Sunday, January 15, 2012

Collarless Italian Partlet

For my second post today I am posting a picture of a previously completed project. This is a collarless Italian partlet. The ground fabric is a natural fibre; I suspect a cotton blend. The fabric came from the remnant bin and looks like a coarse linen. The embroidery is taken from a sixteenth century reprinted pattern book. The design was traced out with a water soluble pen with the fabric taped to a window. In period, a common method of transferring embroidery designs onto light fabric was to draw them on with ink. We know this because examples of unfinished sixteenth century embroideries still exist. Check out the V&A Museum's collections for some lovely examples:

I prefer the soluble pen because my hand is not that steady!

The embroidery at just past half way
This project was undertaken pre-2008. I don't normally trace designs onto garment pieces that are pre-cut. I can't remember why I did it this way; perhaps it looked too bare with no embroidery. The embroidery was done in two strands of DMC cotton. Silk would have been the most popular choice in the sixteenth century, but it is hard to source where I live, and also usually beyond my budget.

I worked the embroidery in a hoop. The plant stems (in black) were executed in stem stitch, and the flowers (in gold) were done in a double running stitch.

This is the finished partlet, which has been hand sewn and hand finished. I added some commercially available, machine-made metallic bobbin lace to finish the garment off.

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