I thought I’d share a couple of extant round reticules that bear some similarity to the one I recently made and posted about here. These both have a gathered or pleated outer circle surrounding a decorated inner circle. The bottom one uses the same cord as the ties are made of to circle the inner circle. Both reticules have an opening that is gathered to close, though the bottom one’s gathering direction is more unusual and unexpected. I like both, and think they are fun! Do you have a favorite between these?
I’ve recently finished another Regency reticule (I say another, because not too long ago I posted about a new red and gold reticule). This one is circular!
I was inspired by an image and directions found in The American Girl’s Book: Or, Occupation For Play Hours, which can be viewed here, on google books (the directions for the circular reticule are found on page 262). I was particularly encouraged by having already gathered silk strips left over after adjusting my brown fur muff at the end of last year. In addition to the leftover gathered silk strips, I used some pink silk scraps backed with coutil for the center of the circles, a bit of peach cotton for the lining, pink poly ribbon for the handles (it was the best color, even though it wasn’t silk), and, for the beading, 2 buckles I picked up for $1 each.
I didn’t really follow the directions, instead I just made up my own order of events. I started by cutting out the center circle and basting the coutil to the silk. Then I placed the buckles on these circles and pinned the gathered silk around the edges After that I sewed the edges. The next step was to sew the two finished sides together, then sew a lining of two more circles of the cotton. The last thing was to sew on the ribbons and whip stitch the top edges of the silk to the lining.
I decided not to have my ribbons gather the opening, because I so like the look of the circle and really didn’t want to ruin the effect. Plus, the reticule just perfectly fits my phone right now, and if the top was gathered it might not fit! Yay for a relatively quick project that’s entirely hand sewn. It’s exciting to have more reticule options!
It’s been a little while since I completed a challenge for the HSF 2014. I’ve either been too busy to sew (sad!) or I’ve been sewing things that haven’t remotely lined up with the HSF challenges as they came along (also sad!). This time, though, I found a little bit of time to finish up a partially completed Regency reticule, which perfectly fits challenge #8: UFOs and PHDs (click through the link if you don’t know what those acronyms mean in sewing-land!).
I was inspired by this Regency reticule pattern which is available on Etsy. I just made up my own pattern based on the image. I didn’t quite get the proportions right so mine is more elongated and a little less round, as well as not bunching up very tightly at the top due to the fabric I chose, but I’m happy with it nonetheless. Perhaps some day, I’ll try making it in a lighter weight fabric and see if I can get a more round shape and a tighter gather at the top (on the other hand, this one does hold its shape nicely… and a lighter weight fabric may not do that for me).
Fabric: Polyester upholstery fabric for the exterior and gold polyester taffeta for the lining.
Pattern: Made up by me.
Year: c. 1810
Notions: 1 tassel, gold and burgundy thread, and about 1 yd of gold silk ribbon.
How historically accurate?: Accurate in style but not in materials or use of a sewing machine… Let’s say 50%.
Hours to complete: Not many, though I didn’t really keep track since I worked on it in small bits of time.
In modern interpretations of Regency costume, there is a widespread use of what I am going to call the “ribbon sash.” By this I mean a length of ribbon, in a contrasting color to the dress and not used to trim any other part of the dress, tidily tied or sewn under the bust, and terminating with long hanging ends. I understand that this style provides an easy way to adorn a dress of any color or add color to a white dress, but I believe that the style is much too often used relative to the occurrences we see of them being worn in portraits, fashion plates, and built into extant gowns. I would like to encourage all of us to have variety in the ribbon sash styles we wear with Regency clothing.
When looking at portraits, fashion plates, and extant gowns, you do find the sort of ribbon sash I described in the beginning of this post, but you don’t find them in anywhere near the same proportion with which they are used today. You do see these types of sashes, but it is a small proportion of the styles worn and you see a variety of other sash styles, too. I would like to share a variety of ribbon sash styles with you and encourage you to pick one of these less used styles if you decide to wear a ribbon sash yourself or if you have the influence to encourage others in their own ribbon sash wearing. By expanding the styles of ribbon sashes worn, hopefully we can all more accurately represent clothing worn in the Regency period.
Generally speaking, there are 4 large categories of ribbon sash styles. I’ve included an example image of each style underneath the accompanying description and I’ve included links to other good examples (below the four sash style descriptions) so you can look at them for more ideas.
1: The Ribbon Sash (as described in the beginning of this post): a length of ribbon, in a contrasting color to the dress and not used to trim any other part of the dress, tidily sewn or tied under the bust, and terminating with long hanging ends approximately 24″-36″. It is very rare to see this style used in a fashion plate or painting with the termination of the sash in any location other than center back.
2: The Short Sash: a length of ribbon, in a contrasting color to the dress and not used to trim any other part of the dress, tidily sewn or tied under the bust, and terminating with short hanging ends approximately 6″-18″. I have seen this style with the termination of the sash in center back, center front, and occasionally off to one side of the front.
3: The Belt Sash: a length of ribbon, in a contrasting color to the dress and not used to trim any other part of the dress, tidily sewn or tied under the bust, and with very short hanging ends or without hanging ends at all. This style is sometimes plain or sometimes adorned with a buckle or bow. The buckle or bow with short ends is often at center front.
4: The Trim Sash: a much more common variant of any of the first three sash styles. Any of the first three sash styles can fall into this category if the sash matches and coordinates, in a harmonious fashion, with trim elsewhere on the dress (neckline, sleeve openings, or hem).
All of these sash styles are seen with different styles of termination. I’ve most often seen a variety of bows as well as tidy arrangement of loops. Often, the belt style seems as though the belt sash is actually sewn to the dress, but for the sake of options, I can easily see a ribbon sash made with a closure such as hook and eyes so the sash can be easily added or removed from any outfit. It’s worth noting that there are a substantial amount of images showing ladies from the front who appear to be wearing a ribbon sash of some sort. The trouble is that we often can’t see what’s going on in the back, so we can’t know with certainty what style of ribbon sash is actually being represented, though we can make educated guesses.
Here are more examples of each of the sash styles shown above:
Of course, these are only a starting point. My pinterest boards have hundreds of pins from the 1800s and 1810s that you are welcome to look at for other ideas. Keep the contrasting ribbon sashes in mind, but don’t forget that you can make sashes out of your dress fabric, too (see below). Sashes made from self fabric are quite common. Look around and see what you can find that inspires you. This Regency Portraits board has a lot of great images showing all sorts of sashes as well.
Here are some great examples of dresses with sashes made from self fabric (meaning that fabric used in the dress was also used to create a ribbon sash look):
In looking at my pinterest board covering 1800-1809, I do find that there are some very cute sashes then, too, that are relevant for a potential sash look. In this period it seems that most sashes match the trim used on the dress, though it is not an absolute rule. I’ll include a few examples of this sort below, so you can look if you’re curious.
For the record (and because I always forget!), the official “Regency” is referring to England during the years 1811-1820, following the Prince of Wales being named regent for George III in 1810. In France, the Napoleonic Empire spanned the years 1804-1814. So there is some overlap between Empire and Regency, but not a whole lot. (And just to add another date to the mix, the Federal period in America roughly spanned the years 1780-1830.) For the purposes of this post, I’m using the word Regency to specify the 1810s, but my points about variety in sash styles are relevant for the first decade of the 19th century as well.
As a final note, let me encourage you to use color in Regency dresses (color in trim as well as color in the fabric), especially in those dresses intended to represent the 1810s rather than 1800s. By the 1810s, not all dresses were in white tones, as they were much more predominantly in the first few years of the 19th century. Colors were used often, some of the colors even being rather vivid in tone (don’t get too carried away with very bright colors, though, because chemical dyes weren’t invented till the middle of the 19th century). Check out these great resources that describe and show colors used in the Regency:
Fabric: None! But I started with two modern bracelets that were a gift from my mom.
Year: Loosely 1790-1820, but who knows, perhaps this will find a use in another period as well!
Notions: Gold wire and hot glue.
How historically accurate?: I give it 50%. This is absolutely on the more on the historically inspired side of things rather than the accurate historic costume side of things. The jewels are almost certainly plastic and the design is based on general Regency styles rather than any specific inspiration. Oh, they also did not have hot glue back then…
Hours to complete: 2.
First worn: Has not been worn yet, but will get worn to a Regency ball in Chelmsford, MA on October 5th!
Total cost: Free (the wire and the hot glue was in the stash)!
Here are some more shots of the construction of this tiara:
That’s all for now. When I wear this I’ll be sure to take more pictures!
My push to complete my new 1864 green ball gown is complete (more on that soon), and that means a shift in focus to the Regency! It also means that the Mar-pril Regency Sew Weekly goals are upon me. I’ve already completed my project for the first goal, the 1812 blue under dress. Have you been working on a project for Goal #1? This is a reminder to get going, because the due date is tomorrow!
Goal #1 (due March 18): Under Wear Ideas to complete this goal: make from scratch, finish, or trim something worn under another garment, a petticoat, underdress, shirt, or waistcoat could fall into that category, or maybe this is a great opportunity to trim a finished garment already in your closet.
This is also your reminder for…
Goal #2 (due March 25): Evening Wear Ideas to complete this goal: an all new garment (gown, breeches, waistcoat, or tailcoat, for example), finishing a garment in progress, trimming an already finished garment, sewing something to keep you warm while on your way to an evening event, or maybe completing accessories to wear or take with you to an evening event.
I’m planning to use this goal as encouragement to fix the rip in my red 1813 evening gown. What progress are you planning?
In my second post about the recent Pride and Prejudice ball I attended, I mentioned that the Commonwealth Vintage Dancers did a small exhibition during the course of the evening, I even included pictures. Well, this is even better! A video of us dancing “The Cottage Bonnet,” a Regency period country dance, during the ball. This is the level of difficulty that’s being aimed for at the Regency Intensive Dance Weekend in April. Hopefully we can have an entire room full of people successfully dancing like this at the second, more formal ball of that weekend event! I hope you enjoy. It’s pretty fun!