Where are the pockets??

What, no pockets? My hitherto dormant pocket-love has emerged.  I now like pockets on, and in, everything, even in pajamas (except for tight fitting pants).  There seems to be a constant need to put my hands somewhere.  There are other reasons, too; while out and about, I need to put little necessities somewhere other than my small crossover bag; also, I’ve become a slave to the iPhone.

While entrapped in the YouTube rabbit-hole, I viewed a video where fashion designer Emily Keller analyzes some pocket issues in women’s ready to wear. Is it all about money and manufacturing costs? Go take a look.

I also want to direct you to this article by Houston Chronicle staff writer, Maggie Gordon. She spent a week without her purse; the last part of the article touches on a short history of pockets in apparel. I’ve started to carry a small crossover bag almost everywhere I go; but if there were large enough pockets in my clothing, I might consider editing my belongings even further and skip the bag.

My love for pretty purses might emerge again at which time sewn in pockets may take a backseat again. Or… I might compromise and make THIS in the image below. What are your thoughts on this one – a “pocket bag” has new meaning.  There’s some fantastic pocket and bag info on the FIT Museum’s website.  Just type pocket bags in the search box.

Pocket purse on Pinterest. Museum at FIT
This image was downloaded from Pinterest. Obviously, it belongs to the Museum at FIT.

My two most recent wardrobe “makes” are attractive designs, but neither has a place for hands, especially the Minoru anorak/jacket from Sewaholic Patterns, which is an outdoor item and needs pockets for cold hands, not small hidden ones patched on the lining but hand-sized ones. Meanwhile other sewers of the Minoru jacket have added their own pockets, just go and check the Minoru reviews on PatternReview.com .


Well, I’m a home sewer and I can always add pockets myself, which I did to the Vogue 1550. Well, I’ll add a couple of images with my low-level graphic design skills showing digitally added possibility on the jacket (left), and the actual addition of pockets to Vogue 1550 (right). The pattern for the side seam pockets on the right was traced from Claire Shaeffer’s fantastic book. Keep reading to the end for fun stuff included in this book.

traced from book

The home sewing pattern companies do not have to exclude pockets in their designs because of cost considerations,  since they are only making muslins and a sample or two.  Or do they? It would not have affected the silhouette if the above two patterns had included pockets, so why not? Of course, designer discretion plays a part – or does it? Pattern companies, please weigh in.

pocket book1

Since we’re talking about pockets in a home-sewing context, let me present this book, “Sew Any Set-in Pocket” by Claire Shaeffer (1994) which I’ve owned for decades, but referred to it sporadically.  Now, I need to read it thoroughly, because, page 78 caught my eye with this sub-heading: “Variation: James Dean Pocket”.  What!!?? How did I miss that little detail?  Apparently, he wore a jacket with this particular welt pocket variation in “Rebel Without A Cause”; you all know that I now have to dig up that movie. The James Dean pocket has two wide welts placed on top of each other (rather than butted against each other as in a regular wide welt pocket), and it’s practical because it keeps the contents secure. Form and function is apparent here. If you can find a copy online, I highly recommend it. The publisher was Chilton Books, 1994.

By the way, this book is a companion to the original, “Sew Any Patch Pocket”, which I should also scour the pages of; there might be some missed gem in there.  I never thought that there could be entire books written about just pockets, did you?  There’s a lot left to learn….

Excuse me while I add more pocket ideas to my Pockets board on Pinterest.     Feel free to follow me on Pinterest.

You’ve reached the end of my article today, but STOP!  Go check out a great post on one of my favorite blogs, Pattern PandemoneumCan you guess where jay added her pocket?  Read the entire post and you’ll know.

Ok, now you can leave this page.  Thank you, friends, for reading my words. They might seem like drivel sometimes, but they’re really thoughtful words.








4 thoughts on “Where are the pockets??

  1. I was jolly surprised to learn that the popular Minoru jacket didn’t have pockets. Outdoor clothing absolutely needs them! The pocket bag is fun -would it be practical, or would I distort it with too much stuff? Hmmm

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love the pocket/bag too! I think it’s worth a try, at least. Maybe it’ll force me to edit my purse content further. Why do I need to carry ALL my credit cards? Do I really need to carry a cloth handkerchief (yep, I love cloth hankies) AND a pack of ttissues? And so on….


  2. I put welt pockets on both my Minoru jackets. I put security pockets inside too – you can never have too many pockets!
    That purse pocket is gorgeous. I’m trying to work out if I could wear that….


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