How to do a faux flatlock (for hems and joining seams)

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Faking a flatlock can get addictive.
The first time you try it you will wonder how on earth it will look any good and then all the stitches slide into place! It seems like a little magic trick!
Faux flatlocks can be used in many applications -stretch, wovens, joint seams and hemming. It's perfect for when you need a super stretchy seam. We also really love it used unconventionally on sheer silks and chunky wools.

Find below instructions for joining seams, joining really strong seams and hemming. Try it out on the Aeolian Tee / Dress.

Setting up your machine.

  1. Drop the cutting blade.
  2. Remove the left needle.
  3. Loosen the other needle tension to almost the entire way.
  4. Loosen the upper looper slightly.
  5. Tighten the lower looper to almost the entire way.

The exact figures vary for machine and fabric type.
Here is an example of the settings my machine likes.

A. Prepare fabric for joining seams (EXTRA FLAT)
The fabric seams are butted up edge-to-edge with this stitch.
1. Remove all seam allowances. Then proceed to sewing method further below.


B. Prepare fabric for joining seams (EXTRA STRONG)

This method overlaps fabric for extra strength but comes with a bulkier seam.

1. Overlap seam allowances. 

  1. Sew flat.
  1. On both sides, fold back and trim seam allowances to almost nothing. 

  1. Press.

Scroll down for sewing steps.

Prepare fabric for hemming

The images in this tutorial make a faux-locked hem with the dashed line stitch on the right side out. The vertical stitched line is to illustrate: right side (twin needle) / wrong side (underside of twin needle).

 1. Make the first fold for your hem, press and baste hem if necessary. It can be a pain to remove basting from under the overlocking. But worth doing for any unruly, chaotic fabrics.

2. Make the second fold here and press again where the overlocking will be. The fold and edge of fabric must be perfectly aligned (once again, basting helps).  


1. Place the fabric edges up close to the overlocker presser foot, so that thread loops hang off the edge of fabric and are left of the stitch-width gauge.
Right sides together for a "dashed line stitch" and wrong sides together for the "faux flatlocked look."

2. Gently pull open.

3. Press stitches to set the seam.


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1 Comment

  • Wow, I love this, thanks for sharing. I have a Whistles jersey top that is hemmed in this way and I love the finish. I’ll give this a go.

    Camilla on

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