Thursday, 17 January 2013

Embroidered strawberry pockets

This is the first post ever on my sewing blog!  I'm 18 years old and I learned how to sew in 2011, I'm really interested in historical costuming. I didn't think that this blog should be sitting there with no posts, so here is a post about a project that I'm working on right now.
I am making my own version of these embroidered pockets from the Met. They're the kind of pockets that tied around the waist and were reached through a slit in the skirt.

Pockets, 1700-1750, silk satin. From the Met.
Aren't they delightful?  I'm fairly certain that they were cut from a larger piece of embroidered fabric, since the strawberry vines obviously have no clue where the edges of the pocket are, and the left pocket is different from the right. Typical 18th century pockets look like this.
Typical pair of embroidered 18th century pockets, also from the met. The design is symmetrical and fits the shape of the pocket.
They're pretty, but I don't like them as much as the strawberry pockets. The strawberry pockets are awesome.
A closeup of the original pockets. Strawberries and yellow bias tape are such a happy combination!

The Met was thoughtful enough to include a measurement, 38.7 cm high. So I drew the design for each pocket on some old computer paper, as accurately as I could, with the exception of the random little bit of vine that appeared to be growing out of a leaf on the top of the pocket on the right.

The vines drawn on paper, with the random piece of vine left out.
 I traced the design onto a piece of linen (I didn't have any white silk satin) with carbon paper and started embroidering. That was on September 19th 2012 and the first pocket is half done now.

An photograph of an upside down, half embroidered pocket.
The carbon paper is working quite well, the hoop doesn't seem to smudge it or wear it off at all. I'm using cotton embroidery floss split in half. The linen has a rather open weave, which allows me to count the holes in a needle point sort of way. There is a chain stitch in metallic gold thread running up the middle of the stems and it's all outlined with a couched white cord. I wasn't sure why the vines on the original were outlined, but once I started sewing it on I saw what a difference it makes.
An outlined piece and a not outlined piece, you can also see the spot where I had to change to a different brand of embroidery floss.

They aren't meant to be an exact copy, my gold thread is quite a bit thinner and I used a different colour for the light green parts, but they will look pretty much the same when they are done. I'll do another post on them when they are finished, which should be sometime this year.


  1. Yay for teens who love historical costuming! I love your pockets so far, the embroidery looks amazing.


    1. Thank you! And thank you for leaving a comment, I'm really new at this so getting feedback is super exciting.

  2. I (your father) am so glad to see you doing this blog. And I bet you'll post more regularly than your mother does on hers. You also need to let Mamoo know that you have started this.

  3. Oh Mira, I'm so glad that you have decided to blog as it's an excellent way to get feed back but also you can have a hardcover book printed for keepsake on Blogger. I think that you should keep up with the blogging.

    You did a great job on those pockets and your embroidery is superbly done. Keep up the good work.