Great style and excellent couture comes with great finishing touches. The Hong Kong finish is just the most amazing way to finish the inside of a garment, especially a jacket or tailored article. It is a subtle way to bring some really exciting flashes of color or design to the inside of the garment. At the right moment, as your remove your jacket, the Hong Kong finish will just show the difference a little bit of binding and classic seam neatening has made.
Here is the step by step method to use this neat, but fashionable seam finish. You will need bias binding and can make your own in contrasting colors or use store bought binding in a plain color to blend in with the seams. (Read how to make bias tape)
How to Sew a Hong Kong Finish
HONG KONG FINISH – STEP ONE:
Cut your own bias binding strips on a contrast fabric of your choice. Measure the length of the seams and try to cut the strips to the length you need as joins will not look as attractive when the seams are exposed. You also want to avoid too much bulk. The width of the bias you cut is recommended to be 1 to 1.5 inch (2.5-4cm).
In general, I like to use 1-inch bias as I can use shop bought 1/2 inch (12mm) single fold bias and just press it open.
The seam you are encasing can be pressed open or closed so that the bias will either cover double fabric or two sides of single fabric in the seam. This will depend on the effect you would like and the bulk of the fabric. Thicker fabrics look better pressed open and bound on each side and less bulky fabrics can manage to be bound together and pressed one way. In this tutorial, I will show you how to bind the individual edges of the seam.
HONG KONG FINISH – STEP TWO:
Place the right side of the bias against one side of the seam and sew a ¼ inch (6mm) seam. Do not stretch the bias as you sew as this will cause the seam edge to go out of shape.
HONG KONG FINISH – STEP THREE:
Press the bias open and then wrap it around the seam edge and bring the rest of the bias to the back as you encase the seam edge. Press gently.
From the top, stitch in the furrow as close as possible to the edge of the bias. I used a contrast stitch so you could see what I was doing but for best results use a matching thread for an invisible finish.
This is called ‘ditch stitching’ and if done correctly the stitches made will disappear into the ditch of the seam and not be visible on the front side of the seam. You can use an edge stitch or zipper foot for this process.
HONG KONG FINISH – STEP FOUR:
Turn the seam over and trim off any waste fabric at the back. The back of the seam is not visible when the garment is finished. Depending on your choice of seam, press the Hong Kong finish open or to the side. Here I bound both sides for an attractive look.
The Hong Kong finish offers great finesse for an unlined jacket. Although it is a little bit of extra work, it is a really gorgeous way to be creative with a tailored jacket or even a casual windcheater. In fact, the outcome may surprise you with its interesting contrasts. Who knows, you may want to turn the world upside down and wear your jacket inside out just to show off your very original Hong Kong finish.
Read about an alternative method of creating a bias bound seam.
More Articles on Bias Tape
- How to Make Bias Tape with a Bias Maker
- How to Make Bias Tape with no Special Tools
- How to Sew Single Fold Bias Tape
- How to Sew Double Fold Bias Tape
- How to Make Continuous Bias Tape
- How to sew Mitred Square Corners with Bias Tape
- Types of Bias Tape
- Bias Bound Seam
- Hong Kong Finish
- Sewing Bias Tape