Sunday, May 5, 2019


As many of you know I have begun to focus (some may say obsess) on pockets and their availability and accessibility within women's clothes.

I have been reading about fashion history, how pockets have evolved and why as women we find it so hard in the 21st century to purchase clothes with reasonable and decent pockets.

For me, pockets have become a feminist issue; and a site of gender politics.

For too long, women's clothing has been viewed as decorative, not participative. It is made to be looked at; but not to be used. It is for women to admired within, not for women to be able or active.
It's about form, not function.

Pockets are the perfect metaphor for privilege - taken for granted by those who have them.

Women sometimes get no pockets. Or women get non pockets - sewn up pockets. Is there anything more frustrating than realising too late that your pockets are sewn closed, bound shut and their potential for functionality made frivolous and simply decorative again?!?!?!

When we do get pockets they are smaller and narrower than the equivalent pockets in men's clothing and they are inadequate and non functional. Large smart phones do not fit in the pockets designed for women.

I'll stop there but a full essay is blooming in my mind!

And so to making art.

I recently prepared and printed a bunch of small posters (40cm high x 30cm wide).

Printed and incorporating the feminist/suffragette colours of purple green and white, I loved the strength of the purple here!

Once printed, I traced designs for three pockets below the printing.

And went and threaded up my faithful sewing machine and got stitchin'.

From behind.

In the end, there was an edition of 10 plus 3 artists proofs.

It was pretty funny - I had to work out a stitching template to remember where to start each line of stitching, as it was quite the job to roll the paper up gently enough to get through the space between the needle and the body of the sewing machine without damaging it.

I will be entering the work in a show so I used my own mark rather than decklededgepress'.

I tied all the back threads off, but left the front threads dangling a bit - a touch subversive and unruly.

And here is the finished poster.

You can find the posters for sale here - $50.00 each with FREE postage anywhere in the world.


  1. Pockets were historically the fore runner of the handbag and used to be worn tied around the waist and under the skirt with a vent in the skirt for access. They were large fabric and hung in pairs from a strip waistband. So 'Lucy Lockett lost her pocket' (nursery rhyme) can be explained. They held your hankerchief, sewing things etc etc. I found this out when I was researching the history of the handbag. I love pockets. Someone in the Gordano artists is doing work on a theme of pockets- see my blog side-bar. Hope this useful!

    1. I have read similarly Louise and how fun that you were headed down the handbag patch and we met in the middle so to speak! Pockets are the best, and I still exclaim with glee when I find useful ones. Thanks for the link to the pocket person - looks great! Go well.

  2. well, you know how I feel about pockets, but I confess I never thought of them as a political statement ... how much we take for granted when it comes to "privilege" in its infinite forms ... how much we accept without question ... thank you for opening my mind to this particular man-ifestation

    1. Indeed I do Liz - we are partners in pocket piracy perchance? I became aware of the notion of privilege a few years back and in its simplest from the idea that those who have it don't know they have it struck a chord. Same with pockets. And I love the play on manifestation! Go well and pocket!!!

  3. Love the stitch, domestic women's work, combined with the political

    1. Thanks Jac, me too. I like linking women's work in like that, and for an edition sewing by machine was definitely the answer! Go well.

  4. Snap! I have long opposed silly little pockets, wrongly placed on garments. I don't sew much these days, but still get annoyed at the rubbish offered for women.

    1. Totally Dinah!! Drives me bananas. And the unfettered joy I experience when I can wander around with my hands in my pockets, or put my phone in my pocket leaving my hands free to carry a cup of coffee and some books to the studio is ridiculous. Pocket powers is what want! Go well.

  5. Replies
    1. Thanks Mo - my small response o the issue. But oh what a joy it would be if we always had great pockets!!! Go well.


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