Monday, May 2, 2011

Hong Kong Seams

It's now time for Sewing Lessons with Dea! R, this is for you. :-P

As I work on the outfit for my mother, I will post progress reports. This is a beautiful hunter green (the pictures make the color wonky) cashmere knit of a light-weight woolen texture. Since this fabric is so gorgeous, I have to style it to the best of my ability. One of the tricks to make professional quality clothing is the nature of the stitches. You can have a bare-bones stitch, or you can bind off the rough edges in a number of ways. French seams, serging, or Hong Kong seams are all valid options. I chose to do Hong Kong seams here.

What you need for Hong Kong seams are 1/2" seam allowance on your fabric, bias tape, and an iron. I made my bias tape out of a funky stash fabric to add a nice contrast (this will not be visible when wearing).

The only images missing are drawing many diagonal lines on three yards of fabric.

Bias tape, after being stitched, prior to being cut.

Bias tape, after being cut.

Bias tape and outfit piece, sewn right sides together, and pressed open.

Folding the bias tape back over itself to the edge of the nice fabric, and pinning in place.

Folding the pinned bias tape over the edge of the nice fabric, and re-pinning. The rough edge of the nice fabric is now encased in bias tape.

Stitching down what had been pinned. Notice the lovely Husqvarna loaner machine!

After removing the pins, and pressing flat -- here is the final edging for the outfit piece. No rough edges in sight!

After binding with bias tape the rough edges of two pieces that get sewn together, I've stitched together one actual seam and pressed it open. This is a finished Hong Kong Seam.

A close-up shot of the finished Hong Kong Seam.

So although this is a laborious process, the finished product is well worth it.


  1. is that the back or does the bias tape show?

  2. that's the inside of the skirt. so the bias tape will show only when it's inside out.

  3. That looks rather nice although I cannot see myself taking the trouble for it except on Very Special Occasions. Nice pics. :)

  4. The first time I really hung out with you, T, I thought you'd like meeting my pal from university, Sue. And now you have :-)

    Sunny, we should try and plan (very rare) crafty weekends type things. Left to my own, I've so far produced one skirt. That I wear at home.

  5. Yeah, I did the math and timing, and for one 36" seam, it takes 45 mins from start to finish. That is a super amount of trouble and my mom better like it! :-P

    I have craft brunches set up now! When you're here you'll have to join. Granted, they're mostly hanging, talking, eating, with a handful of "getting stuff done" but I set it up as a time and space to bring half-finished projects that you just need to "get around to..."