V160: Progress on My 18th c. Pocket…and Then More Pockets!

I’ve been embroidering on and off since early May, on my first Georgian pocket.  I originally used a pattern from Costume Close-Up: Clothing Construction and Pattern, 1750-1790, but decided not to follow the color scheme of the original in the Colonial Williamsburg collection.

Here is my progress so far!  I’m not much of an embroiderer, but I’m determined to get this done.  It is the first time I’ve use long-and-short filler stitches, and I’m really liking the effect.

AND…in case you are in need of pocket inspiration, check out this awesome resource for extant pockets – VADS.  This online museum also has all kinds of other things to look at, like shoes, patterns, and textiles.  Here are a few of my fave embroidered pockets from this site:

Scottish, early to mid 18th c. Don’t you just adore the animals?
early 18th c. Beautiful polychromatic embroidery, and asymmetrical too
1718-20 – beautiful, subtle embroidery on white, but in a gorgeous, intricate pattern
mid-18th c. Charming pair with a different design that we normally see. All-over embroidery and contrasting binding and tape, very beautiful!

These are just a couple of the embroidered pockets, but they also have categories for woven, printed, patchwork, undecorated, quilted, and knitted pockets.  I never knew there were so many variations!


  • Anonymous

    June 8, 2012 at 9:14 PM

    Beautiful embroidery, sad that it will be hidden under a skirt.
    I just started my own pair of pockets. I'm trying to copy the strawberry pockets from the met, the ones with the crazy all over the place vine embroidery and the cheerful yellow bias tape. I have the pattern drawn out but haven't started embroidering yet.
    I like the inspiration pictures too, I had not seen any of those ones.

  • Cait

    June 9, 2012 at 3:08 AM

    Thank you for sharing that great resource, it is so helpful!!
    I have been embroidering pockets too lately! I have an 18th century event next weekend an in n my prep for it thought it would be great fun to do my own set. Though my pattern is not from any extant sources, but rather from a quilting book from the period. But alas they will not be finished in time to wear at the event so now I can sit around an work on them at the event 🙂

  • Stephanie Schoelzel

    June 9, 2012 at 7:55 AM

    For any one who lives nearby… quite a few years ago, I saw quite a number of lovely pockets at the West Chester Historical Society. At that time the collection was resident in a lovely home originally built in the 1600s. I assume that all the clothing and textiles have been moved to the museum in town now.

    Also, can't help but share a story told by my great grandmother Penelope True, circa 1870 in her diary. She was the "school teacher" at a nearby town and, on a visit home road double on a horse with her cousin who came to get her. Over the course of the trip she, much to her distress, lost everything out of her pockets (money, little presents to family, etc.) as they jounced along, but didn't discover it until she reached home. Her pockets were essentially the same as the ones pictured here with the slit opening.

  • Sandy

    July 11, 2013 at 4:04 PM

    What lovely site these pockets are!! I love the tale of the grandmother who lost her pocket contents :/ I am at colonial williamsburg now and have just purchased my pocket kit

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