Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Regency reticules - Jane Austen Festival

MFA collection
I need a reticule or two for Bath. I love the beautifully embroidered ones of the period, but I have no time to embroider silk on silk, instead, I will use pretty fabrics to create mine.

Something large enough for my hanky, mints, business cards, small note book and pencil, phone, embroidery, money purse and entry tickets. In period it would have contained:
... a fine linen handkerchief, a calling card case filled with the Lady's card, a small purse for tips, a vinaigrette, the Lady's seal, a tablet and pencil in a small case, and a tin of breath mints. Each case was probably housed in a small velvet bag to prevent scratches. Two Ackermann plates below show ladies in walking dress with reticules. Georgian Index

For reticule one, my apprentice used the pattern on the right, full instructions can be found here. She used leftover black silk from my partner's Regency tailcoat.

Phoebe with black silk reticule
 While she machine stitched, I hand stitched a patch work reticule using a pattern provided by my friend @patrick Dale Andrews, a wonderful costumer of 18th and 19th garb. Its a patch work style and the squares are 3". I am pleased to say that I finished first, lol, not that it was a competition, but hand stitching can be quick as machine.

Here is my step-by-step procedure in piccies:
Laid out to be stiched

All sections stitched together, right side

Wrong side

Making the cylinder, wrong side

Right side

Cotton lining, wrong side

Right side

Lining inserted into bag

Tassel added

Stitching for ribbon lacing

Bag completed bar lacing ribbon

Lacing ribbon waiting to be inserted

This was a very enjoyable and simple project that resulted in a very pretty reticule.


  1. Ah, ha! Someone who agrees with me that hand stitching can be just as fast as the machine.
    Pretty reticule. I like the colours.

    1. Indeed Lady D and thank you for your compliment on the reticule and its colours :)


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