July 16, 2014

21 Comments

Sewing Techniques ›




 


Hong Kong Finish

This week, I show you how to do a fairly easy, couture edge finish -- basically, you bind the raw edges of your seam allowance using bias strips. 

All you need is some fabric to finish, and a few strips of bias.

It's important to use bias for this technique for several reasons. First, cutting the fabric on the bias (or, 45 degrees from the straight grain) gives it greater flexibility. Bias also doesn't fray, which is a plus since this technique leaves one edge of the binding unfinished on the back of the seam allowance.

OK, enough fabric education -- let's get binding!

Lay a 1" wide strip of bias over your edge to be finished. Stitch along the edge at 1/4" seam allowance.

Then, press the strip away from the fabric, and wrap it around to the back. The key word here is wrap, you don't want to make extra bulk for yourself by folding up the seam allowance underneath the binding. (You can trim the seam allowance down if you need to.)

The binding should overlap your first line of stitching by about 3/16" or so; pin it down, and then from the right side, machine-stitch next to the original binding seam. Ta da!

You can do a hong-kong finish on curved edges, like this one:

(Getting a smooth curve is much easier if you pre-press the bias strip into shape.) 

You can also substitute strips of tulle for the bias strips; this is especially handy for binding delicate fabrics, like lace or chiffons.

Or, if the binding fabric you want to use is really lightweight, and you don't want to have a raw edge on the backside, you can cut a wider strip of bias, fold it in half, and then proceed as normal. Just make sure the folded edge is the one you wrap to the back. :) 

And that's it! 

Do you have a favorite way of finishing edges? Have you ever used a hong-kong finish? Let us know in the comments, we'd love to hear from you!

Thanks for following along today!

For Pixie Faire,
Melinda


21 Comments

Pam
Pam

July 06, 2016

Love the patterns and the dolls are beautiful.

MARY
MARY

February 19, 2016

I don’t understand. Why would you leave one side of the bias unfinished. Doesn’t that add bulk. You have 1 inch bias, you make a 1/4 inch seam, now you have the rest of the width of the bias just sticking out. Makes more sense to enclose the whole seam allowance.

Clara
Clara

February 19, 2016

This is what I use in all my bias attachments. But I was taught the “Stitch in the ditch”. Same thing. Gives a really nice finish and appearance to the finished item. I use on all fabrics.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth

February 19, 2016

I learned this technique when I took a Haute Couture course from Richard Robinson in the early 70s. I was in his very first class of 5 students. A great technique for silk and other fine fabrics.

Kathy
Kathy

February 19, 2016

How timely, I am just starting a princess doll dress, and the tulle idea for a finish is just what I need for the fabric. Thanks!

Hope
Hope

February 09, 2016

This was really interesting.

Louise
Louise

November 20, 2015

Thank you, What a great tutorial.
Look forward to trying this technique soon

Jo Ann Little
Jo Ann Little

November 20, 2015

Love this ! thanks for the free Hong Kong info

Barbara
Barbara

June 09, 2015

Depending on the fabric, I would use fusible thread in the bobbin. Then iron instead of pinning before sewing down.

Pat
Pat

December 03, 2014

I could have used this today while making AG clothes, thanks for sharing it.

zola braidwood
zola braidwood

August 23, 2014

I needed to put cording around an item that had two layers. I used 1 " bias tap opened it up pressed in in half. Then inserted the bias tape so just the very small edge showed. Then stitched all 3 layers at one time. nice finished look and another press if needed.

carol
carol

August 15, 2014

I loved the tulle idea. Nice to learn something new at 63!!

Diana
Diana

August 08, 2014

I have used this method for years but I have never thought of using tulle for binding delicate fabrics. Thanks for the fine tutorial and great tip!

Melinda
Melinda

August 04, 2014

Hey Janet,
Not sure how it came to be called a “Hong Kong finish” — that’s just the name I have always heard it called. It may have originated there, or maybe it was named that to add a dash of foreign intrigue! In any case, it’s one of my favorite techniques.
Love your tip about using your machine feet to save time!

Sandra, I totally agree — there’s nothing like this finish to control loosely woven fabric edges. :)

Julie
Julie

July 22, 2014

I always just called this a stitch in the ditch finish.

Sheila
Sheila

July 18, 2014

Your last example is exactly how quilt binding by machine is done. It is a nice finish option.

Marge R (mer)
Marge R (mer)

July 18, 2014

Don’t believe I’ve ever heard of the Hong Kong finish, but I like it!!! Think this would be fabulous on sooo many Pixie Faire projects — must try it soon. TFS your knowledge with us! ;~)

Sandra Gent
Sandra Gent

July 18, 2014

Hong Kong finish is good for loosely woven fabric and unlined jackets

Janet
Janet

July 18, 2014

I also wanted to add. If you have a “Binding Foot” (Baby Lock & Brother) there is other machines that have them. This Hong Kong finish can be done in one step. Use you sewing machine feet to save time.

Janet
Janet

July 18, 2014

Thanks melinda,
I am curious. Why do people call this a “Hong Kong” finish? I am an older lady. "Back in my time ( the 1960’s) we called it making your own bias tape and applying it to the edge of the fabric.Now I do LOVE “French” seams.( big smile here)
With the use of sergers I think many seams are done with an overlock. So going back to basics is a fun way to add color..It really changes an outfit don’t you think?
I use my applique scissors to get a close cut so it turns nicely.
Here is another great link with more information and photos about the Hong Kong finish.
.http://www.craftsy.com/blog/2013/09/hong-kong-seam-finish/
-Janet

Marian
Marian

July 17, 2014

This finish is great. I have used it for children & adults but not yet for my AG sewing. Thanks for the reminder!!

Leave a comment