Wiawaka Art & Craft Workshops - The Victorian Purse (Reticule): Discussion and Craft

Wiawaka Center for Women
Location 3778 State Rt. 9L, Lake George, NY  12845

3:30 PM - 5:30 PM


3:30 - 5:30pm - The Victorian Purse (Reticule): Discussion and Craft

Instructors: Catherine & Pam Golden

Cost of the workshop is $40, this includes material fees.

Today women’s fashions typically have pockets. Long before the age when pockets were sewn into women’s clothing, women could slip their hands through open side seams in their garments to access cloth pockets tied around their waists. But when layered skirts and expansive petticoats gave way to tapered clothing and a more fitted silhouette in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, how did women in pocketless dresses carry their necessary objects for daily social life? They used reticules, handheld drawstring pouches that essentially functioned as exterior pockets. In the first part of this workshop, Catherine, a professor of English, will present the history of the reticule, often netted or made of cloth and decorated with embroidery and beading to match the wearer’s gown. Participants will also learn what women of the day commonly placed in their overstuffed reticules and compare these items to those which we jam into our handbags today.

In the second part of the workshop, Pam, an artist and art educator, will guide us in the creation of our own reticules. We will provide drawstring bags that participants can decorate with beads, lace, ribbons, and gems that can be glued or sewn onto the reticules. We will also provide one essential Victorian item to place in your reticules. At the end of the workshop, we will admire each other’s creations. Come ready to make a fashion statement.