Fabric - Dupioni silk and acetate lining
Pattern - Hand-drafted pattern
Year - The original piece from LACMA is dated about 1800-1825. Mine will probably be used for Victorian events.
Notions - Machine stitched lace with beads and sequins, pre-made cord with tassels attached, and upholstery trim.
Hours to complete - About 18.
First Worn - No idea when I'll use it. No upcoming events.
Total Cost - $23, all of it was purchased on gift cards though so no out of pocket expenses.
How accurate is it?
Probably about 50/50. I used the original for inspiration, but changed the design and structure around based on what I know about modern sewing construction. There was no information actually available about how the original was sewn/put together, so it was a lot of guesswork. Most of it is machine sewn, the detail work is by hand. Fabric and materials were mostly modern creations including the upholstery trim and acetate lining. Design wise it's very accurate though since it follows the three-panel original.
* * *
After completing the mockup, I jumped straight the final reticule cut from my fashion fabrics. After cutting all my pieces out, I sewed everything together. While doing this though, I carefully maneuvered the tassel ends into place and sewed them directly into the corner seams. I had looked at the tassels beforehand, but couldn't figure out how to attach them in place without the threads showing. The ends I went ahead and anchored to the fabric within the seam allowance.
|The ends were anchored using just a zigzag stitch|
The pre-made lace that I had bought had to be sewn on by hand - there was no other option. Using just a simple overhand stitch method with matching thread, I attached it in place to the exterior of the bag.
|Interior showing back of stitching for lace|
Part of the reason I drafted my own pattern was I carefully measured out the side pieces to match the LACMA original and the length of each repeated section of the lace. When I stitched it around the entire bag, I managed to make the ends meet perfectly and carefully overlaped them so the join was barely noticeable.
|I won't say where, but there's two ends of lace in there somewhere|
The lining I wasn't concerned too much about so it's made of just an acetate lining fabric. It was sewn the same way as the exterior bag, however I did leave a small opening in one of the side seams so I could turn everything right side out after sewing both bags together.
Once everything was sewn and turned out, I used the small opening to thread the tasseled chair cord I had bought through the drawstring opening and around the lining. The rose silk extended another half inch to the inside to help hide the lining and give it a more finished look.
To keep the drawstring cord in place and prevent it from coming loose, I added a small running stitch along the seam line.
The final step was to sew the opening closed along the inside using just a simple whipstitch and then voila! all finished.
I'm really happy that I managed to finish this challenge ahead of time since it will allow me to start focusing on the next challenge. Although this was a small project, I'm glad I took it on because of the amount of hand sewing that it required. I can be a very impatient person sometimes so I'm not a fan of handwork. Having such a lovely piece to admire after the outcome makes me appreciate it a little more though.