Hong Kong Finish – Bias Seams Made Easy

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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.  Great style and excellent couture come with great finishing touches.  At the right moment, as you remove your jacket, the Hong Kong finish will just show the difference a little bit of binding and classic seam neatening has made.

Hong Kong FinishPinHong Kong Finish


Hong Kong FinishHow to Sew a Hong Kong FinishStep 1 – Cut the BiasSTEP 2 – Stitch First SideSTEP 3 – PressingStep 4 – Turn and TrimHong Kong Finish AlternativesHong Kong Finish – In ConclusionMore Articles On Bias Tape

Hong Kong Finish

Hong Kong finish is often used in unlined jackets. As well as saving money and time in the sewing of the lining, it can often add a pop of color and result in a lighter weight jacket.

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.

Further Reading:How to Make Bias Tape

How to Sew a Hong Kong Finish

Step 1 – Cut the Bias

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).

BIAS TIPS: In general, I like to use 1-inch bias as I can use shop-bought ½ inch (12mm) single-fold bias and just press it open.

Bias for a Hong Kong FinishBias for a Hong Kong FinishPinBias for a Hong Kong Finish

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.

Open Seam for a Hong Kong FinishOpen Seam for a Hong Kong FinishPinOpen Seam for a Hong Kong Finish

STEP 2 – Stitch First Side

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.

Stitch Seam for a Hong Kong FinishStitch Seam for a Hong Kong FinishPinStitch Seam for a Hong Kong Finish

STEP 3 – Pressing

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.

Press Seam for a Hong Kong FinishPress Seam for a Hong Kong FinishPinPress Seam for a Hong Kong FinishClose Up of Hong Kong FinishClose Up of Hong Kong FinishPinClose Up of Hong Kong Finish

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 ‘stitch in the ditch’ 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.

Stitching of Hong Kong FinishStitching of Hong Kong FinishPinStitching of Hong Kong Finish

Step 4 – Turn and Trim

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.

Hong Kong FinishHong Kong FinishPinHong Kong Finish

Hong Kong Finish Alternatives

The beauty of the Hong Kong finish is that the stitching is hidden in the crease of the seam. There is however an alternative method of creating a bias-bound seam.

Further Reading:Bias Bound Seam

Other alternatives to a Hong Kong finish include serging, zig-zagging and even using pinking shears. All of these methods finish the seams and prevent them from fraying excessively. Read more about seam finishes.

Hong Kong Finish – In Conclusion

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.

More Articles On Bias Tape

How to Make Bias Tape with a Bias MakerHow to Make Bias Tape with no Special ToolsHow to Sew Single Fold Bias TapeHow to Sew Double Fold Bias TapeHow to Make Continuous Bias TapeHow to Sew Mitred Square Corners with Bias TapeTypes of Bias TapeBias Bound SeamHong Kong FinishSewing Bias TapeHow to Sew a V Neck with Bias TapeTypes of Bias Tape

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