A Stripe-y Reticule And Sneak Peek At A Tree Gown (MpRSW #3 & #4)


I intended to complete this reticule for the HSF Challenge #6: Stripes this past week, but as the deadline approached and I reread the fine print, I realized that the challenge was supposed to be fulfilled by a garment. Whoops! I don’t think I can convince myself that a reticule is garment, let alone other people. So I put the project on hold while working on other things (like Evie, my 1864 ball gown, and the completion of my purple ballroom competition dress), but finally got back to it and finished it off towards the end of last week.

Lucky for me, this reticule does fulfill the MpRSW Goal #4: Accessories (due April 8th: I’m early!). (If you’re paying attention, I did fail to post about the MpRSW Goal #2: Evening Gown… I might have fallen off the wagon on that one and not managed to fix the rip in my gown on time. But luckily, the MpRSW is motivating me to complete that repair this week, even if I am delayed!)


Trust me, this is not a historically accurate reticule. The fiber content is questionable… (probably a blend including polyester), the ribbon is polyester, and the tassels are cotton embroidery floss. But it’s cute and functional and has the general look of the period, so I’m happy. This will get packed for the Regency weekend coming up in April!

Inside the reticule: french seams and a cotton canvas purple (woohoo, extra fun on the inside!) layer whip stitched to the inside of the bottom to provide stability and help keep the triangular shape. The seams are hard to spot because the stripes blend into each other so much, but they’re there!

What you saw in the first picture (behind the reticule) was a first glimpse of my latest Regency gown! This new block printed cotton gown, from 1815, is “The Tree Gown” in my head because the motif reminds me of trees (or shrubs perhaps, but I like the sound of The Tree Gown better than The Shrub Gown). This gown fulfills the MpRSW Goal #3: Day Wear! It’s due today, so I’m right on time. The gown is machine sewn on all of the non visible seams, and hand finished on the visible sections.

Center front. This gown has a mostly squared neckline with a drawstring across the bust, like my 1812 white striped gown.
Unlike previous Regency gowns in my possession, this gown has long sleeves! (This is a back view.)
There are two 1 1/2″ tucks around the hem of this gown, for decoration.
The gown closes at center back with two hooks on the waistband (see the thread loops?) and a tie at the top of the back.
The tie at the top of center back is a drawstring that continues to the shoulder seam, allowing the back to gather slightly. The bow in the middle is the drawstring for center front.
The fullness at center back is gathered. This gown has french seams and the waistband seam allowance is just whip stitched together to keep it tidy.
The inside of the neck opening. The area over the shoulder is reinforced with an extra bit of fabric cut on the straight of grain to keep it from stretching.

This gown below is my main inspiration for this dress: the tucks at the hem, the sleeves, the pattern for the skirt, the gathers on the bodice, the mostly squared neck in front, the tie at the back of the neck… I omitted the extra sleeve puff (partly because I didn’t have enough fabric, partly because I wanted this dress to be more streamlined) and the tie at the back waistband. I love the super zoom on the Met’s website because you can see so many great details!

For example, I could see where the center front skirt panel ended and the angle of that seam (as well as the angle of the back panel). Using that information, I determined that my front panel should be a rectangle (it’s 21″ across in my dress given my proportions) and that the back panels should be cut straight at center back, but with an angle on the side seams that goes up toward center back making an elongated trapezoid. There is a seam at center back, so the hem of each back piece is 45″, but each top narrows to 31″. I’m curious to see how that style of skirt fits me. I certainly like the look of the skirt on the dress in the museum!

1810-1815 dress at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

This gown also fills the HSF #9 Challenge: Flora and Fauna, so you’ll be seeing another post about it with some more details (and pictures of it on a body!) coming up in a few weeks (after the Regency Weekend in April, you know!).

6 thoughts on “A Stripe-y Reticule And Sneak Peek At A Tree Gown (MpRSW #3 & #4)

    1. I ordered the dress fabric from Heritage Trading, on eBay. It was a great price when I bought it (about $5 a yard), but when I looked recently the price for similar fabric has almost doubled. Ew!

  1. Your new day gown is gorgeous! The Met’s online collection is one of my favorite sources because of its zoom feature.
    I love an Indian block print. There’s just something so natural and pure about them. Actually, I’ve been playing around on Spoonflower creating a lot of different block-print style designs (most of them not really period appropriate) based on wood blocks in my posession. Check ’em out: http://www.spoonflower.com/profiles/frocklove?filter_action=collection&info_action=&nav_action=all&shop_selection=all_collection&sub_action=new_profile
    I’m following along on your challenges, as well as the Dreamstress’s HSF, although I’m way behind and certainly haven’t posted anything to my own blog in ages. Looking forward to seeing more of your Regency creations!

    1. Ooo, those Spoonflower fabrics are pretty. Love the colors! So fresh and springy, though you’re right that they might not make perfect Regency dresses. But they’d make lovely other things! I’m pleased that you’re following the MpRSW and I hope it’s providing encouragement, even if the deadlines aren’t being followed. It’s really about inspiring Regency sewing!

  2. I had to laugh because I have the same fabric you made the reticule out of but in yellow and made a Spencer out of it!

    Really love the new gown, what a cool fabric.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.