HSM Challenge #2 – Reticule in Blue, Part One

The reticule is underway and, despite three bloody fingertips, I’m happy with it so far. Yesterday I played with fabric combinations and the final shape until I knew what I wanted. I won’t get very many chances for re-do’s, since there’s not a lot of fabric and I can’t get more, so no rushing.

As I mentioned yesterday, I started with a blatantly non-period-correct styrofoam soup cup as a foundation.

(Sorry about the wonky angle.)

(Sorry about the wonky angle.)

I cut a circle of fabric for the bottom, then realized that this cup has that styrofoam bump on the bottom where it separates from the manufacturing mold. It was too shallow to shave down, but high enough to potentially make a soiled spot from rubbing the fabric against whatever it’s sitting on. (Icky sentence, hope it makes sense.)

I want the reticule to sit flat and be stable so I don’t want a rounded base. But I needed to put something between the fabric and the styrofoam. The answer came in the form of the soft netting that was leftover from the Victorian hat – one strip bunched up just enough to do the trick.

A bit of soft netting to pad the bottom.

A bit of soft netting to pad the bottom.

Next I pinned the circle for the base to the cup, ran a running stitch around it to gather in the edges, then tacked it to the cup with needle and thread to keep it in place.

Then the serious fun began. I originally thought I wanted the side piece (really just a fabric cylinder) gathered onto the base, but when I played around with it yesterday it didn’t look right. I decided to go with inverted box pleats, one every 90 degrees around the circumference of the cup’s top edge, for a total of four. That lets me hide the side seam in a pleat and, hopefully, should give me enough room to root around for things and still keep the diameter under control. (Miracle: I didn’t want to fuss with the math, so just I cut the fabric 2x the diameter of the cup, randomly chose to make each of the inverted pleats 1/2 inch wide and it fit perfectly – no muss, no fuss. Please don’t hate me.)

And now I’ve started tacking down the box pleats (needle and thread, sewing through the styrofoam cup) and using tiny stitches to sew the side piece to the base.

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I’ll finish that tonight, then start to apply a band of fabric around the base. (It’s a surprise, to be revealed tomorrow.) Then I get to flip it over and play with the top, the lining, fiddle with some ruching…oh, and add more blue.

What a lovely way to start the year: hand sewing a new creation, hot chocolate at the ready and Sophie by my side.


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