Welcome to My Red Cape. Long ago in another time my husband Jack and I lived in a little old red house. It was the stuff of dreams to us for the few years that we were there. I live there still a number of hours every day in imagination, with old dolls and paintings and fabrics and feather trees. I draw inspiration and happiness from the memories of that space in time and share some of it here with friends who remember how to step with Alice through the looking glass and take delight in whimsies and antiquities.

For more than sixty years I have studied, collected, repaired, and bought and sold antique dolls. They have been back ground music in my life at every stage, sometimes louder, sometimes subdued, but always there with me. To see only the posts about dolls on this blog, click the banner on the right titled Dolls for My Red Cape. Keep clicking “Older Posts” to see more. Some of the posts featuring rug hooking are gathered under the banner For Cathy. From time to time items are offered for sale under the banner “O’Neill’s Antiques” which was our shop name for many years. ~Edyth O’Neill

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Instructions for making a Doll’s Waist Pocket

Large bag like pockets preceded our common practice of sewing pockets into garments themselves. Women wore pockets tied around the waist with long strings, under the skirt but over the petticoat. These waist pockets were accessed by means of an opening in the side of a lady’s skirt. They were sometimes worn in pairs, one on each side. Some of the most beautiful examples are decorated with crewel embroidery. The pocket might hold many things, such as household keys or a bit of needlework or a sewing rollup. 

These directions are for making a doll sized pocket.  Your choice of fabrics  will largely determine the success of the project. This is a great use for a special small scrap.  Also needed is some type of binding which can be bias cut light weight cotton fabric 1 inch wide, or as in the illustration shown, old used cotton seam tape.  A soft piece of old ribbon is another excellent choice. 

 Instead of using a strip of bias cut fabric, finishing the edges with a binding of twill tape is also correct. Cotton twill tape may be dyed for this purpose. This type of tape was woven on small hand-held wooden tape looms. Women and girls carried these interesting little looms about with them, to make use of spare moments, (we will not say idle moments!) A nearly endless list of uses existed for these tapes, as can be shown in any collection of early household linens or garments, particularly children’s garments.  
Making the Pockets  
 Cut out a paper shape using these pictures as a quide.
From fabric chosen for the back of the pocket, cut one back piece without a slit. The back may be of medium heavy fabric to add shape and substance to the finished piece.  
Cut one pocket front and front lining if wanted with a slit from the top as shown. The front of the pocket can be of light weight quilted work, or any other attractive fabric which will give an 18th century or early 19th century look to the pocket.
Baste or pin the front to the front lining if any. Finish the center slit with a piece of bias cut fabric At the point of the slit, either a double outside miter may be used or the extra fullness may be gathered and eased with tiny stitches.  
When the front slit is finished, baste the pocket front to the back, right sides out, and sew binding around the sides and bottom of the pocket. To complete the pocket, the center of a long piece of binding is sewn across the top of the pocket and extended in both directions to make waist strings.

36" Voit "Birdie" in an old dress given to her by my friend Phyllis and holding a pocket I made for her from a great early fabric!
This is a great way to use an early fragment of fabric you love.

See a great article on MAIDA about twill tape:
Use of Twill Tape in Antique Doll and Reproduction Doll Clothing

Have fun!   e



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