Showing posts with label Partlet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Partlet. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Underneath it All! A Venetian Partlet ca. 1550-1600

I have several unfinished partlet projects lying about the house which keep stalling out about the time I get to the place where I try them on and discover that they are not the right some way or another. I'd pretty much developed some strange complex about them but I think it has finally been overcome!

Thus my report on my project for the historical sew fortnightly project

The Challenge: #4 - Underneath It All
Fabric: Purchased scarf, moderately sheer cotton/rayon scarf with lace bands near each end
Pattern: None. I chopped off the fringed ends of the scarf and bound the edge of the lace to hem it. Then I found the center of the scarf, folded the two ends to the center and whipped together the shoulder seams until they extended past my shoulder strap placement. Then I cut on the 1/4 position folds and hemmed the edges. At last, a partlet that fits!
Year: 1550-1600 Many variations of neckline treatments existed simultaneously during this period
Notions: Cotton thread
How historically accurate is it? Moderately. The shape is spot on and the construction work I did is good but the materials and original machine stitching...not so much.
Hours to complete: About 2
First worn: March 1, 2014
Total cost: $12
This project is also my first project #5 - Finishing Touches for the Five Foundations Challenge. Woohoo!
And now for the pretty pictures!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Maybee's are going to Turkey!

In my real life my Clarence and I (April) work in Academia and he has just had a paper accepted at a conference in Istanbul this fall. I am so excited for him on a professional level, but for me it means I get to celebrate my birthday in Turkey this year *and* (drumroll) spend about a week poking about the Military Museum studying their tent collection!

I really don't think I could be more excited!

I admit I've also been thinking about doing some shopping, particularly for oyas to use on a late period partlet, but first things first. Time to learn to speak a lot more Turkish. :)


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Layer 4 thoughts - Partlet

As I was working on the drawn thread embroidery of my Camicia a few days ago I came upon this glorious outfit courtesy of the Elizabethean Costuming facebook page. As I gazed on in awe I realized that the oversleeves and partlet are most likely/almost certainly draw-thread work, formed in large part by the same pea hole stitch I am using on the camicia!

How, exactly, one would get drawn-thread to work in a series of graduated rings as depicted in the partlet is a mystery to me at this point (if it can even be done!) but the sleeves are simple bands. THAT I can do. Thus my IRCC3 partlett was conceived.

In order to figure out the pattern before attempting to size it up into a partlet I cropped-out a detail of the flattest part of one of the sleeves, blew it up and started counting. On closer examination I feel that while this portrait is not an accurate-to-the-stitch recording of the pattern it does convey the feeling and approximate pattern and proportions well. I read the bunches as being sets of 5 bars taking up the space of 2 1/2 pea hole stitches in width and two pattern heights in depth. Two and 1/2 pea hole stitches are comprised of 5 bars so I feel good that my counting out various sections of the portrait sleeves has worked to establish a plausible pattern. I guess the next step would be to work up a test swatch. :)

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Black partlet examples mount up.

And over at Starlight Masquerade we find an unattributed portrait with a third black/dark partlet. I'd call that a pattern.

Now I'm most intrigued by what it may mean. Does it indicate something about the wearer? Is it a portraitists concite? A local fad? Widowhood seems an obvious possibility but there just aren't enough of them to support the idea that it was a common practice. Fascinating...

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Back to thinking about that Lotto partlet

I ran across a sample of the kind of work that made up those mats I mentioned in my earlier post. I found this on eBay

See the similarity in texture and depth?

The ad describes it as crochet but it doesn't resemble any type of crochet I've seen or read instructions for. I'd think it was woven on a frame and knotted except that the threads lie in stacked bands rather than bunches and the connection points are level with the rest of the surface rather than dipping in. If you happen to know the name of this technique please share!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

I Did Promise...

Today I was looking at The Purple Files and I ran into another example of a sheer dark colored partlet and headscarf combination.

I've been unable to find it's location (the image is from wikimedia) but the painting is credited as

Guilia Gonzaga in mourning
Cristofano dell Altissimo, 1535

In it's present state I'd hesitate to call the partlet and veil black--they are really more 'dark'--but the transparency of her zebbillini calls into question the changes to the original color that may have occurred due to the deterioration of the paint over time. I hope I get the opportunity to see it in person someday so I can make a better judgement. For now I can quite comfortably assert that it is not white! :)

So that makes two images with a Florentine connection of some sort. (I haven't looked into the connection so I'm not asserting anything, but...) Interesting.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Oh my!

The hair ornament. The lace. I may not be able to resist this one.

Portrait of Eleonora Ganzaga
Pourbus Frans il Giovane, 1602-1603
Polo Museale, Florentino, Palatina Inventory Item #391


Who cares if it's a wee bit post period for the SCA?!?

Friday, January 27, 2012


Haven't you always secretly wanted one?

Portrait of Victoria Colonna
Cristofano Dell'Altissimo, 1552-1568
Polo Museum, Fiorentino
Inventory of 1890 Item #204

I'm poking about the online inventories of the Uffizi in Florence today. It's a bit confusing because they maintain their info based on the cataloging event, which means you have to search each group seperately.

I found the search engines through:

Click on "Digital Archives" in the menu on the left. Searching the inventories has been working for me.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Two Things

Thing One: Artemisians are starting to scare me.

I've been reading the project write ups the participants in the ACC are putting out on-line and after my initial reaction of amazed delighted awe I keep coming back to their lists of items and interesting tendency towards saying something on the line of:

"For the challenge I made one piece for each of the required four layers--oh, I made 2 versions of my layer three, one in linen, one in wool but both entirely hand sewn--and these seven additional accessories...oh and here I am, wearing the full outfit with the pin and bag and (insert 27 other items here) I made to go with it. I guess that makes a total of 41 items. Oh yeah, maybe I should include the 7 things I made which I'm not wearing because I decided they weren't *quite* the right color..."

Who are these people!?!

Where do they find the time!?!

Seriously, I keep thinking of what Anya said: "Nobody could do that much decoupage without calling on the forces of evil!"


Artemisians. Yes, they're better than the rest of us.

Thing Two: Partlet progress report

As you can see, I have stitched together a great deal more of the seams to create the neckline of the partlet. It feels a lot better and looks better too, I think, so I'm now working on adding the additional pieces to finish the back of the partlet. I'm also still considering the question of bust support and coverage. I'm currently considering the potential of making a white linen partlet based on the bust supporting ideas posited by Robin Netherton with her work on the Gothic fitted dress. If I made it waist length and laced it closed to just the top of the bodice I wonder if it would work to support a bust my size? The pondering continues as I work on the stitching at the edges of my lacis pieces...

Monday, January 2, 2012

The partlet is starting to come together

As you can see, I have begun attaching the lacis squares together to create my first partlet. I'd been thinking that if I only stitched the squares around the neck opening 1/2-way it would make a good neckline and the beginnings of a standing collar. I still like the concept but this picture shows me that I will need to close the seams a good bit further to get the fit I'd like. Maybe 3/4's of the way...?

I like it that the shoulder squares will clearly provide plenty of coverage down into the sleeve of my gowns...not so sure about a single square providing enough depth to the back of the partlet but I think I'll need to get the neckline fitted before I know if I'll need to add another row to the back (rather than just squaring it off as I had planned.)

My new quandary is the transparency question. This is clearly a racier style but I'm beginning to wonder if it is racier than I am comfortable with. I feel a lot naked-er in the lace than I expected. After some pondering I've come to suspect that my cafe-au-lait skin tone provides so much contrast to the lace that it screams "she's naked under here!" while the portraits I was inspired by (which are all of women with much lighter completions) merely hint at it.

I'm planning to continue on the partlet and see how I feel when it is finished and part of a complete ensemble. If it turns out that I am just too modern to wear it with a 1590's bodice I can always wear it with a gown with more fabric to the bodice, but I notice that the photos don't actually look nearly as naked as I feel...interesting.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

More repairs

It seems I sadly underestimated the time it would take to reinforce the edges of my lacis pieces, mainly because I hadn't realized the extent of the damage. I've found that many of the pieces are completely missing the final row of net on one or more sides. I've worked out a way to replace that edging by making loops for every other square and then connecting them together but it is slow going.

Step one - make the loops

Monday, December 26, 2011

Back to work on the partlet

Oh how I love long weekends! Not only did I finish Boen's shirt, and loads of cookies, and have a scrumptious and relaxing holiday but it's not over and I've figured out how I am going to approach the partlet. At last. (Woo hoo!)

Boen likes the lacis pieces set on point best. I agree, and since it seems to be the more period appropriate approach I'm running with it. I played with the layout of my squares and decided that I am going to make the two squares on the top of the shoulders the foundation of the layout/structure for my partlet. They will be connected with a full square at the center back...and then we'll see.

I think the single square set on point will be enough depth for the back of the partlet. If so, I will probably fill in the edges with 1/2 squares of lacis to square up the back and back shoulders. I think it may take 3 full squares on each breast to provide sufficient coverage to compensate for the complete lack of upper bodice which is the hallmark of this style. I want to be able to play with it so I'm not making any final decisions about the front until the back is completed.

I'm planning to start the collar by using the inner points of the three squares which form the back and shoulders. I think if I only join the squares to about the 1/2 way point they will form an appropriate opening for my neck and the remaing points will form a nice little standing collar if I connect them with some little triangles of lacis. I'll probably have to make these pieces but at least they'll be small! I'm not sure about making a ruff as of yet. I'd like to have at least a small one to serve as under proper for a larger ruff but since I can't wear the dress at all until I have some kind of partlet it may have to be a later addition.

At any rate, the first step is to finish/reinforce the edges of my purchased lacis pieces. They have a lot of missing joins at the very edge which need mending plus I am going to be putting the finished partlet through a lot of strain so I'm running three parallel rows of reinforcement thread along/around the outer three rows of netting. I plant to stich the sections together using these three rows to anchor the work. (Fingers crossed) We'll see how it goes!

Reinforcement stiching in progress:

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Better Living Through Shopping

I admit that I am feeling the teensyiest bit guilty about this (it's too easy!) but I think I've found a way to test-run a lacis partlet.

That is, to try it out and make some observations about the shape, support and coverage I will need prior to making my own lacis partlet 100% by my own hands.

You guessed it, I found some lacis pieces on e-bay. Ten of them, in fact, and each about 8 3/4" square.

They came in the mail yesterday and while they make my own poor attempts at lacis look like great hulking lumpish things in comparison (I'm going to have to look into getting a smaller gauge and some finer thread) I'm excited to skip past the 'making the lacis' stage and get right down to making a partlet so I can experiment with the 'how in the world does this work!?!' part.

Now I just have to figure out how I want to assemble them....

and then get up enough courage to wear it!