Who doesn’t love a pocket? It didn’t occur to me until about 100 “littledresses” into this adventure, but after seeing so many happy pockets in friends’ photos, I had to give it a try. Now, as I near my 400th dress, I can tell you that EVERY dress I make has a pocket! And here’s why . . .
Consider one beautiful, smart, dreamy-eyed girl in a desperately poor place. Maybe she has shoes. Maybe not. If she’s lucky enough to attend school, it is run by people who love all their students and do incredible work with the meager tools and materials they have. She might have a uniform, but she has never owned a dress of her own. A soft, cool, cotton dress with bright colors and curious designs on the fabric is something she can’t imagine. A “littledress” made just for her, with pretty trims and ribbons and a pocket will be a mystery when it’s first placed in her hands. What is a pocket? she might wonder. She’ll quickly learn that it’s something that belongs to her. It’s a sacred little spot to tuck her big dreams, her tiny treasures, her secrets and her sweet, tender hands. To her, a pocket is JOY.
My mother, Snookie, was a Cajun girl. Her side of my family tree bloomed rich and full of Southeast Texas and Louisiana Cajuns. A word I’ve always loved from my French-Acadian ancestry is “lagniappe”. It literally means “a little something extra” and originated from the tradition of a baker or cook giving a customer an extra beignet or cup of rice for his gumbo. I associate ‘lagniappe” with “joy” and “abundance” and “extravagance”. It’s not a grand gesture. Just a generous and thoughtful and happy little gift to brighten someone’s day.
And that’s why I add pockets to my “littledresses”. Not because they are absolutely necessary to clothe a needy child, but because everybody deserves a little lagniappe in their life.
P.S. They’re easy and fun to make, too . . . so there’s some JOY for me, too.
Comfort and Joy, Y’all –