[This tutorial first appeared on the Birch Fabrics Blog in January 2014]
What is a flatlock seam?
a flatlock seam is a seam where the two edges of fabric are abutted and sewn with no seam allowance. A flatlock seam works particular well with knit fabrics.
When would you use a flatlock seam?
the nature of a flatlock seam, allows it to lay flat against the skin, with no bulk from a seam allowance. This makes it the perfect kind of seam to use when constructing sports/performance and children’s wear, where it is preferable to reduce any causes of irritation to the skin!
How do you sew a flatlock seam..?
- Invest in a flatlocker!
- Use a blind hem foot and a 1-needle overlock stitch on an overlocker
- Use an elastic stitch on your regular sewing machine!!
In this flatlock tutorial, I’m going to show you how to create the flatlock stitch using methods 2 & 3. The finished stitches are slightly different, but they both do the job! I actually used my regular sewing machine to sew these fleece welly liners together. mostly because I didn’t have the right shade thread for my overlocker to use with this project!!
Overlocker method (I’m using my brother 1034d here, which is an entry level overlocker)
- replace your regular presser foot with a blind stitch presser foot
- remove the right needle
- line up the two pieces of fabric wrong sides facing, and stitch together, allowing the stitches to overlap the edge a little. You will need to play around with the tension settings for the needle, upper looper and lower looper. I ended up with settings of 2,5 and 9.
- gently pull fabric flat
right side of fabric
underneath of fabric
Sewing machine method
- select the elastic stitch
…and stitch number 10 here on my new Pfaff ambition 1.5… so you can see that both entry level and slightly fancier models have an elastic stitch!
- place fabrics right side up with raw edges abutting and centre them with the needle central position.
- sew together
How easy was that!! If you prefer you can use some iron on stabiliser to keep the two pieces of fabric in position.