Bewitched, Bepocketed, Bewildered


Advance 5247

Julie (of So-Retro Vintage Patterns) sent me this link to one of her babies. (Click on the image to visit the listing). Back me up on this, folks — the woman on the right could fit HER OWN HEAD into her pockets, right? I'm not hallucinating?

Actually, even if I AM hallucinating, I'm not sure I care. Really, if you compare these pockets to all the enormous, obscenely expensive handbags that seem to be causing every celebrity ever snapped by a tabloid to list slightly to the right, they seem restrained — sane, even.

(The dress on the right is actually very close to one of my favorite patterns, Butterick 7130, only with bonus giant buckled pockets.)

I do like how the woman in red has turned her face away from the spectacle, but is casting her eyes back … Can't look, can't look away!

I was going to put a poll in this post but it would involve a lot of messy upgrading of my template, so I'll just ask you to leave a comment instead with your answer. Are these pockets:
A) ludicrous
B) practical
C) ludicrous, but less ludicrous than those ridiculous handbags (and certainly less ludicrous than legwarmers, which I thought had died in the 1980s and I'm disappointed in ALL OF YOU responsible for bringing them back, actual ballerina/os excepted)
D) "I'm wearing them right now, AIFG!"
E) Other (please specify).

(I promise I'll do a proper poll someday …)

0 thoughts on “Bewitched, Bepocketed, Bewildered

  1. E.Well, I’m not a fan of pockets on skirts in general. I know I am in the minority here, but I carry a small purse (partly due to disliking hankies, I carry tissues instead), so I don’t need pockets, and if I do, it’s what I have a jacket for, ymmv of course. I lived through the 80’s as a young girl in which my mother made me 50’s party frocks because I hated the clothes the first time around…leg warmers never have been on my body…but..those pockets would be awesome in an apron where you CAN be as insane and ridiculous as you please.

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  2. Actually, I can see that whole balloon-pocketed dress made up in organza (pockets and all) to wear over a dark catsuit. Now THAT’S impractical. And yet, I am drawn to it.So, in comparison to that, I think the pattern illustration is about a C.Amy

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  3. Ludicrous but admirably so.For years I’ve resisted the concept of ‘that’s a month’s rent’ handbags because they’re just seriously stupid. And I love handbags!I can see those pockets as being show-stoppers – head-turners – and why not? The big thing last season was supposed to be ‘sleeves’ which I won’t touch – the last thing I need to do is bulk up my silhouette with massive sleeves.Pockets are the best of everything – practical, whimsical, useful, creative.Heavy bags are downright BAD for your shoulders and arms. How can a pocket possibly hurt you? All Hail The Pocket!

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  4. Dude, lay off the legwarmers. My office is 65 degrees and I’m seriously considering legwarmers just to make life bearable.I like the pockets on the left. The pockets on the right could not possibly have been flattering on anyone but the tallest and thinnest women. It’s like you’re wearing a huge skirt and your saddlebags (of the thigh variety) are STILL showing. Aargh.

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  5. I pick C.Though it’s not the size of the pockets I object to, it’s the weird bunchy-ed up-ness of them that make them look vaguely like grocery shopping bags stuck on her dress. Because the pockets on the red dress don’t bother me at all.I like all the rest of the pattern on the right. If it weren’t for the pockets, it would be a slammin’ dress. (I like all of the red one, but the bodice on the grey would make it a good evening pattern… if it weren’t for the pockets…)

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  6. The pockets on the right are a bit much – you’d have to undo the buckles to get anything out, and then the rest of the contents would spill everywhere. The ones on the left, though, are perfect. Ideal for a backstage helper (fill them with hairpins and gel and a sewing kit), a park mom (a diaper, ID, small toys, and a hanky), a festival (small change purse, map, and your food tickets), etc.Legwarmers are wonderful things. I wear them in the winter under long skirts and over leggings. (Legwarmers *and* leggings! In the same outfit! But you can’t see them.) It is much warmer than a pair of jeans, and perfect for an urban day out – you can take off various layers as the weather changes or when you go indoors. High boots are uncomfortable and hard to fit my wide feet, so not a viable option for me. Oh – and I do take ballet classes, but I wouldn’t go so far as to call myself a ballerina!

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  7. No one seems to have noticed the oven-glove she’s wearing on her right hand (cooler than an oven mitt?). I think she’s hiding an EasyBake oven in her right pocket, and is just about to whip out some hot cookies. If that’s the case, I’m all for the pockets. Hot cookies all around!

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  8. C- I like dress veiw one because of the waist and the neckling – put i think the pockets distract from the beuatiful lines of the dress. i’d do side pockets or more restrained pockets.

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  9. Great comments. At first glance these pockets are very similar in appearance to the gold rush bags of gold in the Klondike Days. Not very flattering pockets.

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  10. Hi Erin–I vote C. My husband calls the rent-worthy status bags “10-gallon” bags, like our Texas 10-gallon hats. The things people carry to simply look dainty. That, or it facilitates shoplifting. Sigh.

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  11. B. They are fun, and I disagree with the ‘makes your hips look big’ pov – in a wide skirt like that, it’s quite obvious that the bulk is not your hips. I would probably make it with the pockets from view 2 though – less work. Also, I rather like legwarmers. I see a lot of girls who make them look awesome, and the layering thing is v. practical./Monika

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  12. Oh! It is a FABULOUS dress for a lady undertaker! (It is also a fabulous dress for a male undertaker, but much less likely.) The endless Tissues of Condolence in one pocket, Discreet Disposal in the other …It is, in fact, a Dressy Dress for a Working Woman – it holds all the backstage sewing kit fixits, it holds Mom Necessaries, it holds Tissues in one pocket and Cold Meds in the other. One could even keep Flats in one pocket, when the I’m A Wedding Guest shoes give out!I have rethought this dress. And although it is gone, gone, gone, I shall experiment with my own pockets. (Imagine black-and-white plaid pockets, with cherry velvet ribbon, on a grey silk dress.) I suspect for it to retain its charm, some Serious Reinforcement will be necessary- a few layers of stiff tulle, at the least. Unreinforced, they could appear … lank.Dawn, obviously, the ginormous sunglasses get put in … the pockets. Along with the pocketbook. For the petite ladies among us, there are several alternatives: you can move the pockets up on the skirt, unless it really throws the silhouette off; you can scale the pockets down a trifle, to suit your frame; or, instead of reaching down and scrabbling (reaching down, thereby LOWERING where the pockets sit), you gracefully lift the skirt up towards you with the other hand, and reach into your [raised] pocket. The pocket comes to you; you do not dig in the pocket. Failing that, you can be a Sneaky Stitching Cheat, and put a false bottom in the pocket, so it looks deeper on the outside, but you can still reach your stuff.And if I ever fulfill my true calling (Lady-in-Waiting), it would hold all the bits and bobs necessary to keep Her Majesty* together.*Pick a country, any country. I’d be excellent!

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  13. E. Whimsical!These are a cute design element! Even though they’re huge, I don’t think they’re supposed to hold more than a standard pocket. You’re not supposed to stuff them. Just put your keys in one and lipstick in the other.

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  14. I have to say (A)… hence, nae.Who remembers the Seinfeld episode in which Kramer fills his cargo pants’ pockets with pennies to go buy a calzone? This gal would give him a run for his money in the absurdity stakes.And I love leg warmers and purses. You can’t smack a mugger round the head with a pocket — not even obscene ones like these!

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  15. I am still giggling from the “Silly Puttees” comment; someone needs to market those. I say “A” because the gray dress would be so loverly without them…or put the pockets from the red dress onto the gray dress. Also, I heart my rainbow legwarmers–they look just as rad now with my Chuck Taylor’s and a circle skirt as they did 23 years ago.:) What a Feelin!

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  16. I’ve been thinking about it, and even though the pockets are whimsical and a cute design element, they are on the wrong dress. From the waist up, the grey dress is very refined and polished. Those pockets look like they are just slapped on. But they would look cute on a dress with a less restrained style on top.

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  17. E.) AWESOME! Pockets so big they need their own belt!Right pocket: car keys, wallet, cell phone, gloves, whiskey flask. Left pocket: sunglasses, measuring tape, jeweler’s loupe, calculator, monogrammed hanky, altoids cinnamon gum. Ready, Set, Go!

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  18. #1 has a little too much pocket for my taste, but I would love to see it made up in a black white stripe with solid pockets. The pockets, of course, would then have to have huge dollar signs appliqued onto them. Don a little mask and youre suddenly a super-stylish burglar!

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  19. Those pockets make me think of fairy tale bags of gold–maybe I am just fantasizing about the trillions of dollars lost in the financial meltdown of paper wealth.Anna

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  20. Ok AIFG but I would modify the pocket so they are detachable and morph into an accessory or a self defense item like mace. Put a brick in one of those babies and get aggressive when someone tries to snatch your other pocket (purse)!

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  21. I would have to go with C. for the most part. I agree with the ridiculously huge handbags being insane but I am indifferent about the legwarmers. For the most part the pattern is wonderful. Very nice line but on my pear shape it would just accentuate that fact. Even if there was nothing in the pockets.:(k

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  22. I’m wearing this dress right now!I call it my “Robin Hood” dress. People never know if I’m hauling extra hips or a bottle of Rum! The trick is to share the “booty” with the Merry Men!Yo ho! Alan O’Dale, King Richard, and Sheriff of Nottingham!

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  23. C. Not the most bizzare fashion trend we have seen or will see. Just could not help notice: You would have to start setting each pocket a scant inch from the center front seam to make the pockets fit on the skirt! Heh. -Shaun

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  24. C. Altho I don’t agree about leg warmers.Those pockets are indeed big enough for her to put her own head in, then cinch up the belt so it can’t get back out. -Evalyn

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  25. Whoa, your readers like to be asked their opinions.I’m for C, they look like a giant-jumbo-collassus version of pinafore pockets. And I really like big pockets. Handbags–I like big handbags, but you nailed it–the gy-normous,causes listing to one side bags, not so much.

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  26. I think those pockets would be great for flying. They would be a pain to empty out at the security checkpoint but you wouldn’t have to pay extra for your second suitcase. They would also be great for community Easter egg hunts. No worries about dropping eggs out of your basket while you are racing to find the golden egg.

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  27. You gotta love bringing a little joy and silliness into the world–my first thought was: Halloween couples costume–Mr. Mrs. Moneybags (the guy from Monopoly and spouse). Cm on–you know its great!

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  28. Wow!! I was going to go with C, but after a few seconds thinking, changed my mind to A for the simple reason that at least you can put a handbag down when you get tired of carrying it. Hard to put your dress down or worse, unload the contents for all to see. Reminds me of pockets (bigger than these, if I recall) on a skirt on the cover of Threads magazine several years back.

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  29. Absolutely A. She could fit her head in there, but that’s not saying a lot, since her head seems way too small for her body anyway. I love the GFY-style multiple choice poll! I think you should definitely get that going!

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  30. O.K. I’m with you! The pockets are ginormus! If you cut them out and then sewed them together and put a belt on it for a strap… you would have a purse/bag! Big enough to put a puppy in! Isn’t that what stars/actors do???

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  31. Those pocket are potentially harmless if the wearer doesn’t put anything in them. But what’s the point of pockets you can’t put anything in?As for legwarmers… if you’re built like the models on pattern envelopes, and you live in the frozen north, you *have* to wear legwarmers. Because even though you can add six or eight inches to the skirt of every dress you make, I don’t know anyone who makes their own boots, and very few who make their own socks. Which leaves an annoying six inches of skin exposed between the top of your (supposedly knee-high) socks/boots and your knees.

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  32. Ha ha! Over sized handbags and pockets… makes the person look like they have shunk to Thumbalina size – children living in an adult world…

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  33. A. Those things are aggressively ugly.I live in an area that is virtually devoid of extravagant designer handbags, though, so maybe my frame-of-reference is already very austere.

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