HSM #10 – Sewing Secrets: The Forgotten Challenge (Oops!)

For reasons not well understood, I completed the October’s HSM Challenge #10 but never posted it. I think I got lost in all the changes that took place and was so relieved when I’d finished it that I considered it “done” and that was that.

Originally, I was going to make a hidden pocket in a Regency cloak, but that project flagged when I discovered that the yards of what I thought was wool turned out to be polyester. (I’m still doing a slow simmer over than one.) Then I planned to sew a hidden message in support of women’s suffrage into the bodice of my blue bustle dress, but never got to the bodice before my interest faded.

And then I thought about the traveler’s pocket I’d just made for HSM #9. The historical instructions suggested options, including permanently sewing it into a skirt, as opposed to suspending it from a removable belt. I had the blue bustle skirt on the mannequin and I needed a pocket, so I thought “why not?” and added a modified traveler’s pocket to the left back side opening.

I used the same traveler’s pocket pattern, but this time sewed the correct seam allowances. That made the pocket slightly smaller and it fit the curve of the waistband perfectly. I pieced the front of the pocket so the main dress fabric would show when the pocket is accessed, and lined the entire pocket in muslin.

2015-09-15 11.35.14

I sewed the waist tab to the bustle skirt’s waistband at the back edge and utilized a giant snap to secure the other tab at the front. This would allow me to adjust the pocket’s position if/when I change sizes (at my age, I chronically fluctuate by about 15 pounds, which is enough to change the waist measurement quite a lot).

Here is how it looks as the skirt is normally worn. It really is well concealed.

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Here is the pocket in place, with the waistband of the skirt opened.

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And here is how it looks when I access the pocket while the skirt is being worn (in this case, by the mannequin).

Hidden bustle skirt pocket

Hidden bustle skirt pocket

The Challenge: Sewing Secrets: Hide something in your sewing, whether it is an almost invisible mend, a secret pocket, a false fastening or front, or a concealed message (such as a political or moral allegiance).

Fabric: 100% cotton print, 100% cotton muslin.

Pattern: 1868 Safety Pocket for Traveling (from Ageless Patterns)

Year: 1868

Notions: 100% cotton thread, large metal snap, cotton cord elastic

How historically accurate is it? Very. Pattern is a reproduction of a pattern published in 1868. Only the metal snap is not historically accurate – I added it convenience for a fluctuating waistline.

Hours to complete: About four hours.

First worn: Not yet worn.

Total cost: $0! Everything was already in my stash.

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2 thoughts on “HSM #10 – Sewing Secrets: The Forgotten Challenge (Oops!)

    • Thank you! It works surprisingly well. I didn’t think it would be so well hidden but, especially with an overskirt, it’s truly impossible to see and it holds so much more that a simple in-seam pocket can. I thing I’ll be putting one of these in all of my Victorian skirts from now on…the most mileage I’ve ever gotten from a $2 pattern. 🙂

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