Pocket Stories


"Handier than a pocket in a shirt!" How many times have we said that?! Pockets have other stories, too. Deb Warner covers some here.

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Pocket Stories

"Handier than a pocket in a shirt!" How many times have we said that?! Pockets have other stories, too. Remember the first bell of Christmas from Polar Express? Pockets do have their problems.



If you have watched a gentleman move the items in his pockets from one pair of pants to another, you know there are at least two ways of accomplishing this strategic move. One is to leave the old pants hung in an upright position and the next day to retrieve the items and place them in the correct pocket in a clean pair of pants. (This is how one finds coins, etc. in the washing machine.)


The second method is to remove all items from the pockets and place them on a dresser, table, or shelf. This results in lost combs, et cetera, and sometimes also results in some items being placed in the wrong pocket. These items are of course, now lost forever.


Women, when you first put on a pair of jeans, don't you put your hands all the way down in the pockets to smooth them out? We wouldn't want an extra bulge on our hips!


Pockets have an interesting history. We think of pockets as being attached to clothing, but historically that was not always the case. Pockets didn't appear in men's clothing until the late 1600's. But for women the pocket was not sewn into her clothing. Instead, she hung a pocket on a string around her waist.


In Colonial Williamsburg, I bought this one. There, women wore them over their petticoats but also under their skirts; they had slits in just the right places to slip your hand into your pockets. Here was the handy place where a woman kept her thimble, pin rest and needle keep. She need not move these items when she changed her skirt – she simply put on her pocket!

colonial pocket


It wasn't until the late 1800's that women started to sew pockets into their clothing.


Since I've become a woolie, I've learned about other types of pockets as well. This pattern makes a pocket intended to be hung on the wall. (1) From what I can surmise, it held spare candles and matches for providing light in the evening. I hang mine next to the bed. It's a great place for items needed in the night such as cough drops or ear plugs.

wooly pocket


This is also called a pocket. This pocket has much the same purpose as the colonial ones. With a snap-close top, it is a safe and handy place to keep your thimbles, needles, scissors, pins, and thread. The designer created it for this purpose. For some reason, she doesn't like keeping needles and pins in her pant's pockets! (2)



  1. Wooly Pockets by Rebekah L. Smith. 2017
  2. Pocket Full of Posies by Kathy at The Cottage at Cardiff Farms.


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A small, dimpled cap, usually of metal, designed to fit over the end of the finger to protect it from injury as it repeatedly pushes a needle through cloth during sewing or quilting.
Debi Warner
Author and humorist, Debi Warner, retired after many years as a clinical librarian and information specialist. She has her Master’s in Library and Information Science and achieved a Distinguished level in the Medical Library Association’s Association of Health Information Professionals. She has worked on teaching physicians to use computers and electronic resources. She also worked on several grants teaching the public how to use the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus public database and is co-author of several articles on health literacy. She took up quilting after retirement in 2012 and chaired the Rio Grande Valley Quilt Show in 2019. She currently teaches several quilting classes over Zoom and writes for QuiltingHub.
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