Upper class silk partlet [Kentwell 1559]

The Rich Partlet

i have approached this with some trepidation! It is good that the poor partlet is fine, but i have spent this eve toile-ing for the richer partlet and will have Bess-the-elf look at the pics and see what she thinks of the lines. I plan then to make it up in white linen and then i have the smallest amount of black silk that with clever cutting may fit.

so.. the toile – i toiled as a 2 piece, a front and back, tho have only done half the front and the back and will cut the other half free, it was just to provide the tension to get it to work. so initial pinning on of canvas and drawing rough shape.

Posh partlet toile Posh partlet toile

then the front and back shapes roughly cut out with some shoulder neck and arm delineation

Posh partlet toile Posh partlet toile

ok, so honing neck and shoulder shapes – not so much bottom line as yet as that is partly fabric dependent
posh partlet toile Posh partlet toile

checking arm side view

Posh partlet toile

and i have my initial draft front and back
posh partlet toile Posh partlet toile

I then had a short break! I shew the pics of the toile to bess-the-elf who said ok, but ?neck, so when i went to the next step – a made up linen toile – i redid the neck shape again based on tudor tailor. I thought, as i am so concerned about getting this right – partly cos it is made ltimately from a tiny scrap of silk, and i only have a tiny scrap – so no room for mistakes! and also cos it is posh, and posh things would have been made to fit by a professional, not a hand-me -down to explain poorer fit.

SO I have cut out linen for both sides doubled, so can get a real idea of shape and fit.

Finally I hand stitched the front to the back along the shoulders and a single pin under the arm. I then used the sewing machine to tack them together for me – i will be doing it all by hand in the end!

Then i have tried it on sb, there are a few tweaks to do so collar sits nicely, but not many, and not sure whether to take arm in more at the front, but have shown to Bess-the-elf and she says from pic it looks good, so i guess after this, the next step will be the silk – eek!


I looked at the shape at the front and then took it in a bit at the armpit – where these pins are – and retried on and it sits better. Happy with the shape.

so, time to cut out the silk. I carefully pinned the reversed again linen panels on the silk and cut out very carefully. I then basted the linen and silk together to check i was happy. I was. Then I realised I had made a mistake…
spot the mistake

after i had unpicked one of the front panels and put the silk on the other side [thank goodness the material is the same both sides] i made silk ties for each side and then sewed the silk and the linen together and reversed. I didn’t sew along the bottom, so that i can get the height of the bottom line correctly against a kirtled SB

definitely beginning to look like a partlet :) Now like before I whipstitch the linen together and ladder stitch the silk over the top so a nice strong seam.

so here we are. I will need to iron it so that the edges sit beautifully, and put it onto [even if over her poor kirtle] so that I can get the bottom line right. Then I need to put in the hooks and eyes.

Here I have pinned the bottom of the partlet on SB ready to sew up. It is best done over the kirtle/gown you intend to wear, however, not having the posh gown to hand, i looked at where it came on photos and made an educated guess. I am awaiting the brass hooks and eyes, but will close the hem at the bottom, so partlet is pretty much ready. Phew :)

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3 Responses to Upper class silk partlet [Kentwell 1559]

  1. TBird Anni says:

    Gorgeous! Tudor really does suit SB :-)

    I’m thinking a partlet is my next make (you know, after I’ve finished the sleeves and bottom hems for petticoats and done a few coifs and a warm jacket for her….) as it’s going to be more practical for Aprilia than a pinner.

  2. Helen says:

    yep, i think partlet the way to go here :)

  3. This is looking great! Def good to do the bottom edge when you get to Kentwell. I know it would be nice to finish completely but as you say we don’t have the gown yet (it was worn in Blickling Hall yesterday (19th May) on a young lady who was playing a Lady in Waiting to Queen Anne Boleyn).

    Looking forward to SB being Mistress Bridget De Vere – niece to the 16th Earl of Oxford (and cousin to the later infamous Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford!!). Hope the weather will be good for Kentwell.

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