A partlet or partlett is a fashion accessory of the sixteenth century. The partlet was a sleeveless garment worn over the neck and shoulders, or to fill in a low neckline. There were two partlets, usually, one white linen to be worn over the chemise and a black one (made in wool, linen or velvet) over the white partlet. Here is what I have found in my research.
I think a partlet is the ‘grand daughter’ of the medieval hood (of which I have made quite a few) but this partlet is a bit of a weird piece of clothing!
Using the Tudor Tailor pattern, I began drafting from scratch. This takes me back to the days in the fashion academy where I was taught how to draw a pattern and make it fit to your own size. But here again, I asked the help of a friend for some excellent fine tuning.
The drawing of the pattern took me about an hour or so. The fabric for the lining is a light brown used linen, it was laying around gathering dust so using it for the lining of the partlet was a great new destination. The idea of used fabric appealed to me, because the Alcmaer lady was believed to be out of town, not wealthy (given the state of her bones & skeleton) and you don’t wear your Sunday best going to war, right? Right!
For the outer layer I also used a bit of left over black wool, not perfect black but a bit faded. Again, in my opinion, excellent for the look I meant to recreate.
Incidentally, this is by far the weirdest item of clothing I have ever sewn! Where is the bottom? Where are the sleeves? Great fun 😀 and I am very happy with the results!