100th Entry!!! Wow...time does fly!

About a month ago or so I was asked to teach a class about the seam finishing I do for viking style clothing.  I was, unfortunately unable to attend that event for various real life reasons so I thought I would do a short post about what I do for those that might like the information.

Running Stitch:
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

 Split Stitch:
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

Herringbone Stitch:
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.
That is the gist of what I do for viking garb.  All comments and suggestions are welcome either in the comments section or by personal email.  Thanks for reading!


  1. I really enjoyed this post. I'm in the process of adding bling embroidery to a couple of aprons. Nicely written and good pictures. I've really enjoyed reading through your blog :)

    1. Thank you for the compliment Cathy! If I can help in anyway, let me know.


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