Thursday, January 31, 2013

1940 Dutch Pockets

Thank you all for your wonderful comments on my 'Rabbie Burns' dress post!  Several of you asked about the Dutch pockets.  I'm not really sure how they differ from modern pockets inserted into side seams because I don't think I've ever sewn pockets using a modern

Here's the diagram from McCall 3641:

Here's the accompanying text:

Seems they were all the rage in 1940!  Here's a photo from my September 1940 Glamour Magazine that shows a dress with Dutch pockets:

So, is it just a fancy name for normal pockets?  I'm hoping those of you who sew regularly with modern patterns can tell me how, if at all, these Dutch pockets differ!


  1. These look to be fairly similar to normal pockets in modern patterns, however most modern patterns have them in the side seam as they don't have gored skirts too often.  The shape is a little different too, modern patterns are almost invariably teardrop shape.  Does Dutch pocket refer to the style, placement or shape?

  2. Debi_myhappysewingplaceFebruary 01, 2013 12:15 AM

    Good question!  I think it's referring to the style since the McCall magazine describes them as a new pocket styles that is easier to construct than they normally are because they are placed in the side seams....Seems to me that the new 1940 innovation is to put this style of pocket in the side seam......but that's just a guess!

  3. I'm guessing it is the shape of the pocket.  I have a couple of vintage patterns with the seam pockets, but the shape is different,  so maybe it is the shape that is the 'Dutch' part?

  4. So glad someone asked about a Dutch pocket - agree with you 3!

    Have sewn many a side seam pocket, they’ve all had a rounded bottom instead of flat, and are generally sewn into front & back skirt pieces before the side seam in sewn, thus, doing the side seam in one continuous seam.

    It involves taking a quick nip on the seam underneath each pocket so they lay flat when sewn together. (Hope that makes sense!) 

    You generally only topstitch the upper portion of the pocket, although seems as if I’ve done both and neither, too.

    I love this idea, as I currently have favorite gored skirt patterns I’ve been wanting to put pockets into, and now I’ll give it a go! 

    Sorry I can’t help out more.   :-)

  5. The shape and placement is different than modern pockets. Do the pockets fold into the center skirt panel? 
    As others have commented most modern patterns have pockets in the sideseam that you sew all in one go. This looks like they go towards the skirt front panel. 
    My guess is different shape and placement. Interesting though.

  6. When I saw your post, I was a bit suprised! "Dutch" pockets? I'm Dutch and never ever heard of them, and I went to fashionschool! It's an odd shape!

  7.   Dutch doors yes, dutch pockets, not so much. I hope someone can chime in for us about this.  I have heard of Lastex and Duvetyn though.  We use Lastex (which is no longer made) for an item we sell...A replica 66 Batman Cowl. It has a satin finish and was used primarily for girdles and dance costumes.  Duvetyn is used for backdrop curtains in theaters  now.  A heavy twill weave napped cotton. It's difficult to imagine using the two together, even with the duvetyn being in a lighter weight.

  8. Hmm... I guess this will remain a mystery. My questions are the same as everyone else: is it the placement, shape or something else that makes them Dutch?  It is kind of neat to have the on the front rather than side seams -  I can see how not having them on the hip, but instead flat across the front would make them seem less bulky. 

  9. I'm guessing that having two of them is what makes them "Dutch." When you "go Dutch," there are two payees. When you have a "dutch door," it's split into two parts.

  10. I have not heard this name before, although I have seen similar pockets on gored skirts. They look very cute when empty, but I can't help wondering if it's odd when you put your hands in there. :) And obviously they're not "carrying" pockets for your phone, lipstick, etc.

  11. Being Dutch myself, I can say with confidence that these are not based on any kind of traditionally Dutch pocket. And pockets like these are not given a special name in any of my Dutch magazines from the era. I think LinB is on the right track: these are Dutch pockets because there's an equal amount of pocket on each side.
    As far as I can see, they are not fundamentally different from normal in-seam pockets, the openings just tend to be accented, rather than sort of hidden, like your average modern in-seam pocket.

  12.  It did cross my mind that it might have to do with "going Dutch". LOL


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