The above are stages of development with fabric and stitch of composing a design for an inspiration from a historical pocket. I had the privilege of working with IllunimatedArtsPeckham on a project to teach vulnerable adults in residential care homes how to stitch, we were able to invite three residential care homes onto the project to reach out to their residents to give them the opportunity to learn remotely online and help them through this season of isolation that we have all experienced and they have experienced more acutely with not seeing loved ones.
I was the main lead in teaching, the areas covered was telling your story through art work onto the pocket and eventually using fabric as part of an applique design with stitch to create a fashionable and wearable pocket, once these pockets are made they will be collected and shown in a fashion show and later exhibited, details will follow later in the year as the project develops.
The project covered 17th and 18th century of women’s pockets, men had pockets sewn into their garments and this empowered them to happily be the breadwinner of the family, on the other hand women were not given the same equality during that period and they had no access to pockets sewn into their garments, so they were ingenious and started to make their own pockets. These pockets were worn on the inside of their garments, some women wore them under their skirts or above their skirts and under their coats and a woman did not go anywhere without her pocket tied to her waist, as this was the only means of carrying personable items, some women carried a multitude of items, anywhere from money, to journals and some women even carried their sewing kits in their pockets. At night the pockets were stored under a women’s pillow so her valuables would not be stolen as she slept.
It is fascinating to see the development of women’s pocket‘s that have developed since the 17th century to today, the source book given to research this fascinating area was The Pocket written by Barbara Burma’s and Ariana Fennetaux.
In today’s fashion some women have been quite unhappy with the state of the pockets within their garments and from the research I unearthed the idea that fashion designers decided to ditch the humble pocket from women’s clothing as the seams became tighter across the body to show women’s curves depending on the decade that they lived in.
In collaboration with BlackheathEmbroiderer’s I will be the main lead again teaching how to sew an historical pocket on Saturday 27th March 2 to 4pm, the above piece will be shown in its fullness of stitch over appliqué and a new pocket that I am working on will be shown also.