Adventures in Cosplay

Adventures in Cosplay 4: Pockets Revisited

(Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3)

Previously: I’m attempting to make a Claire Fraiser cosplay with basic previous sewing experience, and trying not to lose my mind as I do it.


As my sewing patterns still haven’t arrived and I haven’t braved the rag market yet for fabric, I thought today I’d remake my pocket bags into something a little more…elegant. I rewatched the deleted scene of Claire getting dressed and realised that not only were her pocket bags much simpler than mine, but they were also larger.



I had a metre of stiff white cotton that I’d bought a while back to line a dress that never got made and it seemed perfect for the project. I lay my old ones down, drew around them larger and cut out the pieces. The only problem now was that this fabric was just too white.

I know no one would see them but I just wanted them to look a little bit unbleached and natural. So I took to YouTube and followed this video on Cosplay 101 (skip to 2:36), and boiled my fabric in tea on the stove for five minutes (I wanted them natural-looking rather than weathered so kept a close eye on it). In the video, she dries it in the oven, to give it a browned look, but that’s not what I’m after. Instead I lay each piece flat on my coffee table and dried them with a hairdryer (in art class this was how we dried EVERYTHING). Now they looked much more natural. (scrap in centre shows previous colour).19807255_10154998210258167_330075602_o

As you can see, their boiling frayed the edges a fair bit, so next came my least favourite thing in the world: hemming. I decided to go seriously slow this time to try and avoid any accidents, and honestly, there are people in the world who could hand-sew faster, but there’s just something about hemming that always makes me mess up.

After this, I was left with two very plain-looking pocket bags. According to Pinterest, pocket bags of the time were usually embroidered, but I still have flashbacks from the last time I attempted embroidery, so I kept looking for an alternative. I wanted these to look elegant, not like they’ve been attacked by a cat with embroidery floss caught in it’s claws.



I watched this video about the costume design of Outlander, and in it Annette Badland shows the camera her character’s pocket bags.

I noticed that hers were wider (I presume because she’s a cook/lady’s maid and requires lots of things at a moments notice). But I loved the crochet ribbon decorating it.

Now I didn’t have any crochet ribbon, and I could’ve waited and bought some, but I have a box of lace (you see where this is going?). I thought to google it afterwards, and the first machine-made lace was produced around forty to fifty years AFTER Outlander is set, but hey! My aim here is semi-historically accurate. Actually my real aim here is just to get the bastard done.

So here’s the finished thing next to my previous attempt, and I think you’ll agree, it’s a massive improvement. 19807741_10154998810768167_1915893952_o

I may later darken the white lace because I’m not so keen on just HOW white it is, but for now, I think it’s fine. The bottom isn’t even because HEMS ARE THE WORK OF THE DEVIL. But I like it. It’s also easier to get my hand in and out of which is an added plus (damn you Dad for giving me your man hands!).

Current worries:

  • How the hell do I find out how much fabric I need?
  • Where am I going to find wool material that doesn’t bankrupt me for how much I need?
  • Where am I going to find wool material in natural dye colours?
  • How does the gown skirt do up? Is it the same as the petticoat?
  • Should I get a wig?
  • Why are all the affordable wigs so crappy-looking?



5 thoughts on “Adventures in Cosplay 4: Pockets Revisited

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