Every lass needs a place to keep her keys, fan and wallet during a ball! Learn to make your own here.
If you missed part one (the research phase) go check it out now. If you just want to dive into the world of reticule making, then follow along for my guide to making one.
I used a fat quarter, since those are easy to come by in a variety of patterns and I also had a ton laying around. You can use whatever scrap you have laying around that is big enough to hold your wallet, phone and fan (or whatever other accoutrements you carry during a Regency event. My fat quarter purse carries a book, a fan, a wallet and keys (see the finished product at the end of the post for proof!).
I did not line this version since this blog is meant to be a quick and dirty guide. If you want to line this then you’ll need to do a bit more work. If you need something that takes an hour this is pretty easy if you have a sewing machine.
- Safety pin
- Sewing machine with thread
- Needle and thread for finishing
Step one: I got a piece of card stock that roughly fit the size of the fabric I was using. I decided to do the slightly geometric reticule we saw in the other post, so I just drew two lines cutting off the corners. That was it.
Leave fabric over the top edge of what you think is enough space for your belongings, You’ll fold over the excess fabric to help make a “finished” looking top and the ribbon channels.
Step two: Cut the fabric. The photo featured shows me cutting the top strip instead of just folding it over. When I do this again I won’t cut that strip. It’s easier to just cut the two corners off and leave it there. I made extra work for myself by not just folding over the top of the bag. I also didn’t cut the fold on one side since that meant one less edge to finish.
Step Three: Fold over the top part so that the “front” has just a nice solid piece of fabric and the “back/inside” has the backside of the fabric and the one strip of nice fabric folded over. Basically, the fold should be the top of the bag. Below you will see where to sew. The image below has red and blue lines to help you sew three lines.
Red line: Sew the top fold down to help keep its shape and to mark the top of the bag,
Blue lines: Sew two lines closer to each other. The space between should be enough for the ribbon and safety pin you are using to slide through.
Step four: Fold over the fabric so the “front/outside” is touching and the piece facing you is the backside and the sewed down strip of nice fabric, as seen below.
Blue lines: You will sew around these edges so the bottom of the bag is completely enclosed. Since I allowed for the fold in the fabric to remain and did not cut it, I do not need to sew that edge. If you did cut that fold, or used scrap so that edge was not a fold, you should sew it.
Red line: This red like represents were I cut the fabric since I cut on the fold. If you didn’t cut on the fold, you do not need to do this.
Step five: Turn bag so that the inside is now inside the bag (as opposed to facing out) and the outside is facing outward. Get your ribbon and lay it out in a loop so it is long enough to go across the whole bag (so two of the halves) and meet back on the other side with enough to tie off.
Step six: Stick safety pin through the end of one of the ribbons and push through channel. You will do this twice for each ribbon so that they each span the whole edge of the bag. Each one ends on a different side of the bag so you can knot it off.
Step seven: OMG you have a bag now!
Mine easily fit my fan and a books, amongst other crap.
Things you could do:
- Add tassels
- Add more ribbon details
- Embroider something
- Sew the raw edges at the top over (you’d have to pull the seam out a bit to do it)
- Line this (which would involve more fabric and a couple more steps, but works fine)
I hope my rough and dirty reticule tutorial was helpful! I know not all of us are Emma Woodhouses, so acquiring all the things to attend a ball in style is sometimes difficult.
Let me know if you have patterns or tutorials you’d like to share!