Friday, January 20, 2012

Handsewing a removable pocket

Taking pictures is not my strong suit, as I’m sure any follower of mine knows. :)  Lately, I’ve been pretty bad about taking in progress and final pictures of my projects.  Today is no exception.

Recently, I’ve joined the SCA – Society for Creative Anachronism.  Part of the Society is dressing up in something that would have been worn before 1600.  My current chosen period and place is Venice, Italy, around 1500AD.  Venetian dresses have a high waistline, like an empire waist, that I love.  The bad thing about them, though, is that it’s hard to put a pouch on your belt when it’s not on your hips. 

I’m sure it can be done, and if I ever get a leather belt instead of my cloth one, it might hold up.  So after having a pouch on my wrist get in my way the whole time I was at an event, I did some more research and finally got around to making a Saccoccia, or a pocket.

These pockets were often times hidden beneath the outer gown rather and reached through the slits on the skirts. 

My plan is to tie this to the bottom of my bodice lacings so it is supported without having a belt around my waist.  My outer gown doesn’t have a side slit, but it is slit in the front.  I will just have to pull the fabric back to reach my pocket.  I will plan for pocket slits in my next set of garb.  I had already planned on making an outer gown open on the sides anyway. 

My sewing machine is broken again, so everything was handstitched.

To make the pocket:
1 - Trace the bottom of a salad plate and use a ruler to extend straight lines up how far up you want the pocket to go.
2 - Cut out your pattern and cut two outer pieces and two lining pieces.  Mine were both from my stash.
3 – Cut a line in the template from the center down to about the middle of the pocket.  You want to be able to get your hand in the slit.  Use the template to mark a line down one of your lining pieces, on the wrong side, to show where the slit goes.
4 – Pin the lining with the marked line and one outer fabric right sides together and stitch around the marked line.  I left a little bit of room around the line for cutting and turning, but not much.

5 – Once done sewing, cut down the marked line with scissors, making a Y shape at the bottom.
6 – Turn the piece so the right sides are out and iron the piece.

7 – I button-hole stitched around the opening to hold it together.  You could couch a piece of cord instead of button-holing it. 
8 – Pin the lining fabrics, right sides together, and stitch around the whole lining.  You should leave a spot at the bottom open for turning the pocket when you are done.  I didn’t and forgot to leave one anywhere else, so I had to tear out part of my stitching.
9 – Fold the lining up and out of the way and pin the outer pieces together, right sides together.  Stitch around the entire edge.
10 – Clip the corners of your pocket and the round edge like normal before turning it right sides out. 
11 – Sew up your turning hole
12 – Sew a belt or ties onto the top edge of the pocket. 
13 – Carry around your stuff in style!
Here is the outside fabric before I added the button-holing around the slit.  And the last picture I thought to take.
Here are a couple great resources for the Saccoccia:

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