Did you know that pockets weren’t always sewn into clothes? Girls in Caroline’s day most likely used tie-on pockets.
In The Smuggler’s Secrets, my new mystery, Caroline has a problem when she travels to Lydia’s farm:
Caroline climbed to the loft and dug through her valise. She had no trouble finding her handkerchief, but… “Oh, feathers!” she said, frustrated.
“What’s wrong?” Lydia called.
Caroline came back down. “I forgot to bring a pocket. I do wish that pockets were just sewn into our skirts!” That would be so much nicer. She had two pockets at home that she’d stitched of cotton and decorated with embroidery. She usually tied one around her waist so it hung over her petticoat, hidden under her skirt. A little slit in the seam of her skirt let her reach into the pocket.
Caroline usually wears her pocket beneath her skirt, but she chooses to wear one over her skirt during a quilting bee. Doing so let her keep thread, thimble, and needle case handy.
In The Smuggler’s Secrets, Caroline makes a new patchwork pocket using scraps of cloth. I was inspired by this original pocket, which is on display at the Genessee Country Village & Museum in New York.
Next time you put something in your pocket for safekeeping, think how much more complicated it was to tuck things away in Caroline’s time!