Here's the reticule, done enough for use at the festival.
It's of scraps of almost slubless duppioni silk, bag lined in same, and the top edge whipped. Tired of seeing the same silk all the time? :} I still have some scraps, so watch out...
The pattern: a square 7 inches wide by nine inches long, with the bottom edges rounded off.
The source? A homemade embroidered "bag" from the Victoria and Albert Museum, circa 1790 to 1800 (image below). The museum notes that at this point such bags still looked rather like pockets.
The seams are covered with vintage gold-colored silk ribbon, prick-stitched with the same color silk thread, both from the stash. What luck that the colors matched. The ribbon helps create sides to the bag so that it is three-dimensional, not flat. This was again pure luck; I had no idea the ribbon would help make the edges stand out like that.
There are eyelets across the top through which brown cord is drawn. I had no thin ribbon or gold or blue cord of any sort in the stash, and so will have to purchase two yards of something like that at the festival.
|Reticule, 1790-1800. From Victoria and Albert|
Museum. Item number
Tassels at the ends of the ties would be nice touches, but no time for that now. I leave for the festival Saturday!
The design on the front is drawn with watercolor pencil...pen drawings and paintings, anyhow, were done on reticules so I extended to pencil, and I may soften the edges with a brush later, and add a few more sprigged flowers. Hmmm.
The interstices in the pattern are decorated with true gold spangles (Berlin Embroidery). They have heft and richness plastic spangles lack. Some spangles have a bit of gold purl sewn on top.
When I return from the festival I hope to add more spangles around the outside of the drawn pattern, and I may quilt the reticule a bit, to give more weight to the scene, which is somewhat flat right now given that the design is drawn rather than embroidered.
This has been a pleasant, colorful project, perfect for evening time after the tots are in bed.
Today's News Item No. 2: The Ballgown Tucker and Sleeve Ruffles
Lace trimming in this manner was still popular in 1795. See the September 1795 afternoon dress below, from Gallery of Fashion.
|Gallery of Fashion, afternoon dress, 1795.|
From Bunka Gakuen Digital Library.
Robe and petticoat of fine muslin; the petticoat richly embroidered; the robe trimmed round the neck, and down the sides with lace. Two plaitings of lace around the neck. Short muslin sleeves, trimmed with edging, and the epaulettes trimmed with three rows of lace.
Here's an extant example, with the lace still attached. Notice that its depth is similar to mine:
|Silver round gown, 1798-1805, from Karen Augusta.|
Have had this lace a long while and it's good to finally be able to use it. The design, which features small dots and a small repeating pattern, is open and airy enough to work for the period. I have a fragment of early lace in my little collection that is quite similar, though much narrower. The wide stuff is for real collectors, not accidental ones :}.
Memo to all readers and Sewing and Sundry, our resident conservator, in particular: the lace is not antique: it was bought as a cutter attached to a destroyed tea-length slip that isn't that old, so I felt comfortable using it. When considering whether or not to use older materials, my rule is not to spoil anything antique or of value: the item must be common, and either bought as a remnant piece or with a garment that is too spoiled even for study. My other rule: do as They did, and reuse what I already have, over and over, in new ways, remaking or retrimming.
The lace is simply tacked to the dress lining with big stitches. Such "suits of lace" were meant to be able to be removed easily for cleaning and reuse on other dresses. (See Gail Marsh's 18th Century Embroidery Techniques for details.)