Wednesday, September 3, 2014

HSF '14: Regency Reticule

This challenge is all about terminology.  The Dreamstress (who started this whole thing) has compiled a Historical Fashion and Textile Encyclopedia, full of words you may come across in fashion plate descriptions or period sources.  Words like "Brummel Bodice" (men's stays), "Bosom Friend" (a long scarf-like thing you'd wrap around your upper half to keep warm), and "Ikat" (a fabric where the warp threads have been dyed or printed that, when woven, produces a blurred image).

My word is "Reticule", which is simply a small, drawstring women's purse.  They became common in the early 1800's when the slim silhouette didn't allow for hidden pockets sewn into skirts.  For that reason, early reticules were considered scandalous, because pockets had always been classed as undergarments (they were separate from the actual skirt, you reached through an opening in a skirt seam to get to them), and now they were suddenly being worn on the outside of the body.

This was supposed to be a really quick challenge, as I'm still working up to my last two 1880's pieces (corset and bodice).  But in the end, a plain grey reticule wasn't fancy enough, so I decided to add some embroidery.

I was inspired by the tone on tone embroidery that you sometimes see in early reticules.  All the examples I've seen have been white on white, but I decided that grey on grey would work for me.

From the Met Museum

I also decided on a common design, that of a basket of flowers on one side, and my initial in a (very) simple wreath shape on the other.  I still wanted this project to go quickly, so I didn't use any fancy stitches, just a simple backstitch.
From the Met
From the Met
And mine:

The pattern I found online and traced onto the bag.  It's more
abstract than it probably should have been, but I like it.

The Challenge: Terminology

Fabric: Scrap silk I had left over from last year's Celebrate! challenge

Pattern: To make things super easy I used the La Mode Bagatelle pattern

Year: early 1800's

Notions: Cotton thread for the embroidery (should have used silk, but I had cotton on hand)

How historically accurate is it? Pretty good.

Hours to complete: about 12 with the embroidery

First worn: Not yet, but I'm really pleased to have an accessory for a dress I made a year ago.

Total cost: I'd call this one free as my costs were counted last December.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Elizabeth. :)
    Very nicely done.
    The second and third pictures from the Met you posted are also those inspiring my entry for the "Yellow" challenge. ;)