Jenny La Fleur
pocket designing - Jenny La Fleur
adventures in costuming
pocket designing

I worked on my 18th century pockets design today. I’ve been working on it the last few days, researching and pondering designs but today was the day I actually sat down and put something on paper.

The pocket shape is from Rocking Horse Farms #185 (scroll down). My mom made me a pocket from this pattern years ago and the shape and size have been very practical over the years. Why re-invent the wheel? The basic layout of the design was inspired by this pocket. The actual flower designs are from “Art of Crewel Embroidery” by Mildred Davis, an excellent book which is unfortunately out of print. I was lucky enough to find it at a library book sale last year for $2.00, pretty cool huh? *brag moment over*

I’m happy with the design. It will be mirrored on the other side, except that I will have a butterfly on one side and a bee on the other. I can’t decide which I like best so I’ll do both. :> The medium sized rose in the sketch is a temporary design. I want a more of a “Tudor” rose. I have a good pic of an embroidered one in my files somewhere but I haven’t located it yet. Also, I may increase the size of the flowers, not the whole design just the individual flowers. They may be too delicate in size for crewel thread.

While I was working on the design my Mom pulled out some crewelwork kits that belonged to my great grandmother. She was very good at crewel, actually winning prizes for her work. There were two half finished pillows that were particularly interesting. The colors are a little wild but her use of stitches was very instructive and inspiring. I would like to sit down and finish one of the pillows someday. That would make a neat heirloom, especially if I got Mom to do some work on it. Three generations in one hand worked pillow… neat. However, my pocket comes first.

So what’s next? Humm…I need to scan the design into the computer so I can re-size the flowers a bit. That will have to wait though. Dad hasn’t hooked up the new scanner (old one died a few weeks ago). I also need to get more thread. All I have so far is the blue from Williamsburg and the salmon from Liberty. There is one place in town that carries crewel thread. I’ll probably just take the design down there and pick out colors that strike my fancy. This is art not science, right? All I know is that I need some red for my strawberries and yellow for my bee. :>


8 comments | comment?
From: floorlamps Date: June 9th, 2004 07:56 pm (UTC) (link)
How... pretty! I love it!

jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: June 11th, 2004 07:11 am (UTC) (link)
Thanks much! :>
elegant_musings From: elegant_musings Date: June 10th, 2004 06:10 am (UTC) (link)
Wow--I love the design. I'm so excited to see what you came up with since we talked about it during the weekend. :) Can't wait to see it in progress!! :)

Miss C.
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: June 11th, 2004 07:11 am (UTC) (link)
I'm so glad you like it! :>
From: misscrabtree Date: June 10th, 2004 06:32 am (UTC) (link)
Jenny very nice, I totally belive in research, and seems like your having fun doing it. That book you mentioned I think my sister has it in her bookcase .. the books my mom left to her. I have to check.
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: June 11th, 2004 07:02 am (UTC) (link)
I love researching, unless I can't find the answer I'm looking for then I really hate it. *hahaha*

Yeah, if you are interested in crewel definitely see if your sis has that book. I actually bought it thinking "oh, nice crewel book" and then heard it recommended as a top source on the 18th cen Woman group. I love it when that happens. All of Mildred Davis' books are good but this is one of her best apparently.
anomilygrace From: anomilygrace Date: June 10th, 2004 07:54 am (UTC) (link)
I love the design! And am so jealous of your grandmother having done crewelwork. My grandma did lots of counted cross-stitch and knitting, but no other needlework that could be cross-applied to a historical setting. I've been teaching myself crewelwork and flamestitch (bargello) for the past several months and I keep wishing for a sample I can look at closely! Well...that and for a store that sells the wool in my area. All the stores are either only for knitting or modern quilting. *sigh*

But your pocket looks lovely. And you and your mother have to finish the pillow someday - what a great thing to have!

jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: June 11th, 2004 07:09 am (UTC) (link)
Thanks. :>

Yes, its fun to have some needlearts in my family history. Unfortunately my great grandmother died when I was little so I wasn’t able to learn anything from her. She did teach my mother to crewel (which is why Mommy ended up with some of her half-finished kits) but that was 25 years ago. So I'm having to teach myself as well. Luckily it's similar to regular embroidery, which I'm very familiar with and we have some good books in the house. ;>
8 comments | comment?