A Pretty Partlet

Side view of Partlet 2

A Pretty Partlet

I have just created this beautiful fitted black velvet Partlet – so thought I would share it with you. It is to be worn in my ‘Period Fashion Shows’ with my beautiful silver silk ‘Jane Seymour Gown’.

A partlet was rarely seen accessory garment and there are two types fitted and gathered..

The fitted partlet was basically a velvet “yoke” with a flared, standing collar and worn over the usual square-necked Tudor gown.

It was usually created of the same material as the gown however could also be made in a contrasting fabric. This type of partlet  was usually made in black or white but other colours could be used.

The gathered partlet was usually made of finer fabric and worn under the gown.

Both types of partlet could be plain or very richly embellished with lace, cord, beading or jewels.

It was a very useful garment as it not only afforded protection for the skin from the elements – the sun or the wind –but also provided a  fashion style change for a too-often-seen Court gown.

Gathered Partlet

A gathered partlet was much fuller than a fitted partlet. It was made of a very fine fabric such as a fine silk or organza. It  tied under the arms and tucked inside the gown and  could be gathered at the neck to create a very pretty collar to frame the face.

I created this very pretty ivory parlet a few years ago to fill in the neckline of my Mary Queen of Scots Silk Court Gown.

It has been designed in organza which is very fine and can easily be gathered.  It has been decorated with gold lace and ties at the front with gold cord and gold drops. It is gathered at the neck to create a very attractive collar which creates a very elegant frame for the face. If you would like to create the gathered partlet I would recommend using the Lynn McMasters pattern for an Elizabethan Partlet. It is a simple easy to follow pattern but makes a very elegant garment.

Mary Queen of Scots Peacock Gown Resized

Fitted Partlet

The fitted partlet was made in a heavier fabric than the gathered partlet.  It was worn over the dress and  tied under the arms with ribbons or ties. It could also be made without ties and so was pinned on at the sides. The partlet was usually fastened by hooks and eyes or a brooch in the front. Partlets could be made in brocade, silk or velvet and were usually lined with linen or cotton.

My partlet has been designed in 100% black cotton velvet (period correct) and lined with fine white cotton.

To create my fitted partlet I have used a pattern from the book ‘the Tudor Tailor’. I drafted the pattern on squared paper using the instructions in the book. the simple and clear instructions ensure you can make a quick and easy but very effective garment.

My partlet has a small collar and fastens at the front with a hook and eye – it fastens under the arms with pretty matching velvet ties.  I have created this attractive partlet to fit a standard 36 inch chest but because ties with ribbons it is adjustable and can fit both smaller and larger sizes. It is simple garment that can be both quickly and cheaply made from leftover fabric – the black fitted partlet only took me an evening from start to finish!

Queen Catherine Howard I have included a Tudor portrait (supposed to be of Queen Catherine Howard) showing  a girl wearing a black  partlet  very similar to the one I have designed. It certainly looks very elegant especially worn with the very pretty gold brooch.

If you watched you recent TV series Wolf Hall – a number of the actresses can be seen wearing partlets – including Claire Foy as Anne Boleyn and also Charity Wakefield as Mary Boleyn.

If you would like to make your own partlet and would like to know where to buy either ‘The Tudor Tailor’ book or the Lynn McMasters Pattern please do not hesitate to contact me.

I Hope you enjoyed reading this post and have been inspired to make your own partlet!

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