I take back at least part of this description. Ron's is much closer!
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org
> --- In email@example.com, "mditmurier" <mditmurier@>
> > No it is used to butt 2 pieces of leather together, I believe?
> > Never heard of it. Could it just be instructions to "straightly
> > stitch"? That would make sense for a pair of breeches.
> No; when you butt two pieces of leather together, you're putting the
> cut edge of one to the cut edge of the other. The two pieces of
> leather can be laid out flat on a table with their cut edges touching
> both before and after sewing. "Edge flesh" or "butt edge" stitch is
> used here.
> For a pair of breeches, you'd have the big flat surfaces of the two
> pieces of fabric touching each other, big flat surface up against the
> other one's big flat surface. Then the needle pierces the two pieces
> of fabric and the thread is "whipped" or "cast over" the cut edges of
> the two pieces at one time, and then pierces the fabric again, and
> Overcasting is very useful for neatening cut edges, preventing
> raveling, and it's very economic of fabric; used to join two
> selvedges, it would take up hardly any 'usable' fabric at all, as
> opposed to modern seam allowances provided for modern machine sewing.
> Streatley stitch is just oversewing, or overcasting, but it's done
> very precisely and very evenly, making one pass over the seam and then
> turning the work around so you're now stitching from what had been the
> back, and you overcast back to your original starting point. You
> must, however, make exactly the same number of stitches by putting the
> needle into the original needle "holes" from the first pass.
> When this stitch is completed, it looks like zig-zag.
> Streatley stitch is used in glove-making for very fine suede,
> doe-skin, and white kid gloves. The edges of the leather/seams soil
> very readily, and this stitch covers the edges. However, it's not
> used for hard-wearing leather items: the friction will wear out the
> Hope this has helped.
> Yseult the Gentle