This post is in accordance to my other two regency dress posts, which can be found here and here.
I decided to make a reticule very soon after I had completed my regency dress as I thought it would look rather unseemly if I had to bring a backpack along with my beautifully accurate dress and hairstyle!
This is the finished product and I must say I’m pleased with the result, although I’ll admit, I would have liked it if it were a little bigger perhaps. I only made sure that it could fit my phone inside to conceal it from view and didn’t think about a fan or purse that I may have wanted along too.
To make my reticule I did some research into genuine Regency-era reticules and picked out some basic shapes that cropped up often.
(Ignore the measurements included on the post-it too!)
I noticed they used drawstrings often and decided to use that option (possibly after the success of making my drawstring pouches) and also the amount of embroidery and beading on some of them is insane, so I decided to scale that aspect down a bit too!
I created three sample reticules out of the fabric that I used for my dress in order to decide which worked best with the taffeta. I found the once on the far right didn’t sit very well with the fabric (it could have been my wonky pattern too, but we’ll ignore that for now) and the one on the left didn’t hold much for the size of reticule that I was going for. So I eventually decided on the diamond-esque pattern for my final design.
I neatened up my original pattern and added a rectangle on top so I had somewhere for my drawstring to sit once I had folded the top of the fabric over. The actual making of the reticule was extremely simple, sewing two sides together, inserting the drawstring (how did I do this? Check out my easy drawstring tutorial here.) and clipping the corners.
Before any of this can actually happen, you need to sew any additional frills on top before you sew anything together, in order not to make your life a living hell. I decided on a very simplistic design, a little heart of flowers circling my initials ‘AM’ in fancy font, created with only clip art and word.
The flowers were a lot smaller than expected when I printed them out so I improvised on the final pattern, including a lot less and also making them a bit bigger. I did sketch out the basic heart shape in white pencil, however, along with the initials on the fabric. This is where a light box would really come in handy, but for the moment all I’m doing is holding up the stencil and fabric up to the window which kills my arms. Fortunately, this design wasn’t too complicated.
And there you have it! A little personalised regency reticule, perfect for concealing anything not era-appropriate when attending events! It goes perfectly with my dress and can’t wait to wear it for the Jane Austen Festival in September!
P.S. I still have tonnes of red taffeta left so if anyone wants a personalised reticule, please contact me and I’d be happy to set up an Etsy listing and price!