A Plethora of Pockets

The fastest way to a Sewist’s heart? Add pockets to a pattern. I’ve lost count of the number of bloggers who’ve proclaimed over the pockets in their new skirt/dress/trousers/clown outfit. Photos are everywhere of people joyfully shoving their fists into their pockets. Look! See what I made!

Calm down, everyone. Can’t you see the dangers? Haven’t you been bitten on the bum yet? My wardrobe contains many more pockets than it used to. And I can’t find a thing. Oyster card? Um, just let me go through my entire skirt collection. That bobble that ties my hair up better than any of the other 50 bobbles I own? Sigh, I’ll just trawl through my clothes again. And don’t even get me started on the dangers of tissues left in pockets going into the washing machine!

Sewing pockets is bad for your health. I think we should all stop doing it. Are you with me, people? Or should I brace myself for the howl of protests?

PS Tomorrow I’m going to the V&A with a bunch of Sewists for the Ballgown exhibition. (Original blog post and details here.) Excited? Not muchly. There are going to be over 20 hyperventilating women in the South Kensington area of London – join us if you fancy it! Some are coming along for the pub part of the evening only, so feel free to roll up and chat with like-minded people over a glass of something chilled.

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48 Responses to A Plethora of Pockets

  1. Kathi Giumentaro says:

    Lets not forget about the dreaded lip balm that goes through the wash. I’m with you. Stop the pocket madness. (I will in secret still love pockets. It can’t be helped)

  2. Joyce says:

    In my younger days putting your hands in your pockets was a no-no. Many pockets showed on the garment but were stitched closed. Ladies (ha-ha) just did not put their hands in a pocket.
    Little girls had their hankie pinned to their dress

  3. IngeMaakt says:

    The only thing I put in my pockets are my hands, luckily I can’t loose them :)

  4. symondezyn says:

    HAHAHA! you have such a way with choosing topics that people are going to have strong opinions about! ^____^ I hadn’t ever made a pocket before the Hazel but I admit, there was something quite thrilling to me about the fact I’d made something that had them. I don’t really know why… I never actually USE pockets except possibly to stuff my hands into when I’m feeling uncomfortable ^___^

  5. I am guilty of the kleenex issue. Particularly during the fall when my allergies require that a tissue be in reach at all times. Without it, I am sure to sneeze at the most inappropriate time.

    My wardrobe function issue is actually related to work. I have to wear a pass at all three offices I work at to enter and exit parts of the building. A dress with no belts or pockets to hook a badge on is really quite annoying. And when it’s spring/fall and some days I need a coat, sometimes I just need a sweater and sometimes I have a pocket… I have been known to forget my pass still attached to whatever I wore the previous day or tucked in a different coat pocket multiple days in a row. Then I have to wear the pink badge of shame from security or one office requires a donation to charity to get a temporary pass.

  6. Zoe says:

    Going to the V&A? They have an AWESOME sale on at the moment. Fabrics and everything, I’m told. (A friend/enabler works there.)

  7. PoldaPop says:

    The real problem with pockets, of course, is that once others (offspring, husband) know that you have them you are asked to carry all manner of stuff. “Mama, can you carry this rock / stick / roly poly bug / half-sucked lollipop / used tissue?” “Oh, hey, you have pockets, Sweetie. Can you just carry this lighter / ipod / car stereo for me? Then I won’t have to take my coat.” And before you know it, those pockets you made so that you could slip a THIN ID card or cell phone inside are now bulging at the seams, so that you look like you have tumors instead of hips. Let’s get rid of them – sew ‘em shut, rip ‘em off, loose the pattern pieces. And then they can carry their own d**n stuff.

  8. I was one of those who were totally over excited when I made my first few pocketed things. The novelty’s worn off now as I only ever put my hands in them!
    N.B. Nice to see the word ‘bobble’ in common usage, people never know what I’m taking about when I talk about bobbles! x

  9. Kate says:

    I disagree entirely. Pockets are where it’s at. Where would we be without pockets? Where would we *keep* our Oyster cards, hair bobbles, tissues… our keys and whistles, stray marbles, pen lids and small pieces of paper that children give to us at inconvenient moments? (ok so I am a primary school teacher – maybe that makes a difference?)
    Maybe I’m just weird, but I really dislike having to carry anything around in my hands. In fact, I guess I dislike having to carry my hands too, as they normally go in my pockets when I’m walking somewhere… but seriously, being able to add pockets (and pockets sufficiently capacious to contain more than a folded-up tissue and a couple of raisins) is a big reason for making my own clothes. There can never be too many pockets!

  10. I think I love patch pockets in things and pockets on heavy pants like jeans because I can slip my cell phone in. Other pockets though, and I don’t use them except for my hands. Oh wait that’s a lie: and bobby pins and tampons. And I -DO- find both of those in places they shouldn’t be, later on. ;)

  11. sewbusylizzy says:

    I’m a radical who sometimes doesn’t put pockets in – even if they are in the pattern. *gasp*. Sometimes they will ruin the line of my dress or the fabric is just not suited to having pockets.
    Although I WISH I had put pockets in my Minoru – A coat without pockets? Major lose!

  12. alibobs says:

    I love pockets in everything. As a teacher who isn’t sat at a desk I always need a pen or tissue on me. I don’t normally have a problem with leaving tissues in pockets in the wash, it is more of a problem when I get home and find lego/a child’s button/something I confiscated.
    I feel lost when I wear something without pockets, so I’m afraid I will never join you and your pocket hating gang!

    p.s. I am v excited about joining you at the V&A tomorrow! I’ll be wearing a skirt with pockets!

  13. MrsC says:

    I wear an apron all day at work because it has a big front pocket in it that everything goes into, because I don’t put pockets in my clothes! And for all the reasons stated! :) I feel like a mother kangaroo, but hopefully in black and red styly apron, a rather glamorous kangaroo! (maybe I should tuck a bottle of malt extract in there too hehhe)

  14. CuriousGem says:

    I’m so jealous I can’t come tomorrow but I have been already and I can tell you you’ll love it.

    I’ve solved the pocket problem – being pear shaped I never have them or use them – I don’t need that sort of extra bulk.

  15. Nikki says:

    I’m not a great fan of pockets, like others I only usually put my hands in them. If I can get away with not adding them I will.

  16. Marcy says:

    I love pockets but I have a habit of emptying them as soon as I walk into the house. We even have a couple dishes on the entry table specific for keys so they don’t get lost with the other random doo-dads. I think this is a benefit of never having big enough pockets. Even if it’s just my ID I am so glad to get rid of my pocket contents. I have another dish on my vanity for hair things, jewelry I am too lazy to put away properly, and lip stuff.

    Hilarious coincidence to see this pop up in my reader because just before it I read this one where she removed all the pockets from her trousers:http://foursquarewalls.blogspot.com/2012/09/le-beau-thurlow.html But it was because she didn’t like the looks, and apparently she can live without the functionality. :)

  17. Angela says:

    And what does my teenage daughter put in her pockets that should really never go through the wash (besides about a tube of lip balm each week)? Her cell phone, of course. If only I could sew all her pockets shut, maybe I could convince her to carry a little bag instead!

  18. Trice says:

    As I am not a purse carrying women *gasp* pockets are important. Just the other day I had on pants that had no pockets, let me tell you, it was every so annoying. My cellphone stayed in my hand most of time and digging through my bag for my wallet and keys, ugh. I really dislike digging through bags.
    Besides, I mostly find cash in my pocket over tissues. ;)

  19. Jenny says:

    You know, I would have thought I’d be one of those staunch pocket supporters, but I left the pockets off my last dress for the sake of time and I find that I like how nicely the skirt falls over my hips without the extra bulk. Plus, carrying my phone around in my pocket makes me feel off-balanced.

  20. Joanne says:

    i heart pockets. am very excited about tomorrow – i will be wearing my macaron (with pockets!).

  21. Fiona says:

    No! I’m firmly in the loving pockets camp! I’ve just made my first sewaholic Lonsdale and the pockets make me love it even more! None of my summer dresses have pockets and I always feel helpless with my phone/oyster card in handbag rather than the usual jeans pocket.
    Looking forward to tomorrow!

  22. Sewing princess says:

    Love pockets… My safety net that prevents me from sticking Kleenex (always have a runny nose) up my sleeve… Unfortunately I sometimes forget them in when doing a wash..,ooops

  23. Shivani says:

    Pockets are a no-no for me too – the result of a too strict childhood (in which little girls don’t do pockets). Like another commenter above, I also had my hanky pinned to my dress as a girl, and though I’ve grown out of that, I still don’t like or use pockets (except in coats and jackets), so I leave them off.

  24. Rachel says:

    I have to respectfully disagree with you Karen – pockets are “da bomb”. I LOVE them. I have too many things that I need to carry around to be without them, I’m constantly locking myself out my office on days when I don’t have pockets!

  25. Janice says:

    I’m a newfound pockets convert too!

  26. Pat says:

    I love pockets. I need to have pockets in my work skirts/trousers to keep keys and stuff in so I have a real problem with shop-bought skirts as they very rarely have pockets. It’s one of the reasons for making my own clothes – I can add as many pockets as I need.

  27. I’m a pocket-lover. You don’t often see men’s clothes without pockets and there’s a reason for that, as my (male) colleagues tend to point out when I’m struggling with the pile of keys and other bits we have to carry around at work – they dont have this problem. I have been known to resort to a bum-bag to manage it all. Pockets are much nicer.

    I have put more than one tissue through the wash. Still worth it :-)

  28. Going against the flow here, I try to avoid pockets in the side seams particularly since I had problems with the pockets on my Beignet skirt http://janessewandtell.wordpress.com/2012/06/30/to-pocket-or-not-to-pocket/. Maybe I just need to put more practice in. I do like pockets when they are an integral part of the look. I’ve just bought Vogue 1247 which has great pockets on the front.

    One of my pet hates is the way men fill their suit pockets with keys, scrumply old handkerchiefs and other man things totally spoiling the line of their trousers, but maybe that’s just because mine’s a terminal old scruff!

  29. Erika says:

    I’m on the no-pocket side! At least on skirts and dresses. Outerwear should have pockets, but my hips need no help from a huge cell phone to create width =) On jeans pockets are great but I only wear those for “labour”stuff (laundry, cleaning, moving etc), when it anyway doesn’t matter how I look. In everyday life, a handbag is my best friend =)
    That said, I’ve cut out a skirt with pockets… We’ll see if I change my tune. I still hold that there’s no reason to carry around my everyday necessities in my pockets when I have a number of good handbags! Of course, the risk of loosing things is just as big when one changes handbags a couple of times a week =)

    Have fun at the museum, it sounds like a great end to the work-week!

  30. Oh man, I didn’t know there was a big meet up. I really badly want to see that exhibition, having like-minded company would have been amazing!

    As for pockets, I sort of agree… they are very useful, but I don’t think they need to be on every single thing.

  31. Aaah pockets! I love them in ready to wear dresses because even now they feel like something special… although weirdly they seem to be more common than sleeves, like WTF? Anyway – I do enjoy putting them into makes too but now I’m just as likely to leave them out. I never put stuff in pockets apart from my hands. I hate the feeling of something dragging my clothes down! (apart from, you know, in the good way, heh) This is why I have so many bags (totes not because I am a magpie for pretty things ooooh no sir)

  32. Abby says:

    Tissues in the wash I can deal with. The real problem is lipstick in the wash. I did that once, and it not only destroyed my favorite lipstick (in a color Clinique no longer carries!), it also destroyed almost every item that got cleaned with it. Lipstick is the worst stain ever! It took me weeks of scrubbing and Oxyclean and dishwasher detergent tvo salvage the few things I deemed worth the trouble. Plus, there’s the fact that pockets draw attention to my already-attention-grabbing hips. :) I’m now firmly in the no-pockets camp… although sometimes I’m tempted by the idea of not having to carry a purse everywhere… :)

  33. Karen says:

    I agree! Pockets are over-rated! (Except in coats – coats definitely need pockets.) I sew mostly from vintage patterns – and so many of them do not have pockets as part of the pattern/design. I especially don’t like pockets in pants – all that added lumpiness is just not very attractive!!

  34. LinB says:

    “Lucy Locket lost her pocket.” Can’t remember when pockets began to be incorporated into garments, instead of being a separate item that was tied on — early 1800s, maybe?

  35. Zoe says:

    I totally agree with you Karen! Maybes I’m just super-lazy, but I almost always take pockets OUT of a project if the pattern includes them. I can only ever be arsed to make patch pockets because I like how neat they look if you do the top stitching nicely xxx

  36. I love pockets. But I hate how I’m always losing things in them. But then I’m always losing things in bags, too. And I do find it occasionally distressing just how much pockets can spoil the line of a garment. So I hate to be a fence-sitter but I really can’t say one way or the other whether they’re good or bad. Horses for courses, I suppose.

  37. Eirian says:

    I just can’t see the point of making clothes unless I can put pockets in….well, maybe not, but I absolutely love pockets for work, less addicted to them for party frocks. I’ve been adding the pockets from the Cambie dress to everything I’m making recently. It does add a bit of time to the make, but makes me so happy :)

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