the things they needed. Although life in the past was markedly different from the present, the small possessions that people carried with them in their pockets was just as important to them and just as telling about how they lived their daily lives as they are for us today.

All through the 18th and 19th centuries, capacious and practical tie-on pockets remained a favourite for women. These pockets were not expensive or glamorous objects but they are rich in information and meaning. The ways they were made, decorated, used and even lost and stolen, reveal a lot about life in those times.

The pockets were tied around the waist usually underneath skirts or aprons. They had a special usefulness at this time because women of all social classes had little or no private space and few if any rights to own property. But they had significant roles and varied responsibilities within households, as employers or as servants, and many were involved in their families’ trades and businesses and it made sense to be prepared for all kinds of practicalities. Whether the contents of these pockets were utilitarian or precious, for daily use or private consumption, keeping them in a tie-on pocket was an efficient way of ensuring they were accessible and secure."

These tie-on pockets were sort of like an early form of the familiar "fanny pack" that we know of today, although worn underneath the clothes, not on top of.

They are a fairly simple design and an excellent way to practice or show off one's skill at embroidery.


There is a very nice template for an embroidered pocket on Page 68 of "Costume Close-Up", so I used that to embroider my own pocket.


It was a bit time consuming, but I worked on it in the evenings.


The finished pocket...



2 comments:

mohawkvalleygirl said...

And for parties, they could carry the "frivolous little reticule." At least, they do in the Regency Romances I read. Also, I remember one heroine putting things in her enormous fur (or was it feather?) muff.

Joan said...

I believe the reticule came into vogue during the Regency, as at that point the shape of dress was high-waisted and clinging to the body; thus, nowhere to hide a tie-on pocket.

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