A skirt with a secret

A beautiful, vintage checked skirt came in the mail. Thank you, Mo! It’s very cool.  It’s machine stitched with a ruffle at the lower edge and features a draw string waist, with no additional closure.

The lower edge is reinforced with a blue and white ticking. I love the two prints together. I also adore the hand darned repairs.

Finally, there is a secret pocket underneath the ruffle.

Since it’s too shallow for a gun and not secure enough for a set of keys, I’m guessing it was used for money. A tube of lipstick, perhaps? What do you think?

The sense of a life lived, with all its secrets and tribulations, duties and flourishes, comes through this garment. I’m imagining a small resourceful woman in command of her manse — a woman equipped with a fierce will and a few tricks up her sleeve (and money in her hem!)

I’m not sure I’ll be able to stand to cut it up. But, eventually? You know me — the scissors often win out.

19 thoughts on “A skirt with a secret

  1. Mo Crow

    it came from an old castle in Germany I my friend said it’s over 100 years old, did you notice the gathering that makes a bustle at the back and the secret side pocket ?

  2. Deborah Lacativa

    I’ve bought things like this – garments with character, home from thrifts. Well-made things that have had a lot of use. I like to open the seams with a seam ripper imagining that one day, I’ll find something sewn in. Some message from the maker. Nothing so far.

    1. deemallon Post author

      We have taken that approach to our 200+ year old house, too. Still hoping to find a gold brick in the attic. So far, just rusty horseshoes (out back. Not in the attic).

  3. Liz A

    Mended cloth has so much character … I mourn for all the things I let go and would so gladly mend if I still had them. This survivor is fortunate to have fallen in a series of sympathetic hands.

        1. deemallon Post author

          I have some vintage Edwardian tops from my mother’s textile collection. Perhaps a whole outfit? Even if the the time periods don’t quite line up.

        1. deemallon Post author

          Scissors lose this time! At the very least, I want to use this garment as a writing prompt. I guess I need to find out more about that castle on Germany!

    1. deemallon Post author

      I agree. And the pattering of herringbone and stripe is just so ? So what ____? Lively, I guess, and satisfying.

  4. June Wildflower

    The gun…made me laugh! I would have stuck a fiver in that pocket.
    Lately I have been lamenting garments I let go…blousy pants and a paisley print gauze skirt I got in London, tiered cotton skirts I made and one that was heavily beaded…ugh…can’t fathom why I let them go.

    1. deemallon Post author

      You and me both on the things let go. On the other hand there is more I probably OuGhT to let go. I think money is a good bet for that little pocket. Maybe pinned. My mother’s generation used to talk about “pin money”.


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