Sunday, January 19, 2014

Lovely Josephine

I've not done much sewing yet this year. I had grand plans of catching up on my work and all, but other than Lottie's twelthnight dress and cleaning my sewing room I've not accomplished much on the sewing front. You see I just came down with some sort of flu like plague that has left me totally retched and unmotivated to get any work done. I did however do a tiny bit of work yesterday. I finally finished my Josephine reticule. I started it way back in November, it was intended for the HFS challenge # 25 one yard. But then my dad passed and my life went  topsy turvy for a while,I never got around to finishing it, until now.....
I've been wanting to make a medallion reticule, and while this sort of decoration seems to have been more popular on muffs,

silk muff with chenille embroidery, french 1785-1810

Silk muff cover, late 18th century, Museum of fine Arts Boston

Silk muff cover 1785-1810. Museum of fne Arts Boston

I've come across at least two extant reticules of that style, and I think they are charming. 

Silk net reticule, early 19th century, Baretto/Lancaster collection.

So when I found out that you can upload any image you want to and they will print it on fabric and send you a sample for just $5, I figured I would give it a try.I thought the results would probably turn out way better than if I tried the whole print your own iron on transfer thing. So I ordered 2 samples one with empress Josephine and one with queen Luise of Prussia( She's my homegirl ! No really, she grew up in Darmstadt which is only 15 kilometer from the village I grew up in.)

These are the samples as they arrived.
The samples yielded 4 pictures each, not bad for $5 a sample, and they turned out nice and crisp and defiantly better thank if I had tried the whole iron on transfer for sure.
My friend Erin had given me a small piece of mustard yellow twill silk that was perfect for th. is project.
I cut a simple rectangular shape then cut out one of the Josephine portraits in an oval shape and applied it and covered the raw edge with some mustard colored vintage trim.

Why stop here if you can pimp it up with embroidery?!
 Now I could have just sewn the thing up like that and have a really cute little reticule, but I got bit by the embroidery bug, I felt the thing needed some floral embellishment so I added a little embroidery underneath the picture. Once I was done with that I decided why stop there, there's a whole backside that's just calling for a monogram, and my initials just happen to be the same as Josephine's!  

The Imperial monogram of empress Josephine

So I copied out Josephine's imperial monogram to put on my humble little reticule. And because you can't just have letters on there I surrounded them by a floral wreath. So my simple little reticule turned into a multi day embroidery project. 

Front View

Back view

And of course Amadeus the evil thinks its his toy!

I think it turned out so pretty! As a finishing touch I added some neat vintage tassel that I got on a recent trip to Philadelphia. And voila. A colorful new reticule for moi! I love it! And I hope Josephine would have liked it too.

 I actually find it very appropriate that the first thing I made for myself this year was the Josephine reticule. Because, I have declared 2014 to be my year of all things Josephine. It's the bicentennial of her death this year after all. And I've been busily reading books  about her and just thinking of her a lot. I know I'm weird for thinking of some long dead French lady like I know her personally of something...

But anyway, for all my regency or should I rather call it empire costuming projects of 2014 I will ask myself WWJD? No, not what would Jesus do, but what would Josephine do! What Would she wear, what color would she pick and so on. Cause while Jesus is a great guy and all, he's not exactly known for his fashion sense.....


  1. How cute your reticule is! The printed image and the embroidry looks very lovely together!

  2. I love the color scheme you chose. It turned out great!

  3. That's gorgeous. The spoonflower idea was inspired and the embroidery is lovely

  4. Your work looks great. Great idea to send the image to Spoonflower. Enjoy reading your blog from Oz.

  5. Ooh, very pretty. Will we see it on your arm this summer, I hope?

    Very best,


  6. Thanks ladies!
    I will most defiantly be sporting my new reticule this summer!