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Posts Tagged ‘Regency reticule’

My tenth stop in my Regency Journey is to look at some of the various Regency accessories that will complement my Regency ensemble.

Accessories for a Regency costume

Once you have your appropriate undergarments and outer garments, consider searching for some of the following items. This is what I will be taking to the Jane Austen Festival.

  • Reticules – I made mine!
  • A fan or two or three – I have a bit of a collection going.

Some of my fan collection. The plainer ones are probably more strictly Regency.

  • Elbow length gloves for evening wear – Regency ones are a little baggy around the elbows.

A few of my vintage glove collection. The shorter ones will do for daywear if it is cold, but the longer ones reach to my elbow and have pearl buttons on them, which will match my gown nicely.

  • Jewellery – Little crucifixes on necklaces were very popular. I am also taking some pearls for the ball.

Some pretty pearls! I have yet to find a crucifix that looks right for Regency.

  • Headwear – I have made two bonnets which will match my day dresses. Evening headwear includes ostrich plums or turbans, but instead of making these I decided to dress my hair with ribbon or a length of pearls for the ball.

My two bonnets, for day wear

  • Shoes  – For during the day, half boots or ankle length leather boots were worn. For the evening, flat slippers or ballet flats can be used for dancing.
  • Parasol – Whilst lovely and elegant for a Regency picnic, this is more of a desirable extra!
The final stop on my Regency Journey will be to practise some Regency hairstyles. – coming soon!

You can follow all of these posts in order at My Regency Journey.

Related Posts

My Regency Journey: Making Reticules

How to Make a Regency Poke Bonnet in Ten Steps

Sources and Relevant Links

Regency Costume Accessories – Jessamyn’s Costume Companion has useful links and suggestions for costume accessories, as well as some ‘How to’ links.

Regency Hairstyles – Locks of Elegance has a few really simple but pretty Regency hairstyles to try.

Jane Austen Festival, Australia – website

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A reticule to match my ball gown, with tassels, pearls and white embroidery.

The ninth stop on my Regency Journey is to make a reticule, the Regency version of a handbag.

In the 18th century, women had carried their various personal effects in pockets worn underneath their wide dresses, but with the introduction of the long slim dresses of the Regency, pockets were discarded. Instead, women began to carry small bags, called reticules.

There was no “common” type of reticule in the Regency era, much like there is no “common” handbag today, but instead there was a wide range of designs, colours and embellishments used. There were knitted ones, netted ones, and others made out of fabric. They were decorated with embroidery, sequins, lace, tassels, ribbon and beads.

I wanted to make several reticules to match the different outfits I had made for the Jane Austen Festival. This meant that I could experiment with several different designs.

A round-shaped reticule to match one of my day dresses. It has a decorative strip of pin-tucked material sewn around the bottom half.

Making a Regency Reticule

There are many online tutorials and free patterns and instructions for making Regency reticules, so rather than repeat what has already been done, I will outline the basics.

The basics to making a reticule:

  • To make a reticule, make sure your material is at least 10-12 inches deep and, if you are doing a round-shaped reticule, 20 inches across. You need to have it big enough to put your hand in, as well as a fan, gloves and maybe a purse, car keys or mobile phone. (Mobile phones are DEFINITELY Regency! *wink*)
  • Regardless of your design, lining your reticule is preferable, as it gives a nicer finish because there are no raw seams showing. If you are gathering the bottom edge of the reticule (as you do for a round-shaped one), the lining will stop items falling out the bottom, as there is a small hole around the bottom gathers in the outer fabric.
  • Gather the top with a two-way drawstring, that way it is easier to close. It also means you have two nice handles to hold it by.

A reticule with matching bonnet. I embroidered my initial on the bag and did some ribbon embroidery flowers to decorate it. The pattern for this shape is pictured below.

My reticule pattern, on 1/4 inch grid paper

Other ideas:

  • There are quite a few different shapes that a reticule can take, so experiment with different patterns.
  • Embroidery on reticules was very common in Regency times. If you are not very confident doing your own embroidery, try and find some fabric that is already embroidered.
  • It is a good idea to finish decorating the outer bag before attaching the lining! I was amazed how difficult it was to attach tassels once the bag was made!
Whilst reticules did not always match the dress worn by a lady, making matching ones is a great way to use up left-over material! It’s my cup of tea!

The next stop on My Regency Journey is looking at Regency accessories.

You can read all of my posts in order at My Regency Journey.

Related Posts

My Regency Journey: In the beginning…

My Regency Journey: Making a ball gown

How to make a Regency Poke Bonnet in Ten Steps

Sources and Relevant Links

Different types of reticules – this site has links to quite a variety of period museum examples of Regency reticules

Free pattern for a reticule – I used this to make my ballgown reticule.

Video Tutorial for making a round drawstring bag

Regency Embroidery Patterns

Jane Austen Festival Australia – website

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