Join the New York Nineteenth Century Society Parlorcraft Circle as we explore wallets and reticules! Small carrying cases for personal items date back to the earliest civilizations, but social changes in the 18th and 19th centuries led to their evolvement into the types of bags we still carry today. Pouches for coins, commonly worn at the belt to prevent theft, were replaced by wallets, pocket-books, envelope purses, and reticules. Though men relied upon their jacket and trouser pockets, and the working classes would have not carried more than a few coins, gentlemen of the upper classes carried letters, tobacco, paper money, and other sundries in wallets and small cases. Hunters, fishermen, and outdoorsmen carried small pouches for ammunition or fishing flies. Soldiers carried sewing tools and toiletries in rolled-up bags called “housewifes.” Sailors carried their possessions in sea-bags, often highly decorated, and carpet bags were popular for travellers. Women carried market-bags for shopping and knitted “misers’s purses” for money. The narrow, high-waisted silhoutte of Regency fashions made belt purses and removable pockets of earlier eras impractical. Small, dainty evening bags called reticules were worn by fashionable ladies to carry handkerchiefs, fans, dance cards, scent, smelling salts, and other necessities.
Materials, supplies, and instruction will be provided to make an an 1862 wallet, an 1864 “housewife,” or an 1831 reticule. Equivalent modern patterns will also be available for simplified projects. You are welcome to bring your own fabrics (sturdier fabrics work best for the wallet, lighter fabrics for the reticule, and cotton is suitable for the “housewife.”
Tea and light refreshments will be served but you may bring your own treats to share if you wish. Please leave your laptops and modern sewing/craft projects at home for this event – we’re all about the historic hand work!
Materials for this event also supplied by the generosity of Materials for the Arts.
Moderated by Rachel Klingberg and Morgana Toglia, we heartily invite you to craft and design to your hearts content!
If you have a special craft or skill from history that you would like to share, please let us know: firstname.lastname@example.org.