Pattern: This tutorial based on an original in the Met from the first quarter of the 19th century.
Fabric: The main fabric is cotton sateen from my stash. I have previously made a (unsuccessful) 1950’s circle skirt and a toiletries bag from it. The “ribbon” was the last scraps of fabric from my sleeveless spencer.
Notions: I used buttonhole thread for the cartridge pleating and universal thread for the assembly (both from my stash). The ribbon and ribbon flowers were purchased at JoAnn’s. Cardboard for the medallions was salvaged from our recycle bin.
Cost: Less than $10.
Time: Two and a half months.
- The fabric proved to be a very good choice, as it holds its shape. Anything of lighter weight or with more drape would have just sagged.
- It is a nice size for modern use, and the medallions are a fun canvas for whatever sort of creative needlework one might want to do.
- Seam allowance is not given in steps, but if you study the diagram it is sometimes written.
- The instructions also do not always specify what stitch to use.
- In Step 16 I think it shows both short pieces pinned (hence leaving a 1/4″ gap on both sides of the mark), where as the step before only has you pin in one. If you skip ahead several steps to see them set in fully it makes more sense.
- This 1/4″ gap, however, doesn’t work with the math/method of sewing the author used for the drawstring casing, which is supposed to be a 1″ allowance, folded twice to make a 1/4″ casing. A 1/4″ gap leaves one with only a 3/4″ allowance to work with. Rather than fold mine under twice, I just did a handsewn backstitch with a 1/4″ seam allowance to give me a 1/2″ casing (I had bigger ribbon).
- For the “ribbons” I cutting strips of my striped fabric and tucked them 1/4″ under at the edges. These were attached to the circles using the historical applique stitch.
- My partner helped by cutting the support pieces out of cardboard using a compass and an exacto knife. I think next time I would add a little extra seam allowance on the fabric rounds because I used a thicker cardboard.
- I attached the first medallion while watching a movie, and thus distracted I put it in with the stripe in an askew orientation. I had to re-sew it, which is one reason making it took so long. I almost put the second one in without paying attention again, but luckily I caught myself
- Attaching the first medallion was straightforward, but trying to attach the second was very difficult. The opening is too small to assemble the reticule inside-out and then turn it. I worked it form the inside as long as I could and then hand to work with my hand inside the reticule. The stitching does not look as good on this second side.
In conclusion, this was rather a time consuming project, although an inexpensive one, and the final effect is very nice. I wish it had a lining, I think it would be easy enough to incorporate if I ever made another. I am not sure I will keep the ribbon flowers, or at least not in their current configuration and am open to ideas about better placement for them.