Vote for my jeans! Plus a Flatlocked turtleneck

The Jeans contest has ended, but voting is up for Patternreview members.  Would you consider voting for me and my jeans?  The voting page is right here.  End shameless plug.

Moving on…

Since I’m now double covered on the jeans front, I thought I’d move on in the Wardrobe Basics Sew Along.

My next item to finish 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 jeans.  Oops, there they are again.  Have you voted? 😉

5 thoughts on “Vote for my jeans! Plus a Flatlocked turtleneck

  1. I voted!! Did not know that about my serger either….thanks!!! I’m kinda chicken when it comes to sewing knits, even though I’ve done it. I would really like to try the flat lock stitch though…guess I need to get over my fear!! the shirt looks so good with those jeans! 🙂

  2. Great jeans! And I love the flatlocking detail on your turtleneck. I second the comments about getting over my fear of the “other” stitches on my serger – I really need to try it!

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