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The JASNA-GCR Regency Reticule Pattern

Reticule Design by Holly Field, JASNA-GCR member
Reticule constructed by Diane Capitani, with assistance by Holly Field, both JASNA-GCR members.

22Wanting to be ever the elegant lady, you may find yourself in need of a reticule. Fashion has changed and the lovely line of high waisted Empire gowns doesn’t allow for pockets. Where will you carry your necessaries: a handkerchief, calling card, or vinaigrette? In a reticule, of course.

This reticule pattern is designed specifically for JASNA-GCR and their website. The pattern is based on a beaded bag of Holly’s grandmother. We had not seen another pattern with four sides and the unique shape reminiscent of a vase.

Start by selecting your fabric. If you have a dress, consider using the scrap fabric to make a matching reticule. Silks, muslins and velvets are all appropriate fabrics of the time. You will need about a quarter yard for the outside material and another quarter yard for the lining. Our finished reticule measures 8 inches high by 7 inches wide on each side, but you may enlarge the pattern if you wish. We chose to use products available in fabric stores today for our sample, but we may use some antique fabrics and trims that Holly has in her stash for future works, and you may wish to do the same. We chose an embroidered silk material for the outside and muslin for the lining. The trim is a lace with holes to weave ribbon through for trim. We chose a cording for strength for the drawstrings. You will need a yard. We also bought two decorative tassels to attach to the drawstrings. Be creative and enjoy making your own unique reticule. Anything can be used, from antique pieces of jewelry to stray earrings!

We hope you will enjoy this project and carry your reticule proudly!

The following steps should aid you in the process:


Download and print out the reticule and cut out the pattern from the grid.


Step 1


Iron your fabric.

Diane uses “Best Press” (brand name) to help remove wrinkles as she irons.



Lay out our pattern on the wrong side of your material. We used a pencil to trace the outline but you can pin it on the fabric and cut around it as well.

If your material has an obvious repeat pattern, you may need to match where the sides line up.



Cut the fabric along marked lines.

There should be four pieces of the outside fabric and four pieces of the lining, all the same size.



Lay two pieces of the outside material right sides together.

Pin and sew along one side.

Step 5


Clip seam almost to stitching line to allow for ease of turning.

Step 6


Open out the two pieces and lay piece three on piece two, right sides together. Sew the sides of piece two and three together.

Repeat with the fourth side. Then sew the side seam of piece four to piece one.

Step 7


Trim excess fabric from corners.

Step 8


Repeat with the four pieces of lining material, except leave a 1 ½ inch opening in one side seam. This will be used to turn the reticule right side out.



Turn the outer piece right side out. Put it inside the lining, matching the seams at the top opening of the reticule. They will be right sides together.

Sew around the entire top seam of the reticule to attach the outer material and the lining.

Step 10


Turn right sides out by pulling the exterior fabric through the opening you left in the lining material.

Step 11aStep 11b


You may use a knitting needle to make good corners for the bottom.

Step 12


Picture illustrates entire reticule from outside fabric to lining.

Step 13


Picture illustrates tucking the lining inside the outer fabric and using knitting needles to turn corners.

Step 14


Picture shows completed product right side out.

Step 15


Picture illustrates ironing top of reticule on the inside fabric.

Step 16


Sew the trim around the neck of the reticule, turning under each end.




Cut the cording in half. Start in the middle of one side and weave the cording in every other opening of the trim.






Stop half way around the reticule to attach the tassel.




Continue weaving the cording around the bag.

Step 19


Sew the two ends of the cording together flat, by hand or machine.

Hide the sewn end in the trim.

Step 20


Weave the other piece of cording in the opposite direction, starting with the location of the tassel on the other cord.

Once both pieces of cording are in place, you will be able to close the reticule by pulling both tassel ends of the cording at once.

Step 21


Finished Reticule!

Step 22