There are several types of seams known to be used in the 14th century. Many of the seams are quite intriquite and surprisinglingly inventive. For the purposes of this website, I will cover the simplest seam constructions that are found. The seams are found from Greenland to Germany and are common across many times and locations.
I will concentrate of how to create these seams by hand and not by machine.
Seam Type 1 – Tacked down seam allowance
Using a running stitch you will sew a seam with about a 1/2″ seam allowance
Step 3. This image shows what this seam looks like sewn down with either running stitch (left) or whip stitch (right). Both are very period and sometimes one garment uses both techniques. In fact, most garments use many different seam techniques.
Seam Type 2 – Flat Felled Seam, Sort of
This is not a true flat felled seam as the raw egde is not turned under in the final step.
See this image of a flat felled seam for clarity. Again, the sewn edge will not be turned under in this period. The flap is sewn down with a whip stitch.
Seam Type 3 – French Seam, again, sort of
Using a running stitch you will sew a seam with about a 1/2″ seam allowance.
You can also simply whip stitch the raw edges together without tucking them inside. The fabric I am using usually dictates how I finish.
Fulled wool gets a whipped raw edge but only if you decide the seam needs to be finished as fulled wool rarely ravels..
Linen gets a tucked then whipped edge.
Seam Type 4 – Singling
This method is a very interesting treatment of hems. The author of Woven into the Earth, Else Ostergard, calls all parts of a garment that have stitching of some kind, a seam, even unsewn hems. It must be a European definition because in the States we don’t refer to hems as seams, sewn or not. This “seam” reinforces the raw edge without turning it back in the way we modernly treat hems.
This is sewn using a series of running stitches in a serpentine line.
This photo shows Singling from the wrong side of the fabric, the working side for this method.
This method typically was used in conjunction with one of the following methods of finishing.
1. Tablet woven edging (2 -3 cards using 2 threads per card)
2. A finger looped braid or cord whip stitched onto the edge
3. A method referred to as foot weaving, or Slynging, a technique I have not yet figured out.