Pictures: design sketch, work in progress, finished pocket

At first I thought, What the hell should I emboider pockets that nobody will ever see for? But vanity and the wish to get some excercise in the embroidery field won. After all, what's a better excercise round than something that, if it goes wrong, will never see the light of the public?

So I made a pair of pockets, the pattern for which can be found in Arnold, and embroidered them with a design that I put together out of the Arnold pattern, some V&A textiles, and traditional Bavarian designs.

The foundation material is an old pillow cover, not old enough to be real linen but made to look like it, the weave not too dense so that the grain was easy to make out. I used buttonhole silk as embroidery thread - it's got that wonderful shine and exactly the right diameter. Modern embroidery yarns are either too dull or too thick.

The stitches used are satin stitch for leaves and petals and stem stitch for outlines and stems. The satin stitch follows the fabric grain in most cases - one embroidery thread per fabric thread - , but the carnation at the top is done in radiating stitches. The colours follow contemporary samples (from the V&A embroidery book) as far as the available colour selection allowed, i.e. not far in some cases.

When the embroidering was finished, I made the slit, neatened it with a strip of the pillowcase fabric, applied a back panel and sewed the pocked to a waistband.

I hadn't done any embroidery since my elementary school days, but it's easy enough and thankfully doesn't disadvantage left-handed people like me. I am quite satisfied with the outcome, so now I go on to embroider a stomacher in much finer thread. Believe it or not: After a week of hand-sewing clothes, embroidery is like a holiday!

A bit later, I added a second pocket. It's astonishing how much fits into them without making its weight felt much, but I thought a bit of counter-balance (and additional space) was in order. The other pocket is embroidered in the same patterns, with the odd blossom in blue instead of read etc.



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