Crafty stuff

Pick a peck of pockets – 18th century pockets for everyday wear

Modern 18th century pockets

I’m still so excited that we’ve finished the Augusta Stays pattern, and it’s on the market, and have so much I still want to post about it! But I don’t want this blog to become all-Augusta, all the time.

So here’s a totally non-Augusta post, catching up on some sewing I did back in October 2017 (eep!).

Remember the Levin Medieval Market?

I bought some fabulous fabric there, designed by local artist @coppercatkin.

It had all sorts of tropical vegetables & spices: taro, tamarind and tumeric, papayas and mangoes. I immediately thought of my parent’s permaculture farm in Hawai’i, and knew exactly what I wanted to do with the fabric.

Modern 18th century pockets

My mum loved the idea of 18th century pockets when I’d posted examples here in various blog posts, and thought they would be perfect for the farm.

It’s hard to find clothes that are both cool enough for Hawaii, easy and practical to wear around the farm, and with useful pockets.

So portable tie-on pockets like the ones worn in the 18th century would be a great solution.

I had a fat quarter of the fabric: just enough to cut out 4 pocket fronts. I would have liked slightly bigger pockets, but wanted to use as much of the fabric as possible.

Modern 18th century pockets

The primary fabric was a lighter craft cotton, so I quilted it to a stronger cotton backing, to make the pockets robust enough for farm use.

Modern 18th century pockets

I bound the pocket slits and outer edges of the pockets in bias binding, mixing up the colours I used for a bit more interest and fun.

Then I finished the tops with big, wide carrier channels, wide enough to fit a belt through, if needed.

Modern 18th century pockets

And then the pockets got sent off to Hawai’i, destined to be filled with clippers and macadamia nuts, bits of twine, cherry tomatoes, handfuls of beans, packets of seeds, the occasional rambutan, and other bits and bobs that get picked up and moved about about the farm on a daily basis.

Modern 18th century pockets

Well, at least two of them have lived that life…

My dad, you see, has a known habit of snaffling things we kids have made, or bits that he likes, for his office scrapboard wall. It’s got the original award-winning poem my baby sister wrote pinned up next to drawing by my middle sister, alongside some NZ memorabilia, a Croatian flag, and quite a few of my sewing gifts, including some particularly nice potholders that have never gotten to hold a pot!

I’ve learned that if I’m going to make small home-made gifts I have to make extras that can ‘go straight to the pool room’, otherwise none will ever get used for their intended purpose…

Modern 18th century pockets


  1. Elise says

    “Straight to the pool room!” You love one of my favorite movies, too! (“The Castle” is one of the funniest, warmest-hearted, most quotable films out there–especially if you enjoy attempting terrible Australian accents to make the quoting more fun)

    The pockets are neat, and I imagine are so perfect for the farm.

  2. Lynne says

    I think the separate pocket is an idea whose time should come again. Lovely to see these. I did smile at your comment about ‘the pool room’. He was such a wonderful character – so full of love for his family.

  3. Dee G says

    Those are pretty stinking cool!! I was contemplating making a ‘garden purse’ for when I’m out on the property. Phone, handheld branch cutters, cougar/coyote protection, glasses, gloves, etc. Two of these would be much more practical and a lot less bulky.

  4. Brilliant! I have just been trying to figure out how to incorporate pockets into my gardening clothes without having to buy (or attempt to make) a whole purpose-built outfit. Tie-on pockets it is!

    And yay for The Castle quotes! I made my husband watch it last year when a government department wanted to acquire our house. (Fortunately they didn’t have the right to compulsory acquisition.) That movie’s a veritable treasure trove of quotable quotes.

  5. Cassidy says

    I know this post is from a while ago, but it’s still inspiring people! I just sewed up a pair of pockets to hold clothes pins! I swear they cut my time in half when I hung up the wash!

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