From V&A collections. Made 1800-1824. http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O75387/purse-unknown/

DrunkDIY: Regency reticules Part 1

So I was able to transform Ross acquistions into a lovely Regency dress, but a Regency purse (or reticule) is harder to acquire in a store. Since I have scraps of lovely fabric and fat quarters laying around everywhere, I think this will be a good project to take on while I’m not on a major costume deadline (ignores 10 costumes I need to make before end of year).

Where to begin? I browsed museum collections that were readily available online. I know that reticules were often knitted or netted, but for the sake of my own sanity and ease of sewing I’m focusing on fabric-based styles. I also have tons of fabric scraps I’d love to do something with and I’m not going to teach myself to net for a reticule.

From the V&A collections. Made 1790-1800. http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O75165/bag-unknown/
From the V&A collections. Made 1790-1800. http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O75165/bag-unknown/

Here is a basic oval shape, but with amazing embroidered details. Construction-wise, looks like two pieces of fabric sew together. (Only noting this since other reticules get more complex.)

From V&A collections. Made 1800-1824. http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O75387/purse-unknown/
From V&A collections. Made 1800-1824. http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O75387/purse-unknown/

Less embroidery than the first one, but still lovely stitching. Cut is more geometric, but still looks like two pieces of fabric sew together. Loving the tassel action.

V&A Collections. 1775-1779. http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O364234/reticule-unknown/
V&A Collections. 1775-1779. http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O364234/reticule-unknown/

Another simply cut reticule.

Cooper Hewitt Collection. 1799. https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18188635/
Cooper Hewitt Collection. 1799. https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18188635/

This one has really delicate design and sequins! I love the more detailed tassels and rope around the bottom edges.

Museum of Fine Arts Boston. 1784-1826. http://www.mfa.org/collections/object/bag-50155
Museum of Fine Arts Boston. 1784-1826. http://www.mfa.org/collections/object/bag-50155

This one is a little different, but still intriguing. It appears to be this strange tubular shape. Curious about the construction here and how it would keep its shape.

Museum of Fine Arts Boston. 1800-1830. http://www.mfa.org/collections/object/drawstring-bag-100052
Museum of Fine Arts Boston. 1800-1830. http://www.mfa.org/collections/object/drawstring-bag-100052

Made to look like a basket, this looks far more complex than the standard.

IMG_0493
Kyoto Museum. 1800-1810. https://www.janeausten.co.uk/knit-pineapple-purse/

Finally, there’s this one. While knit, it’s fabulous. Many people have written about pineapple reticules, so I will link you to them here and here.

 

Stay tuned for Part Deux, where I try to draft a pattern!

Have a favorite Regency reticule? Or have you perhaps made your own? Share in the comments!

-Admin B

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4 thoughts on “DrunkDIY: Regency reticules Part 1

  1. Thank you for linking to the pineapple purse patterns. As an avid knitter, this is a fascinating challenge, to recreate this historical piece. I’ve never knitted with beads but I am tempted to give it a try for this incredible bag. I’ll let you know if I do so.

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