Sunday, February 24, 2013

An Embroidered Reticule

Challenge #4 of the Historical Sew Fortnightly, hosted by  The Dreamstress.

I intended to participate in the entire sew along, needless to say this has not happened so far. (Of course I also intended to post the projects I made last year, but well...oops!) Challenge one I finished n time, but never got photographed and blogged, ditto for challenge three. Challenge two was another matter, none of my unfinished projects were in my current size, or that of anyone else
I know, I considered cutting down a pair of stays I began last March, but they were far too finished to make that attempt in any way worthwhile. Oh well! Here, in any case, is my piece for the fourth challenge; an embroidered reticule. Below that are its statistics.

The Challenge: Embellish, due February 25th.

Fabric: Recycled khaki green twill pants that my daughter tore at the knee, scraps of blue and ivory striped fabric from my stash.

Pattern: Made from a piece of computer paper, folded into what I felt was an attractive size and shape.

Year: Not sure, I was going for early 1800's, but I suppose it could be from many eras...

Notions: Embroidery floss, pearls, cotton crochet lace, satin ribbon.

How historically accurate is it? Fairly, I believe; I sewed the inner seams on my Singer and hand sewed the external ones, and I hand embroidered the embellishments. The shape is based on extant examples from the 1800's through the 1910's which are in the Met and elsewhere.

Hours to complete: Around five, including the embroidery.

First worn: Not yet!

Total cost: All materials are from my stash or are recycled, so free!

I will start at the top of the bag and work my way down, both in description and in imagery. Here you can see the pointed flaps at each side, I chose this design instead of flat tops because of how it mimics the shape of the bottom of the bag and also the top cuff on Regency era mitts. You can also see my ill-advised, 'lets put the bag together first and then do the embroidery' puckering on the lining. There were many moments of ill-advisedness in the making of this reticule, in addition to putting the bag together first I am a poor embroiderer. I also had no needle small enough to pass through my pearls, and as such I had to un-thread the needle, thread the pearl, re-thread the needle, make the stitch, etc...
I know, it was a bad plan, but in spite of it all I think it came out well!

Here is the top view with the bag mostly closed, if you look closely you can see that it's filled with samples of Burt's Bees baby products. What can I say, they were on hand for Ms.A and they filled the bag out nicely! Due to the triangular shape of the sides the bottom of the bag is flat when laid down, this makes it nice to look into in order to find things, no rooting through to locate things which have fallen to the very bottom.

The embroidery motif is visible when sitting and when carried, I designed it to look old fashioned and sentimental, hence the initials of my children as the focal points of the motif. I used ivory floss along the side seams in a chain stitch pattern, inside of this is a double oval frame embroidered in two shades of green, with one of my children's initials stitched inside of it. I added three pink pearls at the tops and bottoms and two pinks and a purple on each side for interest and because I felt it completed the design of the frames. The frames themselves are chain stitched and the initials are done in split stitch, I used an old style of handwriting for the font and think it came out nicely!

Here are some pictures of the bag flat, sitting and then filled and hanging with the embroidery visible.

On this is side an S; for my eldest daughter, and it is in pink which is her favorite color.

Here an A for my current youngest daughter, in a shade of warm purple, she is too young yet to request a color by name, but she did choose this shade from the three offered.

The last side is an E, for the baby on the way, in a blue tone, this baby is too young to communicate at all and as such got stuck with the color blue.

As a side note, if you read the bag counter-clockwise it spells the word sea.

And here are some close ups of my somewhat messy embroidery.

To finish up, here is the bottom of the bag, overturned and then hanging and filled.

And yes the bag is in the bathtub, my upstairs shower is the only room to get decent lighting in the afternoon!

A bientôt!

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