Flatlock tutorial

[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..?

  1. Invest in a flatlocker!
  2. Use a blind hem foot and a 1-needle overlock stitch on an overlocker
  3. 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

The Crafty Kitty | How to flatlock using an overlocker and a regular sewing machine

  • remove the right needle

The Crafty Kitty | How to flatlock using an overlocker and a regular sewing machine

  • 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.

The Crafty Kitty | How to flatlock using an overlocker and a regular sewing machine

The Crafty Kitty | How to flatlock using an overlocker and a regular sewing machine

  • gently pull fabric flat

The Crafty Kitty | How to flatlock using an overlocker and a regular sewing machine

right side of fabric

The Crafty Kitty | How to flatlock using an overlocker and a regular sewing machine

underneath of fabric

Sewing machine method

  • select the elastic stitch

The Crafty Kitty | Fox and Bear, Organic Cotton, Fleece Wellie Liners
that’s stitch number 6, here on my brother XL-3600…

The Crafty Kitty | Fox and Bear, Organic Cotton, Fleece Wellie Liners

…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.

The Crafty Kitty | Fox and Bear, Organic Cotton, Fleece Wellie Liners

  • sew together

The Crafty Kitty | Fox and Bear, Organic Cotton, Fleece Wellie Liners

How easy was that!! If you prefer you can use some iron on stabiliser to keep the two pieces of fabric in position.

3 thoughts on “Flatlock tutorial

  1. February 23, 2014 at 12:22 am

    perfect… I haven´t got overlock and it´s way for me…

  2. Maury
    February 23, 2014 at 2:40 am

    Hi! When is it best/appropriate to use this flatlock stitch? I’m a beginner and still trying to figure out when to use what stitch! Thanks!

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