12th century projects,  12th century tunic - blue & yellow silk,  Hand-Sewing,  How to secure stress points of necklines,  Projects

Reinforcement of neckline stress points – my husbands yellow & blue 12th century silk tunic with keyhole neckline

2015-02_Racaire_12th-century-male-overtunicIt is finally happening – this is my last posting concerning the “reinforcement of neckline stress points“. 🙂

In my most recent postings I introduced you to an old hand sewing technique which helps to provide “reinforcement for neckline stress points”. I also already posted about how I used a simple variation of this old hand sewing technique for the quite special 12th century inspired neckline for my husbands new grey tunic as well as for the slit neckline of my red 12th century silk dress

…and today I am going to show you how it looks like when you use the whole technique to strengthen a neckline stress point, using my work at the keyhole neckline of my husbands yellow & blue 12th century tunic as example – enjoy! 😀


The blue and yellow silk fabric which I used for my husbands 12th century (wedding) tunic is rather delicate, therefore I made the decision to strengthen the bottom of his keyhole neckline. This reinforcement makes sure that the silk fabric doesn’t rip at this point when he dresses or undresses.

Here is a close up picture of the bottom stress point of my husbands keyhole neckline showing the whole reinforcement technique after completion:


The reinforcement shown on the picture above was executed with a quite thin yellow silk thread. The use of thin silk thread allowed me to make the stitches as small as possible. 🙂 

As I forgot to take pictures right after finishing the reinforcement and allowed my husband to wear the tunic at an event in the meantime, the picture above already shows the reinforcement part after one day of wear and after going through one delicate wash cycle in my front loading washing machine. I take this as a sufficient proof that these small stitches are more than enough to create a good enough strengthening to keep the silk fabric from ripping at this point.

And here a picture of how my reinforcement looks at the back side:


When I first laid eye on this old hand sewing technique in one of my favorite books about needlework, it appeared to me that my source implied a limitation of the use of this technique to neckline slits. But just recently, after I started posting about the reinforcement of neckline stress points, a thought suddenly hit me at night while I was waiting to fall asleep: This technique is perfect for neckline stress points but why should I limit its use to these stress points as I could also use it to reinforce bottom slits…

Well, you might wonder why I haven’t thought about this possible use before but the answer is quite simple: my dresses have no slits and therefore I never had to think about their strengthening! However, now that I am married to my dear sweetheart who is using a German crusader persona within the SCA and for whom I need to make a whole new wardrobe, I also have to embrace the idea of bottom slits for upcoming sewing projects. And though I already know about some other reinforcement techniques for bottom slits, it is never a bad thing to have a good variety of different techniques at hand… This technique might come in handy one day… 🙂 

I hope you enjoyed my last posting for now about the reinforcement technique for neckline stress points. I only have a view more pictures of some detail work concerning my husbands 12th century grey light-wool tunic project which I will show you in my next posting. And then I can finally show you the the first sneak peek of a new embroidery project I just started… 🙂

Best regards Racaire

Following you will find a short list of all my postings concerning the reinforcement of neckline stress points till now: