My next item to finish for the Wardrobe Basics Sew Along is a black turtleneck. As I never do black unless work required (and by ‘required’ I actually really truly mean required), I chose a heathered oatmeal rayon knit–decidedly a better color for me. Though I had to resize for this version of Burdastyle 9-2010-121, I knew it would come together very quickly. Knowing this, and inspired by an article in Threads #155 (June/July 2011), I thought I’d make things more interesting by trying out some flatlocking on my serger.
I thought that I needed a fancy pantsy serger for flatlocked stitches. According to the Threads article (entitled “Flatlock for Fashion”), not so! After fiddling around a bit, I can honestly say I have not been getting my money’s worth out of my rather humble little Janome serger. I really want to do a little video tutorial for a flatlocked hem in particular (crazy excited about this hem), but I’ll give a fast run down to give you an idea.
Kathleen Fasanella gives a thorough explanation of flatlocking here. Basically, a flat lock stitch lies flat (crazy, right?), but how you achieve that makes for some interesting effects.
- You want your serger to be in a 3-thread configuration. Take out your right needle if you want a wider stitch or take out the left needle if you want a narrower stitch.
- Set the tension on your chosen needle to the lowest setting (0 for me, perhaps different for you).
- Increase the tension on your lower looper to the highest setting (or higher than normal, but you know how playing with serger tension works…).
- Keep the tension on your upper looper where it usually is.
- Flatlocking can have two different looks: “loops” or “ladders”. To see “loops” on your right side, serge with wrong sides together. To see “ladders” on the right side, serge with wrong sides together. For whichever you choose, once you’ve serged a seam, pull gently on the seam to expose the ladder stitches (this will flatten out the loops on the opposite side). Press well. Tada!
Besides having a decorative look (especially if you use some decorative threads like Wooly Nylon), the flat seams are really unexpectedly noticeably more comfortable than traditional serged seams. You see these seams in a lot of athletic wear just for that reason–the flat stitches reduce chafing during exercise. Who’d a thunk it? And I just wanted to play around with my serger.
I updated my review of the turtleneck here.
Turtleneck with my Designer Pastiche jeans. Oops, there they are again. Have you voted? 😉