This stitch is one that was used in flat felled seams when constructing a garment. Contrasting colors were used to add embellishment to the piece. As pictured here, I am working on the hem of a tunic for one of the members of my local SCA group (a barter piece). Normally when I am using this stitch I am hand hemming the cuffs, collar and hem of the piece as was done in period. As you can see in this picture they were machine hemmed due to a time constraint. I worked the stitching as much as I could over top of the machine stitching. Since the machine stitching made it tighter, it was tough to get the needle through sometimes. I also try to keep the stitches of same length and align side by side as best I can. Still, As you can see from the following pictures, it still came out well.
|Picture of the stitching on the side gores|
|Picture of the stitching down the side seam to the hemline|
|Image of the underarm gusset|
|Underarm gusset and top of side gore|
Admittedly, I am having a grand helluva time finding my source for the solid split stitch seam finish. I can't say for sure that it is an accurate type of seam finish for the viking tunic, but I really like the final look of it for disguising the mundane machine stitching, for adding that touch of, for lack of a better word, "bling" to the tunic and it does help with the flat felling of the seams inside, since linen can fray like a bi..... like crazy. The pictures below, which are covering the machine sewing, show how I execute the stitch.
|Covering the machine stitching|
|Embellishing and flat felling the seams on the sides and gores|
|Close up of the stitch execution|
Another way that a seam was covered in period was to use decorative stitching. It aided both in reinforcing the seam as well as embellishing it. Here on this viking hood, I used a single herringbone stitch to do just that: cover, embellish and reenforce. The final picture are seams from a wool apron dress. Though I did not construct the dress, I did use a double herringbone stitch over the seams to embellish and then used the split stitch seam on the hem to hide the machine stitching. More pictures from that dress can be seen in the post about it: http://theembroideress.blogspot.com/2011/10/embroidered-apron-dress.html
|This hood was sewn by hand.|
|Single Herringbone seam embellishment. Running stitch was used along the hem of the tunic.|
|Wool apron dress with double herringbone and split stitch seam embellishment.|