The local SCA group is running a unique activity through their newcomer's group. The Midwinter celebration and the upcoming Coronation are both Viking themed, so the newcomer's group is hosting weekly meetings to learn various skills to help everyone (both new and long term members) make full outfits. So far we have had: basic sewing, Viking men's garb, Vikings women's garb, pattern drafting, construction days, Viking treasure necklaces and lampwork beads. We are going to have more construction days and nalbinding at least. I volunteered to teach basic embroidery and Viking wire weaving, so maybe these classes as well. I am usually a late period girl, but it is so much fun to meet up each week and work on something that I am jumping on the band wagon! Since the Baronial colors are black and gold with a little bit of white I used these colors to make my new dress. Also, I had this linen and the threads in my stash.
When I construct early time period SCA stuff, I usually iron the seam allowance out and then use a simple running stitch in a contrasting color to stitch down the seam allowance. Some of the others people in the group have suggested chain stitch, so I am trying chain stitch. I really like the way this is looking, but it is so much slower than running stitch and requires so much thread! Here is the first piece with the seam treatment.
I have also worked on the neck opening. I hand stitched the hem on the neckline and did a quick stitched tack bar down at the bottom of the keyhole (see the little black bar about half a centimeter from the keyhole). I find that this tack bar prevents tearing down the front of the shirt, tunic or dress. I then did some herringbone stitch around the neckline. The stitch closest to the neck opening is simple herringbone. Then I wanted to do some decorative interlace to add some more interest. I have had a few people ask me how I do this stitch so I am going to try and explain it here. First I do two sets of running stitch, keep the stitches parallel and the same number in both the outer and inner rows.
Once the running stitch is completed, I start a second color. I knot this color on the back of the embroidery and then bring it to the front of the embroidery under one of the running stitches. The yellow thread is laced through the running stitch entirely on the surface of the dress. You could use just about any pattern you want, but I like this simple one.
Once completed it looks like this. Look carefully down at the bottom of the keyhole, notice the mistake? I did not have the same number of stitches in my outer and inner rows.....I had to get a bit creative, but I think it still looks ok.