Edwardian · Embroidery · Fashion History · history · Sewing · Victorian · Vintage

I’m a sucker for something well made or well designed.

I admit it. I go to the antiques faire just to fondle the vintage clothing and linens. I gawk and gape at how much thought, detail, and effort went into each of them. I just can’t help but appreciate them.

We’re in a time of consumerism and fast fashion. I get it—it’s easy and convenient for buyers. But, we’re also trending more towards creative re-use, at least in some areas. So I go, and I look, and I learn from these extant garments. Maybe it’s the way they inserted the zipper, or the cleverly hidden pocket, or the time that was taken to part tiny little threads in a fabric weave to create openwork embroidery.

In my next few posts I’m going to feature some of the things I’ve bought for study (or have noticed on my adventures) and share a little about what they’ve taught me.

First up is a little something that I picked up at last months local antique faire. It’s a pocket of some sort, beautifully embroidered and in near-perfect condition. I have no idea what it was used for. Initially, I thought it might be a Victorian type skirt pocket (small solo pockets pinned into skirts, since most skirts did not have exterior or interior pockets — why would women need pockets???) but, there are no pin marks, so it is unlikely. Perhaps it’s intended use was as a keepsake bag, a handkerchief bag, or something to hold stockings…there’s no real way to know.

What it’s made of: Cotton fabric, cotton thread.

Estimated age: I would guess that it is mid-to late 1800’s given the fabric type and style of the embroidery.

What I love about it: I admire the detail and time someone put into this. The outside edge is also decorated with a hand-tatted cotton trim. I’ve tried tatting, and recognize that this element alone would have probably taken someone weeks. I can’t help but feel that someone must have been near-blind from embroidering this whitework and tiny tatted trim.


What I noticed: There is a small repair on the back fabric, running down the vertical length. So, perhaps this little pocket was upcycled from a previously worn and well loved item, giving it more sentimental value.


What I’m going to do with it: I’m not sure yet, other than admire it. I may do a bit more research to see if I can find out any more about this type of singleton pocket. It might be an interesting element to add into the inside of a jacket or bag. Or I might just keep my handkerchiefs in it.


2 thoughts on “I’m a sucker for something well made or well designed.

  1. I think maybe you stumbled at the answer to “what is this?” I was going to suggest a pocket for handkerchiefs as I have something similar. Made specifically to store clean, ironed hankies. It’s absolutely beautiful!


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