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The Ramblings of a Seamstress, Gardener, Chicken Keeper, and Housewife

Proof of My Adventures (and Misadventures!)

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Late Victorian Reticule, aka The Taco Purse

Taco Purse 1

I can't take credit for the cheeky name - that's all jenthompson's doing!  It really is very taco-like though.  There's an understructure of plastic needlepoint canvas to help the frame of the purse in shape.  There are two half-circle shapes for the sides and a small thin rectangle for the bottom.  The outer fabric and inner lining act as a hinge.  The gold colored silk is a separate pouch that was hand sewn into the frame after everything else was completed.  The pattern didn't call for it, but I hand-tacked the pouch to the upper sides to keep it from collapsing on itself in the event I'm not carry much in the purse (though that seems unlikely!)  This is my second successful piping of an item.  Well, I call it a success but I can still see places where there's room for improvement.
Taco Purse 2
Taco Purse 3
Taco Purse 4
Candlelight 2013 1

After I finished the purse I thought it was kind of ridiculous - so small and oh-so-overdecorated.  The more I looked at it the more it grew on me.  I found that despite its small size, it actually holds everything I planned to carry and more.  Success!!!

The Challenge:  #26: Celebrate!

Fabric:  Velvet (poly), cotton twill, silk shantung

Pattern: Butterick 4411, view A.

Year: According to the pattern itself, 1890-1910.  However, I found one almost exactly like it in Fashions of the Gilded Age, which would place it late 1870's - early 1880's.

Notions:  Plastic needlepoint canvas, interfacing, ribbon, cording with a lip, cording without a lip, tassels, gold trim, thread, Fray Check.

How historically accurate is it?  The shape and size are probably dead on, but absolutely none of the materials or decorative choices are authentic.  Construction was a combination of hand and machine sewing, but I imagine it would have been mostly hand-sewn back in the day due to its fiddly nature.  In light of all that, I'll say 50%.

Hours to complete:  3-4.  I thought it would be quicker, but there are lots of steps that, when combined, do take a fair amount of time for such a small accessory.

First worn:  This past Saturday, December 14th, for the Candlelight celebration at Dallas Heritage Village.

Total cost:  Everything came from the stash, so essentially free!  I used leftover bits of fabric and trims so the exact dollar amount is hard to calculate.  Under $10 is as close as I can really get!

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Love it! You look wonderful! A wacky purse makes such a nice finishing touch.

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