Friday, February 27, 2015

Make it Blue!

After quite a bit of finagling, I finally completed the first of my many projects for the Battle Road reenactment I plan on attending in April (I still have too many to go!). This project was chosen completely out of a need for certain things for a reenacting kit, but I later realized it would fit in well with the Historical Sew Monthly's challenges for the year.

Now on to the specifics:

Historical Sew Monthly 2015

The Challenge: Blue (this was actually done completely accidentally - I have a strange affinity for the color blue, and after deciding my pattern, I chose a gorgeous powder blue cotton pearl while at the fabric store)

Fabric: Natural colored linen lined with a white cotton muslin

Pattern and Year: Based on an extant pocket from 1718-20

Notions: Powder blue pearl cotton embroidery floss, white thread, natural colored cotton twill tape

How Historically Accurate is It? About 90% for construction, less for actual materials. The original used linen tape and silk thread, neither of which I managed to obtain.

Hours to Complete: About 20 (15 for the actual embroidering and 5 to sew on the twill tape and ties)

Cost: About $10 for twill tape, floss, and a new embroidery hoop. Fabric was from stash.

This particular pocket is based off an extant example found at the Victoria and Albert museum in London. When deciding on this particular project, I didn't want to make a plain, boring pocket (since that't too predictable, right?), so I decided to challenge myself a bit and create an embroidered one based off of a museum example. I looked at a bunch of pockets, before deciding on this one because of its simplicity to both trace and recreate.
A young girls pocket from the Victoria and Albert Museum in London
To get a fancy-scmancy pattern I could use as a template, I downloaded a photo of the pocket, then in photoshop, slowly traced over it in black and erased the background layer once it was all done.
My traced pattern
After photoshopping, I blew it up in word and printed it out as big as possible. I didn't have a lightbox to trace the pattern onto my fabric, but I discovered that the big french doors we have in our living room worked perfectly for such a purpose.

Embroidering took me about two seasons of Bomb Girls (if you like period dramas like Call the Midwife and have Netflix, I highly recommend it), plus a season and a half of The Paradise (also on Netflix) to sew together the 4 layers of fabric in the pocket (2 pieces of linen, 2 of bleached cotton for the lining).
All finished!
I'm definitely happy with how it turned out and can't wait to use it this spring to carry both my period (and non-period!) goods.

What do you carry in your pockets?


  1. Hi! I just found your blog through the HSM. Your pocket is delightful, and your embroidery is especially charming!

  2. I also did an 18th century pocket for this blue challenge! Although mine was nowhere near as good as yours is!